Introduction to Investment – The Foundation Qualification

CISI Level 3 Award for Introduction to Investment

ESMA/MiFID II compliant

Why study the Introduction to Investment?

The Introduction to Investment offers a comprehensive introduction to the financial services sector, with a specific focus on investments. It is the foundation exam for many higher level CISI qualifications.

The qualification covers key financial principles and products in depth including assets and markets, equities, bonds, derivatives and investment funds. It explores the broader economic environment in which the financial services sector operates and looks at how economic activity is determined and managed in different economic and political systems. The qualification offers a first introduction to financial services regulation and ensures candidates are provided with an understanding of ethical behaviour and acting with integrity.

Is the Introduction to Investment right for me?

It is suitable for new entrants to the professional sector and staff who are beginning their career in financial services. The broad topics covered make the qualification suitable for all staff, not just those responsible for making investment decisions, including administration, finance and accounting, IT, customer services, sales and marketing and HR and training.

Key features:

  • A broad entry-level qualification – provides an overview of investment and professional terminology
  • First step in the CISI’s qualification pathway – can be taken as a stand-alone qualification or as part of the Investment Operations Certificate (IOC)
  • Ideal for induction purposes – can be integrated into induction programmes to ensure a benchmark level of understanding amongst all employees
  • Free CISI Student membership – become associated with a Chartered professional body and take advantage of an extensive range of benefits
  • Exams available online via remote invigilation or at one of our global test centres

Qualification factsheet

Qualification Structure

The qualification is achieved by successfully passing a multiple-choice question exam, details for this exam are shown below.

The Introduction to Investment is accredited by Ofqual as the level 3 Award for Introduction to Investment and as a level 3 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). On the European Qualifications Framework, this equates to a level 4 qualification.

Total Qualification Time:
81 hours

The total qualification time (TQT) for this qualification is 81 hours. TQT is an estimate of the number of hours that a typical candidate might reasonably spend in achieving the qualification. This will vary depending on your previous experience, and includes any formal study as well as self-study and assessment time.


Exam Details

Exam Availability

Pass Mark / Pass Rate

The current pass rate for this exam is and the pass mark is . The exam grades are as follows:

Regulated Qualifications Framework

credits on the Regulated Qualifications Framework are awarded upon successfully passing this exam

Feedback and Appeals

For further details on how to give us your feedback and / or Appeal your result, please refer to our Exam Policies.

Study support


A CISI Introduction to Investment workbook is required to be purchased when booking the exam. This is to ensure there is one standard workbook from which all exam candidates can prepare. You can also choose to purchase Introduction to Investment elearning to support your exam preparation.

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Accredited Training Partners

You can choose to complete formal training for our exams with a CISI Accredited Training Partner (ATP).

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Post Qualification Opportunities


Obtaining the Introduction to Investment qualification entitles you to join the Institute at Affiliate level. As a member of the Institute, you will enjoy the recognition of being a professional in a world of increasing competition. The extensive continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities available through the CISI’s suite of membership benefits ensures financial services practitioners can maintain competence and meet the requirements of firms and the regulator.

Higher Level Qualifications

The Introduction to Investment is the first step in the CISI’s qualification pathways for capital markets, operations, compliance and risk, and wealth management. Further your theoretical and practical knowledge within your chosen sector.

Capital Markets & Corporate Finance Compliance & Risk Operations Wealth Management