What are the Benefits of the Private Client Investment Advice and Management (PCIAM) Qualification?

Dear <<First Name>>,

Where is your career going? Are you happy where you are, or are you looking to further develop your career in investment advice?
If you’re looking to move on or up, then qualifications are the best way to prove your expertise and experience. In this issue of Qualifying matters we’ll look at one particular qualification you might want to consider and the benefits of committing time to study and taking exams.
Who else do you know who might find this newsletter interesting? Please do forward it on to them.

Best wishes,

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What are the Benefits of the PCIAM Qualification?

If you are registered with the FCA as an investment manager or adviser and qualified at Diploma Level 4, you may be considering which exam(s) to do next. There are a range of qualification options at higher levels from a number of institutes.
One particular qualification stands out. It is the CISI's Certificate in Private Client Investment Advice and Management (PCIAM) at Level 6, not least because it consists of only one single three hour paper currently examined every June and December.
So, is it worth considering the qualification as the next step up?
New entrants or investment advisers seeking authorisation by the FCA (previously FSA) after 31 December 2012 would have had to have gained an RDR compliant level 4 qualification in order to become authorized by the regulator.
At Level 6, PCIAM builds on the lower level benchmark qualification in two ways:

  • You will be expected to have a considerable level of knowledge and understanding across a broad range of financial and investment planning subjects
  • You will also be expected to practically apply that knowledge in the context of providing investment advice.  

The exam paper has three sections:

1. A series of 10 short answer compulsory questions worth 4 marks each. These cover areas right across the syllabus including regulation, ethics, investment management, performance appraisal, asset classes, packaged products, protection, pension planning and taxation and trusts.

2. One essay question worth 20 marks (from a choice of three). You will often be expected to explain or discuss a particular topic relating to investment management or investment products.

3. A 40 mark case study involving portfolio analysis, planning and management. Other elements of the syllabus will often be asked about, such as taxation, trusts or the rules relating to registered pensions.

Is the exam worth taking? Many argue that as it exceeds the benchmark RDR qualification requirements, you and your firm will achieve a competitive advantage if you pass it. It can also account for part of the CISI’s Level 7 Chartered Wealth Manager qualification (subject to meeting CPD requirements). In addition, members of this institute can use the qualification as a means towards achieving Chartered membership status.
The PCIAM exam is also widely recognised. The Chartered Insurance Institute will provide 30 non-specific credits at Advanced Diploma level for students passing PCIAM.
So now that you know the benefits of PCIAM, what’s stopping you?


Need More Help?

If you decide to go ahead with the PCIAM exam, don’t leave it all to chance. We provide a wide range of solutions to help you pass the exam. This includes structured learning courses, revision sessions, mock examinations, one to one coaching and email support.
Bookings are now being taken for our 8-day revision course, offered in 2-day sessions in London, from September through to November, in time for the exam in December. These dates are:
Day 1 – 1 September
Day 2 – 2 September
Day 3 – 5 October
Day 4 – 6 October
Day 5 – 21 October
Day 6 – 22 October
Day 7 – 19 November
Day 8 – 20 November
For full details and booking, go to

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