Difference Between NISM and NCFM

NCFM stands for NSE Certification in Financial Market and this course is offered by NSE, India and students who pursue this course can gain expertise on topics such as mutual funds, financial markets, equity research, capital market and currency derivatives whereas NISM stands for National Institute of Securities Market and it is a part of Securities Exchange Board of India.

Both NCFM CertificationNCFM CertificationIn 1998 National Stock Exchange (NSE) launched NSE’s certification in financial markets (NCFM) as an online testing and certification program. NCFM exam helps the people working with financial intermediaries acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to offer a better quality of more and NISM CertificationNISM CertificationNISM offers a variety of certification modules designed to help finance professionals working in different roles gain an in-depth understanding of financial principles relevant to their specific field of more offer courses for candidates who are interested in developing and shaping their careers in the stock market, the derivatives, the mutual fund industry, and also for the general public who would want to know more about the financial market.

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The article is articulated in this order:

  1. What is NCFM?
  2. What is NISM?
  3. Infographics
  4. Exam Requirements
  5. Why pursue NCFM?
  6. Why pursue the NISM?

What is NCFM (National Stock Exchange) Certification of Financial Markets)?

It might really sound scary to you however the same is not as scary as it sounds. The NSE has started up NCFM as an institute in order to develop a group of skilled human resources having proficiency in particular segments of the market and the industry to guide the audiences who participate in the market.

A number of certifications are conducted under NCFM title to train people working in the financial industry in order to follow code of conduct set by the regulator that is the SEBI (Stock Exchange Board of India) and also to acquire required skills and know-how in order to know the working or the system and guide the audiences accordingly. NCFM believes in human expertise more than technology for they believe that the person providing sales and service in the industry should have proper knowledge about it.

What is NISM (National Institute of Securities Markets)?

NISM is an Indian public’s trust that provides education of the financial markets and also maintains a standard of financial literacyFinancial LiteracyFinancial literacy refers to an investor's knowledge and understanding of various financial products that help him with money management, personal finances, investment, and tax planning. It examines how prudently an individual manages his finances, therefore building the necessary requirements such as an emergency fund, a retirement fund, and how they plan to handle insurance, estate planning, paying for education, more by developing and improving financial education for people working in the finance industry. This institute was set up by the regulator itself that is the SEBI in the year 2006.

NISM adds quality through initiating educative programs for the participants of this industry. NISM is provided strategic guidance by an international advisory council. NISM consists of 6 different schools for different certification they are named below

  1. School for Investor Education and Financial Literacy (SIEFL)
  2. School for Certification of Intermediaries (SCI)
  3. School for Securities Information and Research (SSIR)
  4. School for Regulatory Studies and Supervision (SRSS)
  5. School for Corporate Governance (SCG)
  6. School for Securities Education (SSE)

These schools provide knowledge, to people involved in buying and selling assets in the security market, to people employed directly and indirectly through financial institutions, people involved in research of the securities market and also to people involved in supervising the market including the ministers and officers.

It also conducts workshops and conferences for corporate governance. The motive of this institute is to provide education as per the framework, the mission and vision of NISM in order to prepare competent professionals who are capable enough to serve the security markets.

NCFM vs NISM Infographics

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NISM vs NCFM Exam Requirements

NISM Requirement

  1. To appear for any NISM certificate you need to fill in the online registration form that is available on their website
  2. Then you need to enroll for the certification of your choice by filling in the enrollment form
  3. The examination needs to be appeared for with 180 days of the enrollment
  4. After that, you can choose the examination center and slot available online.
  5. Preparation of the examination needs to be done with the help of study material available online and after that, an online exam needs to be given where the results are declared right after you finish the exam.

NCFM requirement

  1. Register online for this course and book a slot of a suitable date and time for yourself.
  2. You can download the course material online or can order the same from the institute as well.
  3. Different examinations have different passing percentages to that need to be attained. Some examinations also have negative marking
  4. Only if you clear the examination online with the required passing percentage you will be a certified professional

Comparative Table

Institution Created ByNCFM is created by the NSE that is the National Stock ExchangeNISM is created by the regulator that is the SEBI
Number of ModulesNCFM has over 50 modules including the foundation the intermediate and the advancedNISM has over 15 different courses and modules
Mode of ExaminationNCFM provides online testsNISM tests are all online
Exam WindowNCFM examination windows are open for candidates to book their seats as per their convenienceNISM examination windows are open for candidates to book their seats at their convenience
SubjectsNCFM covers trading, mutual funds, currency derivatives, interest rates, banking, etc.NISM covers interest rate derivatives, currency derivatives, depository operations, mutual funds foundation, etc
Pass PercentageNCFM the passing percentage depends on the module you choose to appear for mostly the percentage is between 50 to 60 percent however some examinations do have negative marking.NISM the passing percentage depends on the module you choose to appear for mostly the percentage is between 50 to 60 percent however some examinations do have negative marking
FeesThe fee structure for the NCFM modules which were priced at Rs. 1500/- is revised to Rs. 1700/- plus taxes with effect from April 1, 2017.NISM most of the certifications are below INR 2000 however a few do cost higher however within INR 10000
Job Opportunites/Job TitlesNCFM the job opportunities differ depending on the certification you clearNISM the job opportunities differ depending on the certification you clear.

