The Registered Persons Examination (RPE) is intended to provide an introduction to the financial markets for persons wishing to become financial market practitioners and is also ideal for individuals in other spheres of life who wish to obtain background knowledge to enhance their career prospects. The instruments, processes and activities on the regulated exchanges as well as the over-the-counter (OTC) markets are covered. The RPE ensures wide accessibility and has therefore no formal prerequisites. A good basic knowledge of English and Mathematics will however be an advantage.
Modules of the RPE
The RPE comprises of various modules. Learners can make up a basket of modules according to the requirements of the exchange for the specific function they wish to perform. Not all modules enjoy the same recognition by regulatory authorities and you must take care to choose the correct modules for the purpose you have in mind, e.g., if you are employed by an equities member of the JSE Limited and you want to provide advice to clients, you must ensure that you select the module called “The Equity Market” in addition to the compulsory modules.
There are eight modules of the RPE:
- The Regulation and Ethics of the South African Financial Markets (Compulsory module)
- Introduction to the Financial Markets (Compulsory module)
- The Equity Market (Elective module)
- The Bond Market (Elective module)
- The Derivatives Market (Elective module)
- The South African Money Market (Elective module)
- The South African Foreign Exchange Market (Elective module)
- Agricultural Products Market Dealers Examination (Elective module)
Each module is individually assessed (examined) and has its own learning material. There is no restriction as to the order in which examinations should be taken i.e., it is not required that you be declared competent (pass) in the compulsory modules before continuing with the elective modules. However, for those who are new to the financial markets, it is advisable to do the Introduction to Financial Markets Module before attempting the Regulations and Ethics of the South African Financial Markets.
The modules that you choose to write should be dependent on which modules are required for the specific function you wish to perform. According to our understanding thereof, the combination requirements in terms of the exchanges’ directives and the FSCA requirements are set out under
Recognition of Exams here.
Please take note that SAIFM cannot accept responsibility for advising you on which exams you must do. The relevant exchange, FSCA or your company’s compliance officer must be consulted.
The Regulation and Ethics of the South African Financial Markets (August 2023 edition)
- Regulation and the role of various regulators
- The Regulation of Financial Markets
- South African Exchanges
- Financial advisers and other intermediaries
- Ethics and governance in the Financial Markets
Introduction to Financial Markets (August 2022 edition)
- The financial system
- The economy
- Time value of money
- Introduction to statistical concepts
- The foreign exchange market
- The money market
- The bond and long-term debt market
- The equity market
- The commodities market
- The derivatives market
- Investment instruments
- Introduction to portfolio theory
- Portfolio management
- Taxes, costs and fees
The Equity Market (September 2022 edition)
- Equity markets
- South Africa Stock Exchanges
- Equity derivatives
- Private equity
- Fundamental analysis I – the process
- Fundamental analysis II – analysis of financial statements
- Equity valuation
- Technical analysis
- Equity portfolio management strategies
The Bond Market (July 2019 edition)
- Essence of the bond market
- Borrowers in the bond market (supply of bonds)
- Instruments of the bond market
- Investors in bonds (demand for bonds)
- The Exchange : JSE Debt Market
- Bond market mathematics
- Bond rate time series and term structure of interest rates
- Managing bond portfolios
- Historical development of the bond market in South Africa
The Derivatives Market (June 2021 edition)
- The derivatives market in context
- Other derivative instruments
The South African Money Market (January 2017 edition)
- An overview of the money market
- Money market mathematics
- Treasury bills
- South African Reserve Bank debentures
- Negotiable certificates of deposit
- Repurchase agreements
- Other money market instruments
- Money market derivatives
The Forex Market (April 2021 edition)
- International monetary economics
- Exchange rate regimes
- The exchange rate
- Exchange rate theories
- The structure of the foreign exchange market
- The participants in the foreign exchange market
- The spot foreign exchange market
- Foreign exchange derivative instruments
- Investing and trading in the foreign exchange market
- South African foreign exchange control
Agricultural Products Market Dealers Exam (June 2013 edition)
- The fundamentals of the agricultural market in South Africa and the products traded
- The origin and development of commodity derivatives markets
- Forwards in the commodity derivatives market
- Futures in the commodity derivatives market
- Commodity swaps
- Options in the commodity derivatives market
- Practical applications of commodity futures and options
- Aspects of trading and governance in the commodity derivatives market (CDM)
- The principal elements underlying the determination of commodity prices in the market
Further information regarding accessing the learning material and updates can be found in the section below.
