Online Self-Study
Start date: 1 August
Course access period: 6 months

Online Self-Study
Start date: 1 September
Course access period: 6 months


The Introduction to Securities Operations Qualification (ISOQ) is an introductory level programme intended for anyone entering a career in the securities operations area of the financial markets.

The syllabus has been specifically designed to provide the essential information necessary for candidates to develop a thorough understanding of both the debt and equity markets and, in particular, securities operations concepts.

Learning Outcomes

By completing this course you will be able to:

  • Identify the similarities and differences between equities and bonds
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how equities and bonds are brought to the marketplace
  • Identify and understand the roles of the major securities market participants
  • Recognise the primary components of the securities trade life-cycle
  • Demonstrate how Operations manages the securities through its various activities
  • Identify fundamentals of trade management, including repo and securities lending & borrowing transactions
  • Recognise and identify corporate actions

Who Should Attend?

This qualification is directly relevant to people entering the world of securities operations and personnel currently working within this field who wish to gain a broader view of the subject.

Although not a formal prerequisite, the ISOQ provides useful background study for those wishing to study the Operations Certificate Programme (OCP) and our advanced level operations training courses.

Candidates should have basic quantitative skills but no prior study or work experience is required.

The names of successful candidates will be included in our list of certificate holders.

Online courses start on the 1st of each month – please note that payment must be received BEFORE access to these courses are provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

This course answers questions including:

What is a custodian and what do they do?

What is client onboarding?

What is KYC?

What is trade enrichment?


The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions of which candidates must answer a minimum of 30 questions correctly, with a score of 45 or more earning a distinction. You will have six months in which to study the material, book and complete an online, fully invigilated exam.

We use a third-party exam invigilation service called ProctorU to administer the exams on our assessed courses. We recommend you take a few minutes to watch this video before you take your exam, which provides information on what to expect on the day. You can also take a look at some further information here.

More information regarding your specific exam will be available in the Exam Orientation page on Moodle, the ICMA training platform.

Certification and Programme Recognition

ICMA is a member of the CPD® Certification Service, an FCA-approved qualifications provider and approved by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong as provider of Continuous Professional Training (CPT).

This course is certified by ICMA and the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading and accredited by CPD® Certification Service.

ICMA recommends that 24 learning hours can be associated with this course, based on attended/undertaken hours of study required to successfully complete the learning outcomes.

A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who successfully pass the final exam of this course – see Assessment section for more details.

Please note that your course certificate of attendance or completion should be sufficient to satisfy any professional development requirements – if you require further evidence, please contact us at  

Course Trainers

David Rosenthal
Gail Rolland

Hasse Brandt

The course syllabus is divided into the following key topic areas:

An Introduction to International Securities
•    Key players
•    Debt and Equities
•    The Primary Market: How Deals are Brought to the Market
•    The Secondary Markets

The Pre-trade environment
•    Pre-Trade Function
•    Role of Client Onboarding
•    Understanding KYC
•    Master Agreements
•    Static Data Collection

Trade Execution and Immediate Post-trade
•    Trading Paradigms: Flow and Proprietary Trading
•    Trade Execution Systems
•    Trade Capture and Confirmation
•    Role of Middle Office

Trade Clearing and Settlement
•    Role of Custodians
•    Central Securities Depositories
•    Payment Systems
•    Trade Cash Values
•    Central and Bilateral Clearing Systems
•    Updating Books & Position Reconciliation
•    STP

Position Management
•    Trading & Settled Positions
•    Funding Positions
•    Covering Shorts
•    Basics of Repo and Securities Lending & Borrowing
•    P/L calculation

Regulatory reporting
•    Regulatory Reporting Requirements
•    Role of Operations

Asset Servicing
•    Managing Securities
•    Corporate Actions

Online Course

Delegates who sign up to online courses will have access for 6 months to enable them to take advantage of the additional online resources, discussion boards and other functions of our new digital learning platform.

Online courses start at the beginning of each month – please note that payment must be received BEFORE access to these courses are provided.

Online course fees

ICMA Members: EUR 1,300 (VAT not applicable)
Non-members: EUR 1,900 (VAT not applicable)


Please note that:

  • Payment for online courses must be received before the start of the course.
  • All payments must be made in Euro.

As an indicative guide, we would recommend a total of 24 study hours is required to go through the material. Please note this is an approximate guide only.


Should you have any queries, please contact

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