Difference Between NISM Certification and NCFM Certification?

One of the most confused topic for new people looking for career in securities market is what is the difference between NISM Certification and NCFM Certification?  Before the establishment of NISM NCFM certification was very popular.  Even today most people think NCFM certifications have same validity as earlier.  But NISM was established by SEBI for conducting the mandatory financial certifications to be acquired by market participants.  This has diluted the importance of NCFM offered certifications.

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Another difference is Number of test centers NSE has established all over India through its subsidiary nse.it for conducting these examinations.  Although NISM does not own many testing centers, it uses these centers of NSE, BSE, MCX-SX and some other institutes.

NCFM (NSE Certification For Financial Markets) have many more modules to test one’s knowledge.  It has many certifications to cover most of the skills required for working in BFSI Sector.  Although, NISM has some non-mandatory certifications, most of the certificates it offered or mandatory in nature and carry authority of SEBI to enforce the requirement of these certifications.

The main difference between NISM certification and NCFM certification is, NISM has authority of market regulator SEBI behind it.  It can mandate a particular certificate for associated persons dealing with a particular security market activity.  NCFM is an educational and training arm of National Stock Exchange of India(NSE).  And now its certifications offered under NCFM are optional in most of the activities of securities markets in India.  They can be pursued to test one’s knowledge in that particular domain.  For example NCFM Certification in Technical Analysis is not mandatory to work in securities market.  But completing this technical analysis module exam gives additional value to candidate’s resume.  It can give an edge if attending for an interview for a job involving technical analysis.

NSE has come up with some innovative ideas in promoting their certifications.  They have introduced proficiency certifications for candidates who passed a particular set of exams which are mostly theme based.  Also NCMP (NSE Certified Market Professional) is an good idea in which they have level 1 to level 5 for candidates who passed selected modules.  For example to get level 1 one must pass 3-4 NCFM modules out of the modules specified for this purpose.  NCMP Level 5 is highest at present that is awarded to candidates with 11 or more modules .

If the purpose is just go get a entry level job one may go for NISM certificate in that particular area.  For students looking for a job as equity dealer one must pass the exam offered by NISM for this purpose.  NCFM otherwise gives more options to test one’s knowledge and give more value to one’s resume which can be added advantage while attending for interviews in BFSI sector.

Rather than looking at difference between NISM Certifications and MCFM Certifications, think of how both of them complement job prospects.  NCFM has professional reputation for its certifications and most companies accept them as a certificate endorsing the skill in that area.  Its a good idea to complete mandatory NISM certifications and some selected NCFM certifications which are of your interest.

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