Capital Markets Programme

The CISI Capital Markets Programme is a wide ranging group of exams developed for practitioners in the capital markets wholesale sector advising and/or dealing in securities and/or derivatives.
The programme offers flexibility as candidates can choose units of study covering Securities, Derivatives and Financial Derivatives. 

The Capital Markets Programme is accredited by Ofqual as the
level 3 Certificates in Investments.

Key features of the Capital Markets Programme
  • Best-practice benchmark qualification for the capital markets/wholesale sector
  • Streamlined syllabuses, focusing on key concepts and principles
  • Programme comprises of one regulatory unit and one technical unit
  • Globally portable, reflecting the needs of an international market place
  • Earn CPD hours upon successful completion of the qualification
  • Free Student membership
  • ACSI designatory letters

Qualification Structure

Candidates are reminded that at least three months' study time is recommended for each exam. 

A regulatory unit from:

** Any regulatory exam supported by a national regulator will be
accepted by the CISI as the regulatory component


These Certificates are regulated by Ofqual as level 3 qualifications:

CISI Level 3 Certificate in Securities
CISI Level 3 Certificate in Derivatives
CISI Level 3 Certificate in Investments (Financial Derivatives)

On the European Qualifications Framework, these equate to level 4 qualifications.


General & Wholesale Activities 

The Capital Markets Programme requires candidates to pass a regulatory exam (UK Financial Regulation) and a "technical" exam.

Candidates may seek exemption from UK Financial Regulation only.

Candidates seeking exemption must offer a qualification which was obtained after 1 December 2001.

For the purposes of exemption, the following units are acceptable.

Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
  • Financial Planning Certificate (FPC) – Unit 1 (FPC1)
  • Certificate in Financial Planning (CF) – Unit 1 (CF1)
  • Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning – Unit 1 (RO1)
IFS School of Finance
  • Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA) – Module 1 (CeFA1)
  • Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) – Unit 1 (CeMAP1)
  • Investment Management Certificate (IMC) – either level 3 or level 4 (full IMC or Paper 1)

How to Apply

Download the Capital Markets Programme exemption form.

Exemption from the Programme exams costs £50.

Entry Requirements

In furtherance of the CISI’s aim to increase ethical awareness, the Institute requires that candidates for the Capital Markets Programme in the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America must have passed IntegrityMatters, an online integrity test, as a pre-requisite to sitting the exam.

The CISI introduced this initiative to ensure that new UK entrants to the capital markets sector, who will be working directly with firms and clients, realise the importance of integrity and ethics from the moment they enter the industry.

The Institute believes that the standard of integrity needs to be at least equal to that of the retail sector. This will also provide the public with some tangible evidence which demonstrates that banks and other financial organisations really are changing their culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process?

At the time of registering for your exam, you will be notified that you need to complete IntegrityMatters and that you need to complete the integrity test prior to taking your Capital Markets Programme exam.

IntegrityMatters consists of both a workshop and test. It should take 30 - 50 minutes to complete and it can be accessed here.

When should I enter for IntegrityMatters?

It would be sensible to enter for IntegrityMatters as soon as you know that you have to take a CISI Capital Markets Programme exam as you must have passed IntegrityMatters before you sit the level 3 exam.

Why is the CISI introducing this new requirement?

From 1 January 2013, as part of the FCA’s long running Retail Distribution Review, the regulator has increased the level of professionalism required for retail customer advisers.  The minimum skills levels have increased (to Level 4) and there is a requirement to maintain competence by completing 35 hours of continuous learning.  The FCA has also adivressed the behavioural component by, in effect, requiring individuals to join a professional body and actively subscribe to its code of conduct.  Better behaviour is further reinforced by allocating 20% of the regulatory paper to ethics based questions.

However, this is in marked contrast to the wholesale sector, where examinations are not a regulatory requirement (although they are usually taken) and there is no ethical component in the lower level examinations, or a requirement to subscribe to any external code of conduct.   Therefore, this initiative is being introduced to ensure that new entrants are made aware of the importance of trust and integrity from the moment they enter the financial service industry.

Can I take IntegrityMatters on the day of my exam?

No, you must have completed IntegrityMatters prior to taking your exam.

What happens if I have not been successful at IntegrityMatters before I sit my exam?

You will not be permitted to sit the exam until you have passed IntegrityMatters. The CISI record system will track whether or not you have successfully completed IntegrityMatters and will not allow you to access your exam.

What arrangements can be made for candidates with special examination requirements?

Sympathetic consideration is given to reasonable requests but, because the test is not time limited and can be taken anywhere, many candidates will not need specific arrangements to be made.

What happens if I have not taken the IntegrityMatters test before I sit my exam?

If you have not passed IntegrityMatters 24 hours before the scheduled time of the exam, your exam booking will be cancelled. A £50 rebooking fee will be applied to exams rebooked under these circumstances.

If a candidate has taken the first unit of the level 3 programme before April 2 2013 will they still be required to pass IntegrityMatters?

Provided that the candidate completed the QRF at the time of their exam indicating that they were taking the unit as part of a level 3 Capital Markets Programme which will require IntegrityMatters from 2 April, they will NOT be required to pass IntegrityMatters.

Can candidates sit their exam before sitting IntegrityMatters with their exam certificate being withheld until they pass IntegrityMatters?

No. Candidates may not sit their examination first. Candidates who have either not completed IntegrityMatters or have been unsuccessful will not be able to access their Certificate examination.

Does the CISI produce training manuals for this unit?

Because of the nature of this unit, no specific training manuals or workbooks are produced. However, the dilemmas in the test and examples are based on the dilemmas which appear in the CISI series of books Integrity at Work in Financial Services 1,2,3 & 4 and the “Grey Matters” articles which appear in the monthly Securities & Investment Review. Copies of the publications are available online or hard copy books can be ordered for the price of £10 per copy. Reading the publications via MyCISI will result in continuing professional development (CPD) hours being earned.

Study Options

Self-study using the CISI's learning manuals and elearning for:

Please note: The CISI's mandatory learning manual policy requires, where available, the most up to date CISI learning manual to be purchased when booking an exam, including by an ATP on your behalf. This applies to all candidates sitting CISI exams in the UK (includes Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man). Candidates sitting CISI exams outside of the UK will receive the most up-to-date workbook in PDF format for that subject and is included in the international exam price.

Accredited Training Providers
The CISI accredits a wide range of training providers to deliver formal training for our exams and you can register directly with the provider of your choice.

Find an Accredited Training Provider (ATP) near you

Sample Papers
Sample exam questions are available for:

Register and Book

Register with the CISI
New candidates intending to take CISI qualifications need to first register with the CISI. Upon registering, you will receive a candidate number, password and access to the CISI's online systems.

Book your exams
Candidates can book:

Register for your qualification
After booking your exams you need to register for your qualification. Please be sure you have read and understood the exam regulations and policies.

The latest prices for exams are listed on the online price list.

Post Qualification Opportunities

Obtaining the Capital Markets Programme entitles candidates to join the Institute at Associate level and utilise the designatory letters ACSI.  

As a member of the Institute, you will enjoy the recognition of being a professional in a world of increasing competition. The extensive continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities available through the CISI’s suite of membership benefits ensures financial services practitioners can maintain competence and meet the requirements of firms and the regulator.

Higher Level Qualifications
To further theoretical and practical knowledge upon completion of the Programme, higher level qualifications to take include: