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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.

Course Outcomes

By completing the course, you will be able to:

  • 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 course 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.


The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions of which candidates must answer a minimum of 45 questions, or 60%, correctly in order to pass.

If you’re taking the classroom-based course, review sessions will be held prior to the exam to help candidates prepare for the assessment and assist with course content.

If you’re taking the online or livestreamed course you have six months in which to study the material, book and complete an online, fully invigilated exam. The exam is hosted on our online learning platform and invigilated by a live proctor via the camera and microphone on your computer. This allows you to choose a time and place of your convenience to take the exam, while guaranteeing secure exam conditions.
Prior to the exam, you will need to login with the proctor to check that your chosen exam equipment and space is adequate for the exam - you will receive further guidance when you register for the course.

Please note:

You will need a normal/standard calculator for use during the course and during the exam that is capable of accepting at least 12 digits (e.g. 999,999,999.99). Bond calculators are not permitted for this course.

Certification and Programme Recognition

This course has been accredited by the CPD® Certification Service and approved by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong for Continuous Professional Training (CPT).

ICMA recommends that 50 learning hours can be associated with this course, based on attended/undertaken hours of study required to successfully complete the learning outcomes.

The course is certified by ICMA and the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading. A Certificate of Attainment 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


ICMA Members: EUR 3,450 + VAT (if applicable)
Non Members: EUR 4,490 + VAT (if applicable)

  • Terminology Usage
    Definition of ‘Securities’
    Dates Associated with Trades
    Definition and Types of ‘Position’
    Central Securities Depositories versus Custodians
    Settlement Instructions versus Standing Sett Instructions
  •  The Securities Trade Lifecycle
    Trade Execution
    Trade Capture: Front Office and Operations
    Trade Enrichment and Trade Agreement
    Settlement Instructions and Settlement Instruction Statuses
    Failed Settlement
    Trade Settlement
    Updating Books & Records
  • Securities Bookkeeping
    Double Entry Bookkeeping
    When Entries Must Be Passed: Trades and Settlements
    Application in Different Transaction Types

  • Reconciliation
    Types of Reconciliation
    Urgency and Frequency of Reconciliation
    Performing and Methods of Reconciliation
    Resolving Discrepancies
  • Securities Financing
           Cash-Based Repo: Introduction
           Classic Bilateral Repo: Main Features, Regulation and Documentation
           The Repo Trade Lifecycle and Repo Trade Lifecycle Simulation
           Other Repo Structures
                 Buy/Sell Backs
                 Tri-Party Repo
    Securities Lending & Borrowing
           Why Securities are Lent and Borrowed
           Characteristics of an SL&B Trade      
           SL&B Market Participants
           Routes to Market
           Securities-Based Repo
           Securities Lending & Borrowing vs Repo
  • Corporate Actions
    Definition of Corporate Actions
    Fundamental Concepts
    Corporate Action Lifecycles: Overview
    Event Type Characteristics & Impacts
    The Generic (Mandatory Event) Lifecycle: Overview
  • Derivative Fundamentals
    Definition & Purpose
    The Derivatives Marketplace
    Basic Derivative Types
    Investment Appeal of Derivatives
    Structural Aspects of OTC Derivatives
    Legal Documentation
    Overview of ISDA Master, Schedule, Credit Support Annex
  •  OTC Derivative Products & Their Processing Characteristics
    Interest Rate Swaps
    Credit Default Swaps
  • Collateral Management for OTC Derivatives
    Collateral Concepts for OTC Derivatives
    Collateral Impact on Regulatory Capital
    OTCD Collateral Lifecycle: Overview
    Cash & Bond Collateral for OTC Derivatives
    Credit Support Annex: Detail
  • The OTC Derivative Collateral Lifecycle
    Pre-Trading: Legal Documentation and Static Data
    Trading: Trade Execution, Trade Capture and Trade Confirmation
    Throughout Lifetime of Trade
  • Regulatory Change for OTC Derivatives
           Overview, Background and Organisations Initiating Changes
           EMIR and Dodd-Frank
    Trading on Exchanges
    Central Clearing
    Capital Requirements
    Trade Repositories
  • Central Clearing & its Impact on Collateral Management
    Central Clearing Primary Concepts
    Central Counterparty Membership Structure
    Multiple Central Counterparty Implications
    Risk Management within Central Counterparties
    Operational Implications of Central Clearing
    Non-Centrally Cleared (Uncleared) Trades: Overview
    Legacy Trades
    Legal Documentation
    Central Counterparty Supervision
  •  Central Clearing & Collateral Transformation
    Collateral Transformation Methods
    Operational Implications of Collateral Transformation  


Livestreamed Course

ICMA courses are delivered via video conferencing accessed on our digital learning platform, using the most effective pedagogical approaches and incorporating interactive functions like virtual breakout rooms.

The OCP live sessions are delivered over the course of five weeks, with two sessions of 3.5 hours every week. You will be given access to the course materials before the live sessions, and will have access to those for a total of six months. During these six months you will have the option to keep working through the course materials at your own pace. Please note to ensure you book and take the exam within these six months.

Livestreamed course fees

ICMA Members: EUR 3,450 + VAT (if applicable)
Non Members: EUR 4,490 + VAT (if applicable)

For security reasons, delegates who have not registered in advance will not be admitted to the live sessions.

Please note: All payments must be made in Euro.


Should you have any queries, please contact

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