CISI Investment Operations Certificate (IOC)

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The Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) – previously known as the IAQ™ – is the perfect introduction to the financial services industry. Designed for administration and operational staff, the IOC provides a solid understanding of industry regulation, as well as technical areas including operational risk, asset servicing, global securities operations and collective investment schemes.

With BPP, you'll receive CISI-accredited training from highly experienced professionals and learn using award-winning training materials. Our tutors have helped over 20,000 delegates attain the IOC qualification.

We're so confident we can do the same for you that – should the unexpected happen – we'll give you the opportunity to repeat the course free of charge*.

BPP Professional Education prepares you for exams that are assessed and awarded by The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).

 

Key details: Ways to Study | Dates and prices

Key Information

  • Repeat the course for free if you don't pass*
  • Allows you to progress to the CISI Diploma in Investment Operations
  • Market leading online learning materials
  • Allows you to progress to the CISI Diploma in Investment Compliance
  • CISI accredited training provider
  • Highly experienced tutors with an average of 12 years' industry experience
  • In-house delivery available
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CISI exam changes

The Financial Services Bill received Royal Assent on 19th December 2012, becoming the Financial Services Act, and this came into force on 1 April 2013. This gives the Bank of England responsibility for protecting and enhancing financial stability. It also abolish the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and creates a new UK regulatory regime, consisting of the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As a result of these regulatory changes, the CISI IOC regulatory units will now be known as the 'UK Financial Regulation' unit and also the 'Principles of UK Financial Regulation' unit.

Kick-start your investment career

The IOC gives you a solid grounding in the financial services industry. It is an excellent introduction to operational areas including securities and investment, FCA financial regulation and the principles of regulation.

It's also a good stepping-stone for further qualifications such as the CISI Diploma in Investment Compliance or the CISI Diploma in Investment Operations.

As an industry-recognised qualification, the IOC is a great way to strengthen your CV and demonstrate your knowledge to potential employers. Over the years, we've helped over 20,000 students achieve this competitive edge.

Outstanding flexibility and study options

Any three units from the list of units will qualify a candidate for the full CISI IOC qualification. The units you select depend upon your individual circumstances, however candidates are either:

  • In an overseeing role (as defined by the FCA) working for a firm, which is authorised and regulated by the FCA. These candidates are required to take the following units:
    • Introduction to Securities and Investment – a core unit
    • Principles of UK Financial Regulation or UK Financial Regulation – a core unit
    • A third technical unit relevant to the role, or
  • Working for firms, particularly those based internationally, which are not authorised and regulated by the FCA. These candidates may, if their firm agrees, select any three papers

 

For the most balanced approach, we recommend you take the Introduction to Securities & Investment (ISI) module, plus one of the two regulation modules – either FSA Financial Regulation or Principles of UK Financial Regulation

The technical modules include Asset Servicing, CIS Administration, Global Securities Operations and Operational Risk. See the left-hand menu for more details.

You can choose from classroom courses or distance learning. We also provide an in-house service for some of the courses. Please email in-house@bpp.com for more information on this option.

Assessment

Each of the three modules is assessed by a one-hour exam consisting of 50 questions with multiple choice answers.

The latest learning materials

Our study materials are designed with one aim in mind: to help you pass, first time. We use a mixture of study texts, e-books, PowerPoint slides and course handouts. To help reinforce what you learn, we offer online tutorials, revision kits and MP3 and MP4 downloads.

Throughout your studies, you'll be supported by expert tutors who will answer your questions and help you stay focused.

Administration of Settlement and Investments (ASI)

This module was previously known as the Private Client Administration. The aim of this module is to ensure that candidates have an understanding of settlement, corporate actions and taxation in relation to retail clients, as it relates to the needs of operations and administration staff.

This technical module is made up of ten elements starting with an introduction. The material then goes on to look at client assets, data and record keeping, settlement and corporate actions. It looks at collective and tax incentivised savings schemes and reviews the taxation position as it relates to private clients. It concludes by looking at other types of client account, overseas investment and closing accounts, covering wills, probate, legacies etc.

Asset Servicing

The aim of this module is to ensure that candidates have a sound understanding of the fundamentals of asset servicing as far as this relates to the needs of operations and administration staff. By heightening candidates' understanding of the core and surrounding areas of work which impact on their day-to-day role, this subject aims to educate staff, thereby reducing the risk to the firm, and ultimately, the consumer.

Subjects covered in this technical module include capital instruments and transactions, legal and compliance issues, the life cycle of an event, mandatory as well as voluntary events, initial public offerings, proxy voting, who the participants are, aspects of taxation and operational risk and controls.

