ICMA Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) Online Programme

Next dates: 1 July

Duration: 6 months

£1,800* for ICMA members

£2,300* for non-members

*excluding VAT if applicable.

Download brochure The ICMA Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) has been an essential qualification for market professionals for nearly 40 years. With its emphasis on developing practical skills for trading, investment and risk management, the course builds upon delegates’ existing knowledge of the fixed income markets to equip candidates with the skills to compete in the global marketplace.

In line with the requirements of international banks and fund management companies, who are the main clients for the programme, the FIC qualification is also available as an online course. This option allows candidates to study in their own time and at their own pace, removing any potential time constraints that traditional classroom based training may present.

Powered by our dedicated online learning platform, which has been developed with our education partner at Henley Business School, candidates benefit from innovative, interactive software and dedicated support from an online tutor.

The FIC is a demanding qualification aimed at developing a broad and in-depth knowledge of the key fixed income instruments and markets. Throughout the training there are many exercises which test and assess candidates’ knowledge, examining scenarios which will equip participants with practical skills in their day-to-day business activity.

Candidates who choose to study online have six months in which to work through the material and take the FIC exam. In addition to the training material, the online campus contains a series of sample exam questions and videos, aimed at highlighting the key learning points of each section and allowing candidates to benchmark their progress. The online campus also allows candidates to interact with their fellow FIC students, creating the feel of a virtual classroom whilst still studying remotely.

Clear targets, regular monitoring and structured progress allow candidates to complete this demanding qualification and achieve the high standard that the final exam demands.

By completing the programme you will:
  • Develop a broad knowledge of fixed income markets and a range of credit products
  • Understand at a deeper level the relationship between cash bond and derivatives markets
  • Be proficient in the basic maths of the fixed income and derivatives market
  • Be able to develop and apply rates trading and hedging techniques
  • Understand structured securities, CDS and Interest Rate Derivatives and their uses
  • Have an up to date working knowledge of current best market practice and regulatory considerations for fixed income and derivative markets
  • Be part of a network of fixed income professionals around the world

Who should study the programme?

The programme is primarily intended for those working in client or market facing positions in fixed income within a bank or fund management company, although it has become increasingly popular with middle office and operations managers who require greater product and market knowledge. Other candidate profiles include those working for financial IT service companies, exchanges and central securities depositories.

As an indicative guide, we would recommend a total of 180 study hours is required to go through the material. Please note this is an approximate guide.

Programme Recognition

Candidates who are successful in achieving the Fixed Income Certificate and are CFA Charter Holders qualify for 30 credit hours which can be used towards study with the CFA Institute. CFA Institute members are encouraged to self-document their continuing professional development activities in their online CE tracker.

FIC Online Tutor – Gail Rolland

Gail has 30 years’ experience in the financial markets. Working initially in trading and sales for major international banks in London and New York, Gail subsequently started her own financial markets training and consultancy firm. Gail has broad market experience on a global level, but a particular expertise in fixed income and market infrastructure. Gail is the author of Market Players: A Guide to Institutions in the Financial Markets. She has worked with ICMA since the 1990s and is also the online tutor for the Fixed Income Certificate.

Test your knowledge

Unsure if this is the right course for you? Take a short sample exam.
Download brochure Candidates who register for the FIC Online Programme are granted access to Canvas, our dedicated online learning platform, upon starting the course.

Candidates have six months from the programme start date to complete their study and take the FIC exam.

In addition to the training materials, the online learning platform also contains a series of sample exam questions and videos, aimed at highlighting the key learning points of each section and allowing candidates to benchmark their progress.


