CySEC Certifications: Basic, Advanced and AML

All Cyprus Investment Firms (CIF) are expected to employ professionals who hold the appropriate qualification to their role within the regulated entity. Such entities provide investment and other ancillary services.

All individuals holding such a role within a CIF, or aspiring to hold one, are required to acquire a Professional Competence Certificate that reflects their ability to carry out such activities. These certifications are offered by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and can be obtained through the following 3 exams:

– Basic Financial Services Legal Framework Examination
– Advanced Financial Services Legal Framework Examination
– Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officers (AMLCO) Examination

The purpose of these CySEC certification exams is to ensure candidates can apply a level of knowledge and understanding appropriate for individuals engaged in the services delivered by Investment Firms.

 

The Basic Financial Services Legal Framework Examination

The announcement issued by CySEC specified,

“The object of the examination is to ensure candidates can apply a level of knowledge and understanding appropriate for individuals engaged in the reception, transmission and execution of client orders and in the marketing of Collective Investment Schemes.”

Persons providing or performing the investment services of
– reception and transmission of orders and
– execution of orders,
as well as people who work in a UCITS Management Company or a VCIC that manages UCITS and provide the service of marketing the units, must successfully pass the Basic examination.

The assessment for the Basic certification, is through an examination consisting of 50 multiple choice questions within 60 minutes and the Basic syllabus, as issued by CySEC, is split into the following:

ChapterQuestions
Chapter 1 - Investment Services and Activities And Regulated Markets Laws (MiFID II) (2017) Scope/ Powers/ Offences 4

Chapter 2 - Cypriot Investment Firms (CIF) 12

Chapter 3 - Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Laws Cypriot Investment Firms and Banks 8
Chapter 4 - Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (2014) (MiFIR) 5
Chapter 5 - Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation Regulation (2016) 8
Chapter 6 - Open-Ended Undertakings for Collective Investment Laws (2012-2016) 5
Chapter 7 - Alternative Investments 6
Chapter 8 - The Prevention And Suppression Of Money Laundering And Terrorist Financing Laws Of 2007-2017 2
Total 50

* The number of questions tested in each element should not change by more than plus or minus 2.

Instructions on how to register for the Basic examination, can be found here. The pass mark for the successful certification is 60%, while for the Advance the pass mark rises to 70%.

SALVUS offers seminars and training material to help professionals prepare to successfully take the exam and become certified. Each individual needs to complete 10 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) through relevant seminars on a yearly basis to maintain their Basic certification and presence in the public register of the Certified Persons.

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Advanced Financial Services Legal Framework Examination:

The announcement issued by CySEC specified the aim of the examination as

“To provide (I) a test to ensure candidates can apply a level of knowledge and understanding appropriate for individuals engaged in the reception, transmission and execution of client orders and those engaged in the marketing of collective investment schemes and (II) a higher level test for those individuals: dealing on a proprietary basis; managing portfolios; offering investment advice or underwriting financial instruments; and performing the activities of collective portfolio management and risk management for collective investment schemes (either UCITS or AIFs).”

The Advanced Certification is a requirement for:
1. Persons providing or performing the investment services of:
a. Dealing on own account
b. Portfolio management
c. Investment advice
d. Underwriting or placing financial instruments with or without a firm commitment
2. Persons employed in a UCITS Management Company or a VCIC and provide the following services:
a. UCITS Investment Management
b. Investment management
c. Investment advice
3. Persons employed to an AIF Manager or to self-managed AIF and provide the following services:
a. Services described in section 6(5)(a) of AIFM Law and section 6(1)(a) of AIF Law
b. Marketing of AIF units
c. Management of portfolio of investments d. All other services described in section 6(b) of the AIFM Law

The assessment for the Advanced certification is through an examination consisting of 70 multiple choice questions within 90 minutes and the Advanced syllabus, as issued by CySEC, is split into the following chapters:

ChapterQuestions
Chapter 1 - Investment Services and Activities And Regulated Markets Laws (MiFID II) (2017) Scope/ Powers/ Offences 4