Collective Investment Schemes Administration (CISA)

The aim of this module is to ensure that candidates have an introduction to Collective Investment Schemes Administration as it relates to operations and administration staff.

Following an introduction to CISA's, the material will look at regulatory controls, constitution of schemes, roles and responsibilities of the players involved and investment and borrowing powers. It will also look at the buying and selling of units or shares, registration and settlement, distribution of income, investor communications and of course, the taxation of collective investments.

Dates and prices

For dates and prices and exam information, view the following forms:

Exchange Traded Derivatives Administration (ETDA)

The aim of this module is to ensure that candidates have an understanding of exchange-traded derivatives as they relate to the needs of operations and administration staff.

To capture an overall picture of this subject the material goes into the history and development of derivatives markets, gives an introduction to futures and options, examines the use of derivatives, looks at the role of both the derivatives exchange and the clearing house, studies the basics of margining, clearing and settlement, derivatives regulation and compliance as well as operational risk and control.

Global Securities Operations

The aim of this module is to ensure that candidates have an introduction to global securities services and administration as far as this relates to the needs of operations and administration staff.

To gain an appreciation of this subject we will need to study the characteristics of securities, examine who are the main industry participants, understand settlement characteristics and have knowledge of other investor services. Finally, it will also be necessary to have a grasp of those aspects of taxation and risk that affect global securities operations.

ISA Administration

The aim of this module is to ensure delegates have an understanding of ISA administration, as it relates to the needs of operations and administration staff.

In order to master this subject it will be necessary to examine a variety of topics, which include regulation and authorisation of ISAs, investors and applications, investment rules and restrictions.

The material will cover income and tax claims, holder rights and protection and information about charges and expenses. It will also be necessary to learn about withdrawals, closures and what happens if the investor dies. The module will also cover use as security for mortgages and loans, the information that is necessary to gather and the information regarding HMRC inspections and rules.

Introduction to Securities & Investment (ISI)

The aim of this module is to provide individuals looking for a career in the financial services industry with an understanding of the breadth of the industry, the regulatory framework, how the industry functions and the basics of the various financial instruments.

The subject matter is broken down into various chapters, the first of which looks at an overall introduction to financial services and the economic environment. The material then goes into more detail about different asset classes in particular distinguishing the features between equity (shares) and debt (bonds). It then proceeds to look at a series of financial products (such as loans and mortgages), derivatives (such as futures and options), pooled investment funds (such as unit trusts) and investment wrappers (such as ISAs). We then conclude with a basic review of both financial services regulation and an examination of the taxation and trust system in the UK.

IT in Investment Operations

BPP will be offering a distance learning study option towards the IT in Investment Operations module.

The aim of this module is to ensure your employees have an understanding of how the role of IT relates to investment operations and the financial services industry. It's perfect if you have employees wishing to gain a deeper understanding of IT in the financial services sector. It can be completed on its own or as one of the three modules required for the IOC.

Features of the IT in Investment Operations include:

  • the first qualification designed specifically for IT staff within the financial services industry
  • ideal if you have IT staff that need a deeper/wider understanding of the financial services industry
  • ideal as part of an induction programme for your IT staff
  • improves industry understanding amongst your IT staff
  • it can be taken as a stand alone training course, or as part of the IOC programme

Operational Risk

The aim of the examination is to ensure that candidates have an understanding of operational risk as it relates to the needs of operations and administration staff.

After a brief introduction to the subject, this technical module will investigate what exactly is credit, market and operational risk. It will look at the causes and effects of operational risk and the operational risk cycle. It will then go on to study support and control functions, integrated risk management as well as achieving common standards and protection.

OTC Derivatives Administration

The aim of this module is to ensure that candidates have an understanding of OTC derivatives administration as it relates to the needs of operations and administration staff.

The subject is introduced and the material then examines forward rate agreements (FRAs) and swaps, OTC options and other principal derivative products. The material then looks at pricing considerations and risk theory. It then concludes by looking at finance, accounting and regulation issues as well as operations as they relate to the product.

Principles of UK Financial Regulation (PFR)

This unit considers the regulatory environment in the UK. The Financial Services Act came into force on 1st April 2013. This gives the Bank of England responsibility for protecting and enhancing financial stability. It will also abolish the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and creates a new UK regulatory regime, consisting of the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The material also looks at the detail regulated activities and specified investments, the authorisation process for firms and the approval process for individuals performing controlled functions. Thereafter, we consider other sources of regulation including measures designed to prevent financial crime as well as considering a number of European Union (EU) Directives, with special emphasis on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). 

