ICMA Operations Certificate Programme (OCP)
In light of ongoing international concerns with respect to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and in the interest of maintaining the health of our members, delegates and staff, we have made the decision to postpone the ICMA Operations Certificate Programme (OCP) in Luxembourg on 23-27 March.

New dates will be announced in due course.

Please contact ICMA Education for more information.

Download brochure The ICMA Operations Certificate Programme (OCP) is regarded as an essential qualification for professionals intending to develop their knowledge of financial market operations.

The syllabus has been specifically designed to convey the information necessary for candidates to develop their understanding of operations relating to A) equity and debt securities, and to B) OTC derivatives. This includes detailed training on subjects such as (for securities) the trade lifecycle, repos, securities lending & borrowing, corporate actions, and (for OTC derivatives) collateral management, centrally cleared and non-centrally cleared trades under EMIR.

By completing the programme you will:
  • Develop a broader knowledge of financial market operations which may be outside the scope of your current job
  • Understand at a deeper level the fundamental nature of key financial products
  • Be fully aware of the processing steps necessary to maintain control and to mitigate internal and external processing risks
  • Understand mandatory external regulation as it relates to the central clearing of OTC derivatives
  • Be part of a network of securities operations professionals around the world

Who should attend?

The programme is primarily intended for candidates working in operations and back office roles within a bank or fund management company, although it has become increasingly popular with those working in the middle office, collateral management and compliance areas. Other candidate profiles include those working for financial IT service companies, exchanges, data vendors and central securities depositories.

Candidates attending the OCP are typically (but not exclusively) in the following job functions; securities settlement, corporate actions, derivative operations, collateral management, middle office, reconciliation, static data, risk, compliance, accounting and IT.

Programme recognition

Candidates who are successful in gaining the Operations Certificate Programme 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.

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Download brochureThe OCP syllabus is organised around two key areas, broken down into multiple subtopics, and concludes with the OCP course exam:

1. Securities Operations

  • Securities trade life-cycle covering both equities and bonds
  • Securities trade life-cycle simulation; a ‘firm-versus-firm’ detailed exercise that mimics the tasks, deadlines and pressures experienced in an operations department
  • Repos - a detailed spotlight
  • Repo trade life-cycle simulation; a ‘firm-versus-firm’ detailed exercise on the tasks involved in processing a repo trade over multiple days
  • Securities lending & borrowing - a detailed spotlight
  • Corporate actions - a detailed spotlight
  • Regulatory overview

2. Derivative Operations and Collateral Management

  • Derivative fundamentals
  • Introduction to OTC derivatives
  • OTC derivative products & their processing
  • Collateral management for OTC derivatives
  • OTC derivative collateral life-cycle, incorporating a ‘firm-versus-firm’ detailed exercise on the tasks involved in collateral management of a trade over multiple days
  • Regulatory change for OTC derivatives
  • Central clearing & its impact on collateral

Course format

The OCP training is delivered Monday to Friday, with the final exam taking place on Friday afternoon. Candidates have three hours to complete a 75 question multiple choice paper and are required to answer a minimum of 45 questions, or 60%, correctly in order to pass.

In order to maximise understanding of concepts during the course, multiple simulations and exercises are run throughout the course.

Please note:

Please bring to the course a normal/standard calculator (for use during the course and during the exam if permitted and required) that is capable of accepting at least 12 digits (e.g. 999,999,999.99); examples of such calculators are the Office Depot AT-814 and the Canon LS-123K. Kindly note that bond calculators are not permitted for use during the course or (where applicable) exam. 
Details of next courses



23-27 March 2020 - POSTPONED

New dates will be announced in due course.
9-13 November 2020


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ICMA Members: £3,450 + VAT if applicable
Non members: £4,450 + VAT if applicable


Should you have any queries, please contact education@icmagroup.org.

OCP certificate holders

The names of the successful candidates from previous examinations are included in our list of Certificate holders.

Young Taek (Jerry) Woo

Organisation: Korea Securities Depository (KSD)
Job title: Assistant Manager at Securities Settlement Dept.

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
My main work is divided into two parts: I monitor the securities (stocks & bonds etc.) settlement process on a daily basis and also operate the settlement system during work time.  In addition to my daily work, we make recommendations to the financial supervisory authority to regulate related law and regulation, if needed.

Reasons for taking the course:

First of all, our co-workers strongly recommended me to register for the OCP course.  Also, I heard that it is a very meaningful course to achieve our career path and our goals.

Benefits of taking this course:
1. Improvement of relevant knowledge of securities industry
2. Experience of foreign country
3. Meeting participants from different countries

Andreas Grimm

Organisation: European Central Bank
Job title: Senior Expert, Financial Operations Services

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
I work in the Market Operations area of the ECB as part of the Financial Operations Service team and am responsible for the clearing and settlement of the various financial market operations.  My responsibilities cover the activities around the lifecycle of a trade, from trade enrichment, validation, processing, matching and settlement of operations. It includes the different events during the lifetime of a security, i.e. corporate actions, monitoring collateralisations and redemptions.  I have worked for more than five years in the operational area of a central bank.

Reasons for taking the course:
To obtain a systematic overview and understanding of the different operational matters and to enhance further my knowledge about the different financial instruments, their valuations and the best practises and developments in the financial markets.

Benefits of taking this course:

I found the course overall very challenging, but also very interesting and enriching and I have obtained my overall objectives, i.e. to obtain a systematic overview of financial operations and to obtain more knowledge about the different financial instruments, lifecycle of a security and valuations of securities.  I can duly recommend this course to anybody who works in the operational area as it is very thoroughly prepared and a very useful experience.

Björn Eriksson

Organisation: Swedish National Debt Office
Job title: Product Coordinator

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
I work in the Back Office Department with Business Development, System Management and participate in general projects.

Reasons for taking the course:
To get a greater understanding of the financial industry and a better knowledge of the processes involved and the participants working in the industry.

Benefits of taking this course:

I must say I have a greater understanding of the financial industry and a better knowledge of the processes and the participants in general.

Fabian Cosmann

Organisation: Eurex Bond GmbH
Job title: Vice President

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
Market and product design for the bond market.
Platform functionality and business development.

Reasons for taking the course:
Number of projects related  to Eurex Clearing; connecting of members to trading platform and CCP; cooperation between product design and clearing/settlement.

Benefits of taking this course:

Basic understanding of clearing/settlement workflows and recognition of certain correlations.

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