Licensing Examination for Securities and Futures Intermediaries

The Licensing Examination for Securities and Futures Intermediaries (LE), a practical and market-focused examination for individuals who wish to pursue their careers in the securities and investment industry in Hong Kong. The Securities and Futures Ordinance provides for the implementation of the single licensing regime with 10 types of regulated activity (RA). An individual will need one licence or registration to carry on different types of RA. The LEs have been recognised by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for meeting the competence requirements for individuals in relation to the applications for licences as Representatives and/or Responsible Officers.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for enrolling in the LE.

LE and the SFC Licences for Regulated Activities

The LE Regulatory Papers (i.e. LE Papers 1 to 6) and Practical Papers (i.e. LE Papers 7 to 12) have been recognised by the SFC as the Recognised Industry Qualifications and Local Regulatory Framework Papers in relation to the application for licences as Representatives and/or Responsible Officers for all regulated activities (RAs) except for Type 3 RA - Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading under the "Guidelines on Competence". Please select the RA you want to engage in for understanding the requirements on the relevant Recognised Industry Qualifications and Local Regulatory Framework Papers.

 

LE Papers for RA Type 1, 4 and 8

RAs:

  • Type 1 - Dealing in securities
  • Type 4 - Advising on securities
  • Type 8 - Securities margin financing
  Recognised Industry Qualifications* Local Regulatory Framework Papers
Representatives LE Papers 7+8 LE Paper 1
Responsible Officers LE Papers 7+8 LE Papers 1**+2

* Recognised industry qualifications can be compensated by certain academic or professional qualifications recognised by the SFC.

** Not required for a licensed representative applying to be a responsible officer.

LE Papers for RA Type 2 and 5

RAs:

  • Type 2 - Dealing in futures contracts
  • Type 5 - Advising on futures contracts
  Recognised Industry Qualifications* Local Regulatory Framework Papers
Representatives LE Papers 7+9 LE Paper 1
Responsible Officers LE Papers 7+9 LE Papers 1**+3

* Recognised industry qualifications can be compensated by certain academic or professional qualifications recognised by the SFC.

** Not required for a licensed representative applying to be a responsible officer.

LE Papers for RA Type 6

RAs:

  • Type 6 - Advising on corporate finance
  Recognised Industry Qualifications* Local Regulatory Framework Papers
Representatives LE Papers 7+11 LE Paper 1
Responsible Officers LE Papers 7+11 LE Papers 1**+5

* Recognised industry qualifications can be compensated by certain academic or professional qualifications recognised by the SFC.

** Not required for a licensed representative applying to be a responsible officer.


There are additional LE Papers for individuals who engage in Type 6 RA and intend to fulfil SFC’s eligibility criteria:

  • for sponsors
Principals LE Paper 15
Representatives LE Paper 16

 

  • for Type 6 persons wishing to engage in or advise on matters or transactions subject to the Codes on Takeovers and Mergers and Share Buy-back (unless exempted) – LE Paper 17

 

LE Papers for RA Type 9

RAs:

  • Type 9 - Asset management
  Recognised Industry Qualifications* Local Regulatory Framework Papers
Representatives LE Papers 7+12 LE Paper 1
Responsible Officers LE Papers 7+12 LE Papers 1**+6

* Recognised industry qualifications can be compensated by certain academic or professional qualifications recognised by the SFC.

** Not required for a licensed representative applying to be a responsible officer.

LE Papers for RA Type 10

RAs:

  • Type 10 - Providing credit rating services
  Recognised Industry Qualifications* Local Regulatory Framework Papers
Representatives LE Papers 7+10 LE Paper 1
Responsible Officers LE Papers 7+10 LE Papers 1**+4

* Recognised industry qualifications can be compensated by certain academic or professional qualifications recognised by the SFC.