The next part of the syllabus is extremely important since it considers the Conduct of Business Rules (COBS) and Client Assets Rules. MiFID has had a dramatic impact on these rules and this underlines the fact that regulation is increasingly being determined at the European level.

Structure

You need to pass three modules to gain the CISI IOC qualification. Any three units from the list of units will qualify a candidate for the full CISI IOC qualification. The units you select depend upon your individual circumstances, however candidates are either:

  • In an overseeing role (as defined by the FCA) working for a firm, which is authorised and regulated by the FCA. These candidates are required to take the following units:
  • Introduction to Securities and Investment – a core unit
  • Principles of Financial Regulation or UK Financial Regulation – a core unit
  • A third technical unit relevant to the role, or
  • Working for firms, particularly those based internationally, which are not authorised and regulated by the FCA. These candidates may, if their firm agrees, select any three papers.
  • The exam for each module is a one-hour, 50-question, multiple choice paper.

    CISI IOC Structure

    Core modules

    • Introduction to Securities & Investment (ISI) and either
    • UK Financial Regulation or Principles of UK Financial Regulation (PFR)

    Technical modules

    • Administration of Settlement and Investments
    • Asset Servicing
    • Collective Investment Schemes Administration (CISA)
    • Exchange Traded Derivatives Administration (ETDA)
    • Global Securities Operations
    • ISA Administration
    • IT in Investment Operations
    • Operational Risk
    • OTC Derivatives Administration

    UK Financial Regulation

    This unit considers the regulatory environment in the UK. The Financial Services Act came into force on 1st April 2013. This gives the Bank of England responsibility for protecting and enhancing financial stability. It will also abolish the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and creates a new UK regulatory regime, consisting of the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    The material also looks at the detail regulated activities and specified investments, the authorisation process for firms and the approval process for individuals performing controlled functions. Thereafter, we consider other sources of regulation including measures designed to prevent financial crime as well as considering a number of European Union (EU) Directives, with special emphasis on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). The next part of the syllabus is extremely important since it considers the Conduct of Business Rules (COBS) and Client Assets Rules. MiFID has had a dramatic impact on these rules and this underlines the fact that regulation is increasingly being determined at the European level. 

    Flexible learning

    Our IOC course is highly flexible, so you can study in the way that's most convenient and effective for you. We offer face-to-face IOC classes in both London and Edinburgh, or you can study the IOC™ when and where you choose with our distance learning package.

    Classroom learning

    Classroom study gives you an all-round, holistic learning experience. You'll be guided through key topics by experienced tutors. You'll also have plenty of opportunities to discuss subjects with like-minded delegates.

    Once you've left the classroom, you'll be given access to the best possible e-Learning and classroom based study texts and materials – including PowerPoint slides and revision and review testing.

    Distance learning

    Our distance learning course enables you to study at a time, pace and place that suits your lifestyle. This option gives you added flexibility, but it still covers all aspects of the syllabus, so you don't miss out on core subject areas. Throughout your studies, you'll receive CICI accredited e-Learning materials expert support from our experienced tutors.

    Online Classroom Live

    Our Online Classroom Live classes will consist of 4 half day sessions that utilise a web based platform. You can learn from the comfort of your own home, or office, and interact with your tutor and other delegates during a live online session. These sessions will also be recorded, so if you are unable to attend an online session live you can catch up with these class recordings.

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    Tailored training

    As well as offering courses for individuals, we're happy to work alongside businesses to help develop their employees – improving capabilities and knowledge. Above all, we focus on the precise requirements of your organisation, providing tailored training at a time and location to suit you. Please email in-house@bpp.com for more information on this option.

    Key study points

    • MP3 and MP4 downloads
    • Online tutorials and revision kits
    • Full tutor support, whether classroom based or distance learning
    • Tutor rapid email response
    • Practice exam papers and consolidation exercises
    • Study guides for time management tips and learning techniques
    • PowerPoint course slides of class tutorials

    Flexible study

    We offer start dates throughout the year. For more information email us at financialservices@bpp.com

    Study locations

    You can study the CISI Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) face-to-face at any one of the following study centres. Each centre offers state-of-the-art facilities and comfortable, high-quality classroom environments.

    Remember, if you need to study from home or overseas, you can also take a course in IOC via our online classroom or distance learning package.

    Tailored training

    Our in-house service can be a cost effective and convenient way for staff to train for the IOC. To find out how we could support your team, please email in-house@bpp.com