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Canadian Securities Course (CSC®) Information


The Essential Financial Services Credential

Take the first step towards meeting your career goals. Recognized as the industry benchmark, the Canadian Securities Course (CSC®) delivers the financial services industry training employers demand.

What are the Benefits of the CSC?

  • Take the first step towards attaining your investment representative or registered representative license.
  • Fulfill the base securities licensing requirement for IIROC and the provincial regulatory and MFDA licensing requirements for mutual funds sales, alternative mutual funds products, managed future funds, exempt securities and labour-sponsored investment funds.

Take a Peek Inside the CSC!

With our free interactive demo you can experience the CSC course for free before you enrol! Login to the demo now .

Who Should Enrol in the CSC?

Enrol in the CSC if you're:

  • Training to become a full-service investment advisor or an investment representative
  • Seeking your mutual funds license
  • Dealing in Alternative Mutual Funds for retail investors (as per the latest regulatory announcement)
  • Seeking your exempt market representative license
  • A bank or trust company officer
  • A financial planner
  • An active investor who wants to learn how to manage your portfolio
  • Seeking a position in the Canadian financial services industry

The Basics For Success

Learn to make sense of a complex financial world. You'll gain the knowledge you need to make smart investment decisions, become a confident advisor and build a solid foundation for your career.

What will you Learn About?

  • The Canadian securities industry and the regulatory environment
  • Market and economic events impacting investment performance
  • Understanding and analyzing corporate financial statements
  • Financial instruments: fixed income, equities, derivatives, alternative products, managed products, and structured products
  • Company, industry and market performance/analysis
  • The portfolio management process and asset allocation
  • Setting financial goals and the financial planning process
  • Fee-based accounts and taxation
  • Ethics and industry standards of conduct
  • The institutional marketplace

How will you Learn?

CSI offers several options to help you learn at your own pace in the style that suits you best. You can access the course materials through your computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. For those who prefer the printed page, they are also available in textbook form.

Learning Experience

CSI's online learning system helps you meet your study goals. You'll benefit from:

  • Review the CSC course content with industry experts through live webinar sessions
  • Textbook readings available in PDF, eBook and printed format
  • Review questions for each chapter and section quizzes so that you can assess your progress
  • Robust online searchable FAQs for each chapter
  • An online study planner that shows you how to complete your studies in a 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month window
  • Learning objectives that keep you focused
  • Interactive tools to help you evaluate and apply course material
  • Reflective questions to help guide your studies through each chapter
  • Annual course updates to ensure you’re learning the most current and up-to-date practical material in your studies
  • Online interactive discussion forums and assistance from CSI's academic support specialists

What's New

The table below identifies the content changes made as part of an update to the Canadian Securities Course and released on December 18, 2019.

For students who enrolled prior to December 18, 2019, the new updated material will become examinable on July 1, 2020. You have the following options with respect to the update and whether you wish to be examined on the original content or the updated course material:

  • Option 1: If you book and write your exam prior to July 1, 2020, you can study for the exam using only your original course material.
  • Option 2: If you plan to write your exam on or after July 1, 2020, you will need to use the updated version of the course materials (released on December 18, 2019).



Textbook Changes


  • Revised the list of exchanges that operate in Canada, including the list of equity ATSs operating on Canadian markets


  • Revised the material on the coverage of customer losses for the MFDA IPC
  • Added new information on eligible deposits and the different types of accounts included in CDIC coverage


  • Added an explanation of the rationale for imports (M) included in the GDP expenditure formula
  • Clarified the definition of the working age population


  • Renamed one of the S&P/TSX sectors from Telecommunication Services to Communication Services to better reflect the subcategories


  • Modified the material on stop loss and stop buy information to reflect changes in how these orders are used
  • Added new material on on-stop sell orders and on-stop buy orders to highlight their use on the TSX


  • Deleted reference to the ICE Futures Exchange as this exchange no longer trades in Canada


CSC Textbook Volume 2


Textbook Changes


  • Renamed the Telecommunication Services TSX industry sector to Communication Services to better reflect the current subcategories
  • Adjusted the industry grouping by including Telecommunication Services and Media and Entertainment within the Communication Services sector. Media and Entertainment was moved out of the Consumer Discretionary sector.