** Not required for a licensed representative applying to be a responsible officer.

 

Disclaimer

  1. The above is extracted from the SFC's Guidelines on Competence. Candidates are advised to refer to the latest information available on the SFC's website.
  2. Type 3 RA (Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading) is not included in the above table since the HKSI Institute does not offer any examination papers on this RA.
  3. There is no competence requirement for Type 7 RA (Providing Automated Trading Services).
Examination Syllabus, Details and Fee

The LE consists of 15 papers and will be conducted in Computer-based Examination (CBE) mode. The examination syllabus, structure and fee schedule are listed in below.

  • Language: both English and Chinese
  • Questions type: multiple choice questions (MCQ)
  • Pass Mark: 70% for each paper 

 

- The LE does not comprise Paper 13 and Paper 14.

 

LE papers are offered on a monthly basis except for Paper 4, Paper 10 and Paper 15. The LEs for Papers 4 and 10 are conducted on a quarterly basis, usually in March, June, September and December. The LEs for Paper 15 is conducted on a bimonthly basis, usually in January, March, May, July, September and November. However, the number of examination sessions may be increased to meet demand, if necessary. For the latest examination dates and enrolment deadlines, please refer to the examination timetable available at the HKSI Institute counter and/or on its website.

Withdrawal Policy

Candidates who wish to cancel their enrolments for examination sessions(s) may apply for withdrawal of examination. Only the examination fees less an administration fee for the LE held in Hong Kong are refundable.

To apply for a withdrawal, candidates should submit withdrawal applications through the HKSI Institute Online Portal on or before the withdrawal application deadline.  For the latest withdrawal application deadlines, please refer to the examination timetable.

The HKSI Institute will charge a withdrawal administration fee of HKD400 per examination session.  For details of the Withdrawal Policy, please refer to the relevant Examination Handbook.

Study Support

The LE is a self-study examination. Self-study hours may vary among candidates depending on their work experience and academic background. The estimated self-study hours shown below are for reference only.  

Regulatory Papers:

It is estimated that candidates have to spend about 55-85 study hours on each paper. 

Practical Papers:

It is estimated that candidates have to spend about 40-70 study hours on each paper. 

Sponsor Papers:

It is estimated that candidates have to spend about 50-80 study hours on each paper.

Certificate and Membership

Certificate

Upon the successful completion of a preset combination of examinations within 3 years (the 3-year period will commence from the date of the first LE paper that the candidate passes), candidates will be awarded the HKSI Institute Certificate.  There are two levels of certification:

Certificate

Combination

HKSI Institute Practising Certificate - Securities

LE Papers 1 + 7 + 8

HKSI Institute Practising Certificate - Derivatives

LE Papers 1 + 7 + 9

HKSI Institute Practising Certificate - Credit Rating Services

LE Papers 1 + 7 + 10

HKSI Institute Practising Certificate - Corporate Finance

LE Papers 1 + 7 + 11

HKSI Institute Practising Certificate - Asset Management

LE Papers 1 + 7 + 12

The aforesaid three-year completion period will NOT be extended under any circumstances.

All certificates, including both HKSI Institute Practising Certificates and HKSI Institute Specialist Certificates, will be issued to the eligible candidates ONCE only within the three-year completion period.

Additional certificate of the same type will be issued to candidates only when they have completed ALL the LE examination papers offered by the HKSI Institute, obtained ALL 10 types of certificates within the required three-year completion period and have subsequently re-attempted and passed the required preset combination of examination papers for the corresponding certificate(s). The new completion period will commence from the date of the first re-attempted LE paper that the candidate passes.

 

Membership

The LE is the HKSI Institute's benchmark qualification for entry to membership and for progression within membership. HKSI Practising Certificate holders are eligible to apply for Associate Member (AHKSI). HKSI Specialist Certificate holders with at least three year of relevant industry experience are eligible to apply for Ordinary Member (MHKSI). Please click here for detail of membership.

Recognitions

HKSI Practising Certificates and HKSI Specialist Certificates, which are granted to candidates who have completed a preset combination of LE examination papers, are recognised by the Insurance Authority (IA) of Hong Kong.  Holders of either of these certificates are exempted from taking the "Investment-linked Long Term Insurance Examination" of the Insurance Intermediaries Quality Assurance Scheme (IIQAS).

Qualification