Certificate in ESG Investing* FAQ

Overview& General Questions

Q: What is the Certificate in ESG Investing?

 

A: The Certificate in ESG Investing is a level 4 qualification which delivers the benchmark knowledge and skills required by investment professionals to integrate ESG factors (environmental, social and governance) into the investment process. The first qualification of its kind in the UK, it has been developed by practitioners for practitioners.

 

Registrations for the new Certificate in ESG Investing opened in September 2019 and the first examinations can be scheduled from 2 December 2019.

 

Q: Why should I take the Certificate in ESG Investing?

 

A: Developed in consultation with leading firms and supported by the UN PRI, the certificate will enable you to expand your ESG knowledge and stay ahead in your field. It has been designed for practitioners working in investment roles who want to learn how to analyze and integrate material ESG factors into their day-to-day roles.

 

It will also be suitable for anyone looking to improve their understanding of ESG issues working in:

  • sales & distribution
  • wealth management
  • product development
  • financial advice
  • consulting
  • risk 

 

The skills learned will be equally applicable to all asset classes.


Q: How will the Certificate in ESG Investing benefit me and my career?

 

  • Gain a unique and practical qualification
  • Improve your competitive career advantage and increase your employability
  • Expand your ESG knowledge and stay ahead in your field
  • CFA Institute qualifications are recognized by leading firms
  • Develop the skills and competencies to fulfill both your fiduciary responsibilities and your firm’s responsible investment mandates
  • For UK candidates who hold the CFA Society UK IMC, successful completion of the Certificate in ESG Investing can lead to you gaining the CFA Society UK Level 4 Diploma in Investment Management (ESG).
  • Gain a digital badge to highlight to others the skills you have acquired

 

Q: What are the entry criteria?

 

A: There are no formal entry criteria for this qualification, but it is strongly recommended that candidates have a solid grounding in the investment process achieved via formal qualification or experience.

 

Q: What is the cost of the exam?

 

A: The certificate costs £485 (approx. 660 USD) per candidate, including access to online Official Training Manual and the first sitting of your exam; candidates who wish to purchase a hard copy OTM may do so for an additional charge of £40.00 plus postage costs. Hard copy OTM is available for global shipping; global postage rates apply. 

 

Q: What is the length and format of the exam?

 

A: 100 questions assessed by multiple choice questions and item set scenarios. The total time allowed for the exam is 2 hours and 20 minutes.

 

Q: Is the exam available in other languages apart from English?

 

A: No, the exam will only be available in English.  CFA SOCIETY UK exams require a good standard of English as well as knowledge of the technical terms associated with the exam specific subject matter. No extra time will be granted to non-native English speakers. Candidates will need to be able to absorb exam information quickly and read questions very closely.  A specimen exam paper is available on the CFA SOCIETY UK website which demonstrates the level of English required and types of questions candidates can expect in the live exams.  The specimen paper can be accessed via the following link: https://www.cfauk.org/study/esg-specimen-exam-paper

Registering for the Certificate in ESG Investing

Q: How do candidates register for the Certificate in ESG Investing?

 

A: Registration is a two-step process, completed online via the CFA SOCIETY UK website: https://shop.cfauk.org/esg/

Once registered, candidates will receive a confirmation email providing their unique username and password.
Candidates can use these to access the online learning materials immediately by logging into the Candidate Area on the CFA SOCIETY UK website.
Candidates should also use the same login details to login to Pearson VUE's website to select a date, time and location to take the ESG exam. 

 

Q: What do candidates receive when they register?

 

A: Registration includes the first exam sitting and access to a soft copy of the learning materials via a secure platform. There is no option for candidates to purchase the exam only. Candidates, may, additionally, choose to purchase a hard copy of the learning materials for £40 + postage and packing. Hard copy OTM is available for global shipping; global postage rates apply. The exam fee is paid through a secure online payment screen. The society does not invoice for exam fees, and we cannot take payment over the telephone.

Q: When can I take my ESG exam?

A: From 2 December 2019, you can sit your exam on most working days at a Pearson VUE testing center. Find your nearest Pearson VUE test center.

Pearson VUE offers a global network of test centers.  Currently, test centers are available for the Certificate in ESG Investing exam in the UK and the existing 8 EMEA test markets; as we roll out the Certificate in ESG Investing to an additional 15 focus markets globally, test centers will be activated in those jurisdictions when the rollout is complete. Live testing is not currently available in Massachusetts but remote proctored testing is available. At this time the closest testing center is in New York. See here for COVID-19 Guidance for Candidates: https://www.cfauk.org/study/covid-19-guidance-for-candidates.

 

Q: How much is the ESG exam?


A:
 The ESG examination and online learning materials cost £485 ($660 USD).

This includes the first exam sitting and access to a soft copy of the learning materials via a secure platform. There is no option for candidates to purchase the exam only.

The exam fee is paid through a secure online payment screen. The society does not invoice for exam fees. VAT is not payable on exams nor the exam and online learning materials bundle.

 

Q: How long do candidates have to complete their studies and the ESG exam?


A: 
From the date of initial registration, candidates will have one (1) year to sit their exam. After that, their registration will expire and candidates will have to re-register at full cost.

Q: I’d like to ask for extra time / wheelchair access / medication breaks etc.…

 

A: CFA SOCIETY UK is committed to preventing barriers to assessment where possible.  Please take a moment to read the reasonable adjustments policy, and submit the reasonable adjustments application form once you have registered for the exam, but prior to exam scheduling. 

 

Q: Can I postpone my exam?

 

A: Candidates wishing to reschedule an arranged exam appointment should provide more than 72 hours’ notice prior to your exam appointment time.

This can be done by logging into the Pearson VUE website or calling 0870 609 5777.
 

Candidates who experience technical difficulty in rescheduling their examination should contact Pearson VUE in the first instance. For technical difficulties experienced during the weekend or public holiday, which results in the candidate not being able to reschedule more than 72 hours prior to the exam appointment time, candidates are advised to email qualifications@CFAUK.org to log the time of the issue. The email should describe the technical difficulty experienced, including screen shots to evidence any error messages displayed.

 

Q: Can I get an extension to the one-year registration period for my ESG exam?

 

A: The recommended study time for the Certificate in ESG Investing is 130 hours. This is achievable within the one-year registration period.

 

Q: How do I update my address details?

 

A: All requests for a change of address must be made in writing to qualifications@CFAUK.org. CFA SOCIETY UK will not be held responsible should you not receive your results letter or certificate.


My login details don’t work – Pearson VUE website

 

·       try clicking 'I forgot my password'. You will be asked for your username, first name and surname. A new password will be emailed to you shortly.

·       alternatively, you can schedule over the telephone by calling Pearson VUE directly on 0870 609 5777.

·       please ensure you have left two working days after your registration before accessing the Pearson Vue website to schedule your exam.

 

My login details don't work – CFA SOCIETY UK Candidate Area

If you are trying to log into the Candidate Area of the website to access the online materials or your provisional results:

 

·       click 'I forgot my password' to receive a password reminder. If this does not work, email qualifications@CFAUK.org.

Studying for the Certificate in ESG Investing

Q: Where can I buy the learning materials for the Certificate in ESG Investing?

A: You can purchase the online learning materials as part of the registration process. The registration fee includes access to the online learning materials via a secure platform as well as the first exam sitting. Purchase of the online materials is mandatory.

Q: Can I purchase a hard copy of the learning materials?

A: Hard copy learning materials can be purchased at the point of exam registration for a fee of £40 + p&p.  Hard copy learning materials can only be purchased by those who have registered for the exam and learning materials bundle. Hard copy OTM is available for global shipping; global postage rates apply.

Q: Why do I have to purchase the online learning materials?

A: The Certificate in ESG Investing is the first benchmark level qualification of its kind in the UK specifically designed for investment practitioners.  The learning materials have been produced to specifically cover each of the Learning Outcomes in the syllabus in a concise and focused approach.  There are no similar learning materials in the market and candidates may struggle to identify a similar body of knowledge to support learning for the Certificate in ESG Investing.

Q: How do I access the learning materials on the secure platform?

A: On registering for the exam, candidates will receive an email booking confirmation which will provide a unique username and password which candidates can use to both schedule their examination and access the learning materials platform.

Q: How long do I have access to the learning materials?