  • Added the definition of asset allocation to the chapter introduction
  • Changed the focus of the 4th learning objective in the chapter to better reflect the section coverage
  • Revised the material on the purpose of an asset allocation strategy in the section on The Importance of Asset Allocation
  • Moved the majority of asset allocation information that fell under Learning Objective 4 to Learning Objective 3
  • Revised Step 4: Select the Securities for better learning objective coverage


  • Removed reference to Commodity Fund issuers
  • Added Alternative Funds category of mutual funds
  • Modified the name of the FTSE suite of products


  • Added additional information on segregated fund tax treatment of death benefits
  • Added proficiency information on the sale of alternative mutual funds


  • Clarified information in the Adjusted Cost Base of Shares with Warrants or Rights section
  • Updated time sensitive limits such as RRSP contributions, TFSA contributions, Canada Education Savings Grant income brackets

What you'll learn

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In this chapter, we describe the interrelationships between the various participants in the Canadian securities industry. In particular, we discuss the important role that investment dealers and other financial intermediaries play in channelling funds between lenders and borrowers.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Overview of the Canadian Securities Industry

  • The Investment Dealer's Role as a Financial Intermediary

  • Financial Intermediaries Other than Investment Dealers

  • Financial Market Trends

In this chapter, you will learn about investment capital, including what it is, why we need it, where it comes from, and who uses it. You will also learn about the different types of financial instruments that are traded in the financial markets. In discussing the financial markets themselves, we explain the difference between primary and secondary markets and between auction and dealer markets. Finally, you will learn about the electronic trading systems that are used in both equity and fixed-income markets.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Investment Capital

  • The Financial Instruments

  • The Financial Markets

In this chapter, you will learn about the Canadian regulatory environment, including the various regulatory bodies and the principles of regulation conducive to fair and open capital markets. In this context, you will learn about the various regulators and self-regulatory organizations, the purpose of regulation, and the meaning of principles-based regulation. You will also learn about the remediation options available to clients who feel they have not been well served. Finally, you will learn about the ethical standards you will be expected to uphold as a participant in the financial services industry.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Regulators

  • Regulation and Supervision

  • Remediation

  • Ethical Standards in the Financial Services Industry

This chapter provides an introduction to economics, wherein you will learn about the effect of microeconomic and macroeconomic environments on the financial markets. You will learn how economic growth is measured, and how certain factors determine the health of the economy and help predict the direction the markets might take. You will also learn to understand the indicators that influence investment decision-making, including the phases of the business cycle, the condition of the labour market, and the current state of interest rates. Finally, you will learn to analyze the effect of international economics on the domestic investing environment.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Defining Economics

  • Measuring Economic Growth

  • Business Cycle

  • The Labour Market

  • The Role of Interest Rates

  • The Impact of Inflation

  • International Finance and Trade

In this chapter, you will learn about economic policy, both fiscal and monetary, and the impact of government policy decisions on the investment landscape. In this context, you will learn about the roles and functions of the Bank of Canada and the challenges that governments face in setting their economic policies.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Fiscal Policy

  • The Bank of Canada

  • Monetary Policy

  • The Challenges of Government Policy

In this chapter, you will learn about the fixed-income marketplace and the rationale for using fixed-income securities. You will become familiar with the terminology used to discuss bonds, debentures, and other types of fixed-income securities, and you will learn to distinguish among the different types used by governments and corporations. Finally, you will learn how to read bond quotes and ratings.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Fixed-Income Marketplace

  • The Basic Features and Terminology of Fixed-Income Securities

  • Government of Canada Securities

  • Provincial and Municipal Government Securities

  • Types of Corporate Bonds

  • Other Fixed-Income Securities

  • How to Read Bond Quotes and Ratings

In this chapter, you will learn how to calculate the price and yield of fixed-income securities. You will also learn about interest rates on bonds, including the difference between the nominal and the real rate of return, how interest rates are depicted on a yield curve, and how they are determined according to three theoretical principles. You will then learn how and why bond prices go up or down according to certain fixed-income pricing properties. Next, you will learn about bond trading and the rules and regulations around the delivery of bonds and the settlement of transactions. Finally, you will learn how bond indexes are used by portfolio managers as performance measurement tools and to construct bond index funds.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Calculating Price and Yield of a Bond

