How to become a CIMA® certificant
the peak international, technical portfolio construction certification program
Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA) certification is the peak, international technical portfolio construction certification program designed for investment management analysts - that is, those involved in any aspect of constructing multi-manager portfolios, whether practitioner or advocate. There are already more than 8,000 CIMA certificants globally.
All CIMA candidates globally complete the same process including five key steps. Typically, it takes most candidates nine months to a year to attain CIMA certification.
Financial mathematics and statistics are a significant component of the CIMA curriculum. It is difficult to complete the program successfully unless you have previously studied tertiary level statistics, financial maths, pure maths, or maths as part of a technical degree (e.g. engineering, architecture, finance). It's ok if you're very rusty - candidates are provided with specific financial mathematics and statistics study resources. As long as you cover these, it will come back to you (much like a language!).
However, if you have just a few maths/stats papers as part of a broader tertiary degree or you've never studied statistics or maths at tertiary level, we recommend you don't undertake CIMA certification just yet. Instead, contact us for information about a maths prep course to complete before embarking on CIMA certification.
In the first instance, Australian- and NZ-based CIMA candidates enrol with Portfolio Construction Forum to manage them through the process, including booking their place on an Investment Management Analyst Course (IMAC).
At the time you enrol for the CIMA program, you are also committing to attend a specific IMAC (see Step 3) as noted on the Enrolment Form. Your IMAC booking is non-transferable and non-refundable.
Within two to three Australian business days of receipt of your Enrolment Form, the Forum will:
STEP 2. ETHICS
The Institute will contact you by email with instructions for completing an online application and paying an Application Fee which covers the cost of the Institute undertaking a background check to ensure you meet eligibility and to cover your Certification Exam fee (step 4).
Candidates must successfully complete an executive education requirement through an approved registered education provider. In Australia and NZ, this is the blended online and residential Investment Management Analyst Course (IMAC), culminating in a four-hour exam. It is delivered by Portfolio Construction Forum's Investment Management Research Program, in collaboration with selected academic faculty of leading Australian university business schools, independent consultants and experienced practitioners. It is led by course director, Professor Ron Bird.
At the time you enrol for the CIMA program, you are also committing to attend a specific IMAC as noted on the Enrolment Form. Your IMAC booking is non-transferable and non-refundable.
The IMAC has been the core of the CIMA certification program in Australia since it was launched by Professor Bird in Australia in 2001.
The IMAC curriculum is based on the CIMA Core Body of Knowledge and is designed to provide you with up-to-date, in-depth exposure to a range of topics relevant to the Australian context. The main focus of the IMAC is on developing and implementing investment strategy within the domestic setting, whether it is for an individual or an institution. The program brings together theoretical and practical knowledge directly relevant to Australian-based portfolio construction practitioners. The approach taken is both inquisitive and critical, and designed to be very practical.
The IMAC is an intense, blended learning program consisting of online lectures that are completed prior to arrival, and four-day residential classroom lectures and study (8am to 9pm), at the H.C. Coombs Centre for Financial Studies in Kirribilli, Sydney.
The more foundational, static content of the IMAC is taught via online lectures which must be completed prior to arrival at the four-day residential classroom component of the IMAC. The classroom content then focuses more on practical and contemporary issues, involving academics from leading Australian university business schools, senior practitioners and consultants, enabling open conversation and learning. There is significant pre-reading for both the online and classroom lectures.
Preparing for the IMAC
The recommended preparation (including covering the online lectures) is around 10 hours a week for 10 weeks, taking care to follow the IMAC Detailed Course Outline which notes the preparation required.
The IMAC exam
The IMAC culminates on the final of the four days with a four-hour, classroom exam. The exam is based on the material taught via both the online lectures and classroom lectures.
Within two weeks of sitting the IMAC Exam, the Forum will email you advising of your result.
All CIMA candidates globally must successfully pass the five-hour, online Certification Exam.
4.1 Book a date to sit the Certification Exam
Once the Forum advises the Institute that you have passed the IMAC, the Institute will advise its independent test administrator, PearsonVue, that you are eligible to sit the Certification Exam. PearsonVue will then email you with instructions on how to book your exam date.
So you have a concrete goal to study towards, and because exam seats are at a premium, we strongly recommend that as soon as you hear from PearsonVue, you book a date to sit the Certification Exam. Once you so, you will receive a confirmation email from Pearson Vue within 24 hours (contact us if you don't get this). If you need to reschedule your exam date, you can do it online at the Pearson Vue site, but you must do so prior to 24 hours before your exam or you'll forfeit your exam fee.
4.2 Study for the Certification Exam
The recommended study is around 10 to 15 hours a week for 10 weeks, taking care to review the CIMA textbook including its practice exams, and the materials available in the CIMA Candidate Resources Centre (to which the Forum will provide you access).
4.3 Sit the Certification Exam
The supervised, online, five-hour Certification Exam consists of 125 multiple-choice questions and 15 non-scored, pretest questions. You may take an optional 15-minute break during the exam, but the timed exam will not stop.
You must arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time. You will be checked in, and you must complete a non-disclosure statement and a Tutorial consisting of instructions for taking the exam. You will then begin the timed exam.
You are allowed to take an approved financial calculator (you will be required to clear the memory prior to the exam commencing) and will be provided with a sample formula sheet at the testing centre, along with a laminated booklet and wipe-on/wipe-off pen for workings.
You can watch a short video outlining what to expect on the day.
Your exam result is provided on-screen immediately you finish the exam - you will be advised of a "pass" or "fail".
Once you have passed the Certification Exam, you will receive an email from the Institute to complete the final steps which are done online. This includes:
The Institute will
then email you to confirm your CIMA certification. The Forum
will send your framed CIMA certificate, you'll start
receiving the Forum's CIMA
Circular email, and we'll give you access to the Forum's CIMA
CE Library (our online CE
resource for CIMA certificants to help them meet the CIMA
recertification requirements). We'll also advise the CIMA
Society of Australia that you are a CIMA certificant, so they can invite
you to their CE events.
CIMA certification must be renewed every two years following initial certification. To recertify, CIMA certificants must:
Prices are correct and apply for calendar 2018.
Buy an up-to-date financial calcuator
You will need a scientific calculator throughout the CIMA program (we'll provide you with an online tutorial to refamiliarise yourself with how to use one). The Institute will allow use of the following calculators on the CIMA® Certification Examination: HP 10b, HP 10bII, HP 10bII Plus, HP 12C, HP 12C Platinum, HP 17B, HP 17BII and HP 17BII Plus, as well as the Texas Instrument BA II Plus, BA II Plus Professional and BA II Plus Business Analyst. Newer and older versions of these calculators will be allowed for use.
Fee paid to the Forum
Fees paid to the Investments & Wealth Institute
Plus, if you have to resit any exam:
Every two years, a Recertfication Fee is payable:
The first step in your CIMA certification journey is complete the Enrolment Form and return it to the Forum.
completing the Enrolment Form