User guide - Handbook online


Quick start guide
1: Viewing the Handbooks online
2: Navigation from the home page
Menu: Home
Menu: Handbook
FCA Handbook
PRA Handbook
Combined View
Menu: What's new
Menu: Instruments/Guides
Menu: Log in
Menu: Help
Menu: Contact us
3: Navigation in the Handbooks
Table of contents
Cross references and hyperlinks within the text
Icons next to a paragraph of text
Icons at the top of the text
Time travel - future
4: Searching the Handbooks
Simple search
Search tips
Advanced search
Search results list
My searches
5: Copying and printing
6: Combined View alerts
What's new
Watch topic

For an introduction to the structure and content of the Handbook, please see the Reader's Guide.


Quick start guide to the Handbook online

Part 1: Viewing the Handbooks online [Back To Top]

The Handbooks online are designed to work with all capable browsers and are best viewed in Internet Explorer at a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024.

Your web browser must be capable of using 128-bit encryption technology.

To check which type of web browser you are currently using, please click the 'Help' menu in the web browser and look for the 'About' option in the drop-down list.

If your screen does not refresh or appears stuck on one page, you may be experiencing 'caching' problems. To overcome this, press the Control key along with the F5 key simultaneously. If this does not resolve the issue, please contact Technical Support.

To increase the amount of text you can see on the screen, press the F11 key. Press again to return to your usual view.


Part 2: Navigation from the home page [Back To Top]

Menu: Home

Bookmark Page

To add a page to your Favourites folder, simply select Bookmark from the drop-down menu below the Home tab. This will open your Favourites window and give you the option to name the page and add it to your Favourites list.


You can select 'Handbook online home' at any point to return to the home page.

Menu: Handbook

FCA Handbook, PRA Handbook or Combined View

Select FCA Handbook, PRA Handbook or Combined View from the drop-down menu to go to the consolidated version of the respective Handbook, which contains the relevant rules and guidance.

The consolidated versions of the FCA and PRA Handbooks incorporate all amendments that have been made, and are updated daily. The Combined View shows all provisions made by both Regulators. When the 'Handbook at' calendar in the grey bar is set to today's date, it shows all the amendments that have come into force on or before today's date. You can also view future consolidated versions by changing the date in the 'Handbook at' calendar to a future date (see Time travel below). If we have not yet been able to consolidate a particular instrument, we will publish a clear warning on the online home page.

Please be aware that the definitive version of the FCA and PRA Handbooks for legal purposes (including for actions brought by third parties) remains the FCA and PRA instruments as published on our website.

Menu: What's new

Click on the 'What's new' toolbar link to see a list of developments relating to the FCA and/or PRA Handbooks over the last month, including (but not limited to):

Menu: Instruments

Select 'Instruments' from the drop-down menu below the Instruments/Guides tab at the top of the page, to access the full range of Handbook instruments.

This part of the website fulfils our duty under Section 153 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to exercise our rule-making powers in writing and to publish the rule-making instruments, including those instruments we have amended.

Taken together, the PRA instruments (but not the non-Handbook instruments) constitute the definitive version of the PRA Handbook at any particular time and the FCA instruments (but not the non-Handbook instruments) constitute the definitive version of the FCA Handbook at any particular time.

We put instruments on our website as soon as possible after they have been made by the respective boards of the FCA and PRA.

For details of the non-legal changes made to the Handbooks, see the list on the What's new page.

Menu: Guides

Select 'Guides' from the Instruments/Guides drop-down menu on the toolbar to access the full range of Guides to the Handbook. The Guides are not updated daily.

Handbook Guides

These guides point particular types of firm to the material that is most relevant to them.

Regulatory Guides

These are guides to specific regulatory topics.

Reader's Guide

The Reader's guide is an introduction to the structure and content of the FCA Handbook, PRA Handbook and Combined View, with advice on how to use them.

Guide to Designation

Information on how the FCA and PRA Handbooks were formed.