  • Term Structure of Interest Rates

  • Fundamental Bond Pricing Properties

  • Bond Market Trading

  • Bond Indexes

In this chapter, you will learn the basic features of equity securities, a category that includes common and preferred shares. We explain the investment considerations of the two broad categories, and we compare the advantages and disadvantages of investing in either type. Finally, we describe the important role played by Canadian, U.S., and global stock market indexes.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Common Shares

  • Preferred Shares

  • Stock Indexes and Averages

In this chapter, you will learn about the characteristics of equity transactions. First, we will discuss the difference between a cash account and a margin account, and between long and short positions. We will then discuss in detail margin account transactions and short selling rules, techniques, and risks. You will also learn how trades are conducted and settled, and finally how securities are bought and sold through different types of orders.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Cash Accounts and Margin Accounts

  • Margin Account Transactions

  • Trading and Settlement Procedures

  • How Securities Are Bought and Sold

In this chapter, you will learn all about derivatives—what they are, what their underlying assets consist of, and who uses them. You will also learn about the different categories of derivatives, including options, forwards, and futures contracts. Finally, you will learn about the rights and warrants by which investors benefit from the underlying stock on which derivatives are based.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Role of Derivatives

  • Types of Underlying Assets

  • The Users of Derivatives

  • Options

  • Forwards and Futures

  • Rights and Warrants

In this chapter, you will learn about the three types of business structures, with a particular focus on the corporate structure. You will then learn about the various types of financial statements that corporations use to track their financial position and performance. In the context of public corporations, you will learn the rules of disclosure and the statutory rights of investors. Finally, you will learn the regulations around takeover bids and insider trading.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Corporations and Their Structure

  • Financial Statements of a Corporation

  • The Annual Report

  • Public Company Disclosures and Investor Rights

  • Forwards and Futures

  • Takeover Bids and Insider Trading

In this chapter, you will learn about the process by which governments and corporations raise debt or equity capital and bring their securities to market. You will learn about prospectus requirements and the process of after-market stabilization. You will also learn the means by which securities are distributed through the exchanges, as well as the methods of distributing securities other than on an exchange. Finally, you will learn about the listing process, including the advantages and disadvantages of listing and the circumstances under which trading privileges can be withdrawn.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Government and Corporate Finance

  • The Corporate Financing Process

  • Bringing Securities to the Market

  • Other Methods of Distributing Securities to the Public

  • The Listing Process

In this chapter, you will learn how analysts use statistical, market, and industry information to value securities and make recommendations on their purchase or sale. You will learn about two methods of analysis: fundamental analysis and technical analysis.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Methods of Equity Analysis

  • Fundamental Macroeconomic Analysis

  • Fundamental Industry Analysis

  • Technical Analysis

In the previous chapter, we examined fundamental analysis from a macroeconomic and an industrial perspective. In this chapter, we discuss company analysis, which fundamental analysts use to measure the actual or expected profitability of the securities issuer. You will learn to examine financial statements and use various financial ratios to determine whether a company is a good prospect for investment.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Performing Company Analysis

  • Interpreting Financial Statements

  • Analyzing Financial Ratios

  • Assessing Preferred Share Investment Quality

In this chapter, we introduce you to the different techniques used to analyze and measure risk and return in a portfolio. You will also learn the formulas used to calculate and interpret expected return and identify strategies for maximizing return while reducing risk. Finally, we will discuss the different management styles used in equity and fixed-income portfolios.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Risk and Return

  • Relationship Between Risk and Return in a Portfolio

  • The Portfolio Manager Styles

In the previous chapter, you learned about the basic skills of investment management using a portfolio approach. In this chapter, you will learn to apply those skills within a seven-step portfolio management process.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Portfolio Management Process

