ECSM Certification Workshop and Examination

ECSM Certification Workshop and Examination



The ECSM Certification Programme is intended for individuals with at least a first degree in finance or similar certification or commensurate years of experience within this discipline. The programme is offered jointly by the Commission, the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE) and the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Banking and Financial Services (ECIB).

In keeping with the objective of maintaining the highest standard of professional conduct in the Eastern Caribbean Securities Market (ECSM), candidates for the certification examinations are expected to conduct themselves professionally throughout the examination process.

Success in the certification examinations is a prerequisite for obtaining a licence to operate as a Principal, Representative or Investment Adviser in the ECSM. The certification examination consists of two parts: A theoretical section administered by the Commission and a practical/system application section administered by the ECSE.

Applicants for an Investment Adviser licence are only required to write Part I of the examination.

Registrants may choose to attend the entire ECSM Certification Programme which comprises the workshop and examination or may register for either the workshop or the examination.


Completed registration forms and fees should be submitted to the ECIB at least twenty working days prior to the commencement date of the workshop. Space within the programme cannot be guaranteed unless the fees are received. Once processed, a registration confirmation will be sent to all successful registrants.


Registrants for the ECSM Certification Programme (Workshop and Examination) may cancel their registration up to fourteen working days prior to the commencement date of the workshop. The registration fee less an administration fee of will be refunded. The full registration fee will be forfeited for cancellations received outside of this date.

Registrants may defer attendance to the ECSM Certification Programme (Workshop and Examination) to the next offering of the Programme. Such requests will be assessed an administration fee.

Certification Programme attendees may defer the writing of the examination up to twelve months after the workshop. Such requests will be assessed an administration fee. Deferred examinations may be written within the candidate’s territory of residence and may attract additional administrative costs.


The objective of this examination is to assess prospective market participant's competence in securities market issues and the laws and regulations in force in the ECSM. The assessment will be used to determine candidates' eligibility to be licensed as market participants.


The pass mark for the certification examinations is seventy percent (70%).


Examination results will be provided to candidates and their sponsors (if any) within four (4) weeks of completing the examination. A certificate of accomplishment is provided to all successful candidates in the ECSM Certification Examinations. This certificate is not a licence to operate in the ECSM.


Unsuccessful candidates may write supplemental examinations up to twelve months after the date of the primary sitting. These examinations may be written within the candidate’s territory of residence and may attract additional administrative costs.


Candidates are expected to familiarise themselves with these rules well in advance of the examination.

  1. The use of programmable calculators is prohibited.

  2. Candidates are not allowed to leave the examination centre within forty-five minutes of the commencement of the examination and thirty minutes prior to the conclusion of the examination.

  3. All materials (question paper, rough sheets, answer sheets, etc) provided to candidates for the examination are the property of the Commission. These materials should not be removed from the examination centre. Failure to return all materials provided prior to exiting the examination centre may result in the candidate's examination script not being graded.

  4. Legal action may be taken against any candidate or person who removes and/or reproduces any examination material.

  5. Any candidate who engages in any form of disruptive or dishonest activity will be expelled from the examination centre. Such actions include inter alia:

  1. sharing of information, that is, giving or receiving help to/from other candidates;

  2. using reference or resource material during the examination;

  3. participating in an act of impersonation or any other form of cheating;

  4. failure to follow the instructions of the invigilator or other examination centre official;

  5. unauthorised speaking or moving around during the examination;

  6. unauthorised use of electronic devices such as cellular phones, beepers and paging devices.

Any candidate who fails to adhere to any instruction, policy or procedure necessary for the orderly conduct of the examination may be prevented from sitting the examination through expulsion from the centre, non-grading of examination scripts, suspension of results or termination of eligibility to participate in future examinations in the ECSM Certification Programme.


Success in the ECSM Certification Examination is one of the eligibility criteria for obtaining a licence to operate as a principal, representative or investment advisor in the ECSM. The Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (the Commission) will not grant a licence to an individual who has not been successful in the required examinations in the Certification Programme.


The ECSM Certification Programme is targeted at persons with a background and/or experience in finance and investment, banking, accounting, and economics. The ideal candidate is someone with academic training and practical experience in securities market issues. This Programme will be of particular interest to recent graduates who wish to specialise in securities business. Candidates will find that the Programme contains challenging theoretical and practical elements, which would equip them for responsibility in a broker-dealer firm or as an investment advisor. The workshops and examinations for this programme are conducted at a postgraduate level, and as such, candidates are expected to have a first degree or extensive experience in one of the recommended disciplines.


The first part of the examination consists exclusively of multiple-choice questions, with four available choices per question. There are 200 questions divided into two papers, each consisting of 100 questions. Each examination is completed in two sittings of one paper each. Two hours is allocated to complete each paper, which translates into 1.2 minutes per question. The second part of the examination is hands on and consists of four sections: section (i) requiring the demonstration of some of the key functionalities of the SITREL CB primary issuance software; section (ii) requiring the demonstration of some of the key functionalities of the secondary market software SITREL TM; section (iii) requiring the demonstration of key functionalities of the Global Remote Back Office Application and section (iv) relating to Registry Services.


All queries and/or complaints about the administration, conduct, procedures, results, etc, of an examination should be forwarded to the Commission, to reach the Commission within 30 days of completing the examination. Failure to submit queries and/or complaints within the stipulated timeframe would result in the candidate losing his/her right of complaint or query.



  1. The Securities Act 2001 and Amendments

  2. The Securities Regulations

  3. The Eastern Caribbean Central Securities Depository Participant Operations Procedures Manual

  4. The Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange Composite Rules

  5. A general text on finance and investment

  6. A general text on accounting and financial analysis