A: Candidates will have access to a soft copy learning materials for the length of the exam registration period which is 12 months.  This may be extended on request and candidates wishing to do this should contact: qualifications@CFAUK.org

Q: How long does it take to study for the Certificate in ESG Investing?

A: The recommended study time for the Certificate in ESG Investing is 130 hours.

Taking the CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing Exam

Q: What if I miss my exam due to a flat tire/flu etc...?

A: You are able to reschedule your test appointment online at no extra charge 72 hours prior to your exam appointment time. If you have missed your test for any reason and you did not reschedule in time, you will need to register for a new exam at your own expense. This also applies to candidates who arrive late to the test center, and those who arrive with incorrect ID. If you miss your test due to illness or difficult personal circumstances on the day, please refer to the society's special consideration policy and complete the application form-Special consideration application form


Q: What do I need to bring on the day of my exam?

A: You will need to present ID on the day of your exam. 

1.  At a test center:

For candidates taking an examination outside the UK: 

·     A currently valid signed Passport of any country containing the candidate's photograph and signature.*

·     A valid National Identity card from an EU country. A valid National Identity card will only be accepted when issued for the county in which the examination is being taken e.g. a Swiss Identity card is acceptable only in Switzerland. *

·     For candidates taking an examination outside of the EU, a valid National Identity card can be accepted when issued for the country in which the examination is being taken. *

*Note: If the candidate presents a biometric type of the above identification which does not allow for a signature, they must present a second form of ID which contains their signature. 
For example:

·     Current, original European Union (EU) only government issued identity card.

·     Current, original government issued National ID* card for any country in the European Union (EU).

·     Current Credit/Debit or bank card.
*Note: If the National Identity card provided does not allow for a signature, candidates must present a second form of ID which contains their signature. For example: 

·       Credit/Debit or bank card.

Photocopies of the above are not acceptable.

The first and last names on your identification must EXACTLY match the first and last names you provided when you registered with CFA SOCIETY UK. Pearson VUE has no discretion to waive or vary the identification rules. Please email 
qualifications@CFAUK.org at least seven business days prior to your scheduled appointment to make any corrections if necessary.

2. For OnVUE Online Proctoring

Please be prepared to show one (1) valid form of unexpired, Government-issued personal ID. The Government-issued ID must have your photo.

Examples of acceptable identification:

·       Passport

·       Driver's license

·       Military ID (including spouse and dependents)

·       Identification card (national or local)

·       Registration card (such as green card, permanent resident, visa)

·       Please note that we are unable to accept the following ID:

·       Renewal forms with expired ID

·       Government-issued name change documents with Government ID

Photocopies of the above are not acceptable.

The first and last names on your identification must EXACTLY match the first and last names you provided when you registered with CFA SOCIETY UK. Pearson Vue has no discretion to waive or vary the identification rules. Please email qualifications@CFAUK.org at least seven business days prior to your scheduled appointment to make any corrections if necessary.

Q: Will I need a calculator for my ESG exam?

A: You will not need a calculator for your exam, and you will not be permitted to take a calculator into the test room.


Q: What kinds of questions are used in the ESG exam?

A: The ESG exam uses standard multiple-choice questions and item sets. Standard multiple-choice questions are comprised of a question with four (4) answer options. Item sets are the case study type questions. Candidates are given a short scenario with several questions associated with it. The material given in the case study does not change with the questions.

Q: Where can I see the question allocation for the Certificate in ESG Investing?

A: Question allocation across the syllabus is balanced on the guidance of psychometric and industry specialists. The syllabus contains the Question Allocation guide which provides candidates with a broad indication of the relative weighting of different parts of the syllabus in the Certificate in ESG Investing exam.


Q: Can candidates re-sit the ESG exam?

A: Yes – candidates can re-sit the ESG exam should they be unsuccessful at their first attempt.  They will need to wait three working days after their initial exam date to re-reregister for the exam.  They will need to reregister for the exam via the Candidate Area to enable them to book a re-sit only at the discounted prices of £350 (~$480) [rather than paying the full cost bundle fee of £485 ($660)].

Candidates may not take the exam more than four times in any four-month test window.  

Q: How many times can I sit the ESG exam?

A: You may not take an ESG exam more than four times in any four-month test window. Once a passing score is achieved, no further attempts are allowed.

Q: What is the exam pass rate?