Key Differences

  1. National Stock Exchange or NSE created the NCFM course whereas the Securities Exchange Board of India or SEBI created the NISM course.
  2. The subjects focused in the case of the NCFM includes currency derivative, banking, interest rates, trading, and mutual fundsMutual FundsA mutual fund is an investment fund that investors professionally manage by pooling money from multiple investors to initiate investment in securities individually held to provide greater diversification, long term gains and lower level of more whereas the subjects focused in the case of NISM are currency derivatives, mutual funds foundation, depository operations, and interest rate derivatives.
  3. A candidate with an NCFM degree can apply for the job titles of a trader, financial marketFinancial MarketThe term "financial market" refers to the marketplace where activities such as the creation and trading of various financial assets such as bonds, stocks, commodities, currencies, and derivatives take place. It provides a platform for sellers and buyers to interact and trade at a price determined by market more consultant, stockbroker, dealer, analyst, and an investor. In the case of a candidate holding a NISM degree, he or she can apply for the job roles of a banker, stockbroker, and securities market.
  4. The main focus of the NCFM course is to enable the professionals with knowledge, skills, and expertise in understanding the critical elements such as interest rates, currency derivative, etc of the financial sector. NCFM course adds value to the careers of the professionals as there is presently no formal training provided with respect to the ever-changing dynamics of the financial sector.
    On the other hand, the main focus of the National Institute of Securities Market or NISM course is to offer financial education as well as financial literacy to the participants of the financial sector. In other words, NISM focuses on guiding the professionals employed in the financial markets with a thorough knowledge of the dynamics of the ever-changing financial markets.

Why pursue NCFM?

NCFM certification focuses on critical elements of the financial sector; their main aim is to provide knowledge and expertise to professionals working for the financial industry. Because there is no formal education or training for financial markets in India these certifications for various fields of the industry are very significant in adding value to your career.

NCFM has emerged with a variety of levels of qualifications, specializations, and orientations in all areas and parts of the industry. The entire process of testing and scoring for the assessments is absolutely automated. These tests are important as it tests the candidate the ability, his practical knowledge, and his skill required to operate and perform in the financial market.

Why pursue NISM?

This institute is established by the SEBI, in the best interest of the investors, and guiding the employees working in and throughout the industry in knowing and understanding the financial markets.

Providing financial literacy and financial education to the participants of the market is the main focus of this institute. SEBI seeks to add quality to the financial market by initiating quality financial education.

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Reader Interactions


  1. NK says

    Hello Sir
    I am having 2 yrs of experience at trading firm.!I want to become research analyst but right now I cant afford CFA module.!Can you plz guide me.
    Thank You.!

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi NK,
      In that case, why don’t you start by learning practical skills required for becoming an equity analyst.
      Please go through this article in detail – Equity Analyst Skills
      Best of Luck,

  2. Sandeep Badgujar says

    Can you tell me which course among the two mentioned above offers more career growing as Stock and Derivatives F&O trading and Technical analysis. Because I am trading in NIFTY F&O from two years.I want to be professional technical analyst in derivatives segment.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Sandeep, I am not sure if either of these courses can help you with becoming proficient in Technical analysis. Have you considered CMT exam for technical analyst professional?

  3. Rohit Sinha says

    Can I become an Equity Analyst after giving the NISM equity exam.Will this certification help me in getting a job as an equity analyst?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Rohit,
      Honestly, equity analyst positions are very competitive. Just clearing this exam doesn’t ensure the job. In addition, you need to work on your tangible skills like Financial Modeling, Excel, Valuations, Advanced Accounting, CFA exam etc to boost your resume.

  4. Shivam Monga says

    Can you tell me which course among the two mentioned above offers more career growing oppurtunities in the financial markets?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Shivam, it depends on what is your objective as there are many different exam offered within NCFM and NISM.
      In most cases, i have seen that NCFM suits people who want to go into Stock Trading (not the stock analyst). For stock analyst profile, you better look at CFA exam.. However, if you want to move into client advisory roles in Banks then NISM can be a great option to look at.

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