The ESMA Guidelines, DSI and you

The compulsory ESMA Guidelines of the European Securities and Markets Authority on knowledge, skills and expertise came into force on January 3. These guidelines are part of MiFID II. On this page you will find the latest updates concerning the guidelines, the ESMA criteria and the central role DSI has in their implementation in the Dutch financial sector, and how this impacts you as a financial professional working for a Dutch financial institution.

Investment professionals are obliged to be ESMA-compliant since January 3, 2018. Professionals who do not comply will no longer be allowed to perform their duties advising or informing customers on investments, or will only be temporarily allowed to work under the supervision of a ESMA-compliant supervisor.

Employers are responsible for the implementation of and compliance with the ESMA Guidelines within their organization. Employers are also obliged to report about their employees’ compliance levels to the Dutch markets authority AFM, which has been appointed by ESMA to enforce the compulsory norms on knowledge, skills and expertise.

DSI’s role

DSI is working hard in close cooperation with the AFM markets authority to translate the ESMA Guidelines into specific norms for exams and permanent education curriculums. As the self-regulation organization for the Dutch financial sector, we have committed ourselves to ensure that DSI certified professionals meet the ESMA Guidelines.

DSI and the AFM signed a covenant to that effect in the summer of 2017. AFM on its part committed itself to supporting DSI’s certification program in relation to the ESMA Guidelines. Fully DSI certified non-Dutch investment professionals working  for a company in The Netherlands and who advise or inform customers on any level related to investments will be regarded as compliant with the ESMA Guidelines as they relate to knowledge, skills and expertise.

Other ESMA Guidelines requirements, such as minimum work experience and knowledge of internal procedures, are outside of DSI’s scope.

Learning Goals Institutional Investment Advisor

The independent Accreditation Commission formed by DSI has formulated learning goals based on the ESMA Guidelines. These learning goals may be used by educational organizations to create exams for institutional investment advisors and can be downloaded here

DSI’s exams and third party accreditation

DSI offers certification exams for investment advisers working in the Dutch retail domain at cost price. We advise employers on how their staff can become ESMA compliant. Our independent Accreditation Commission accredits third party exams and permanent education curriculums using DSI’s norms.

For more information on the ESMA Guidelines, DSI and you, please contact our Certification desk via or +31 20 620 12 74 during office hours. When calling, please dial option 2 in the automated menu to be connected directly to our Certification desk.

DSI. For integrity and expertise in the financial sector.