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IFID Programme

Established for over 40 years as the qualification for the fixed income market, the IFID training programme puts emphasis on developing practical skills for trading, investment and risk management. This is a demanding, examined course aimed at developing a broad and in-depth knowledge of the key fixed income instruments, derivatives and markets.
The syllabus contains five topic sections:

  • Fixed income analysis
  • Rates trading and hedging
  • Structured securities
  • Credit analysis and products
  • Portfolio & risk management.

As a second-level qualification, the IFID certificate syllabus requires that the candidates should already have some familiarity with the below listed topics (note that Background Reading is provided on the below topics for those who wish some reading on any of the topics).

  • Fundamental Numerical Skills
  • Overview of Financial Markets and Participants
  • The Main Fixed Income Securities

Benefits of the classroom-based version:

Face-to-face tuition – highly qualified professionals from the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading and from leading financial institutions coach students through the material and answer questions on the spot. Note that the classroom-based training seminar is intended to complete a full period of self-study of the course material. Networking with peer group – establishing life-long friendships and contact for the future as well as the unique opportunity to work in study groups with fellow professionals from other institutions, thus enhancing the learning experience.

Programme Recognition

This is an accredited course under the Solicitors Regulation Authority (formerly The Law Society's) CPD Scheme. Solicitors may claim 27 hours CPD credit for their attendance of the whole course.

The IFID is included on the UK’s Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) qualifications list for ‘Advising on securities in the wholesale market place’ and ‘Advising on derivatives in the wholesale market place’.

IFID candidates also qualify for 30 credit hours under the guidelines of the CFA Institute’s Continuing Education Programme.

Speakers/Teachers on the classroom-based Programme

David Oakes
David trained as an economist at the London School of Economics and was lecturer in finance at the University of Exeter and Warwick Business School before joining the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading as Director of Academic and Executive Education in 1998. He co-ordinated ICMA Executive Education programmes from 1994-2004. David left the Centre in 2004 to set up Dauphin Financial Training Limited, which specialises in advanced financial markets training to investment banks in New York.

Gail Rolland
Gail has ten years of fixed income experience in London and New York in the areas of sales and trading and new product structuring. Since the mid-1990s she has worked with ICMA Executive Education in addition to running her own financial markets training firm and has particular expertise in advising the insurance industry on capital market investment strategies. Gail is also the online tutor for the IFID Certificate Programme.

Neil Schofield

Neil is a visiting fellow at the University of Reading and is a freelance training consultant. From 2001 to 2008, he was global head of financial markets training at Barclays Capital in London. He was responsible for the design and delivery of a large number of seminars in a variety of different asset classes to many different audiences.  Previous to that he was a director at Chisholm Roth training in London and has also held positions at Chase Manhattan Bank as well as Security Pacific Hoare Govett (now trading as Bank of America). Neil has over 20 years of experience in financial markets. In 2008, he published his first book “Commodity Derivatives” and his second text “Trading the Fixed Income, Inflation and Credit Markets” was published in 2011. He is currently co-authoring a book on Inflation entitled “Trading Inflation: Markets, instruments and strategies”, which is due for publication in 2013.

The training material is provided with a fully bound book covering the entire IFID content. In addition, the On-Line Campus, hosted on the University of Reading’s “Blackboard” On-Line learning system provides a variety of other resources including the Discussion Board to post questions and debate issues with both the On-Line Campus Tutor and other candidates.

Detailed Programme

The IFID Certificate is a professional training qualification that places strong emphasis on practical skills based on a thorough understanding of valuation principles and the relationships between the cash and the derivatives markets. The current outline of the seminar structure is as follows:

Day 1. Fixed Income Analysis
1.1. Bond markets, pricing and yield
1.2. Yield Curve Dynamics
1.3. Spot and forward yields
1.4. Interest Rate Futures
1.5. Interest rate risk

Day 2. Rates Trading and Hedging
2.1. Securities Financing
2.2. Outright and Spread Trading
2.3. Bond Futures
2.4. Swaps
2.5. Options

Day 3. Structured Securities
3.1. Callable/putable Bonds
3.2. Convertible Bonds
3.3. Inflation-linked Bonds
3.4. OTC Structures

Day 4. Credit Analysis and Products
4.1. Corporate Bond Analysis
4.2. Credit Derivatives
4.3. Structured Credit Products

Day 5. Portfolio and Risk Management
5.1. Portfolio Construction
5.2. Risk Management

Note that there are four 90 minute sessions a day, Monday to Thursday, with a one hour review period at the end of the day. On Friday there are two 90 minute sessions with a full afternoon study session with the OnLine Tutor present to answer all questions from the various topics.