The examination will take place under controlled circumstances at one of our exam venues or if preferred, through remote online invigilation. Once you have studied the learning material and are ready to take the exam, you may book a time and date at the exam venue of your choice or contact SAIFM for remote online invigilation. For remote online invigilation, please see the relevant terms and conditions that apply.
If you are unable to obtain a booking at the exam venue of your choice within a reasonable period, please contact the office of the SAIFM for special arrangements, including possible remote online invigilation.
It is advisable to take the demo exam prior to doing your first exam to familiarise yourself with the format and feel of the exam. The demo exam has no bearing whatsoever on the study material. It is simply a few fun questions in order to familiarise yourself with the examination system.
You are required to take your identity document or passport with you when taking the exam and will not be allowed to take the exam if you do not produce any identification in person at venues and over the internet before remote online invigilation starts.
You must also sign the SAIFM Test Register, which will be kept at each testing centre while a signed consent form must be emailed to SAIFM in cases of remote online invigilation.
Duration: 1 hour
Number of questions: 50
Competency (Pass) mark: 70%
No negative marking.
The system will keep time in accordance with the downloading speed of a particular internet connection. In other words no time will be lost if the download is slower than normal. An eye should be kept on the timer displayed at the right-hand corner of the Examination Title Screen to keep track of time. If the time runs out, your examination will automatically terminate, and your score will be calculated.
The system is specifically designed to save any questions submitted so that in the case of a power failure or internet interruption, no data will be lost.
In the event of a learner not being able to continue the exam within a reasonable period of time due to a power failure or internet interruption, the exam must be abandoned, and a new appointment must be made to retake the exam.
In the event of any delay in starting or any interruption of the assessment, the learner is entitled to reschedule the exam appointment.
Should a learner decide to wait for the cause of the delay to be resolved and start or carry on with the assessment, there can be no recourse taken with SAIFM should the outcome of the assessment not be a competent (pass) mark.
Log in with the identity number or passport number. This must correspond with the number used to enrol. Please leave out all alphabetical spacing symbols (-) and spaces.
- Next a screen will appear with all the examinations that you are registered for.
- Select the examination you wish to do.
- The invigilator at the testing centre will unlock the exam session for you.
- The Exam Title Page will now appear.
The navigation bar has the following options:
Back: Regress to the previous question without submitting an answer to the current question.
Submit: Submits your answer for the current question and continues to the next question.
Progress indicator: Shows you the list of questions that have already been answered. If you want to change the answer to a question that you have already answered, Click on the question in the progress window in the bottom left-hand corner and select “GO”. If you change an answer, you must submit the change by selecting the submit button otherwise your answer will not be updated to the new selection.
Leave unanswered: If you have selected an answer but change your mind and wish to rather leave the question unanswered, select this option.
Final submission of answers: Once you have reached the end of the examination and there is still some time left, you will be requested to submit your final answers. Once you hit the “Submit Final Answers” button, your final score will be calculated, and you will not be able to correct any more answers.
Revision of incorrect answers: Upon completion of your exam once the results have been obtained, you will be allowed 10 minutes to review the questions and answers that you had answered incorrectly. This is the only time that will be available for you to review your incorrect answers and you will not be able to review them at a later stage.
No notes of disputed or other questions may be taken. Should you feel that a particular question/s was/were incorrect, and you wish to appeal, try to remember the number of the question/s, which will enable the moderator to identify the disputed question/s. It would not matter though if you cannot remember the questions, as all questions and answers are checked when an appeal is lodged and not only the disputed ones.