Menu: Log in / personal options

Select 'Log in' from the toolbar menu to log in to Handbook online, by simply entering your email address and password. You can then receive alerts about changes to the Combined View and will be able to save searches. The menu button changes to 'Personal options' when you are logged in.

Menu: Help

The Help option on the toolbar gives you access to this User guide and to Useful links within the Handbooks website and externally.

User Guide

This provides general help for all those using the online Handbooks.

Menu: Contact us

Select Contact us to:


Part 3: Navigation in the Handbooks [Back To Top]

Table of contents

Select the module you would like to see using the table of contents which appears on the left of the screen.

The table of contents expands and minimises to reflect the content of the sourcebook that you are presently viewing. To get an idea of how it works, first pick the Handbook version you require - such as the Combined View - from the Handbook tab at the top of the screen. Next, look at the table of contents for the sourcebook heading that you require.

Click '+' to expand a heading

Click '-' to contract a heading

When you follow a cross-reference, and after searching and then viewing a specific search result, the table of contents automatically 'expands' to reflect the text you are looking at, showing where you are located in the online Handbooks.

Cross references and hyperlinks within the text

We have provided a number of cross references and hyperlinks within the text to help you locate relevant information quickly and easily.

Glossary of definitions

Defined terms appear hyperlinked and in italics.. The defined term will be underlined when the cursor is rolled over the term and will act as a link to the definition which is opened in a new window. You can access the full Glossary of definitions by selecting the Glossary link in the table of contents on the left of the screen.

Moving to other parts of the Handbooks

Use the table of contents on the side bar on the left hand side, the Handbook tab at the top of the screen, or the green and blue section links within the paragraph text.

Linking to other websites

Click on the black underlined links to follow a cross reference outside the online Handbooks.

Icons next to a paragraph of text


These letter icons (R, E, G, D, P and C) contained in the left hand margin adjacent to a paragraph, indicates the status of the respective provision; namely whether it is a rule (R), evidential provision (E), guidance (G), direction (D), statement of principle (P) or an example of behaviour not amounting to market abuse (C).

Refer to the Reader's Guide for further information.

EU or UK flags

Where a paragraph includes an EU flag in the left hand margin, this indicates that the provision is derived from EU legislative material such as an EU Directive. A UK flag next to the provision in the left hand margin indicates a provision which is directly applicable to UK legislative material, such as an Act of Parliament or statutory instrument.


The badge next to the paragraph that is marked with 'FCA' and/or 'PRA' indicates which Handbook(s) the provision is present in.

Icons at the top of the text


Click this icon (the 'I' icon) to view historical and future amendments of the section you are viewing. Clicking the icon reveals a list of dates in reverse chronological order showing when the rule has been - or will be - amended, with a link to the corresponding instrument that particularises the amendment. The numbers in the first column of the instruments table relate to the superscript numbers in the text.

Alternatively, you can click directly on the superscript number in the text, to link straight to the amending instrument. Red superscript numbers indicate a future amendment and blue numbers indicate a past amendment.

Hide guidance

Click this icon to hide all guidance provisions and superscript numbers and view only paragraphs with the status R, E, D, P and C. Click 'Show guidance' to restore the concealed Guidance material.

Related Documents

To access documents relevant to the part of the FCA and/or PRA Handbook you are looking at, click on the 'Related Documents' icon at the top of the text. Depending on the part of the text you are in, one or more of the following links will be available:

Watch topic/print buttons

For details, please see below under Combined View alerts and Copying and Printing options.

Time travel - future

To view a consolidated version of the Combined View as it will be at a particular date in the future, use the 'Handbook at' calendar at the top of the text. The text will incorporate all the amendments which have been made previously and which will come into force on or before the date selected. We cannot, of course, show amendments that have not yet been approved by the appropriate Regulators.

When you are viewing the future versions of the FCA and PRA Handbooks, the page you are viewing will turn from white to pink. Click on 'Reset to today' at any time to return to the current date. The page will turn back from pink to white.