  • Step 1: Determine Investment Objectives and Constraints

  • Step 2: Design an Investment Policy Statement

  • Step 3: Develop the Asset Mix

  • Step 4: Select the Securities

  • Step 5: Monitor the Client, the Market, and the Economy

  • Step 6: Evaluate Portfolio Performance

  • Step 7: Rebalance the Portfolio

In this chapter, we provide a brief introduction to managed products. We then focus specifically on one of the most widely recognized managed products-mutual funds. We discuss various mutual fund structures and explain the rules and regulations of the industry. We then discuss the importance of Know Your Client and suitability requirements in the context of mutual funds. Finally, you will learn about the requirements around documentation and disclosure.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Overview of Managed Products

  • Overview of Mutual Funds

  • Pricing Mutual Fund Units

  • Mutual Fund Regulation

  • Other Forms and Requirements

  • The Know Your Client Rule

  • Requirements For Opening and Updating an Account

This chapter will discuss the features and risk characteristics of the various types of mutual funds. You will learn about the different fund management styles and strategies, and the theories behind them. You will also learn how to make appropriate recommendations, including price calculation, the various types of withdrawal plans, and the tax consequences of redemption. Finally, you will learn how mutual fund performance is measured and how to assess the performance of one fund against that of another.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Types of Mutual Funds

  • Fund Management Styles

  • Redemption of Mutual Fund Units or Shares

  • Measuring Mutual Fund Performance

In this chapter, you will learn about the regulation, structure, and taxation of exchange-traded funds. We will also discuss features, risks, and various types of exchanged-traded funds, as well as common strategies.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Regulation and Structure of Exchange-Traded Funds

  • Key Features of Exchange-Traded Funds

  • The Various Types of Exchange-Traded Funds

  • The Risks of Investing in Exchange-Traded funds

  • Comparing Exchange-Traded Funds and Mutual Funds

  • Taxation of Investors in Exchange-Traded Funds

  • Investment Strategies Using Exchange- Traded Funds

  • Other Related Products

In this chapter, you will learn about additional types of managed products, including their structure and characteristics, their regulatory issues and tax considerations, and their comparative advantages and disadvantages.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Segregated Funds

  • Hedge Funds

  • Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Corporations

  • Closed-End Funds

  • Income Trusts

  • Listed Private Equity

In this chapter, you will learn about the features of structured products in general, including their benefits and risks. You will also learn how different products are structured, and what risks and tax implications are associated with the different types.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Overview of Structured Products

  • Principal-Protected Notes

  • Market-Linked Guaranteed Investment Certificates

  • Split Shares

  • Asset-Backed Securities

In this chapter, you will learn the basics of taxation, including the tax features of pension income, tax deferral plans, and tax free savings plans in Canada. We explain how the different types of income are taxed and identify the expenses related to investment income that might be tax-deductible. We also explain the two main types of pension plans and the different types of tax deferral and Tax-Free registered plans. Finally, you will learn some basic tax planning strategies.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Canadian Taxation System

  • Capital Gains and Losses

  • Tax Deferral and tax-free Plans

  • Tax Planning Strategies

In this chapter, you will learn about the various types of fee-based accounts, both managed and unmanaged.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Overview of Fee-Based Accounts

  • Managed Fee-based Accounts

  • Non-Managed Fee-based Accounts

In this chapter, you will learn to take a structured approach to financial planning with retail clients. You will learn the steps in a financial planning process that is based on the client's stage in the life cycle. You will also learn about the ethical practices and standards of conduct that should form the basis of all your dealings with retail clients.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Financial Planning Approach

  • The Life Cycle Hypothesis

  • Ethics and the Advisor's Standards of Conduct

In this chapter, you will learn about the process of working with institutional clients, starting with an overview of the institutional marketplace and followed by an examination of the buy side and sell side of the market. You will learn about the structure, functions, and operations of buy-side and sell-side firms. We will also discuss various aspects of institutional trading, including revenue sources, clearing and settlement, and suitability requirements. You will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of the various participants in the institutional marketplace, along with the investment styles, guidelines, and restrictions they follow. Finally, you will learn about algorithmic trading, high frequency trading, and dark pools.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Sell Side and the Buy Side of the Market

