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NSE's Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM)
A critical element of the financial sector reforms is the development of a pool of human resources having right skills and expertise in each segment of the industry to provide quality intermediation to market participants.
In order to dispense quality intermediation, personnel working in the industry need to (i) follow a certain code of conduct usually achieved through regulations and (ii) possess requisite skills and knowledge acquired through a system of testing and certification.
As intermediation involves human expertise more than technological support, it is important that a person providing intermediation in the industry has a proper understanding of the business and the skills to help it remain competitive. In order to ensure this, it has become an accepted international practice for personnel working for market intermediaries to be adequately certified.
Such testing and certification has assumed significance in India as there is no formal education or training on financial markets, especially in the area of operations, while at the same time the market has undergone a complete transformation in the recent years.
A variety of new functions that need different levels and nature of specialisation and orientation have emerged. The industry has a large work force with varying levels of professional qualifications, skills and experience that do not necessarily match their work responsibilities.
Taking into account international experience and the needs of the Indian financial markets, with a view for protecting interests of investors in financial markets and more importantly, for minimising risks of losses arising out of deficient understanding of markets and instruments, National Stock Exchange introduced in 1998 a facility for testing and certification by launching NSE's Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM).
The NCFM Programme
NCFM is an online testing and certification programme. It tests the practical knowledge and skills required to operate in the financial markets. Tests are conducted in a secure and unbiased manner and certificates awarded based on merit of the candidate to qualify the on-line test.
The entire process of testing, assessing and scores reporting in the NCFM is fully automated. The system is operated through an intranet facility by using a central World Wide Web server with terminals located at each of the designated test centres to be used as an examination front end. Communication between the central server and the test centres is achieved through VSAT/leased line network.
The Test is also offered through the Internet to enable candidates outside the designated test centres to take tests at their convenience. This allows flexibility in terms of testing centres, dates and timing and provides easy accessibility and convenience to candidates.