The ICMA Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) is a professional qualification that places strong emphasis on practical skills, based on a thorough understanding of valuation principles and the relationships between the cash and derivatives markets. The current programme covers the following subjects:

1. Trading the Yield Curve with Cash Market Securities
1.1 Fixed income securities & interest rates
1.2 Monetary policy & the yield curve
1.3 Interest rate risk
1.4 Trading views on the yield curve with cash instruments
1.5 Financial fixed income trades
1.6 Bonds with embedded options
1.7 Inflation-indexed bonds
1.8 Sovereign credit risk & sovereign ratings
1.9 Fixed income market practice & regulation

2. Interest Rate Derivatives

2.1 Short-term interest rate (STIR) futures
2.2 Bond futures
2.3 Interest rate swaps & swap futures
2.4 Interest rate options
2.5 Inflation derivatives
2.6 Counterparty risk in derivatives
2.7 Derivative market practice & regulation

3. Credit Trading

3.1 Credit risk & credit spreads
3.2 Default probability & expected recovery
3.3 Credit analysis & credit ratings
3.4 Securitisation
3.5 Credit default swaps & credit default swaptions
3.6 Credit trading & hedging with single name CDS
3.7 Credit trading with index CDS
3.8 Credit trading with CDS index tranches
3.9 CDS pricing & revaluation


The FIC exam consists of a multiple choice question paper covering the material you have worked through over the previous six (6) months. The deadline for taking your exam will be the final day of your study period. You will need to take and pass the exam before your deadline in order to receive your ICMA certificate.

You can take your exam online from the comfort of your with a live online proctoring service available 24/7. All you will need is a high-speed internet connection, a webcam (internal or external), a Windows or Apple operating system, and a government issued photo ID.

The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions which candidates have three hours to complete. In order to pass, candidates must answer a minimum of 60% (a total of 45) questions correctly.

As an indicative guide, we would recommend a total of 180 study hours is required to go through the material. Please note this is an approximate guide.
Details of the next course

Start date: 1 July


£1,800 for Members and £2,300 for non-members

Costs include full access to the online campus, associated learning materials and the examination fee.

Please note that payment for online courses must be received before the start of the course.


Should you have any queries about the Fixed Income Certificate Online Programme please contact education@icmagroup.org

Fixed Income Certificate holders
The full list of candidates who have successfully passed the FIC examination (previously known as the IFID, GCP and AIBD European Seminar) can be found here.

Michal Klestinec

Organisation: National Bank of Slovakia
Job title: Senior Portfolio Manager

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
Portfolio management of own investment portfolio consisting of covered bonds, government bonds and senior unsecured bonds, together with its hedging and monitoring.

Reasons for taking the course:
I discussed the opportunity of developing my knowledge with other market participants and one of the proposed certificates was the IFID.  The description of the certificate and its straight focus on the part of financial markets I cover was the reason I decided to study the certificate.

Benefits of taking this course:
The course gave me exactly what I expected based on its structure, such as an overview of all asset classes, which portfolio managers have to understand when managing their portfolios.  It helped me to better understand various areas and made my work more efficient.

Sebastiaan Zitman

Organisation: Shell Asset Management Company
Job title: Officer Corporate Actions & Static Data

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
In my current job I am responsible for the front to end processing of corporate actions on bonds.  Another challenge is to align security details with our internal systems in order to improve straight through processing of trades.

Reasons for taking the course:
Due to my educational background and working activities I have become more interested in fixed income markets.  The IFID course was a perfect fit for my personal needs to gain in depth knowledge in this particular area of the financial markets.

Benefits of taking this course:
The course provides a good understanding of bonds, futures and other related derivatives from a trading perspective. This will be very useful in my current function and potential future jobs.  Most helpful are topics covering less straightforward products like index linked bonds and ABS.

Marwan Abi Chaker

Organisation: Middle East Capital Group
Job title: Relationship Manager (In-charge of Fixed Income Sales)

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
Provide research and news to private investors;
Follow up on their portfolio position & margin positions;
Suggest Fixed Income investments;
Provide fixed income switching ideas;
Execute fixed income trades.

Reasons for taking the course:

I wanted to improve my understanding and self-development of the subject and the IFID certification has provided me with the tools and concepts. The IFID was the perfect fit.

Benefits of taking this course:
Becoming an IFID student enhanced my technical skills, understanding of concepts and awareness of all aspects of fixed income & derivatives usage. Getting enrolled indirectly in a network of professional practitioners means I will be able to stay up-to-date with any changes in trading strategies and share ideas.

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