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Building operational expertise in investments

The level 3 Certificate in Investment Operations provides essential knowledge and skills for those working in a range of administrative and operational investment roles.

The Certificate satisfies the FCA qualification requirements for overseers of administration and operational functions

Read the Certificate in Investment Operations specification »

 

Who’s it for?

  • Those working in collective investment scheme administration, individual savings account administration, and investment client servicing
  • Anyone moving in to an administrative overseer role needing to comply with FCA appropriate qualification requirements.

Recognition of prior learning

Before studying, check to see whether any of your previous academic qualifications or credits from other professional bodies and institutes can be carried towards completion of the Certificate.

Find out more about recognition of prior learning >

Completion requirements

The Certificate involves completion of 2 units from the Personal Finance qualifications framework, providing a minimum of 25 credits on completion

See our key information link to the right of this page for details

Assessment method

Certificate level units are assessed by multiple-choice question exam (MCQ). For online MCQ exams, result notification is immediate on completion. For paper-based MCQ exams, results are released five weeks’ following the exam sitting.

Find out more about assessments, including policies and exam centres >

Learning support

Each qualification unit comes with the essential tools to support core learning. For a single fee, study packages typically include: study text, assessment entry and access to RevisionMate, our online study tool.

We also offer additional study materials to support individual learning. These range from key fact booklets and next-edition study texts, to question packs and Learn interactive tutorials.

For full unit availability, click the unit links to the right of this page

Introduction

CII qualifications involve the completion of one or more units, each covering an individually assessed topic. Assessment methods vary and depend on a unit's level and subject matter.


Study and assessment methods include:

  • Multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam - Study is based on a specified enrolment period, from 01 January – 31 December. MCQ exams are available weekly at UK and select non-UK online exam centres, or twice-yearly in April and October at non-UK paper-based exam centres.
  • Written exams - Study is based on a 12 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. Written exams are held twice-yearly in April and October, with the exception of unit R06 which is tested four times-yearly, at UK and non-UK exam centres.
  • Coursework assessment - Study is based on a 12 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. Three written assignments, each typically between 2,000 - 3,000 words, need to be passed.
    Download Coursework assessment guidelines and instructions »
  • Mixed assessment - Study is based on a 18 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. A combination of a single coursework assignment must be passed within the first six months and a MCQ exam passed within 18 months.
    Download Mixed Assessment guidelines and instructions »
  • Dissertation assessment - Study is based on a 18 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. A dissertation, typically between 10,000 - 11,000 words, on an agreed subject must be submitted.
    Download Dissertation guidelines and instructions »

It is essential that candidates familiarise themselves with the guidelines and instructions. Candidates should also familiarise themselves with the coursework and dissertation policies as well as exam policies before the assessment, and notes to results post-assessment.

This qualification in detail

Key Information

What does the qualification involve?

The Certificate comprises one core unit and one option unit from across the CII Personal Finance qualifications framework, providing a minimum of 25 credits on successful completion.

Candidates are required to take one of the following core units:

  • (R01) Financial services, regulation and ethics, or
  • (CF1) UK financial services, regulation and ethics

And one of the following option units:

  • (FA4) collective investment scheme administration
  • (FA5) Individual savings accounts administration
  • (FA6) Investment client servicing

There is no prescribed order in which units must be taken, but it is strongly recommended that you sit the core unit first as these provide foundation knowledge upon which the others build.

For unit syllabuses, return to the Certificate in investment operations landing page, and click on the ‘Syllabuses’ link to the right of the page.

Unit overview:

Unit

Assessment method

Study hours*

Credits awarded

Unit level

 

 

 

 

 

(R01) Financial services, regulation and ethics

·         2-hour exam

·         100 multiple choice questions

·         65% nominal pass mark**

60

20

4

(CF1) UK financial services, regulation and ethics

·         2-hour exam

·         100 multiple choice questions

·         70% nominal pass mark**

60

15

3

(FA4) Collective investment scheme administration

·         1-hour exam

·         50 multiple choice questions

·         70% nominal pass mark**

70

10

3

(FA5) Individual savings account administration

·         1-hour exam

·         50 multiple choice questions

·         70% nominal pass mark**

70

10

3

(FA6) Investment client servicing

·         1-hour exam

·         50 multiple choice questions

·         70% nominal pass mark**

70

10

3

Find out more about assessment methods, including exam policies and centres »


Units treated as equivalent

Due to the extent of syllabus overlap, certain combinations of current and withdrawn CII units will result in only one award of credits.

If a withdrawn equivalent is held you may not need to complete a current unit in order to satisfy a qualification's completion rules. Clarification should always be sought from CII Customer Service.

Find out more about credit awards for equivalent units »

 

*The recommended minimum study hours will vary depending on your experience and ability.

** The actual pass mark may vary from one session to another to ensure consistency in pass standards.

Assessment information

It is important that candidates entering for a CII assessment familiarise themselves with our service, in particular the rules and procedures that are in place.

Syllabuses

CF1 UK financial services, regulation and ethics

At the end of this unit, candidates should understand the:

  • purpose and structure of the UK financial services industry;
  • different financial asset classes and product types;
  • process of giving advice and the main areas covered;
  • ethics, regulatory processes, rules and legislation underpinning UK financial services;
  • use of the financial regulators' powers and responsibilities to protect the market's integrity and the impact on individuals and firms of these regulators' powers.

 

R01 Financial services, regulation and ethics

At the end of this unit candidates will be able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skill in applying the following topic areas:

  • UK financial service industry in its European and Global context;
  • how the retail customer is served by the financial service industry;
  • Regulatory framework, powers and responsibilities to protect the consumer;
  • the legal concepts and considerations relevant to financial advice;
  • the Code of Ethics and its impact on the business behaviours of individuals.

 

FA4 Collective investment scheme administration

At the end of this unit, candidates should understand the:
• main features of collective investment schemes;
• regulatory framework applicable to collective investment schemes;
• roles and responsibilities associated with collective investment schemes;
• registration process, dealing and settlement, contract notes/dematerialisation, transfers and
reconcilliation.

FA5 Individual savings account administration

At the end of this unit, candidates should understand the:
• main features and uses of Individual Savings Accounts;
• ISA investors and applications;
• ISA withdrawals, closure, deaths of investors, transfers;
• HMRC rules concerning ISAs.

 

 

FA6 Investment client servicing

At the end of this unit, candidates should understand the:
• investment client servicing cycle from setting up clients to closing customer accounts;
• rules applicable to client money;
• relevant conduct of business and client asset rules;
• processes involved in settlement;
• key features of investing in international markets.