Chapter 2 - Cypriot Investment Firms (CIF) 8

Chapter 3 - Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Laws Cypriot Investment Firms and Banks 8
Chapter 4 - Open-Ended Undertakings for Collective Investment Laws (2012-2016) 6
Chapter 5 - Alternative Investments 6
Chapter 6 - The Business of Credit Institutions Laws of 1997-2016 2

Chapter 7 - The Prevention And Suppression Of Money Laundering And Terrorist Financing Laws Of 2007-2017 5
Chapter 8 - Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (2014) (MiFIR) 4
Chapter 9 - Capital Adequacy Requirements 8
Chapter 10 - European Market Infrastracture Regulation (EMIR) 4
Chapter 11 - Recovery and Resolution Laws 5
Chapter 12 - Prospectus Law (2012-2016) 2
Chapter 13 - Transparency Law 3
Chapter 14 - Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation Regulation (2016) 5
Total 70

* The number of questions tested in each element should not change by more than plus or minus 2.

Instructions on how to register for the Advanced examination, can be found here. The pass mark for the successful Advanced certification is 70%, while for the Basic the pass is 60%.

SALVUS offers seminars and training material to help professionals prepare to successfully take the exam and become certified. Each individual needs to complete 15 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) through relevant seminars on a yearly basis to maintain their Advanced certification and presence in the public register of the Certified Persons.

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The Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officers (AMLCO) Examination

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) introduced exams for the certification of Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officers (AMLCO). The purpose of the certification is to ensure that the professionals who are appointed as AMLCO carry the necessary knowledge, and are able to fulfil their assigned duties with competence.

Following the international standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as well as the relevant EU Directives and especially the 4th Directive of the European Parliament and Council, the exams are part of efforts to contribute in preventing the use of the wider financial system for money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF). The exam covers the
– Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Laws of 2007-2019 (“the Law”),
– CySEC’s Directive for the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and
– the Risk Factor Guidelines of the European Supervisory Authorities.

The AMLCO Certification is a requirement for:
– all individuals who are appointed or are interested in being appointed as AMLCO at Cyprus Investment Firms regulated by CySEC.
– are already employed or appointed as AML compliance officers in CySEC regulated entities. In case they fail the exam, they are obliged to apply to take the next examination in a period of twelve (12) months. The twelve-month period starts from the initial start date of examinations. In case an individual fails the exam in the twelve month-period, then their appointment as AML compliance officer shall not resume until they have managed to pass the exam.

The assessment for the AMLCO certification is through an examination consisting of 40 multiple choice questions within 60 minutes and the AML syllabus, as issued by CySEC, is split into the following chapters:

Chapter 
Chapter 1 -Introductory Provisions
Chapter 2 -Understanding Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Sanctions
Chapter 3 -Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Chapter 4 -The AML Compliance Culture
Chapter 5 -Assessing and Managing Risks
Chapter 6 -Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD)
Chapter 7 -Transaction Monitoring & Suspicious Reporting
Chapter 8 -Abbreviations and definitions

* The number of questions tested in each chapter are not specific, yet from our own experience most of the questions are split between Chapter 2,5, 6 and 7.

Instructions on how to register for the Advanced examination, can be found hereThe pass mark for the successful AMLCO certification is 70%.

SALVUS offers seminars and training material to help professionals prepare to successfully take the exam and become certified. Successful candidates will then be registered in the AML Compliance Officers Register. Each individual needs to complete 10 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) through relevant seminars on a yearly basis to maintain their CySEC AMLCO certification and presence in the public register of the Certified Persons.

Registration Procedure

In order to register for the CySEC exams, you must complete the online application form. Instructions on how to register for the Advanced examination, can be found here.

The form allows candidates to choose the examination date on which they wish to take the examination.

Successful candidates may register in the public register within four (4) weeks of receiving the relevant email notification by CySEC and submitting the registration form, along with their CN number.

SALVUS offers seminars and training material to help professionals prepare to successfully take the exam and become certified.

Each individual needs to complete 15 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for advanced certification or 10 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for Basic and AML certifications, through relevant seminars and on a yearly basis to maintain their respective certification and presence in the public register of the Certified Persons.

We remain at your disposal should you have any questions on any of the above certifications. Contact us at info@salvusfunds.com

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