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Senior Management and Supervision (AF6)

The objective of Senior Management and Supervision (AF6) is to develop the candidates' ability to apply and evaluate supervision principles and practices in a retail financial services business.

The default Enrolment option for this unit includes:

  • Latest version of the core learning content, in digital format only.
  • Assessment entry.

This unit is intended for those who are, or aspire to be, a senior manager within their business and also those who wish to gain a greater insight into running a regulated business. Regulators are increasingly placing emphasis on the quality of senior management and the oversight it provides. The study text examines these senior management responsibilities and what constitutes suitable and proportionate management controls. It includes the risks associated with different forms of organisational structure and how the business plan and strategy have a major impact on the risk profile of the firm.

Effective supervision and oversight require senior managers to understand the key risks that are faced by a firm. So, what are these risks, how are they identified and prioritised, and how are they managed? For most firms – whether regulated or not – people risk is a significant factor. Ensuring that people are ‘competent’ is central to running an effective business but how this competence is measured, rewarded and developed is less straightforward. We look to answer a key question: how would you know if the processes you use are not appropriate?

Any view about governance and oversight must be informed by a risk-based approach. We look at different approaches and, importantly, the advantages and drawbacks of each. We consider how businesses are run. This includes looking at the board of directors, its structure and legal responsibilities. We look at the role of the non-executive director which is often described as the ‘guardian of corporate governance’. This includes discussing how senior managers demonstrate that they have the required competence to run a regulated firm. Competency arrangements for all staff within the firm are also discussed, along with suitable oversight arrangements.

Finally, we explore the impact leadership has on the culture of a regulated firm. In recent years, regulators have placed a great deal of emphasis on the need to have a culture that genuinely puts the client’s interests first.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit, candidates will be able to:

  1. Analyse supervision principles and practices in a retail financial services business;
  2. Evaluate the competency requirements for senior executives and the governance of competence arrangements;
  3. Evaluate the impact of leadership and culture in a regulated environment.

Please note: It is assumed that the candidate already has the knowledge gained from a study of J07 Supervision in a regulated environment or equivalent.


  • Three written coursework assignments, each typically 2,000 to 3,000 words
  • For purchases on, or after, the 02/08/2021, 12 month enrolment with assignments due at 3,6,9 months
  • The pass rate for those completing the unit in full is currently 97.0%
  • The pass mark is 50%

Study material – editions available

Enrolment (12 months)