Jun 10 / IforPE Team

The CySEC Advanced, Basic, and AML certification exams

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is responsible for overseeing the investment services market and transactions in transferable securities that take place in and from Cyprus. CySEC understands the significance of having a well-educated workforce in order to assist with fulfilling its duties and thus, offers three certifications to professionals working in the industry to equip them with the necessary knowledge. The three certification exams CySEC offer are:


To further our understanding of the CySEC Advanced, Basic, and AML certification exams, this blog post explores:

  • Why CySEC places utmost importance to the education and training of the industry
  • What exactly are the CySEC certifications and what do the CySEC exams entail
  • What are the CPD requirements for successful CySEC exam candidates


Why does CySEC value the training and development of the industry and why are the CySEC exams important?


Firstly, the main priorities of CySEC are to ensure investor protection whilst helping facilitate the smooth operation of the market. Over the years CySEC has continuously highlighted the importance of instilling adequate knowledge throughout professionals working at CySEC regulated entities.

Furthermore, CySEC requires key-positioned professionals working at Cyprus Investment Firms (CIF), Alternative Investment Funds (AIF), Crypto-Asset Services Providers (CASP), and other CySEC regulated entities to hold a CySEC certification; why? CySEC believe that having a well-trained and educated workforce helps fulfil its duties and responsibilities in overseeing the investment services industry.

Moreover, by offering CySEC exams, the Cypriot regulator ensures professionals working at CIF, AIF, CASP and other CySEC regulated entities, have the appropriate level of knowledge to execute their duties and responsibilities with competence. In turn, professionals maintain a high level of professionalism when providing services.

With CySEC’s approach to education throughout the industry and amongst other initiatives, it has successfully managed to establish Cyprus as an attractive investment jurisdiction on the global stage. The growth Cyprus has accomplished over the past decade shows just successful CySEC has been in facilitating the healthy development of the market.


What are the CySEC certifications and what do the CySEC exams entail?

The CySEC Advanced certification

The most comprehensive CySEC certification is the CySEC Advanced certification, and this is mainly due to the depth and breadth of the material covered by the syllabus.

As Cyprus is a European Union (EU) Member State, CySEC is responsible for transposing EU directives outlined by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). Hence, candidates studying for the CySEC Advanced certification must cover 14 chapters composed of various Cypriot and European regulation.

The table below portrays the CySEC Advanced syllabus.

Chapter Title of Chapter
Chapter 1 Investment Services Law - 2017
Chapter 2 Cypriot Investment Firms (CIF)
Chapter 3 Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Laws – Cypriot Investment Firms and Banks
Chapter 4 Open-Ended Undertakings for Collective Investment (UCI) Laws
Chapter 5 Alternative Investments
Chapter 6 The Business of Credit Institutions Laws of 1997-2016
Chapter 7 The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Laws
Chapter 8 Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR)
Chapter 9 Capital Adequacy Requirements
Chapter 10European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)
Chapter 11Recovery and Resolution Laws
Chapter 12Prospectus Law
Chapter 13Transparency Laws
Chapter 14Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation Regulation

As seen above, the CySEC certification is made up of both Cyprus regulatory frameworks and also more well-known European legislations. Some of the most notable regulations are:

  • Law 87(I)/2017 (which is the main law for Cyprus Investment Firms),
  • Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation Regulation (MAR),
  • European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and,
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).

During the exam, CySEC Advanced candidates have 90 minutes to complete 70 questions in multiple-choice format. Further, the passing mark for the CySEC Advanced exam is 70%.

Candidates that successfully pass the CySEC Advanced exam, hold an advantageous position for career progression due to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. In particular, CySEC Advanced certification holders are more likely to land a job or earn a promotion within the following regulated entity structures:

  • Cyprus Investment Firms (CIF)
  • Alternative Investment Funds (AIF)
  • Electronic Money Institutions (EMI)
  • Crypto-Asset Services Providers (CASP)
  • Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS)
  • Variable Capital Investment Company (VCIC)
  • Online forex and CFD trading brokers
Read more about the CySEC Advanced certification in a previously published blog post here.

The CySEC Basic certification

In addition to the CySEC Advanced certification, CySEC also offers the CySEC Basic certification geared to investment services professionals. The main difference between the Advanced and Basic certifications by CySEC is the number of topics covered. Instead of 14 chapters, the CySEC Basic certification examines candidates on 8 chapters, and includes both national and European regulation.

The table below shows the chapters that compose the CySEC Basic certification.
Chapter  Title of Chapter
Chapter 1  Investment Services Law - 2017
Chapter 2 Cypriot Investment Firms (CIF)
Chapter 3  Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Laws – Cypriot Investment Firms and Banks
Chapter 4 Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR)
Chapter 5 Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation Regulation
Chapter 6 Open-Ended Undertakings for Collective Investment (UCI) Laws
Chapter 7 Alternative Investments
Chapter 8 The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Laws

Candidates taking the CySEC Basic exam will have 60 minutes to complete 50 questions in multiple-choice format and the passing mark is 70%. Although the CySEC Basic certification covers a reduced number of legislations, the examination level of difficulty remains the same when compared to the CySEC Advanced.

