The CISI's Commitment to Equality
The CISI is committed to ensuring that all candidates receive equality of opportunity and appropriate access
to assessment. No candidate shall be subject to unlawful discrimination (directly or indirectly) or
treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual
orientation or pregnancy and maternity.
Policy extends to all areas of qualification and assessment design, delivery and training
support. The Institute is constantly reviewing the policy in order to better meet the needs of candidates
and we welcome your feedback.
Candidates should also ensure they are familiar with all CISI exam related policies.
Computer Based Testing (CBT)
CBT exam results are available online within 24 hours and can be accessed via MyCISI.
All results remain provisional until five working days after the exam date to enable the Institute
to conduct an investigation into any circumstances that may affect a results (where applicable).
Following these five working days, your certificate confirming your results will available to view
and print. Candidates must complete their data sharing preferences if they
wish their employer to see their results.
Examination Performance Reviews
If you are unsuccessful in your examination you can request a Performance Review. The Review is given
on your performance at syllabus element level and will provide information about your areas of
strengths and weakness; time management and suggestions as to areas of revision. Reviews are
available at any time during the currency of the syllabus against which the examination was taken
and for 2 months after the republication of that syllabus.
View an example Performance
Reviews cost £30 each and will be sent to candidates, via email, within 48 hours, please
contact our customer support team to order (CustomerSupport@cisi.org or 020 7645 0777).
Performance Reviews are a free benefit for Corporate Supporter firms and are available for all
examinations taken by computer based testing. They are produced in the English language irrespective
of the language in which the examination was sat.
Candidates are entitled to a free Performance Review on the third fail of the same subject. To
request a Review, email email@example.com providing details
of the examination subject and date for which you require a Review.
Results for narrative exams are available approximately nine weeks after the
exam date. After this time, successful candidates can view and print their exam certificate in MyCISI.
Candidates must complete their data
sharing preferences if they wish their employer to see their results.
Unsuccessful candidates in the Chartered Wealth Manager Qualification (formerly known as CISI
Masters in Wealth Management), CISI Diploma (to be withdrawn in December 2016), CISI Pathway
Diploma, ICAEW / CISI Diploma in Corporate Finance or CISI Advanced Certificate exams may request a
marks analysis for a cost of £25. Marks analyses are produced and sent out to candidates
within 28 days of purchase and can only be ordered up to 6 weeks after results have been issued.
Please contact our customer support team to order (CustomerSupport@cisi.org or 020 7645 0777).
View an example
Marks Analysis which indicates the level of detail which candidates can expect to receive in
From 1 May 2018, the CISI will be launching e-certificates for all our exams. This initiative represents a
significant improvement in the quality and efficiency of the service we provide.
All candidates who have successfully passed CISI exams after 1 May 2018 will be able to view, download and
print their e-certificates via our secure candidate portal, MyCISI (My Account - My Account
Activity-Qualifications Policies & Assessments).
Please note that only one original copy of each certificate is allowed. If you choose to open or download
your certificate, any subsequent copies, physical or e-certificate will be clearly marked as a
Find out more and view
Each CISI certificate will:
- clearly and uniquely identify the candidate via the CISI unique customer number
- clearly and uniquely identify the certificate itself via the unique certificate number
- give the title of the qualification achieved
In addition, for Ofqual regulated qualifications the CISI certificate will carry:
- the title of the qualification achieved (as above) as it appears on Ofqual's Register of Regulated
Qualifications – it will not carry any other title for the qualification
- the Qualification Accreditation Number as shown on Ofqual's Register
- the Ofqual logo and the Welsh Government logo
View the full policy on
CBT certificates View the full policy on
If you have any doubts about the authenticity of a CISI certificate presented to you, please contact our Customer
Recognition of Non-CISI Exams
For holders of a qualification or award which we have previously assessed as covering the syllabus
of our units, the application process is straight forward.
Check our list of eligible exams How to apply for a recognised exemption
If you hold either a MSc or MA degree in a relevant financial discipline that you feel covers the
syllabus of either the Introduction to Securities & Investment unit or the Financial Markets
unit, then you may still able to seek an exemption. You will need to provide evidence that the
qualification/award you hold covers a minimum of 70% of the syllabus for the unit you are applying
How to apply for an unrecognised exemption
The CISI’s exams recognised by the FCA as meeting regulatory requirements for several
regulated activities are listed in the Financial Conduct Authority Handbook Appropriate
If you have achieved an exam pass from another awarding body and you are seeking to gain an
exemption from the CISI appropriate exam, the exam from the awarding body must be recognised by the
FCA. FCA recognition does not automatically confer an exemption for a CISI award and the exemption
decision will be based upon the level of match between the two.
