The CISI's Commitment to Equality
The CISI is committed to ensuring that all candidates receive equality of opportunity and appropriate
to assessment. No candidate shall be subject to unlawful discrimination (directly or indirectly)
treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex,
orientation or pregnancy and maternity.
extends to all areas of qualification and assessment design, delivery
support. The Institute is constantly reviewing the policy in order to better meet the needs of
and we welcome your feedback.
Furthermore, we recognise that fostering an inclusive culture starts with a commitment
to our own employees
and volunteers, so that CISI representatives are encouraged to embrace differences. We are proud to be a
signatory of the Race at Work Charter and are in the process of signing up to the Women in Finance Charter.
Candidates should also ensure they are familiar with all CISI exam related policies.
General exam policies
Multiple-choice question exam specific policies
Narrative exam specific policies
Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) Exams
MCQ 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 result (where applicable).
Following these five working days, your certificate confirming your result will be available to
view and print. You must complete your data
sharing preferences if you wish your employer to see your 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 lifetime of the syllabus relevant to your examination and for 2
months after the republication of that syllabus.
We do not offer a remark or review of multiple-choice examination results, as the questions are
marked automatically by the system.
View an example Performance Review
Reviews cost £30 each and will be sent to you, 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 MCQ
examinations. They are produced in the English language irrespective of the language in which the
examination was sat.
You are entitled to a free performance review if you fail the same subject three times. To request a
Review, email email@example.com providing
details of the examination subject and date for which you require a Review.
Please note: We are currently
experiencing a technical problem with our reporting system which is delaying performance report
preparation. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this delay may cause you.
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.
You must complete your data sharing
preferences if you wish your employer to see your results.
For narrative exams sat from 2021 onwards, unsuccessful candidates may, in accordance with our Post
Results Policy, request either:
View an example Marks Report
- a Clerical Check for a cost of £10. This check ensures that marks have been correctly
transcribed from the script, totalled, and recorded. Candidates will receive an email response
either confirming their result or informing them of a revised result. They will also receive a
Marks Report which details the marks awarded for each question. or
- A Review of Marking for a cost of £50. This is a check to ensure that the mark scheme has
correctly applied in the marking of your script and that marks have been correctly transcribed
from the script, totalled, and recorded. Candidates will receive an email response either
confirming their result or informing them of a revised result. They will also receive a Marks
Report which details the marks awarded for each question.
All candidates may request a Marks Report free of charge.
Full details of our post results policy and the application form can be found here
From 1 May 2018, the CISI will be launching e-certificates for all our exams. This initiative
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,
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
your certificate, any subsequent copies, physical or e-certificate will be clearly marked as a
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
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 out full
If you have any doubts about the authenticity of a CISI certificate presented to you, please
Candidates who are seeking an exemption from a unit of a CISI qualification must familiarise themselves with
the rules in the CISI
Exemptions Policy before applying.
Eligibility for exemptions:
- Candidates seeking exemption must offer a qualification which was obtained within the last ten years.
- Exemptions cannot be granted retrospectively for any CISI examination that a candidate has previously
- Candidates are only entitled to an exemption from one unit of any qualification.
- Exemptions will not be granted on the basis of work experience, or for qualifications that require
gap-fill to meet the level required.
Types of exemption:
There are three exemption routes: recognition of CISI exams, recognised exemptions for non-CISI exams, and
unrecognised exemptions for non-CISI exams.
Recognition of CISI Exams
Units already obtained in a CISI qualification may contribute towards exemption from the same or
similar unit in another CISI qualification:
- 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 award.
- Candidates for the IOC who have received the Capital Markets Programme qualification can use
their technical unit (either Derivatives or Securities) to exempt them from the introductory
unit or can use the Derivatives unit from the Capital Markets programme as their technical
unit for the IOC.
Recognised exemptions for Non-CISI Exams
Recognised exemptions are granted where the CISI has previously evaluated qualifications/units and
has determined that such qualifications/units cover the relevant subject matter and have been tested
to an equivalent level to that of the relevant CISI qualification.
A list of the current available recognised exemptions can be found on the CISI's
recognised exemptions table
Unrecognised exemptions for Non-CISI Exams
If you hold a postgraduate degree which is not shown on the recognised exemptions list, but which
you feel matches the subject matter, you may apply for an unrecognised exemption for the CISI’s
Introduction to Securities & Investment unit
You will need to provide evidence that the postgraduate degree you hold covers a minimum of 70% of
the syllabus for the unit you are applying for.
How to apply for an exemption:
Candidates must apply for any exemptions before they sit the first unit of a qualification. Before a
candidate submits their application, they must have registered their details on our website.
There are different application requirements, depending on your exemption route:
Recognised CISI Exams
If you would like to use a unit already obtained in a CISI qualification towards an exemption in
another CISI qualification, you need to email firstname.lastname@example.org
and specify which exemption you would
like to use.