Revision of incorrect answers is only available for online exams. No revision will be permissible if an exam is done maually.
Formula sheets and calculators
Formula sheets are only available to students who are writing the following modules:
- Introduction to Financial Markets
- The Bond Market
- The Derivatives Market
- The Money Market
- Agricultural Products Division
A formula sheet will be presented to the candidate upon request, which must be made to the invigilator before the exam begins. The formula sheet will be emailed once the booking confirmation is sent in the case of the remote online invigilation option being selected.
Should a student not request a formula sheet for the relevant exam, or print it out for the remote online invigilation, no recourse can be taken against SAIFM should the outcome of the exam not be a competent (pass) mark.
Students may not take their own formula sheets to the exam venue.
A candidate must take their own scientific calculator that complies with the criteria of being non-programmable if the exam requires calculations. Most exam venues do have spare calculators in the case of a student forgetting to bring one but it is not guaranteed that the venue will be able to supply one.
Enrolment and Payment
Enrolment takes places online through our Virtual Exam Centre. Select the top icon that says Enrol and log in with your ID or passport number. Complete the details requested or if in the database already, confirm that they are still correct. Your identity number or passport number will serve to identify you to our system.
The facility to purchase an exam is only available to members of SAIFM. More information regarding membership can be found on www.saifm.co.za.
You may elect to become an affiliate member by agreeing to adhere to the SAIFM Code of Conduct by checking the appropriate box when registering or updating your information, thereby allowing you to purchase an exam.
Should you wish to purchase by credit card, you may continue. Should you wish to use an alternative form of payment, you can close the internet and follow the procedure outlined below.
Purchase the exam by credit card
You can purchase the exam(s) you wish to write by adding them to your shopping basket. Then you proceed to checkout to pay by credit card through the secure online credit card gateway. Just follow the instructions on screen. Access to the learning material will be automatic after the payment has been made.
Purchase the exam by electronic transfer
NOTE that our prices increase on 1 August each year. If you make a payment before 1 August but do not send and confirm receipt of proof thereof before 1 August, when prices increase, you will be liable to pay the new price.
If you wish to pay by cash deposit or electronic transfer (EFT), the following procedure applies:
- Proof of the payment (stamped bank deposit slip or EFT confirmation) must be emailed to either Hayley Pfeifer or Susan Jansen van Rensburg.
- Your name, ID number and title(s) of the exam(s) you wish to purchase must be clearly noted in the email.
- Immediately after sending the email, you need to phone our office (011 802 4768) to confirm that the email has been received.
- Please allow approximately 2 business days for SAIFM staff to load your exam. It is NOT automatic as is the case with credit card transactions.
It is very important to note that if the above procedure is not followed correctly, your exams may not be loaded for you. Please DO NOT instruct the bank to automatically send the payment if paying via EFT – rather have the remittance sent to yourself and then forward to SAIFM with the required details.
Should you need a quotation before you can remit payment, you can email Hayley Pfeifer or Susan Jansen van Rensburg to request one. The following information must be supplied when requesting an invoice:
- Name of company
- Address of company
- VAT number of company
- Name/s of candidates and ID or Passport number/s (Note all candidates must have their information registered on the Virtual Exam Centre before a quotation will be issued)
- Exam/s required for the candidate/s
Once payment has been made, the procedure as outlined above should be followed.
Upon receipt of proof of payment, SAIFM will issue a tax invoice.
We regrettably cannot accept cash payments at our premises, so if you wish to pay by cash you will need to follow the same procedure for cash deposits as EFT payments.
The SA Institute of Financial Markets
Account No: 1557 0709 401
Branch Code: 462005
Account Type: Business Account
You may confirm which exams you are registered for by entering your identity number or passport number into the Enrol screen. It is advisable that you confirm your exam in all cases where you did not make use of a credit card payment.
Self-test questions (formative assessments) in the learning material are designed to help you know, understand and apply the content of the learning material. The summative assessment (exam) will take the form of a multiple-choice set of questions that have been designed to assess whether you have acquired the minimum knowledge, understanding and application to be deemed competent. The format of the self-test questions therefore differs from the format of multiple-choice questions and this should be kept in mind when reading the material.