Part 4: Searching Handbook online [Back To Top]

Simple search

To run a quick search of all the content on the Handbooks online site, enter your desired search terms into the search box on the top right-hand corner of the screen. This will return all the documents containing your search terms, displayed in order of relevance.

Search tips


Documents containing more instances of your key terms will be ranked higher than those with less. But not all key terms are weighted equally; some are considered to be of higher importance. We have determined importance by reference to the probability that the term accurately describes the content of the retrieved document, and also how rare that word is. For example, a very rare word for the FCA and PRA Handbooks - like 'weather' - will be given more weight than a frequently-used word like 'firm.'


Searches are not case sensitive: searching for 'controller', 'Controller' or 'CONTROLLER' will produce the same results.

Boolean Searching

The search facility automatically lists sections and other documents from the Handbook online that contain all of your chosen search terms.

Advanced search

An advanced search can be conducted by clicking on the link in the top right-hand corner of your screen. This allows you to:

Search result list

The results list displays a quick view of the sections where your search criteria were met, with a number to indicate how frequently your search terms appear. Click on the link to go to the section you wish to view first. You will see your search terms highlighted in yellow in the text.

Search results will be ordered by relevancy unless otherwise stipulated (see Advanced search above).

The 'Refine search' button takes you back to the advanced search page.

My searches

You need to log in via the tab in the toolbar to access 'My searches' (in the top right-hand search panel). You can then edit, run, and delete your saved searches.


Part 5: Copying and printing [Back To Top]

Please click the legal information link at the bottom of each section page for our copyright policy.

Copy and paste

To copy and paste text to your own application:

  1. use the normal text view (not PDF);
  2. click of the first letter of the first word that you want to copy;
  3. either drag (hold the mouse button down as you move the pointer) to the last letter in the last word that you want to copy, or hold the SHIFT key down and click on the last letter in the last word that you want to copy;
  4. select Copy from your Web browser's Edit menu or press CTRL+c;
  5. paste the text into another Windows application by using the Paste Special option (usually under the Edit menu) and selecting Unformatted Text in the dialog box.

Print and download options

Printing a module or section in HTML

Clicking the printer-friendly icon at the top of the page will load a printer-friendly version of the page in HTML (the format will differ from the online Handbooks). You can then view or print the respective module or section.

Please note this HTML printer-friendly version will not be formatted in the same way as the Regulators' printed versions of the Combined View. If you would like to print with that formatting, please print from the PDF as described below.

Email a link to a module or section of the FCA and/or PRA Handbooks or Combined View

Click on the 'Email Link to this page' icon at the top of the page and a link to the module or section you are viewing will be sent to an email address of your choice.

View as PDF

Click 'View as PDF' icon to download and view the PDF version of the module or section you are presently viewing (the format will differ from that of the online Handbooks, and will be the same as that contained in the regulators' printed versions of the Combined View).This view is printable but only accessible when viewing the Handbooks at today's date.


Part 6: Combined View alerts [Back To Top]

You must be logged in to access this feature.

This feature enables you to receive an automatic notification each time a change is made to information you have access to in the Combined View.

There are two types of alerts:

What's new

You will receive what's new alerts when:

This service is separate from the CP and Publications update system. If you are registered for the CP and Publications updates you still will need to register again for the Combined View alerts.

Watch topic

You are able to set up your own, bespoke alerts, using the 'watch topic' feature. When you are in the Combined View, you can elect to 'watch a topic' by clicking on the 'binoculars' icon at the top of the window;

This adds the topic you are viewing (i.e. module or section) to your 'watched topics' list, which you can view and manage at the Alerts page.

You will receive one alert email for all the topics watched, to alert you to changes in your selected topics. Links in the email take you directly to a list of the changes.

To delete a watch topic from your list follow these simple steps:

  1. Select ‘Personal Options’ from the navigation bar;
  2. Click on ‘Manage Alerts’;
  3. Check those you wish to delete or choose ‘Select All’; and
  4. Click ‘Delete Checked Alerts’.