Exemptions based on recognised non-CISI qualifications
Please complete the Recognised
and send with one of the following:
- A certified copy of your certificate – signed/stamped by your line manager or a member
of your HR/Compliance department
- A certified copy of a statement of results from the awarding body on letter headed paper
– signed/stamped by your line manager or a member of your HR/Compliance department
- Email directly from the awarding body to the CISI (email@example.com) stating the qualifications
Exemptions based on unrecognised postgraduate degrees
If you feel your postgraduate degree covers the syllabus of the Introduction to Securities &
Investment examination, please complete the Introduction
to Securities & Investment unrecognised exemption form
If you feel your postgraduate degree covers the syllabus of the Financial Markets examination,
please complete the Financial
Markets unrecognised exemption form
The form must be sent alongside the following documentation:
- A certified copy of your post graduate degree certificate
- A certified copy of your official course transcript
- A detailed copy of the syllabus for your postgraduate degree
- The completed assessment form, mapping your degree to the syllabus of the unit you are
applying for an exemption from
If you hold a qualification/unit (other than a postgraduate degree) which is not shown on the recognised
exemptions list, but which you feel matches the subject matter and level of the CISI examination and covers
the relevant FCA regulated activities, you may apply for the qualification/unit to be added to the CISI
recognised exemptions list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appealing an Exemption decision
If a candidate is dissatisfied with the CISI’s decision in applying exemptions, they may appeal the
decision in line with the CISI's
English Language Requirements
CISI exams require a good standard of English, as well as knowledge of the technical terms associated
the subject matter of the exams. Questions are designed to test specific knowledge 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
language, it is advised that candidates should be proficient in English to B2 level, as
Reference for Languages
(CEF or CEFR).
Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) Exam Trial Questions
In your exam you may find that you have some additional questions to answer which take the total
questions above the published number for the exam. These are trial questions – questions
recently been written for us, and on which we need to collect statistics so that we can see if
particular questions are good enough to go into the exam as live questions.
Why are trial questions needed?
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. Therefore, we test the questions before they are included in live exams. To
ensure that they are tested in full examination conditions, they are not identified separately as trial
questions in any exam, and are shown alongside the live, scored questions. Any of our multiple-choice
question examinations may contain up to 10% additional trial questions. The trial questions are not scored,
and do not contribute to your exam result, but you receive additional time in order to complete them.
Many of the live questions you will receive have all been through this process of trialling. Other
taken them over a period of time, and we have been able to gather statistics on their
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
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
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 that is at a different standard
questions in the live exam, and this would not help us to uphold the standards which firms and
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,
means that the exam does not need to be updated or refreshed at the moment. Similarly, in some
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
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,
providers, the sector skills council (the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership) and other
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
guidance on the development of each unit and meets at least biannually to review the syllabus
content to ensure continued fitness for purpose.
Each panel reports to the Qualification Assessment Board (QAB) for the relevant qualification,
consists of senior representatives of each panel within the qualification. Each QAB subsequently
the Examinations Board (EB).
Through this framework, the CISI ensures all qualifications are fit for purpose and secure the
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
ensure that the assessment outcomes meet their intended uses. Where relevant, syllabi are mapped
Exam Standards and National Occupation Standards. Regular reviews of the assessment outcomes,
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
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
level of difficulty and reviewed throughout their lifespan using psychometrics to analyse item
performance. Historical data is also used when creating forms. Each form’s performance is
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
practitioners to ensure consistency of marking, whilst scripts from previous sittings are made
ensure consistency of marking over time. Where an exam has a large number of entries, additional
employed and the Chief Examiner moderates the marking prior to the scripts being sampled and
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
new exams are being developed, comparisons are made with offerings from other awarding
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
ensures that statistics for previous sittings as well as sample scripts are available at results
To ensure assessments are feasible and place a reasonable demand on centres and learners,
obtained from user and stakeholders through regular meetings with Accredited Training Providers
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,
Reasonable Adjustments Policy and Special Consideration Policy. The application of such policies
monitored and reported on annually to the CISI Examination Board along with other monitoring
statutory equality duties.
The CISI holds member records for candidates who have taken any of our qualifications, or who have,
past, completed the London Stock Exchange exams.
The CISI is only able to release information on qualifications and membership to persons
request information on a candidate's behalf. You will need to verify that you have a signed
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
learning, although you may also find it helpful to read the financial press. At levels 3 to 5
expected to be able to apply principles outlined in the workbook to situations which are not
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
more than one area of the workbook.
At level 6 and 7, while the official workbook is essential reading, you are expected to read
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
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
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
open book examinations. You are permitted to bring in texts, articles and notes of any kind. It
responsibility to select and bring in any material needed and any such texts brought into the
venue should be in hard copy only. We recommended that Takeover Code/Listing Rules (whichever
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
and the Companies Act.
Candidates are advised to download the workbook
editions charts to ensure that they have the correct edition for their exam. For candidates
exams outside of the UK, study materials are included in the exam price. For further details
our Customer Support Centre.