Private Client Investment Advice & Management

CISI level 6 Certificate in Private Client Investment Advice & Management

ESMA/MiFID II compliant

Why study Private Client Investment Advice & Management?

Private Client Investment Advice & Management (PCIAM) enables practitioners to demonstrate their broad understanding of the principles of private client investment advice, within the context of the current regulatory environment.

You will be able to structure a suitable portfolio, selecting from a range of financial products, which meets client objectives and is based on the key principles of know your customer. You will also be able to undertake regular portfolio reviews and evaluations to ensure continued adherence to client objectives.

Is Private Client Investment Advice & Management right for me?

PCIAM is suitable for existing authorised advisers qualified at level 4. PCIAM (with gap-fill lodged with the CISI prior to 1st January 2021) meets and surpasses the step-change requirement of a benchmark qualification at RQF Level 4 as set out in the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) Consultation Paper.

Please note: We have made the decision to withdraw gap-fill as it is no longer appropriate to fill the gaps as a result of changes made to the exam standards by the FCA. The last sitting of PCIAM where candidates can use gap-fill is now February 2021. Candidates wishing to achieve RDR compliance using PCIAM and gap-fill will need to lodge their gap-fill with the CISI by the 31 December 2020. Please refer to the FAQs for further information.

Key features:

Qualification factsheet

Entry requirements

There are entry requirements for PCIAM that must be met before the exam can be sat or used to meet the requirements of the RDR.

Private Client Investment Advice & Management is specifically aimed at advisers authorised prior to June 2009 or advisers who already hold a level 4 benchmark retail qualification*. Please refer to the entry requirement document for more details.

The CISI benchmark retail qualification is the Investment Advice Diploma (IAD).

If you have any queries about these entry requirements, please email

*For example, CFA UK Investment Management Certificate (Level 4) does not meet the entry requirements. On its own it is not an RDR compliant qualification and would need to be combined with another qualification, such as our level 4 Securities or Derivatives technical unit from our IAD, or CFA level 1 to meet the PCIAM entry requirements. 

Qualification Structure

PCIAM is achieved by successfully passing a three hour written exam.
Private Client Investment Advice & Management is recognised by Ofqual as the CISI level 6 Certificate in Private Client Investment Advice & Management and is regulated by Ofqual as a level 6 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Framework. On the European Qualifications Framework, this equates to a level 6 qualification.

Total Qualification Time:
203 hours

The total qualification time (TQT) for this qualification is 203 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 .

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 Private Client Investment Advice & Management 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 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).

Find an ATP near you

Post Qualification Opportunities


Obtaining the Private Client Investment Advice & Management qualification entitles you to join the Institute at MCSI Member 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

To further theoretical and practical knowledge upon completion of Private Client Investment Advice & Management, the next step is: