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FAQs

Read the frequently asked questions about the Future of Finance research, the updated Professional Qualification and the changes happening in 2019.

Students currently studying

Updated Professional Qualification

Why change the CIMA Professional Qualification? What are the advantages?

The qualifications and learning resources for a profession should never stand still and need to take into account changes in areas such as new technologies and business practices.

By regularly updating the CIMA Professional Qualification, we ensure that the content remains relevant to management accounting, and continues to shape global, multi-skilled, dynamic professionals.

The updated content will enhance our students’ employability by helping them develop the skills, competencies and mindsets employers are looking for in the digital age.

More information can be found at www.cimaglobal.com/future.

What are the main changes? Why are you introducing the exam blueprints?

Changes reflect the advances in the world of modern finance and business. We have made no changes to the main structure of the CIMA Professional Qualification (e.g. we are retaining the three levels and pillars), the number, format and length of our exams.

We have kept the core accounting, finance and business topics, and updated the content to include new key areas such as technology, business models and value creation, integrated reporting, cyber-security and financial risks. More details on the changes are available at www.cimaglobal.com/future.

We are introducing exam blueprints, publicly accessible on CIMAglobal.com, as a new component of the CIMA Professional Qualification. This will lead to better student outcomes as they will bring more transparency and clarity to our students by explicitly defining what is examinable in both the Objective Tests and Case Study exams for a given period of time. Overall, this will help our students to better prepare for exams and be more confident when entering the exam room.

What’s the Future of Finance research? Who was involved?

Our Future of Finance global research project brings together different organisational views to chart how the finance function is evolving in the digital age, shifting from being a technical function focused on cost to becoming the custodian of organisational value.

For this global research project, our academic and research team consulted (face-to-face interviews, roundtables and a global survey) with more than 5,500 finance professionals, representing over 2,000 public and private organisations of all sizes, in over 150 countries to identify common trends and key themes:

  • The changing role and mandate of finance
  • Changing technology and finance
  • The changing shape of the finance function
  • Changing competencies and mindsets

We created individual thought leadership reports for each of the themes and also outlined our vision for the future finance function in our Re-inventing finance for a digital world white paper.

The findings of our Future of Finance global research project informs:

  • Future thought leadership
  • The CGMA Competency Framework
  • The CIMA Professional Qualification, including the syllabus, learning resources and assessment, and practical experience requirements
  • Continuous Professional Development requirements and resources

The underlying aim of the research will help guide organisations through an extraordinary time of change and ensure we provide members and students with the right skills and competencies to meet the needs of the modern business world.

How will the updates to the CIMA Professional Qualification benefit students?

As a student you can be confident that you are studying for a professional qualification that is relevant and rigorously examined so that you are fully prepared for a career in business The CIMA Professional Qualification now has an enhanced digital focus to align with the changing world we live and work in.

Will it take me longer to complete the CIMA Professional Qualification?

We have made no changes to the main structure of the CIMA Professional Qualification (e.g. we are retaining the three levels and pillars), the number, format and length of our exams. We continue to ensure that the CIMA Professional Qualification can be obtained in a reasonable timeframe.

Students should approximately allow for three month-preparation per subject, completing a level’s three Objective Tests over a nine month-period, plus three months for the case study. Depending on professional commitments and personal circumstances, some students may progress more quickly than others. For students with a planned and structure approach, completing the full qualification in three or four years, including re-sits and holiday breaks between levels, is possible.

Exams

Have the number and format of exams changed?

No, the number and format of exams per level, three Objectives Tests and one Case Study, remain the same.

What if I fail an exam under the current syllabus and need to re-take it under the updated Professional Qualification?

You will need to familiarise yourself with the changes in content prior to starting your preparations for the exam. If you sit and fail the November Case Study exam you will be eligible to attempt a re-sit in February 2020, using the same pre-seen material.

When will the new study material be available? How will students be able to practice for exams?

All of the study material – official study texts, e-learning courses on CIMAstudy.com, exam practice kits and CIMA Aptitude products – will be made available on 1 August 2019.

We will make sample Objective Tests and Case Study exams available for each level approximately three months before the first exam. We will also make question and exam tutorials available three months before the first exam.

 

When are the first exams planned?

The first Objective Tests will take place from 4 November 2019 and the first Case Study exams will take place in the February 2020 exam window.

 

When will the exam scheduling window for the 2019 CIMA Professional Qualification open?

The exam scheduling window for the 2019 CIMA Professional Qualification will open on 1 August 2019.

 

Will Objective Test and Case Study exam results be delivered in the same timeframe and in the same way?

Yes, results for Objective Tests will continue to be given at the exam centre and ratified within 48 hours on your MyCIMA account, and Case Study exam results will continue to be available on your MyCIMA account within 6 weeks from the window closing.

 

Are there any changes to the way in which exams are scheduled, re-scheduled or cancelled i.e. via MYCIMA?

We have no plans to change the way in which exams are scheduled, re-scheduled or cancelled.

Will exams continue to be managed via Pearson VUE? Have you increased the number of exam venues?

We continue to work with Pearson VUE, which offers 5000+ exam centres around the world. Through this network, we aim to offer our candidates as many centres as possible close to where they live and work.

 

Will you be increasing exam fees?

We always aim to ensure our exam fees remain accessible and competitive across all of our markets. We will release updated information on exam fees by end of March 2019.

 

Exam Blueprints

What are exam blueprints? Why are you introducing them?

Exam blueprints are a new component of the CIMA Professional Qualification. The newly introduced exam blueprints will lead to better student outcomes as they will bring more transparency and clarity to our students by explicitly defining what is examinable (e.g. skills, behaviours and competencies) in both the Objective Tests and Case Study exams for a given period of time.

