Risk in Financial Services

Level 3 Award In Risk in Financial Services

Why study Risk in Financial Services?

Risk in Financial Services offers a comprehensive global introduction to the major risk areas in financial services. It addresses international issues, reflecting the needs of a worldwide market, and provides a sound grounding in the principles of the risk management framework, corporate governance and risk oversight. It covers specific techniques used in identifying, reducing and managing operational risk, credit risk, market risk, investment risk and liquidity risk.

Is Risk in Financial Services right for me?

Risk in Financial Services is suitable for risk and compliance teams, branch management, corporate lawyers, finance officers, senior managers of all disciplines and existing and aspiring non-executive directors. 

Key features:

  • Specialist qualification – covers a range of risks in financial services and can be taken as a stand-alone qualification or as part of the Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) 
  • Offers a progressive study pathway – Risk in Financial Services is one of the first steps in our compliance qualifications study pathway and offers access to the higher level Diploma in Investment Compliance
  • Combine it with a CISI regulatory exam to complete the full Certificate in Risk in Financial Services. You are exempt from the regulation paper if you have already achieved a regulatory paper through another route, such as the IOC
  • Free CISI Student membership – become associated with a Chartered professional body and take advantage of an extensive range of benefits
  • Access to Associate membership and ACSI designatory letters
  • Exams available online via remote invigilation or at one of our global test centres

Qualification Factsheets

Qualification Structure

Risk in Financial Services award is achieved by successfully passing one multiple-choice exam. Details for this exam are shown below.

Optional qualification: Risk in Financial Services can also be taken with a regulatory exam to achieve the CISI Certificate in Risk in Financial Services. It can also be taken as part of the Investment Operations Certificate.

The Certificate is regulated by Ofqual as a level 3 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)

Total Qualification Time:
Level 3 Award: 102 hours
Level 3 Certificate: 183 hours

The total qualification time (TQT) for the Level 3 Award is 102 hours, and, Level 3 Certificate is 183 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 Risk in Financial Services 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).

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Post Qualification Opportunities


Obtaining Risk in Financial Services qualification entitles you to join the Institute at Associate 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.

Further Qualifications

To further theoretical and practical knowledge upon completion of Risk in Financial Services, qualifications to take include:
We are withdrawing our level 3 'Risk in Financial Services in Spanish' unit on 10 November 2021, the English version is unaffected by this withdrawal. Candidates affected by these changes have been sent communications with further explanations. If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Support Team.