Day 6
Exam (candidates may choose to defer to a later time*)

*Note that candidates close to the end of their six month registration period can sit the exam on the final morning. However, for those who have registered just before the seminar they are free to sit the week but defer taking the exam (within the six month time limit) at a Prometric Centre (www.prometric.com) in their City. Thus, this is a valuable course whether taken at the end or the beginning of one’s study.

Click here to download the detailed IFID syllabus.

IFID Online Campus

The Online Campus is to support you in your self-study in advance of the seminar. It provides you with a wealth of information including:

  • programme logistics and related administrative material;
  • a link to the electronic version of the entire IFID content hosted by WileyPLUS, a state-of-the-art platform for finance education;
  • additional background reading;
  • a full 75 question practice exam paper;
  • a discussion board that allows you to post questions to the online Tutor who will support you over your entire course of study by responding to your questions online.

If you are already a registered IFID student then you can login to the IFID Online Campus here.


Details of the Next Seminars:

19-25 April 2015


25-31 October 2015



Novotel Barcelona City
Avenida Diagonal 201
08010 Barcelona

Please email education@icmagroup.org to register your interest to attend our next publicly scheduled courses.


£3,000.00 for Members and £3,900.00 for non-members

2 to 4 candidates – 5% discount each*
5 to 9 candidates – 10% discount each*
10+ candidates - 15% discount each*

*Please note that discounts are applied by way of a refund to the organisation when registration has closed and the final number of candidates from the firm has been determined.

This course is conducted at a hotel, but is non-residential, so delegates are responsible for their own accommodation costs. Lunches, coffee breaks and course binders/handouts are included in the course fee. There is a welcome reception on the Sunday evening that starts at 18:00.

Course materials will be provided to candidates in electronic format prior to the start of programme. Please ensure that you have access to this document during the course by either printing off a copy or by downloading it on your laptop, iPad or Tablet.

Should you require a hard copy of the course materials, there is a charge for printing off and sending the course materials to the training venue.  Please contact education@icmagroup.org a minimum of two weeks before the course start date for further details on this.

Payment can be made by secure online credit card or by invoice. Please note that selecting the invoice method will add £50 (administration fee) to the course price.

Should you have any queries about the training seminars please contact David Senior on +44 20 7213 0329 or e-mail education@icmagroup.org.

IFID Certificate holders
The names of the successful candidates from previous examinations are included in our list of certificate holders.

Yole Fréjacques-Menuet

Organisation: Banque de France
Job title: Portfolio Manager

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
As a portfolio manager in a central bank, I am responsible for defining and implementing the investment strategy for the reserves portfolios of which I am in charge, as well as the day-to-day portfolio trading. I am also in charge of monitoring financial market developments in order to provide feedback to colleagues and management on specific topics related to the markets I follow.

Reasons for taking the course:

After a few years in the dealing room, I wanted to complete my knowledge about the fixed income markets. I was specifically interested in having a broad knowledge of several topics, such as options and credit analysis, not directly linked to my day-to-day job, but which could offer me a better understanding of financial markets and financial products.

Benefits of taking this course:
I particularly appreciated that the programme placed strong emphasis on developing practical skills and always looked to underline the relationship between cash and derivatives. The combination of theory classes, followed by practical work based on the concepts that had just been studied, was an excellent way to understand and implement new acquisitions. Moreover, it was very interesting to work in such an international atmosphere and meet different people from various professional backgrounds.

Thomas Krabbe Jensen 

Organisation: Danmarks Nationalbank
Job title: Portfolio Manager

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
I'm part of a team managing the Danish Central Bank’s FX reserve.  My primary focus is on the short money market, but from time to time I take care of other parts of the reserve. In addition, I make ad hoc analysis of the financial markets and write the regular reporting and decision recommendations to the governors.

Reasons for taking the course:

I recently started working as a portfolio manager and the IFID course is part of my training.  We chose the IFID course because it covers the basics in fixed income and at the same time has a very practical approach.  A considerable part of the syllabus consists of examples and exercises and that makes the content very useful in my daily work. In addition, it gives course participants the opportunity to test oneself throughout the course.

Benefits of taking this course:
I got the opportunity to revisit some of the finance theory I learned at university, but in some of the practical areas the IFID course was more thorough. As a result, my basic skills strengthened and I got a better understanding of the relationship between the different markets.


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