Certificate in ESG Investing FAQ

Overview& General Questions

Q: What is the Certificate in ESG Investing?

 

A: The CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing offers you both practical application and technical knowledge in the fast-growing field of ESG investing an opportunity to both accelerate progress and demonstrate purpose.

 

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
  • 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 USD675 per candidate. When you register, you may choose to purchase a hard copy of the syllabus (the Official Training Manual) with registration for an additional USD135 + shipping.

 

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.

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 Institute website: https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/esg-investing. When clicking “Register Now,” users will be prompted to create an account with CFA Institute and once complete, users may register and pay for the Certificate in ESG Investing.

 

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 choose to purchase a hard copy of the syllabus (the Official Training Manual) with registration for an additional USD135 + shipping.

Q: When can I take my ESG exam?

A: You can sit your exam on most working days at in-person test centers or choose to schedule your exam during times offered via remote online proctoring. Prometric offers a global network of test centers. To view the complete list of available in-person testing centers, please visit https://proscheduler.prometric.com/scheduling/searchAvailability.

Q: How much is the ESG exam?

A: The ESG examination and online learning materials cost USD 675. This includes the exam sitting and access to a digital copy of the curriculum. There is no option for candidates to purchase the exam only. The exam fee is paid through a secure online payment screen.

 

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. Candidates are limited to three attempts at re-registration within six months.

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

 

A: CFA Institute is committed to offering the Certificate in ESG Investing accessible to individuals with disabilities and in compliance with legal regulations. Please take a moment to read information about Disability Accommodations for the Certificate in ESG Investing. Candidates must submit
the Disability Accommodations Request Form after exam registration, but prior to exam scheduling.

 

Q: Can I postpone my exam?

 

A: Candidates may reschedule their scheduled exam appointment up to 72 hours before the exam appointment time. There is a USD 30 fee to reschedule your exam appointment. This can be done by logging into your CFA Institute account.

All exams must be sat within the one year period agreed during registration, or the registration will become void. Please see our Refund, Deferrals, and Withdrawals Policy for complete information.

Studying for the Certificate in ESG Investing

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

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

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

A: A print version of the learning materials may be purchased for USD135 plus shipping. The print version is available here.

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

A: 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: Once exam registration is complete, the learning materials will be available in the Candidate Resources area of your CFA Institute account.

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 one year.

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. Depending on your existing level of investment expertise and knowledge of ESG factors you may take fewer hours to successfully study for the exam.

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 72 hours prior to your exam appointment time. The fee to reschedule your exam appointment is USD30. 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 see our Refunds, Deferrals, and Withdrawals Policy.

Q: What happens if my OPT exam is cut-off, power outage, internet outage, etc.?

A: If you experience a technical issue during the exam, you should immediately contact your proctor if possible using the online chat functionality. If you are experiencing repeated disruptions or a disruption for longer than 5 minutes your exam maybe terminated. Please contact CFA Institute for guidance on what to do next.

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

A: You will need to present your government issued photo ID on the day of your exam. Candidates will be required to present one valid, unexpired and original government-issued photo ID with a signature, such as a driver's license, passport, national ID or military ID. In cases where a primary government-issued photo ID does not have a signature, a second (2nd) ID with signature must be presented.
Examples of secondary ID include:
Student ID
Work ID
Voter ID card
Professional license
The names on your identification must EXACTLY match the names you provided when you registered for the exam.

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. Once the exam result has been posted to their CFA Institute account they will be able to register for USD675 using the same registration process.

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

A: Candidates are limited to three attempts within six months.

Results and Certificates

Q: How do I get my exam results?


A: Your results will be provided on-screen at the end of your examination at the test center and will be emailed to you the same day. Results will be available online in your CFA Institute account within 7 days of your completed exam appointment

 

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

 

A: Candidates will receive the CFA Institute 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.).

Q: How do I reference that I am an ESG Certificant?

A: Successful candidates should state clearly that they have achieved the CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing. There is no designation associated with the Certificate and ESG should not appear after your name.

Annual Syllabus Change and Exam Version Cut-Over

Q: When does the syllabus change?

A: The Certificate in ESG Investing syllabus will be updated in December 2022.
 
On some occasions it may be necessary to update the syllabus ahead of schedule 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 Certificate in ESG Investing. 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 page.

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.

A print version of the latest learning materials may be purchased for USD135 plus shipping. The print version is available here.

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.

Transitioning the CFA UK Level 4 Certificate in ESG Investing to CFA Institute

Since the launch of the Certificate in ESG Investing in December 2019, the growing demand and need for education in this space has become clear. As consumers demand more equality and transparency from corporations, accounting for ESG factors in investment management is more important than ever and investment management professionals are seeking out trusted sources of education to support them in their roles.
Increasingly, we are seeing demand for the Certificate in ESG Investing extend globally with growing numbers of candidates coming from around the world.  We are keen to increase the availability and reach of the Certificate in ESG Investing and to make it a truly globally recognized credential.  Working with CFA Institute, with its reputation for excellence, global reach and network of CFA Societies will enable this. CFA Society United Kingdom is therefore working with CFA Institute to transition the Certificate in ESG Investing into their portfolio of global credentials.

What is the timeline for change?