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The CFA UK recently introduced its new Certificate in Impact Investing, a program designed for investment professionals seeking an entry point into the field of impact investing.

The CFA UK Certificate in Impact Investing, which can also be referred to as CFA UK IIC or CFA IIC, is a self-paced course that recommends around 130 hours of study. The syllabus covers various aspects of impact investing, including philosophy, strategy, implementation, asset classes, private and public market products, impact assessment, management, monitoring, and reporting.

The introduction of such a course underscores the growing recognition of impact investing as a significant subject within the financial sector.

“As demand for investments with positive impact alongside financial returns grows, investment professionals must understand the discipline, its applications, and its various delivery methods,” remarked CFA UK’s co-chairs of the Certificate in Impact Investing panel, Rebecca Macdonald and Evita Chiang Zanuso.

Source: Wealth Briefing

The structure of the course aims to equip candidates with an understanding of the market landscape and the skills necessary for implementing impact strategies, such as developing theories of change and measurement frameworks.

This certificate is the latest addition to CFA UK’s portfolio, following the Certificate in Climate & Investing and the Certificate in ESG Investing, reflecting the sector’s serious approach to these topics.

“Impact investing aims to generate tangible positive outcomes for people, communities, and the environment, in contrast to ESG, which primarily focuses on risk factors and portfolio performance,” CFA UK’s co-chairs added.

Source: Wealth Briefing

The New Certificate in Impact Investing at a Glance

Entry Criteria

No formal entry requirements, but knowledge of the investment industry is strongly recommended.

Registration and Online Learning Materials Fees

£495

Syllabus Version 1 Calendar

Tested from 01/03/2024 to 28/02/2025

Exam Format and Number of Questions

65 self-assessment questions

Time Allowed for Exam

1 hour and 30 minutes

Recommended Study Time

131 hours

Pass Mark

Between 60 and 70%

Pass Rate

Between 65 and 80%

Frequent Questions about the new Certificate in Impact Investing

1. What is the goal of the CFA UK Impact Investing?

The goal of the new certificate in impact investing is to educate and guide professionals to understand the effects of impact investing across the entire investment spectrum, integrating pertinent models and methodologies for managing, measuring, and reporting impact.

2. What are the entry criteria?

There are no entry criteria. However, it is advised that candidates possess an understanding of the investment process acquired through formal education or practical experience prior to embarking on this course of study.

3. Do I need to have other CFA certificates, degrees, or experience to do the Certificate in Impact Investing?

No. The program does not have specific entry requirements. Applicants are not obligated to hold previous CFA certifications, possess a particular degree, or meet a minimum threshold of work experience.

4. To whom is it directed?

Although crafted for investment professionals, this certification is also appropriate for individuals engaged in various roles within both front and back-office settings, such as wealth management, risk management, sales, distribution, product development, financial advisory services, and consultancy.

5. What is the cost, and what is included?

The registration cost of the certificate is £495. The certificate registration includes the following:

  • The Registration Fee
  • The Certificate in Impact Investing Training Manual in digital format; and
  • Access to the CFA UK Candidate Area

While registering for the course, you will have the option to include printed learning materials with your order. Should you wish to acquire physical study materials after completing your registration, they are available for purchase via the CFA UK Candidate Area at any time.

6. What is the timeline for doing my CFA IIC exam after registering?

Upon registration/payment, candidates have 12 months to do the exam.

7. Are there specific / fixed dates defined by the CFA UK to do the CFA IIC exam?

No. Candidates have the flexibility to set their own exam date, which is a notable benefit of this certification. Once registered, you will have a 12-month period in which to organize your study schedule and select the optimal time to sit for your exam. The only constraint candidates may encounter is the availability of exam slots on particular dates. It is recommended that candidates schedule their exams at least two to three weeks prior to their desired date to circumvent the possibility of exams being fully booked.

8. What content does the new Impact Investing certification cover?

The book comprises six chapters, with chapters 2, 3, and 5 being of particular significance due to their comprehensive coverage and the greater number of exam questions related to their content.

The exam is based on the book’s content, covering the topics below.

Topic Topic Name Question Allocation
1 Introduction to impact investing 4-8
2 Impact investment philosophy, strategy and implementation 14-18
3 Asset classes and products in private and public markets 8-12
4 Impact investing, sourcing and due diligence 4-8
5 Impact measurement, management, monitoring and reporting 16-20
6 Investor contribution and stewardship 2-6

 

9. What are the Certificate in Impact Investing Pass Rate and Pass Mark?

To maintain uniformity in exam difficulty, CFA UK employs a standardized procedure. For the CFA IIC, the passing threshold ranges from 60% to 70%. Accordingly, exams that feature more challenging questions will be assigned a lower passing score, while those with easier questions will require a higher score to pass.
The Pass Rate is Between 65 and 80%.

10. What is the recommended study time for the CFA IIC?

The suggested study duration is approximately 130 hours, although this may vary based on an individual’s prior experience. This estimate encompasses structured coursework, independent study, and time spent on assessments.

11. How difficult is the the new Certificate in Impact Investing Exam?

Comparing the CFA IIC with other certifications, we can say that it is as tricky as the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) and more accessible than the CFA 1.
Compared with the CFA 1, the CFA IIC certification requires less reading, and no calculations are needed to answer the 65 questions in the exam. However, it is essential to acknowledge that the CFA IIC certification still follows the CFA’s high standards; therefore, it requires a study plan, commitment, and practice.

12. What is the format of the CFA IIC exam?

The exam comprises 65 questions. It is built based on standard multiple-choice questions, and its time of completion is 1 hour 30 minutes.

Every exam question is derived from the material presented in the CFA IIC book, and since the exam does not require any computational answers, the use of calculators is not permitted.

For those who are native or fluent in English, time typically doesn’t pose a challenge during the exam. However, non-native speakers or those less proficient in English may find timing to be a constraint. To prepare effectively, candidates should focus on enhancing their ESG knowledge while also honing their time management skills and stamina within an exam setting. One effective method is to practice with batches of 65 questions or take Mock Exams that simulate the actual exam conditions.

13. What study materials are available, and how do I prepare for the exam?

Upon registration, the candidates have access to the study materials provided by the CFA UK, which include:

  • The CFA IIC book in digital format (the book includes self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter)
  • One Mock Exam

14. Is it available worldwide? Is it available in my country?

The CFA UK is introducing CFA IIC Certification on a market-by-market basis. Candidates will need to check if their country is included.
Candidates have two options to do their exam:

15. When and how can I book my CFA IIC Exam?

Candidates can book their exams right after they receive their registration confirmation. As mentioned before, candidates have two options to do their exam:

  • In-person, through Person VUE testing centers, based on availability, every working day.
  • Remotely, through OnVue, remote-proctored exams, based on the “seats” available from Monday to Saturday.

Alma Mundus is an organization focused on Sustainable Strategies and ESG and a major CFA Institute Prep Provider.

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