All alternative investment funds (AIF) with active schemes and those with pending scheme applications as on May 10 must comply with relevant certification requirement by May next year, markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said on Monday.

"The requirement of obtaining the certification will be complied with on or before May 9, 2025, for the existing schemes of AIFs and schemes of AIFs, whose application for launch of scheme pending with SEBI as on May 10, 2024," SEBI said in a circular.

Further, the regulator said the trustee/sponsor of AIFs will ensure that the 'Compliance Test Report' prepared by the manager includes compliance with the provisions of the rules.

The new requirement is aimed at boosting competency and professionalism in the AIF space.

In a notification dated May 10, SEBI said, "At least one key personnel, amongst the associated persons functioning in the key investment team of the manager of an Alternative Investment Fund, shall obtain certification from the National Institute of Securities Market (NISM) by passing the NISM Series-XIX-C." To give this effect, the SEBI has amended AIF rules.

The new rules have been made applicable from the same date. Through this requirement of certification for key personnel, the capital markets regulator is looking to ensure a higher proficiency in managing AIFs.

Last month, SEBI announced that certain changes in the private placement memorandum of AIFs can be submitted directly to the regulator rather than through a merchant banker, in a bid to facilitate ease of doing business.

Also, the move is aimed at rationalising the cost of compliance for AIFs.