Recognition of CISI exams
Units already gained in a CISI qualification may contribute towards exemption from the same or
similar unit in another CISI qualification:
Please note that all gap-fill needs to have been completed by 31st December 2018. In order to be
entitled to the Financial Markets exemption, you must submit an exemption application form before
30th June 2019.
- Candidates who have passed the regulatory unit in either the Capital Markets Programme or the
Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) are automatically exempt from the same unit in the other
- Candidates holding a Capital Markets Programme qualification who have passed the corresponding
technical unit are automatically exempt from the Introduction to Securities & Investment
unit in the IOC.
- Candidates for the IOC who have received any Capital Markets Programme qualification are
automatically exempt from stages 1 and 2 of the IOC.
- Until December 2018, candidates who have passed the Private Client Investment Advice and
Management qualification and have completed the Core, Securities and Derivatives gap-fill for
RDR purposes, will be exempt from Unit 1 (Financial Markets) of the Chartered Wealth Manager
Qualification, and can progress directly to Unit 2 (Portfolio Construction Theory).
- Until December 2018, candidates who have completed the Securities pathway of the IAD (i.e. have
passed UK Regulation & Professional Integrity, Investment Risk and Taxation and Securities),
PCIAM and Derivatives gap-fill will be exempt from the Financial Markets unit.
- Until December 2018, candidates who have completed the Derivatives pathway of the IAD (i.e. have
passed UK Regulation & Professional Integrity, Investment Risk and Taxation and Derivatives)
and PCIAM will be exempt from the Financial Markets unit.
Until December 2018, no exemptions are available for either Unit 2 (Portfolio Construction Theory) or
Unit 3 (Applied Wealth Management).
PLEASE NOTE: From June 2019 onwards, PCIAM holders as described above will no longer be offered
an exemption from Unit 1 (Financial Markets) but rather will be automatically exempt from Section A
of the Unit 3 (Applied Wealth Management) exam.”
English Language Requirements
CISI exams require a good standard of English, as well as knowledge of the technical terms associated with
the subject matter of the exams. Questions are designed to test specific knowledge and understanding and
candidates need to absorb information quickly and to read questions very closely.
Although it is not a requirement that candidates taking CISI exams have a specified level of English
language, it is advised that candidates should be proficient in English to B2 level, as determined by
the Common European Framework of
Reference for Languages (CEF or CEFR).
Computer Based Testing Trial Questions
In your exam you may find that you have some additional questions to answer which take the total number of
questions above the published number for the exam. These are trial questions – questions which have
recently been written for us, and on which we need to collect statistics so that we can see if those
particular questions are good enough to go into the exam as live questions.
Why are trial questions needed?
Trial questions are not scored, and you do get extra time for them. It is important to us that the questions
you get in your exam are fair – neither too difficult nor too easy, and free from ambiguity.
The live questions you will receive have all been through this process of trialling. Other candidates have
taken them over a period of time, and we have been able to gather statistics on their performance. The
contribution of other candidates in this way ensures that you experience an exam which is as fair as it can
be. When you answer the trial questions in your exam, you are helping future candidates to experience the
same fairness in their exam and your cooperation is much appreciated.
Why doesn't the CISI count trial questions in candidates' final scores?
We do not count trial questions in candidates' final scores because we do not know how good the questions are
until statistics are gathered on how they have performed (eg, how many candidates get them right, how many
people choose each option).
If a trial question is not sound, we could be awarding a mark for a question which is much easier than
questions in the live exam, and this would not help us to uphold the standards which firms and individuals
expect of us.
Are there always trial questions in exams?
No, not all exams will include trial questions. If you don't have any trial questions in your exam, this
means that the exam does not need to be updated or refreshed at the moment. Similarly, in some exams there
are more trial questions than others, depending on how much change we need to make to the exam in the coming
year. You can be assured that you will receive the appropriate amount of time to answer the questions.
How the CISI ensures its qualifications are Fit for Purpose
To ensure qualifications are fit for purpose, the CISI obtains input from employers, trade bodies, training
providers, the sector skills council (the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership) and other stakeholders
in all stages of the development and assessment of qualifications.
A panel of key stakeholders is appointed for each of the Institute’s exams. Each panel provides
guidance on the development of each unit and meets at least biannually to review the syllabus and assessment
content to ensure continued fitness for purpose.
Each panel reports to the Qualification Assessment Board (QAB) for the relevant qualification, which
consists of senior representatives of each panel within the qualification. Each QAB subsequently reports to
the Examinations Board (EB).