A: Pass rate: Between 60% and 75%

Results and Certificates

Q: What is the passing standard for the exam?

A: The pass mark of the exam is still to be set, depending on pilot exam results.  However, it is anticipated that it will likely fall between 60% and 70%.  Exams consisting of harder questions will have a relatively lower pass mark and vice-versa.

 

Q: How do I get my exam results?

A:

·       A printout of your provisional results will be provided at the end of your examination at the test center.

·       Provisional results will be available online three working days after your examination date.

·       Your official results will be confirmed in writing and will be posted to your primary postal address within 21 working days from your examination date.

The CFA SOCIETY UK does not release your exact score or provide details of which questions you answered correctly or incorrectly. 

**Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, CFA SOCIETY UK staff are currently working remotely on a primary basis. As such, since the lockdown in March 2020, we have not had the facility to print certificates and dispatch them. We endeavor to print and dispatch all certificates as soon as our offices reopen. ** 

 

I need a replacement copy of my Certificate in ESG Investing

Please note, this process also applies to those candidates who do not contact CFA SOCIETY UK regarding a missing certificate within three months of the date of their examination.

To request a replacement certificate, you must submit a written request containing the following:

·       your full name

·       DOB

·       the approximate date of your exam, e.g. April 2007

·       a photocopy of your passport or UK photo drivers license

·       a cheque for £30 made payable to 'The CFA Society of the UK' *


* Alternatively, you may make payment over the phone. To do this, please email 
qualifications@CFAUK.org letting us know a time when you would be available us to call back to take payment

Send your request to: CFA SOCIETY UK, 4th Floor, 42 Mincing Lane, London EC3R 7AE

Or email it to: qualifications@CFAUK.org

 

Please note that all replacement certificates will be awarded from 'The CFA Society of the UK'. Replacements certificates are usually provided within ten working days.

If you have any questions, please email 
qualifications@CFAUK.org

 

Q: How do I update my address details?

A: All requests for a change of address must be made in writing to qualifications@CFAUK.orgCFA SOCIETY UK will not be held responsible should you not receive your results letter or certificate.

 

Q: What do successful candidates receive when they pass the exam?

 

A: Candidates will receive the CFA SOCIETY UK Level 4 Certificate in ESG Investing.  Candidates may also claim a digital badge which they can share across multiple social media platforms (LinkedIn; Twitter; Instagram; Facebook etc.).

Annual Syllabus Change – 1 October

Q: When does the syllabus change?

A: The Certificate in ESG Investing syllabus is updated every year on 1 October. This is to ensure that the content of the qualification remains relevant to the current financial services industry landscape. The examination is written to the syllabus; therefore, you will be tested on the new syllabus from 1 October. On some occasions it may be necessary to update the syllabus before this due to significant changes within the financial services industry. If this happens, we will notify all candidates in advance.

Q: Why do you change the syllabus?

A: Due to the fast-moving nature of the profession, it is necessary to update the syllabus regularly. This is to ensure that the content of the qualification remains relevant to the current financial services industry landscape. It is important that candidates carefully consider when they plan to sit the IMC. This is because the syllabus tested may change depending on the date that they sit the exam.

Q: Where can I see the changes?

A: The changes are detailed on the Certificate in ESG Investing syllabus page.

Q: How much change is there?

A: The document highlighting the changes is available on the Certificate in ESG Investing syllabus pageThe Certificate in ESG Investing syllabus is updated every year on 1 October. This is to ensure that the content of the qualification is relevant to the current financial services industry landscape.

Q:Will my old Official Training Manual (OTM) cover the new syllabus?

A: We do not encourage candidates to use old versions of the OTM. The learning material will be updated in the learning materials platform, which can be accessed by all candidates with a valid registration. Candidates who wish to purchase a hard copy of the learning materials should email their request to qualifications@CFAUK.org.

The examination is written to the syllabus; therefore, you will be tested on the new syllabus from 1 October. It is important that candidates carefully consider when they plan to sit their examination. This is because the syllabus tested may change depending on the date that they sit the exam.

Q: Does the change in syllabus mean that the Certificate in ESG Investing is still a level 4 qualification?

A: Yes. The level of the Certificate in ESG Investing qualification has not changed.



*A product of CFA Society of the United Kingdom