Also, acquiring the CySEC Basic certification can help successful candidates become more competitive job candidates when applying for new positions at CIF, AIF, CASP, and other CySEC regulated entities.

The CySEC AML certification

The CySEC AML certification is the 3rd certification offered by the Cypriot regulator, CySEC. The CySEC AML certification was introduced in 2020 as an initiative to help strengthen the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) in the market.

Moreover, the AML certification offered by CySEC includes 8 chapters devoted to the AML regulatory framework. Candidates preparing for the CySEC AML certification must be sure to learn and understand the below chapters:
Chapter Title of Chapter
Chapter 1 Introductory Provisions
Chapter 2 Understanding Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Sanctions
Chapter 3 Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Chapter 4 The AML Compliance Culture
Chapter 5 Assessing and Managing Risks
Chapter 6 Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD)
Chapter 7 Transaction Monitoring & Suspicious Reporting
Chapter 8 Abbreviations and Definitions

Candidates taking the CySEC AML exam have 60 minutes to complete 40 multiple-choice questions. Each question can have more than 1 correct choice (unlike the CySEC Advanced and CySEC Basic exams where there is only 1 correct choice to each question). Thus, CySEC AML exam candidates must ensure they are adequately prepared prior to taking the exam to ensure they have the best possible chance of successfully pass the exam.

It is also important to note that CIF, AIF, CASP and other CySEC regulated entities are obligated to appoint a dedicated AML Compliance Officer (AMLCO). This obligation is also valid for financial institutions such Payment and Electronic Money Institutions (EMI), and other Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) regulated banks.

What are the CPD requirements for successful CySEC exam candidates?

As previously mentioned, CySEC places great emphasis in the professional development of the industry in order to continue providing a high standard of professional services. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that successful CySEC exam candidates are required to meet a certain number of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) units annually to maintain the validity of their CySEC certification.

Completing annual CPD units ensures professionals remain up to date with the latest regulatory developments within the industry. An example within the investment services sector has been the attention crypto-assets have been gaining by brokers and online trading platforms. As crypto-assets have become more readily available for investing purposes and online trading, new regulatory frameworks and regimes at the national, European, and global level are being introduced. Therefore, professionals working at Cyprus Investment Firms and Crypto-Asset Services Providers for example, are expected to undertake educational CPD courses to demonstrate their learning and understanding within the space.

Furthermore, after a candidate successfully obtains a CySEC certification, they are enrolled within the CySEC Public Register and become known as Certified Persons. Certified Persons are then responsible to keep a record of their completed CPD units. Additionally, CySEC mandate for all Certified Persons to renew their CySEC certification on an annual basis to continue upholding their status within the CySEC registry.

Below, we outline the number of CPD units a CySEC Certified Person requires based on the CySEC certification they hold.

  • CySEC Advanced certification holders require 15 CPD units annually
  • CySEC Basic certification holders require 10 CPD units annually
  • CySEC AML certification holders require 10 CPD units annually


If you have a combination of CySEC certifications:

  • CySEC Advanced + AML certification holders require 20 CPD units annually
  • CySEC Basic + AML certification holders require 15 CPD units annually

The Institute's partnership with SALVUS Funds

Through our partnership with SALVUS Funds, a boutique advisory in Europe, we offer The Most Complete™ CySEC certification preparation courses as well as a plethora of CPD courses aimed at CySEC certified professionals.

The Most Complete™ CySEC certification preparation courses:


Continuous Professional Development courses for CySEC Certified Persons:


All of the courses are delivered by the Risk & Compliance Director at SALVUS Funds, Evdokia Pitsillidou, and are geared to professionals working in the investment services sector in Cyprus.

In addition, Evdokia and the Education team at SALVUS Funds, have designed their CySEC certification preparation courses to meet the training needs of modern professionals and to successfully prepare candidates for passing the CySEC exams. Hence, their courses are tailored for self-paced learning which means professionals can study at their own time and pace.

The Most Complete™ CySEC certification preparation courses contain:

  • Recordings from live workshops
  • SALVUS self-study material
  • Test questions at the end of each section
  • Multiple mock exams simulating the real CySEC exams
  • 1-on-1 support by SALVUS
  • Certification of CPD units
Get in touch

If you have any questions about the CySEC certifications, exams, The Most Complete™ CySEC certification preparation courses or about anything else, please contact us; we would love to help.

From all of us at IforPE, the Institute for Professional Excellence,
Ancora Imparo