The Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ECSRC) and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) have agreed a new programme of qualifications to build professional standards in the Eastern Caribbean Securities Market which operates across eight Eastern Caribbean countries.

ECSRC is the regional regulatory body for the Eastern Caribbean Securities Market, which includes Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Caribbean regulator issues licences to practitioners including broker-dealers and investment advisers working in securities in the Eastern Caribbean Securities Market.

The agreement means a local-global, mandated certification programme will be adopted to allow financial services intermediaries throughout the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union to gain the formal certification required for licencing.

Kevin Moore, CISI global business development director, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with the ECSRC on this exciting project and supporting them in the journey towards raising professionalism for financial services practitioners with an internationally recognised qualification and CPD programme.

"We look forward to ensuring the availability of knowledge and skills to enable the promotion of the highest standards of ethics and integrity in the Eastern Caribbean Securities Market, thereby increasing trust and confidence for investors and consumers."

He added: "Our thoughts and sympathies are with all those who have been affected by the La Soufrière volcano eruption on St Vincent and the Grenadines and the resulting humanitarian crisis."

Practitioners operating under the Representative, Principal or Investment Adviser categories will be required to complete ECSRC's current regulatory examination for the Eastern Caribbean Securities Market, together with the CISI's internationally recognised certification appropriate to their specific job role.

A local training capacity will be developed in the ECSRC member countries, with the CISI supporting the ECSRC to become a CISI accredited test centre for the region. This will include the availability of a remote invigilation option for candidates.

Candidates studying for CISI certification will automatically be eligible for CISI student membership and those who achieve the full licencing qualification will be eligible for CISI Associate level membership.

CISI membership benefits include an extensive continuing professional development (CPD) suite with over 500 videos on the CISI TV channel, over 190 e-learning modules or "Professional Refreshers" to update sector knowledge, 1,300 articles in the exclusive member magazine The Review and opportunities to attend virtual CPD events.

Arthur G. B Thomas, chairman of ECSRC, said: "The ECSRC is excited to collaborate with CISI for the mutual recognition and/or international accreditation of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Market Certification Program. The Certification Program was developed over 20 years ago to prepare persons to participate in the securities market as broker-dealer representatives and principals or investment advisers.

"This partnership with CISI fulfils one of the ECSRC's strategic initiatives to develop the securities market through increased interest and participation while also improving financial literacy in the ECCU member countries. The opportunity to develop training capacity and testing, with the assistance of CISI, will also ensure the increased availability of financial education and training to persons at various levels in society from school age to retirement, to enable them to make sound investment decisions."

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