FCSI® Frequently Asked Questions
BECOMING AN FCSI®
Why should I pursue the Fellow of CSI (FCSI®) credential?
The FCSI® is the pinnacle financial services credential. It represents the highest achievement in Canadian financial services and is limited to an exclusive group of professionals who have demonstrated - and who continue to demonstrate - unparalleled experience, ethics and leadership. FCSI®s are active leaders in the financial industry - pushing for betterment, setting new standards and paving the way for future leaders. FCSI®s are committed to “giving back” to the industry and are even required to have education outside of their core discipline to round out their knowledge. FCSI®s exemplify excellence. With excellence comes exclusivity - there are currently only 3500 FCSI®s in Canada.
What are the educational requirements for the FCSI®?
FCSI® candidates must fulfil each of the following:
- 1 CSI designation (PFP®, CIM®, CIWM, MTI®, FICB® or PFP, CIM, MTI, FMA, DMS)
1 non-CSI designation (CFP®, CFA®, CLU®)
- 2 accepted courses from a different stream than the one that led to the designation from the list above
- Successful completion of the Financial Services Industry: Business Drivers and Challenges (FSDC)
What are the non-educational requirements for the FCSI®?
- Have 7 years of relevant work experience out of the last 10 years
- Sign a Code of Ethics
- Sign a Trademark Licence Agreement)
- Supply 2 endorsement letters (1 from a supervisor and 1 from an active FCSI®)
What approved courses am I able to take to earn my FCSI?
For a list of approved courses, visit the Educational Requirements section.
Will CSI recognize external (non-CSI) designations towards earning the FCSI®?
Yes. Applicants who hold the CFA, CFP or CLU will be eligible for the FCSI®. CSI will also consider external courses to be used for the additional course requirement, as long as they are consistent with CSI’s regimen. Regardless, all external designation holders MUST complete the Financial Services Industry: Business Drivers and Challenges (FSDC) course
Will CSI accept Professional Banking Program (PBP) course completions towards the FCSI® even if it’s no longer offered publicly?
No. As of December 31, 2014, CSI no longer accepts the PBP course completion towards the FCSI application.
I’ve met the requirements for education, but not for work experience. What do I do?
Experience is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the FCSI®. You will not be granted the FCSI® unless you meet ALL requirements. Unlike our designations, where you must apply within 5 years of completing the final educational component , there’s no time cap on applying for the FCSI® - as long as you’ve had at least 7 years of experience in the last 10.
What happens if I haven’t worked for the same employer for the past 7 years?
CSI will provide multiple spaces on the application form for you to provide your supervisors’ contact information.
Why do I have to provide a supervisor contact?
The supervisor contact will provide your employer endorsement.
What if I don’t know an active FCSI® who can sponsor me?
If you don’t know an active FCSI®, you can join the FCSI® Mentor Bank program, where you’ll be paired up with an FCSI® who can write you a letter of endorsement. It’s a fantastic way to expand your network - and learn from the best.
How will I know I’ve been granted the FCSI®?
You will receive a congratulatory letter from the FCSI Advisory Council with instructions to complete your profile for the FCSI Directory.
Will I receive a wall certificate when I earn the FCSI® credential?
Yes. A framed wall certificate will be mailed to you and typically arrives 6 - 8 weeks from when you were granted your FCSI®.
Will my wall certificate come framed?
What types of benefits does CSI provide for FCSI®s?
- National promotion and advertising campaigns that create awareness of the FCSI®, including opportunities to be featured
- Listing in the FCSI® Directory, which helps clients find you and verify your credentials
- Leadership opportunities (e.g., volunteering with Junior Achievement of Canada)
- Access to:
- FCSI trademark letters: the right to use in marketing materials to promote your credentials
- FCSI Portal login: unlock online resources, publications and customizable marketing materials
- FCSI LinkedIn community:
network and contribute to valuable discussion
- Exclusive webinars: stay on top of the latest industry topics
- Front-of-the-line VIP customer service
How do I access the CSI benefits?
The benefits are behind the FCSI® Login. When we announce any exclusive webinars, we will notify you by email.
Discounted CE Packages - exclusively for designation holders
Access to exclusive Professional Development CE packages to help you complete your CE requirements at a discounted rate. The offer is only available when you renew your designation.
MAINTAINING MY CREDENTIAL
What are the requirements to maintain my FCSI® credential?
To maintain your FCSI®, you must do the following every year:
Does the FCSI® have any continuing education (CE) requirements?
No. However, FCSIs must complete 12 industry contribution hours annually.
How does industry contribution work?
To maintain your FCSI®, you must complete a minimum of 12 industry contribution hours each calendar year. This could include:
- Volunteering with Junior Achievement
- Mentoring - See the FCSI Mentor Bank to get involved
- Speaking engagements
- Marking of exams
- Participation on industry committees
How will CSI determine if I’ve completed the industry contribution hours required to maintain my FCSI® in good standing?
When renewing your licence, you’re required to declare completion of your industry contribution hours. A percentage of renewal applicants will be audited for proof of completion of the industry contribution requirements.
What is CSI’s auditing process for industry contribution hours?
LICENCE RENEWAL PROCESS
How often do I have to renew my licence?
All FCSI®s must renew their credential annually by their anniversary date (the date the credential was originally granted).
Will CSI send me a renewal notice on an annual basis?
You will receive email notices 4 weeks and 1 week prior to expiry to remind you to renew your fellowship.
Is there a discount on renewals if I hold more than 1 CSI credential in good standing?
CSI offers a tiered discount structure for those who hold multiple designations (FCSI®, PFP®, CIM®, CIWM, MTI®) in good standing.
- 2 CSI credentials in good standing: $50 off the renewal of each credential ($225 each)
- 3 CSI credentials in good standing: $100 off the renewal of each credential ($175 each)
- 4 CSI credentials in good standing: $150 off the renewal of each credential ($125 each)
How do I renew my FCSI?
You can renew your FCSI® online via the My CSI. Click on the “My Credentials” tab and then select “Renew Now.”
If you’d prefer to mail or fax your renewal, download the PDF renewal form.
If you’d prefer to mail or fax your renewal, download the PDF renewal form.
What happens if I do not renew my licence?
FCSI®s who do not renew are declared to be “not in good standing.” You will no longer have access to benefits from CSI and will be removed from the FCSI® Directory. You will also receive a letter stating that you’re no longer eligible to use the FCSI® trademarks. If you continue to use them, legal action may be taken.
What happens if I let my credential lapse?
FCSI®s are given the opportunity to reactivate their licence after a lapse of up to 5 years. After 5 years, you’ll be required to re-take and successfully complete the FSDC course. If the lapse is 5 years or less, you can reactivate by completing the following steps:
CUSTOMER SERVICE & CORPORATE
Where can I direct inquiries specific to the FCSI® credential?
We have set up a special inbox. If your response can be answered directly by our customer service team, the turn-around time is 24 hours. If your request requires further investigation, we’ll strive to get back to you within 3 business days.
Is there a special number I can call if I have a question?
Yes. CSI offers front-of-the line VIP customer service for FCSI®s. Call 416-364-9130 or 1-866-866-2601 (toll-free) and press 5.