Each multiple-choice question contains a key (correct answer or statement/s) and certain distracters (incorrect answers or statements). The drafter of multiple-choice questions strives to make the distracters appear plausible i.e., they look correct to a person who did not read the material properly, but they are incorrect. The average learner should go through the material at least 3 times and do the self-test questions before attempting the summative assessment (exam).
Activities at the end of each chapter are meant to enrich the learning process and to make it more meaningful. They are entirely voluntary and can be skipped if desired. Activities are recommended however as they familiarise one with certain websites that serve as sources of information, enabling one to learn how to research information independently. This is a valuable skill to have once qualified as a securities market practitioner.
Accessing the learning material
The learning material can be downloaded from the Virtual Exam Centre once the exam has been paid for. If the purchase takes place by credit card through the secure e-commerce facility, the learning material will be available immediately. If you pay by electronic transfer, the exam will be loaded by SAIFM staff within 2 business days of receiving your e-mailed proof of payment.
Once the exam has been purchased, the learning material will be available for download until the exam has either been taken or the six-month time period (see time limits within which exams must be taken) has elapsed.
Please ensure that you study from the correct learning material. SAIFM cannot be held responsible if the incorrect learning material is used. The latest edition is indicated next to the name of the exam (see Syllabus Outline). Each module is designed to be a self-study workbook. It contains all the information necessary to pass the examination.
If you require SAIFM to download and print the learning material on behalf, the cost is an additional R433.00 (VAT inclusive) once the exam has been paid for (excluding courier fees, which are SQ).
Learning material is amended from time to time.
If the learning material is replaced with an updated version that affects the exams, notice will be given to registered learners of the changeover to the new exam. This information will also be advertised on both www.saifm.co.za and www.virtualexamcentre.co.za. Learners may therefore, before the changeover date, write an exam based on the old material while the new material will be assessed (examined) from the changeover date. The new learning material will be e-mailed to learners on request from the date of notice until the changeover date.
Strict email filters and incorrectly supplied addresses could hinder delivery of notifications and SAIFM cannot guarantee that email notifications are always delivered. Candidates are thus advised to check the SAIFM website for notices that may affect learning material before booking to write an exam.
Should a candidate study from the incorrect learning material and notices regarding updates have been published, there can be no recourse taken against SAIFM.
Exam dates and booking for exams
Exams do not take place on set dates, but on any date that suits the learner as long as it falls on a business day (excluding during the venue closure in December) within the 6-month time limit (see time limits within which exams must be written) and subject to the availability of an opening at the exam venue concerned. When you are reaady to write your exam, contact the exam venue closest to you and make a booking directly with them. A list of exam venues can be found here. Alternatively, contact SAIFM if you prefer the remote online invigilation.
Note: Failure to arrive or not cancel at least 2 business days before the exam will result in a R120.00 fee being payable before a new appointment will be made.
Should a student question the correctness of a question, his or her answers can be referred for an appeal by completing and submitting the appeal request form along with the proof of payment of the appeal fee, which must be done within 14 days of the exam. The cost of the appeal is R1120.00 (VAT inclusive). Should it be found that the question was in fact incorrect, the student will receive credit for that question, if necessary, and the fee repaid.
To download the appeal request form, click here.
Results and certificates
Your results will be available immediately upon completion of your exam and a printout made thereof. This will be proof of the result of a particular module with your score indicated on the printout. A virtual certificate will be emailed to you within 2-3 weeks of the successful completion of the exam. If preferred, upon request, a paper-based certificate could be printed and posted to you, by normal mail, within 6-8 weeks of passing each module.
Lost certificates can be reprinted at a cost.
Certificates are only available to students who have written and passed the modules. Candidates who receive exemption for certain modules are not entitled to receive certificates for the modules in which they have been granted exemption.
Results of a manual multiple-choice exam can take up to 5 business days to be released.
