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 Certificate (IMAC) course.
At the time you enrol for the CIMA program, you are also committing to attend a specific IMAC course (see Step 3) as noted on the Enrolment Form. Your IMAC course booking is non-transferable and non-refundable.
Within two to three Australian business days of receipt of your
Enrolment Form, the Forum will confirm your enrolment and process the
Enrolment Fee (or decline your enrolment and contact you
to explain why).
STEP 2. APPLY
The Forum will forward your enrolment to the Investments & Wealth InstituteTM ("the Institute"), the owner of the CIMA certification program.
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 and your Certification Exam fee (step 4).
At the time you enrol, you are also committing to completing a specific IMAC course, as noted on the Enrolment Form. Your IMAC course booking is non-transferable and non-refundable.
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 classroom Investment Management Analyst Certificate (IMAC) course, culminating in a four-hour exam. It is delivered by Portfolio Construction Forum's specialist academic research unit, the 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.
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 practical.
The IMAC is an intense, blended learning program consisting of online lectures that are completed prior to arrival, and a 4.5-day residential classroom lecture and review program (7am to 9pm) in Sydney.
The more foundational, static content of the IMAC is taught via online lectures which must be completed prior to arrival at the 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 10-12 weeks.
The Forum provides candidates with an IMAC Study Plan setting out all the preparation steps.
The IMAC exam
The IMAC culminates with a four-hour exam on the final of the classroom days. The exam is based on the material taught in both the online lectures and classroom lectures.
Within two weeks of sitting the IMAC Exam, the Forum will email you advising of your result.
You must sit the Certificate Exam within a 90-day window nominated by the Institute, or pay an additional fee to open a new 90-day window.
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.
4.2 Study for the Certification Exam
The recommended study is around 10 to 15 hours a week for 10 weeks.
The Forum provides candidates with a Certification Exam Study Plan setting out recommended preparation steps (based on the success of past candidates).
4.3 Sit the Certification Exam
Candidates must sit the Certification Exam at a PearsonVue testing centre.
The Certification Exam is an online, five-hour exam consisting 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 are allowed to take an approved financial calculator (you will be required to clear the memory prior to the exam commencing) and you have have access to an online formula sheet while sitting the exam, along with a laminated booklet and wipe-on/wipe-off pen for workings.
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 quarterly CIMA
Circular emails, and we'll give you access to the Forum's CIMA
CE Library (our online CE
resource for CIMA certificants to help you meet the CIMA
recertification requirements). We'll also organise your initial
membership to the CIMA Society of Australia.
CIMA certification must be renewed every two years following initial certification. To recertify, CIMA certificants must:
Prices are correct and apply for calendar 2020.
Buy an up-to-date financial calcuator
You will need a scientific calculator throughout the CIMA program (the Forum will provide you with an online tutorial to refamiliarise yourself with how to use one).
The Institute has an allowed list of scientific calculators which includes: 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 don't sit the Certification Exam within the required 90-day window or you fail the Certification Exam:
Plus, if you have to sit the Certification Exam within the required 90-day window:
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