Questions & Answer

Q1: What is the CIIA Qualification?

The CIIA® is an internationally recognised advanced professional qualification for individuals working in the finance and investment industry.
The CIIA is achieved by passing the examinations set by a team of international and local experts under the auspices of the Association of Certified International Investment Analysts ACIIA®.

Q2: What is ACIIA?

The ACIIA is an international association made up of independent Federations and national/regional societies, the professional industry associations which represent finance and investment analysts.
The ACIIA was established in 2000 as a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee, and is registered in Switzerland.

Q3: What organisations are involved in the ACIIA?

The ACIIA currently consists of 34 national/regional societies and 2 Federations.

Q4: What is the role of the ACIIA?

  • Establish and supervise the exams for the CIIA;
  • Award the CIIA;
  • Encourage and provide a forum for the creation and interchange of ideas and information in the field of finance and investment;
  • Support and promote the interests of the global investment industry; and
  • Promote ethical behaviour in the industry.

Q5: How does the CIIA compare to other postgraduate qualifications in the industry?

The CIIA is a unique international qualification which is facilitated and recognised by the countries represented by participating national/regional societies.
The CIIA:

  • Combines international and local coverage
  • Is internationally transportable and provides candidates with the option of studying and sitting exams in 11 different languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish)
  • The integral involvement of the national/regional societies ensures that the interests and input of the local industry and professionals are met in accordance with and commitment to industry ethics and standards

Q6: What makes the CIIA unique?

  • Candidates may choose which national/regional market to study
  • All common-knowledge exams are conducted in 11 different languages
  • Candidates can apply for admission to the CIIA exams through any participating national/regional society
  • Exams can be taken in any country where an ACIIA member exists (additional exam centres are organised in London and New York)
  • The achievement of the CIIA will grant its holders a recognised level of expertise and knowledge which is common across international markets

Q7: How will it benefit (advance) my career?

As an internationally recognised qualification, the CIIA will be particularly useful for you if you ever intend to work overseas or for an institute which has international operations.

Once you have obtained the CIIA, your current or potential future employers can be confident that you have both the highest level of theoretical and practical international and national knowledge to operate in their particular geographic location. Achieving the CIIA opens the door to your international career.

Q8: How is the CIIA diploma achieved?

The CIIA is awarded to successful candidates who:

  • pass two levels of common knowledge exams designed to test candidates at a high standard of knowledge and skill in a comprehensive range of globally relevant topics
  • pass a National/Regional Exam, set by participating national/regional societies which examines the local financial markets and environment of specific countries/regions
  • have three years experience working in the domain of financial analysis, portfolio management and/or investment in general
  • are a member of a participating national/regional society

Q9: How is the examination process? (instead of “Can you tell me more about the exams?”)

The exams are on two levels: the Common Knowledge exams and a National/Regional exam.

Q10: How do I prepare for the exams?

Through the ACIIA web site you have access to information resources which detail the topic areas which make up the Common Knowledge exams.

Please refer to the study page and study reference downloads for further details.

Q11: Where can I get additional training to help me pass the exams?

Training for all levels may be available through your national/regional society

Q12: How often do the exams take place?

Exams are scheduled twice per year in March and September. The first final level exams were held in March 2001.

Once enrolled, you can take the exam in your choice from one of 11 languages - in any exam centre, should the demands of your work require it.

Q13: How much does it cost to do the CIIA exams?

 National/regional societies administer their own fee and payment requirements, so please contact a participating national/regional society for further details.

Q14: What are the admission requirements? How do I apply?

 Each national/regional society is responsible for admitting candidates to the CIIA exams and have established candidate requirements according to local conditions. Contact a participating national/regional society for admission requirements to the CIIA exams.

Q15: Who is responsible for setting and marketing the exams?

The international content for the international Common Knowledge exams is set by a committee of professors and practitioners from around the world, formally referred to as the International Examination Committee (IEC).

The national/regional specific examination is set by the local national/regional society in each country and has to be approved by the IEC. This examination covers regulation, ethics, financial statements and market structure.

Q16: What assurance do we have that the examinations are of a high and competitive standard? (instead of “If the ACIIA was formed in 2000, what assurances…”)

 The International Examination Committee (IEC) is responsible for ensuring that the examinations are of high quality and a high standard.

Over the past five years the IEC has been working in conjunction with the Centre for International Examinations in Switzerland on the development of the CIIA exams. The IEC members represent the highest level of excellence in their knowledge of international investment, and also include professors with expertise in establishing and managing high level academic and industry based examinations.

Q17: How does the ACIIA ensure security and accuracy of the treatment of the exam papers? (instead of “In processing these international and multilingual exams, how does the ACIIA...”)

 The Centre for International Examinations has drawn upon the established expertise of the Swiss Training Centre for Investment Professionals, which has considerable experience in conducting examinations in several languages. At present their highly respected examinations are conducted in English, French, German and Italian.

Q18: What is the role of the National/Regional societies assist in preparing candidate for exams?

National/Regional societies either provide or recommend training programs to assist candidates to study and prepare for the exams. 

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