If you take a finance career path focusing on anything to do with investments, you are going to find that anything you can do to boost your knowledge and skills could really help to zip you up the career ladder. The IAD is something you could encounter along the way…

What’s the IAD?

IAD stands for Investment Advice Diploma. It’s a professional qualification which has been designed to beef up the skills and industry knowledge of people who work in investments, primarily in an advisory capacity.

This professional qualification is more likely to be one for the more seasoned investment adviser; it’s the kind of thing that may be on offer as part of a professional development programme in roles with banking and finance institutions.

The IAD is awarded by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), which is a global professional body for finance professionals. CISI has more than 40,000 members across the world.

What will it involve?

The IAD will demand intense study of a number of different issues relating to financial advice surrounding investments. Think customer relationships, settlement, brokerage, and UK financial services.

You’ll have to pass modules in UK Regulation and Professional Integrity and Investment (covering topics like regulatory frameworks, the FCA and professional ethics), Risk and Taxation, plus one extra technical module in either securities, derivatives and private client advice to earn the IAD.

What will it enable me to do?

A qualification like the IAD will count towards what are called CPD (Continuing Professional Development) hours. CPD is a concept that you can expect to hear about in many industries, and particularly in areas such as law and finance. As part of your role, you will have to dedicate a certain amount of time to developing your knowledge and skills in some way – and it’s your employer’s job to help you to do this.

The IAD could help you to further your career and salary opportunities. It’s a great way of demonstrating commitment to your integrity as a practising financial adviser (you can become a CISI member once you have the qualification).

How can I get the IAD?

This is one for professionals who have already been working in investments for a while and have some experience under belt, so it’s most likely that it will an option as part of CPD.

You’ll have to crack on with independent study to earn the IAD, but it is an option to follow a structured programme with a business school to help you to prepare for those three exams.