In order to obtain exemption from the HKSI LE exam or SFC’s academic requirement, how is relevant industry experience considered?

July 20, 2021

After reading the “Competency Guidelines” issued by the Securities Regulatory Commission, some students may have a big question mark on “Relevant Industry Experience”, “have X years of experience in the past X years”, and then ask us what kind of experience are counted as industry experience so they can be exempted from the Licensing Examination (HKSI LE) Papers 7 to 12, or to replace the minimum academic qualification requirements of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination or the HKDSE. Some people may think, “how can one has industry experience without a license?” Here let us elaborate a bit.


The so-called industry experience does not necessarily refer to the license record in Hong Kong.  The license applicant having Experience in other countries or regions can also be considered. In addition to direct securities trading experience and asset management experience, the SFC also recognises certain work experience that does not require licensing but is closely related to the securities industry, such as

  • Research
  • Private equity
  • Proprietary trading
  • Settlement experience in securities brokerage firms
  • Compliance related job (either in house or outsource)
  • Complaint handling (complaint officer)
  • Write operation manuals
  • Know your customer (KYC) or due diligence
  • Securities account opening
  • Document processing for securities firms/fund companies/other related partners

The above examples are more related to the securities business, thus possessing a higher chance to be recognized by the Securities Regulatory Commission as relevant industry experience.


Below we will give you some examples that are less likely to be regarded as relevant industry experience for your reference:

  • Send letter on behalf of a securities firm
  • Do the cleaning for the fund management company
  • Holders of shares in the secondary market of a certain securities firm

Since it does not involve securities business, it is relatively unlikely to be used to apply for an exemption.


Since the Guidelines on Competence are relatively general, giving more space for interpretation of each case, the SFC case officer will evaluate each individual’s license application according to that framework set by the Guidelines plus their personal subjective judgments to arrive at an answer. Therefore, although we said there is a chance you can with the aforementioned experience, even the SFC does not have a very definite answer. In other words, We 2CExam can’t actually give customers a very precise answer.


If you need a definitive answer, you can also write a CV describing in detail the employer, job title, job duties, types of client groups involved, etc., and then send the CV to the SFC Licensing Division via email, to obtain advice from them.


Contact method of the Licensing Division of the SFC:




選擇語言後按 1 字


電郵:[email protected]







SFC Licensing:


Press 1 after language selection


Email:[email protected]

Postal address: 

Licensing, Intermediaries

Securities and Futures Commission

35/F, Cheung Kong Center

2 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong


When applying for a license, you also need to describe in text how your work experience is related to the securities industry, and the case officer of the SFC will review and decide whether to approve it based on their personal judgements (since the competency guidelines are relatively vague, leaving a lot of space for the staff to judge case by case, the process is very subjective).

Let us reiterate the important message once again in the end – all decisions are subject to the decision of the case officer of the SFC. The above suggestions are personal opinions given by our editor in accordance with the Guidelines on Competence and do not represent the actual situation.


How can we help?

2CExam provides HKSI LE, IIQE, EAQE and SQE related exam preparation materials. We sell mock question banks for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 in Chinese and English; and bibles for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 in Chinese. We also offer 1 on 1 tutorial services. Besides, we have also made free tutorial videos for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and posted on public channels such as Youtube/ Bilibili/ Tencent/ Iqiyi. 2CExam has been an exam training expert for years. Should you need any help please visit or contact us through:

Phone +852 2110 9644 Email: [email protected] Wechat: hk2cexam WhatsApp: +852 9347 2064


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