Non-disclosure of results
Results will not be given to third parties unless the learner has given written authority for the third party to obtain such information. Without this authority, results will only be disclosed to exam candidates / learners themselves.
The cost of each module of the Registered Persons Exams is R2777-00 (Inc. VAT). This allows for:
- One opportunity to write the exam
- Access to download the learning material until the exam has either been taken or lapsed (see time limit below within which exams must be taken).
- Access to purchase a hard copy of the learning material (R433.00 VAT inclusive) until the exam has either been taken or lapsed (see time limit below).
Should the exam need to be retaken, the cost is R2777-00 (Inc. VAT) effective 1 August 2023.
Note that our prices increase on 1 August each year. If payment is made before 1 August but proof thereof not sent and confirmed received by SAIFM by 1 August, when prices increase, the new price will be applicable.
Special exam procedure concessions
If you require any special assessment procedure concessions due to disability, or for any other reasons, please contact Christie-anne van Wyngaardt at firstname.lastname@example.org to make special arrangements to accommodate you.
The practice exams for The Regulation and Ethics of the SA Financial Markets and the Introduction to Financial Markets modules are intended to enhance learning and provide candidates a formative assessment tool whereby their progress can be gauged reliably and at the same time provide a learning aid to improve their knowledge and understanding of the learning material. It is NOT intended to coach learners who do not have adequate knowledge and understanding of the learning material through the summative assessment (real exam). SAIFM disapproves of such practices especially in the case of a licensing exam such as the RPE.
The practice exam will replicate the real exam (summative assessment) in format, style, marking facility and review function. The questions will be in the same style as the summative assessment (real exam).
The feature we believe will add the most value is the feedback from the learning material that will be displayed in the review function for questions answered incorrectly. Learners will thus understand where they went wrong. Also, learners who are unnerved by the computer-based format of the RPE- exams will also be considerably calmer when attempting the real exam since they are now used to the format.
Learners will be entitled to try the exam three times and an hour will be granted to review and read the feedback on incorrect questions.
The cost of the practice exam is R1547-00 (Inc. VAT), effective 1 August 2023, and can be purchased online with a credit card at www.virtualexamcentre.co.za, or via EFT (see Enrolment and Payment).
Note that you may only purchase the practice exam if you have already purchased the real exam. There are currently only practice exams available for the Regulations of the SA Financial Markets module and the Introduction to Financial Markets module.
The Directives of the JSE provide for exemptions for the Registered Persons Exam modules in accordance with the following qualifications (exempt modules indicated by a tick)
Regulation and Ethics of the SA Financial Market
Introduction to Financial Markets
The Equity Market
The Bond Market
The Derivatives Market
|Securities and Investment Institute – Certificate in Securities||✓||✓||✓|
|FSA (FCA) Recognition (must be current)||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Securities and Investment Institute – Certificate in Securities and Financial Derivatives||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Securities and Investment Institute – Certificate in Derivatives||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|SAIFM Dealer Certificate (SAFEX Junior, Ordinary and/or Senior Certificates)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
The abovementioned exemptions apply only for JSE purposes and will not be applicable for FSB FAIS.
To apply for exemption, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.
The following non-negotiable conditions apply to refunds. It is automatically assumed that these conditions have been read and understood when we receive a refund request.
- Refunds can ONLY be made into a South African or Namibian bank account.
- All refunds are subject to a 20% administration fee.
- Refund requests must be submitted on or before the exact expiry date of the exam (see time limits above).
- Refunds can only be paid to the person/company that originally made the payment.
The following information is required for the refund to be processed. (Note: if all of the information is not received or is incorrect, the refund will not be processed)
- Name of learner
- ID or passport number
- Title of exam(s)
- Name of account holder
- Name of bank
- 6 digit branch code
- Account number
- Type of account (i.e. savings, current etc.)
To request a refund, please email the required information to Christie-anne van Wyngaardt.
Learners must write within 6 months of purchasing the exam. After the 6-month period, a student’s right to the exam lapses and no refunds will be made. Should a student wish to write the exam after the 6-month period, he/she will have to repurchase the exam.