  • The Responsibilities of a Buy-Side Portfolio Manager and Trader

  • The Organizational Structure of a Sell-Side Trading Firm

  • The Revenue Sources for Sell-Side Trading Firms

  • Institutional Clearing and Settlement

  • Roles and Responsibilities in the Institutional Market

  • Investment Styles, Guidelines, and Restrictions

  • Algorithmic Trading

Approximate Hours of Study**
Hours of Study 135 - 200 hours

** In order to provide some guidance to course participants as to the length of time it will take to be sufficiently prepared to write the final examination, CSI has prepared this estimate of the number of hours an average participant could possibly expect to spend studying for a course. Please note that these are only recommended hours of study developed based on research and our course content, however, this does not mean that some students with exceptional backgrounds would not take less time than recommended or that students with no background at all in finance or economics would not take longer than the maximum.

(weightings are approximate)

Exam 1  
The Canadian Investment Marketplace 15%
The Economy 13%
Features and Types of Fixed-Income Securities 12%
Pricing and Trading of Fixed-Income Securities 11%
Common and Preferred Shares 13%
Equity Transactions 10%
Derivatives 10%
Corporations and their Financial Statements 8%
Financing and Listing Securities 8%
Exam 2  
Investment Analysis 18%
Portfolio Analysis 18%
Mutual Funds 14%
Exchange-Traded Funds 10%
Other Managed Products and Structured Products 16%
Canadian Taxation 6%
Fee-Based Accounts and Working with the Retail Client 8%
Working with the Institutional Client 10%
Exams 2
Exam Format Paper Or Computer Based
Exam Duration 2 Hours
Question Format Multiple Choice
Questions Per Exam 100
Attempts Allowed Per Exam 3*
Passing Grade 60% (Per Exam)
Assignments None
Enrolment Period 1 year

On successful completion of this course you will be able to download a Notice of Course Completion available through your student profile. This will remain on your profile as formal indication of course completion.

CSI will mail you a wall certificate within 4 - 6 weeks of course completion. Frames to display your certificate are available. Please ensure that your First and Last Name on your profile match your First and Last Name on your Government Issued Photo identification - this will ensure you receive an accurate certificate.

CSI will be pleased to issue an Honors Certificate to all student who obtain a final course mark of 85% or higher.

*There is no charge for your first attempt at a paper-based exam within Canada, as long as it's at a regular exam center and you provide a minimum of 14 days notice before the date that you want to write the exam. If you would like to write a computer-based exam , an additional fee will be required.

Each subsequent paper-based exam attempt at a regular exam centre within Canada will also require an additional fee . This fee is in addition to any special, computer-based or international fees that may apply. You must provide a minimum of 14 days notice within Canada at a regular exam centre and 4 weeks notice for all other centres. Please note that the date of the exam is not part of any notice period.

†Please note: Access to your online materials will close 2 weeks after successful course completion or course expiry (whichever comes first). This course can be extended by 1 year provided you have not exceeded the  attempts allowed  for each exam. You can view CSI extension fees  here . Your enrolment period can only be extended one time.

Important: During a student's enrolment period, CSI may update this course. In that case, details about the update and how it may affect students will be posted online via My CSI. Students are held responsible for and are examinable on the content in the course textbook(s) provided at the time of enrollment unless stated otherwise in My CSI. Students are encouraged to check My CSI regularly throughout their enrolment period.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Click the links below or the buttons at the top of the page on the right side to access CE accreditation information. To search for specific course information, press Ctrl + F and then enter the course name to search the document for the information you are interested in.

National/Provincial (Excluding Quebec)
Download CE Chart (PDF, 163 kb)

Quebec (IQPF/CSF)
Download IQPF/CSF Chart (PDF, 182 kb)

Please note: While CSI makes every effort to ensure that the information is up-to-date, we are unfortunately unable to fully guarantee its accuracy. The information listed in the charts above may be subject to change.

More detailed information on CE Credits are available