We believe that our students are more than the sum of the parts, they can now better combine all the individual elements of the CIMA syllabus and combine them in a holistic body of knowledge. The Case Study exams drive this learning and the exam blueprints clearly articulate what the candidate has to do in order to acquire the skills, behaviours and competencies and go on to pass the exam.

Exam blueprints will also ensure all stakeholders involved in the creation of learning and assessment materials have the same interpretation of the CIMA syllabus and a clear understanding of the exam design. This is critical for everyone involved in teaching, the production of learning materials and in exam writing.

Overall, the newly introduced exam blueprints will help our students to better prepare for exams and be more confident when entering the exam room.

Who has access to the exam blueprints?

All the exam blueprints are publicly accessible on CIMAglobal.com. These will be available online, with one blueprint per level covering the three Objective Tests and the Case Study exam.

What additional information is featured in the exam blueprints?

In our exam blueprints you can also find:

  • Applicable dates and change control – we expect to update and publish annually
  • Details about exam weighting, marking, grading and exam results
  • Information about performance descriptors
  • Details about examinable legislation
  • Exam formulae and maths tables

 

Transition information

Will credit for exams be applied for exams already taken?

You will receive credits for any exams that you already passed. There is no detriment to part-qualified students.

If I am currently studying for the CIMA Professional Qualification, what should I aim to do (complete) in 2018/19? What will happen when the updated syllabus and exam blueprints are introduced (e.g. how will this impact my studies)?

If you are currently studying for the CIMA Professional Qualification, please check our transition planner, which will be updated throughout the year, for personalised advice at www.cimaglobal.com/transition. You will need your Contact ID and password to log in.

One enduring principle is that changes to the CIMA Professional Qualification and transition arrangements are designed to avoid any unnecessary disruption to students and not to penalise students. This is top of mind for us.

What if I need to re-take an exam for the CIMA Professional Qualification and I have previously learned and revised using the current syllabus?

You need to familiarise yourself with the changes in content prior to starting your preparations for the exam. More details on the changes are available at www.cimaglobal.com/future and for personalised advice, please check www.cimaglobal.com/transition

Will I be able to use my current learning materials and resources to study for the 2019 CIMA Professional Qualification?

No, as your current learning materials and resources will not cover 100% of the learning being introduced. We recommend that only use CIMA Study Text materials and resources to prepare for the exams.

What support will I get from CIMA through this transition? Who should I contact if I can’t find the information online?

Please check our transition planner, which will be updated throughout the year, for personalised advice at www.cimaglobal.com/transition. You will need your Contact ID and password to log in.

If you cannot find the information you are looking for on www.cimaglobal.com/future or www.cimaglobal.com/transition, please get in touch with our Contact Centre.

Members and Students who have completed exams

I already hold the CIMA Professional Qualification, is my knowledge now out of date with the introduction of the 2019 syllabus?

Updated elements will be incorporated into our CPD products and services to allow you to stay up to date with the profession and ensure that your knowledge and skills remain relevant. Specifically, we are introducing a Digital Mindset CPD package for all members who have paid their yearly subscription and CIMA qualified students, on 31 January, which is available for free through to 31 March. For more information, please check www.cimaglobal.com/future

What’s the Future of Finance research? Who was involved?

Our Future of Finance global research project brings together different organisational views to chart how the finance function is evolving in the digital age, shifting from being a technical function focused on cost to becoming the custodian of organisational value.

For this global research project, our academic and research team consulted (face-to-face interviews, roundtables and a global survey) with more than 5,500 finance professionals, representing over 2,000 public and private organisations of all sizes, in over 150 countries to identify common trends and key themes:

  • The changing role and mandate of finance
  • Changing technology and finance
  • The changing shape of the finance function
  • Changing competencies and mindsets

We created individual thought leadership reports for each of the themes and outlined our vision for the future finance function in our Re-inventing finance for a digital world white paper.

The findings of our Future of Finance global research project informs:

  • Future thought leadership
  • The CGMA Competency Framework
  • The CIMA Professional Qualification, including the syllabus, learning resources and assessment, and practical experience requirements
  • Continuous Professional Development requirements and resources

The underlying aim of the research will help guide organisations through an extraordinary time of change and ensure we provide members and students with the right skills and competencies to meet the needs of the modern business world.

Did the research to update the content of the CIMA Professional Qualification involve consulting with students and members? If so, how many and where were they based?

Both CIMA students and members were consulted via an online survey, using a representative sample of nearly 5,000 finance professionals across the world, to get global representation and feedback. Additionally, we have undertaken extensive discussions with tuition providers.

Are there any changes to the PER requirements or the application process?

We are currently reviewing the PER requirements as part of the 2019 CIMA Professional Qualification launch. If we make any changes that affect you, we will get in touch to let you know what they are.

Academic partners

Will our current accreditation be affected by the updates made to the CIMA Professional Qualification?

No, your current accreditation is not affected by the updates we made to our Professional Qualification.
However, we recommend that you review your programme against the updated content of the CIMA Professional Qualification to identify learning gaps for exempted modules and share this information with your students.

Will you provide training to our faculty members teaching the CIMA programme?

We will provide all of the necessary training to your faculty members, either in-person or through virtual platforms.

Will students receive credits for exams they have already taken?

Students will receive credits for any exams that they already passed. There is no detriment to part-qualified students.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

You may contact:

  • The CIMA Syllabus Development Team
  • The CIMA Global University and Academic COE
  • The relevant CIMA regional team
  • The CIMA Contact Centre