CISI Investment Operations Certificate (IOC)

The IOC is the CISI’s most established qualification and is taken by practitioners globally to enhance their knowledge and skills of the administration and operations areas of the financial services industry. The qualification will provide you with an overview of the financial services industry and its regulation, whilst also covering technical activities which are relevant to the area in which you work. It offers flexibility, as you can choose from a wide selection of units and study at a time and pace convenient to you.

With BPP, you'll receive CISI-accredited training from highly experienced professionals and learn using BPP's learning materials of which we hold the official publisher status for. 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

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 unit will now be known as the '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
    • 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) unit, then the UK Financial Regulation unit, followed by a third technical unit.

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 IOC units is assessed by a multiple choice question format. The UK Financial Regulation unit consists of 75 questions in 1.5 hours, and the ISI and all technical units consist of 50 questions in a 1 hour exam.

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.

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
  • 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.

Each of the three IOC units is assessed by a multiple choice question format. The UK Financial Regulation unit consists of 75 questions in 1.5 hours, and the ISI and all technical units consist of 50 questions in a 1 hour exam.

CISI IOC Structure

Core modules

  • Introduction to Securities & Investment (ISI) and either
  • UK Financial Regulation

Technical modules

  • Administration of Settlement and Investments
  • Asset Servicing
  • Collective Investment Schemes Administration (CISA)
  • Global Securities Operations
  • ISA Administration (this is being retired by the CISI on 31st December 2015)
  • IT in Investment Operations
  • Operational Risk

Dates and prices

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

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. 

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.

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.

CISI Risk in Financial Services Risk in Financial Services

The aim of this exam is to ensure that candidates understand the importance of the management of financial risk on behalf of the firm’s customers and owners, within the financial services industry.

This exam offers practitioners a broad understanding of the key risks that arise within a financial services firm, covering business and enterprise risk, corporate governance and risk oversight, regulatory risk, risk management and includes operational, credit, market, strategic, investment and liquidity risks.

Candidates will understand how a firm decides how much risk it is willing to take, known as risk appetite, and ensure that this risk appetite is not exceeded, as well as considering the overall risk culture of the firm.

Risk in Financial Services exam qualifies as one of the IOC technical units. It also can be taken as part of the CISI Diploma in Investment Compliance.

It can also be taken as a stand-alone qualification or it can also be taken with one of the following UK Financial Regulation examination. Upon successful completion of both the Risk in Financial Services and the UK Financial Regulation examinations, candidates will be awarded the Certificate in Risk in Financial Services.

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 Online Classroom.

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.

Online Classroom

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.

watch CFA online

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

Classroom teaching for the IMC qualification and the Introduction to Financial Maths course is held at the London Liverpool Street study centre – close to Bank, Moorgate and Liverpool Street. Based at the heart of the UK's corporate finance world, it's perfectly located to allow you to rub shoulders with the industry's leading thinkers.

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.

  • BPP London
  • BPP Edinburgh(regulation and certain technical modules only)

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