Through this framework, the CISI ensures all qualifications are fit for purpose and secure the requirements
of validity, reliability, comparability, manageability and minimising bias, as detailed below.
Units are developed with input from all key stakeholders including employers, trainers and trade bodies to
ensure that the assessment outcomes meet their intended uses. Where relevant, syllabi are mapped against
Exam Standards and National Occupation Standards. Regular reviews of the assessment outcomes, typically
annually, are carried by the unit’s Panel of key stakeholders to ensure the continued validity of the
unit. Qualification Assessment Boards (QABs) undertake a review of all units pertaining to a qualification,
reviewing pass rates, candidate registrations and all stakeholder feedback to ensure that validity of the
units is supported by evidence from all stages of the assessment process.
In the case of units assessed by computer-based tests (CBT), all exam forms are initially set at the same
level of difficulty and reviewed throughout their lifespan using psychometrics to analyse item and test
performance. Historical data is also used when creating forms. Each form’s performance is monitored
continuously and reported at monthly exam managers’ meetings.
In the case of narrative exams, most exams have modest candidate numbers which enables all scripts to be
marked by a single examiner. Answer scripts are then sampled and moderated by a panel of professional
practitioners to ensure consistency of marking, whilst scripts from previous sittings are made available to
ensure consistency of marking over time. Where an exam has a large number of entries, additional markers are
employed and the Chief Examiner moderates the marking prior to the scripts being sampled and moderated by
Item statistics for CBT exams are analysed using psychometrics to ensure comparability across forms within a
unit. These, together with overall pass rate statistics for all units, are monitored and reported at monthly
exam managers’ meetings to ensure comparability across exams and qualifications and over time. When
new exams are being developed, comparisons are made with offerings from other awarding organisations, such
as the number of learning outcomes, credits and notional learning hours.
For narrative examinations, the CISI relies on the expert judgement of a Panel of Practitioners and a Chief
Examiner for each narrative assessment who have substantial experience in this process. The CISI also
ensures that statistics for previous sittings as well as sample scripts are available at results moderation
To ensure assessments are feasible and place a reasonable demand on centres and learners, feedback is
obtained from user and stakeholders through regular meetings with Accredited Training Providers and online
To ensure that assessments do not produce unreasonably adverse outcomes
bias for candidates who share a common attribute, the CISI has a number of published policies, including the
Reasonable Adjustments Policy and Special Consideration Policy. The application of such policies is
monitored and reported on annually to the CISI Examination Board along with other monitoring relating to
statutory equality duties.
The CISI holds member records for candidates who have taken any of our qualifications, or who have, in the
past, completed the London Stock Exchange exams.
The CISI is only able to release information on qualifications and membership to persons authorised to
request information on a candidate's behalf. You will need to verify that you have a signed statement from
the member or candidate to authorise the release of their personal information.
We partner with Qualification Check to release this information, each enquiry will cost £130 + VAT.
Can I rely on the workbook alone?
The examination will be based on the content of the syllabus. The workbooks are designed to support your
learning, although you may also find it helpful to read the financial press. At levels 3 to 5 you are
expected to be able to apply principles outlined in the workbook to situations which are not explicitly
stated in the material. However, our workbooks do provide a thorough preparation for the examination and are
also a valuable reference aid for practitioners. The answer to a question could draw on information from
more than one area of the workbook.
At level 6 and 7, while the official workbook is essential reading, you are expected to read around the
subject, and this reading is not prescribed, although for some subjects, there are suggestions at the end of
the syllabus. Questions will be set on the whole syllabus, and topical issues may be tested, so candidates
are expected to be aware of developments in the relevant area of financial services.
As part of your preparation for all level 6 and 7 examinations you should thoroughly scrutinise past papers
for your exam, all of which are available free of charge via MyStudy, and refer to
the Examiners' reports, which are also available. Together, these give a detailed insight into the type of
The Diploma in Corporate Finance differs from other high level CISI exams in that the Diploma is tested by
open book examinations. You are permitted to bring in texts, articles and notes of any kind. It is your
responsibility to select and bring in any material needed and any such texts brought into the examination
venue should be in hard copy only. We recommended that Takeover Code/Listing Rules (whichever sections you
deem relevant) are taken into the examination. You should be familiar with and understand relevant laws and
regulations such as the Listing, AIM and ISDX Rules, the UK Takeover Code (Including Practice Statements)
and the Companies Act.
Candidates are advised to download the workbook and elearning
editions charts to ensure that they have the correct edition for their exam. For candidates sitting certain
exams outside of the UK, study materials are included in the exam price. For further details please contact
our Customer Support Centre.