Canadian Securities Course (CSC)

A Comprehensive Guide to the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) Certification and its Impact on Financial Careers

Kevin Henderson

Reviewed by

Kevin Henderson

Expertise: Private Equity | Corporate Finance


November 30, 2023

What is a Canadian Securities Course (CSC)?

The Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) provides advanced certifications, continuing education, and specialized training for individuals working in the financial services industry in Canada and abroad.

CSI offers tests and licensing that allow individuals to fulfill the legal requirements for employment in the Canadian financial services sector. 

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) support it.

Moody's Analytics owns CSI, which has offices in Toronto and Montreal. Many foreign securities authorities, including those in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Hong Kong, accept credentials provided by the institute.

For several occupations in corporate finance, the Canadian Securities Course is a requirement.

For example, the first prerequisite to becoming a registered investment representative in Canada is completing the Canadian Securities Course. 

In order to complete the CSC, two tests must be taken and passed within 365 days after enrolling in the course. For this certification, it is advised that students set aside 150–200 hours of study time.

Key Takeaways

  • The Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) administers the CSC, providing advanced certifications and training for the financial services industry.
  • The CSC is a prerequisite for various corporate finance occupations, particularly for registered investment representatives in Canada.
  • While valuable, the CSC is not mandatory for most corporate finance positions.
  • CSC certification involves passing two exams with specific subject percentages and retake options.
  • Salaries vary across professions, with roles like Portfolio Supervisor and Chief Financial Officer having higher national average salaries.

What Does Being a Canadian Securities Course Holder Mean?

The majority of corporate finance positions don't require the Canadian Securities Course. Portfolio managers and sales & trading experts are the two main professions that require this certification.

Since most career pathways on a Career Map don't include the direct purchase or sale of securities, they don't necessitate CSC registration.

You might be relieved to find out that this certification is not necessary for positions like stock research and investment banking. 

Since most Bachelor of Commerce (US: BS in a Business major) students don't feel like studying anymore straight after graduation, this can be a welcome surprise if you're just graduating from school and hoping to begin your profession.

The financial industry is tightly regulated by the government due to its significance, particularly when it comes to the marketing and sale of securities and assets. 

One of the fundamental prerequisites for those wishing to sell and provide advice on mutual funds and other securities is the Canadian Securities Course (CSC).

You can start the process of becoming a financial professional by learning how to get CSC certified. In this post, we define this certification, describe how to obtain one, list its advantages, and highlight some of the occupations you can pursue with one.

What does CSC certification entail?

You can obtain the professional designation of CSC certified if you pass the Canadian Securities Course test and satisfy additional conditions. The course and exam are administered by the Canadian Securities Institute. 

The CSC provides individuals with in-depth training on the Canadian securities market and information about trading stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other fixed-income assets. 

You can work as an investment representative for a registered securities broker after completing the CSC and passing the exam. 

You can take the exam as the first step toward becoming a licensed and registered securities representative after finishing the course. 

There are two components:

Exam 1

This exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions. You can retake it up to three times, and you need a score of 60% to pass.

Exam Course Guidelines

Material Percentage
The Canadian Investment Marketplace 15%
The Economy 13%
Fixed Income Securities 12%
Pricing & Trading 11%
Common & Preferred Shares 13%
Derivatives 10%
Equity Transactions 10%
Financing & Listing Securities 8%
Financial Statements 8%

Exam 2

This exam is also made up of 100 multiple-choice questions. A grade of 60% is needed to pass the two-hour exam. The exam can be retaken up to three times. The subjects the test covers and their weighting in the final exam score are listed below:

Exam Course Guidelines

Material Percentage
Investment Analysis 18%
Mutual Funds 14%
Alternative Investments 16%
Canadian Taxation 6%
Exchange Traded Funds 10%
Institutional Clients 10%
Portfolio Analysis 18%
Fee-Based Accounts 8%

Benefits of Having a CSC Certificate

The benefits of having a CSC Certificate are

1. Preparing you for licensing:

The first step to becoming a licensed investment representative is finishing the CSC and receiving the certification. Additionally, it satisfies a few prerequisites for Canadian Investment Industry Regulatory Organization licensing (IIROC). 

Furthermore, this certification satisfies the standards of the Mutual Funds Dealer Association and several provincial regulatory organizations.

2. Acquiring necessary skills:

The CSC offers in-depth instruction on a wide range of assets, the Canadian securities market, and other pertinent legislation. This can aid in the development of your career-relevant financial knowledge and abilities. 

Additionally, it can help you progress professionally and open up several job opportunities.

3. Demonstrating dedication:

The CSC is a fantastic way to demonstrate your dedication to beginning a career in finance. This can help you when you apply for jobs and other career possibilities like scholarships and seminars.

 You can expand your network and meet other professionals who share your interests by enrolling in the course.

4. Getting you ready for more certifications:

To become a Personal Financial Planner (PFP) or Chartered Investment Manager (CIM), among other certifications, you must first complete the CSC. The certificate can also be used to pass other courses offered by the Canadian Securities Institute. 

By earning these credentials, you can develop your career and stand out as a candidate for different jobs.

5. Enhancing your credentials:

After obtaining the CSC certification, you can list it on your resume. This might strengthen your job applications and show proficiency to potential employers. 

Depending on your interests, it can also make you eligible for a promotion or a move in your profession.

Careers to Consider with a CSC Certification

The following careers can be considered with a CSC Certification:

1. Financial Advisor:

$58,775 CAD per year is the national average salary.

Primary obligations: A qualified and licensed financial or investment professional, known as a financial planner, gives clients advice to help them achieve their financial and investment goals. 

They must also organize client consultation meetings, create personalized financial plans, build rapport with new clients, and keep up with pertinent insurance, tax, and finance rules. 

With a CSC certification, they can act as a financial advisor and prescribe and sell financial goods, which can boost their income.

2. Investment Advisor:

$63,945 CAD per year is the national average salary.

Primary obligations: Investment consultants offer advice on investment choices to both individuals and businesses. They offer their clients advice on which assets to invest in, when, and how much to invest. 

They typically have to inform clients about pertinent assets and securities, develop investment profiles for each client, examine various securities, anticipate the market, and maintain records. 

They may make more accurate predictions and give their clients better recommendations by using the knowledge they get from earning the CSC certification.

3. Portfolio Supervisor:

CAD 79,294 is the average yearly wage in Canada.

Primary obligations: A portfolio manager is a financial and investment expert who looks after their clients' money. 

They must hold client consultation meetings, keep an eye on their investment accounts, deliver regular, thorough reports on investment performance, and keep an eye on pertinent market trends. 

Employers and clients expect a portfolio manager to have a bachelor's degree in finance, business, accounting, or a related discipline. 

Having the CSC certification will help them better comprehend different securities, which will benefit their work as a portfolio manager. By using this information, they may manage their clients' accounts effectively and make smarter investment choices.

4. Chief Financial Officer:

CAD 128,507 per year is the national average salary.

Primary obligations: The highest-ranking financial officer in an organization is the chief financial officer (CFO). All operations that maintain the financial stability of an organization must be planned, coordinated, and overseen by the CFO. 

The CFO engages in decision-making and business planning as a member of the executive team. Additionally, they are in charge of funding the firm's objectives and developing accurate financial projections. 

Additionally, dealing with numerous financial regulatory bodies is essentially the CFO's responsibility. While expertise in financial markets and securities might advance a professional's career, CSC certification is not necessary to become a CFO.

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Authored & Researched by Ahmed Makki | Linkedin

Reviewed and Edited by Sara De Meyer | LinkedIn

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