About  the CIMA® Certification

What is CIMA® certification?

CIMA certification is the peak international, technical portfolio construction program for investment consultants, analysts, financial advisors, and wealth management professionals.

CIMA certification teaches professionals how to integrate a complex body of investment knowledge, ethically contributing to prudent investment decisions by providing objective advice and guidance to individual and institutional investors.

What are the steps to earn CIMA certification?

There are 4 steps in the CIMA certification process. All steps must be completed to earn CIMA certification. The steps for earning CIMA certificate are:

1. Submit an online certification program application
2. Complete an executive education program through an approved
Registered Education Provider
3. Pass a comprehensive Certification Exam at an approved testing center.
4. Pass a 2nd background check, document a minimum of 3 years of verified work experience, sign a License Agreement, and pay an initial Certification Fee

How much does the CIMA certification program cost?

The total investment in obtaining the CIMA certification will range between US$4,800 and US$9,000, dependent on your choice of registered education provider and preparatory materials. Fees are subject to change. Please visit the Application & Fees page for more details.

How long does it take to earn CIMA certification?

It can take about 6–9 months to complete the program and earn CIMA certification.

What schools offer the executive education program for CIMA certification?

There are 4 schools that currently offer an executive education program for CIMA certification.

  • The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

  • The Wharton School

  • Yale School of Management

  • Investment Management Research Program – Australia

Preparatation for Study

What is the difference between Wharton, Yale and Chicago?

The main different between each school is the format in which they deliver their education program.

  • Yale School of Management offers a fully online education program. Yale’s program offers open enrollment which offers a more flexible education option. Candidates have the ability to begin their education whenever they feel ready and can complete education at their own pace within Yale’s stipulated timeframe.

  • The Wharton School offers a 5 day in-person education program. Wharton’s classes are scheduled at various times throughout the year. This option allows candidates to engage directly with Wharton faculty members and work with peers to understand the material.

  • The University of Chicago offers a hybrid program that includes live and online learning. Chicago’s education program is completed online and has a   start and end date for completion. The online education does include live lectures which allows for a more interactive online program. This can offer a nice balance between a convenient online program that is structured to help candidates stay focused on completing the education program.

What steps are required prior to attending/enrolling into an approved executive education program?

Individuals are required to apply for CIMA certification directly with Investments & Wealth Institute® prior to enrolling in an executive education program. Once accepted into the CIMA certification program, candidates may then register and begin the education program of their choice.


Are there any resources available for candidates to help them prepare for the executive education program?


Candidates are encouraged familiarize themselves with content that will be covered in the program by reviewing the Detailed Content Outline. The Detailed Content Outline outlines the CIMA Core of Body of Knowledge. The Institute also offers a free online resource called the Candidate Resource Center that offers more content for candidates to review in preparation for the education program. Candidates are sent an email shortly after being accepted into the program providing resources to review and registration instructions for the Candidate Resource Center.


When can candidates schedule the certification exam?

The Registered Education Providers report candidates who have registered for their education program to the Institute. A scheduling window is then opened with the Institute’s exam vendor, Pearson VUE, within 24 hours of receiving registration information. This allows candidates to secure an exam date ahead of education completion if a candidate wishes to do so. It is important to note that a candidate must successfully complete an education program to actually sit for the Certification Exam.

When is the certification exam offered?

The Certification Exam is available on-demand, so candidates may sit for the exam after successful completion of the education requirement and may retake the exam every 30 days with a required retesting fee.

What is the score needed to pass the certification exam?

Investments & Wealth Institute does not release passing scores for the Certification Exam. Candidates will receive a pass/fail result only from the testing center after completing the exam.

How do candidates prepare for the certification exam?

Candidates must wait 30 days and pay a retake fee before retaking the certification exam. The Institute receives official exam results once each week. Once a fail result has been received and processed, the Institute will send a fail notification to the candidate with a link to pay retake fee online. A scheduling window for a retake will be opened after the retake fee has been paid.

Maintaining Your Certification

What steps are required after passing the certification exam?

The Institute receives official exam results once a week on Monday. Once pass result is received and processed, the Institute will send an email confirming the exam result and instructions on the final steps for certification. To complete the program after passing the Certification Exam candidates must pass a second background check, document a minimum of 3 years of verified work experience in financial services, sign the License Agreement, and pay an initial certification fee. Candidates will become certified once the Institute completes the 2nd background check, which can take 7-–10 business days.

What is required to maintain CIMA Certification?

CIMA Certification has a 2-year renewal cycle. Every two years certificants are required to complete the three renewal requirements listed below to maintain their certification.


  1. Complete and report a total of 40 CE hours including 2 ethics hours
  2. Pay the certification renewal fee
  3. Complete the compliance requirement



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