Professional Chartered Management Accounting Qualification
is CIMA making changes to the qualification?
new generation CIMA Professional Chartered Management
Accounting qualification is designed to further enhance
the premier status of the Chartered Management Accountant
and build upon the success of the current qualification.
It will be even more relevant to the needs of employers
and the dynamic environments within which CIMA students
and members work.
does CIMA’s new syllabus make me more employable?
new CIMA syllabus has:
content than key competitors
management accounting in the syllabus than any other
strategy papers than other CCAB bodies
is the only qualification to cover project management
in detail. These changes ensure that CIMA is relevant
to the needs of business and enhances the status of your
qualification and career.
are the first exams under the new syllabus?
new syllabus will be examined for the first time in May
are the key differences between the existing qualification
and the new qualification?
CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting is now a separate
entry level qualification. The syllabus for this has
not changed and those completing it will continue
to be awarded with the Certificate in Business Accounting.
current Intermediate and Final levels will cease to
exist The new CIMA Professional Chartered Management
Accounting Qualification will have two levels – Managerial
are less exams – 6 at Managerial level, 3 at Strategic
level and a final Test of Professional Competence
in Management Accounting (TOPCIMA).
syllabus comprises three ‘learning pillars’ – the
Management Accounting pillar, the Business Management
pillar and the Financial Management pillar.
each learning pillar there are three syllabus subjects.
Two of these subjects are set at the lower Managerial
level, with the third subject positioned at the higher
is the TOPCIMA and why is it not part of the Strategic
TOPCIMA is the Test of Professional Competence in Management
Accounting. It replaces the current case study but will
be similar to it in terms of the assessment format. It
is a broad based final level of assessment which requires
the demonstration of key business skills, such as identifying
and prioritising technical issues.
Students must have successfully completed all strategic
level examinations before sitting the TOPCIMA.
It is a pathway directly into membership for those students
who have previously had their practical experience assessed
TOPCIMA is comparable to the current Management Accounting
Case Study in that:
has no specific syllabus content (material from any
part of the syllabus could be potentially relevant)
assessment format will be similar to the current Case
Study (therefore pre-seen material will be published
in advance with new unseen material provided in the
is a three hour written exam.
I have to submit my PER prior to entering for the Test
of Professional Competence?
CIMA recommends that students submit their Career Profile
for assessment of their practical experience before sitting
the TOPCIMA, existing students may complete the TOPCIMA
and then submit their Career Profile. They will not however
be awarded membership status until both TOPCIMA and the
Career Profile have been successfully completed.
is the record of skills development and why has it been
short record of skills development, consisting of documentation
of instances in which defined behavioural skills have
been demonstrated, will be required along with your Career
Profile. The record of skills development will enable
you to demonstrate your ability to display key behavioural
skills that are essential to the role of the Chartered
Management Accountant for example presentations, negotiation,
influencing etc. The record of skills development will
endorse the holistic assessment of your practical experience
and supports the importance that CIMA attaches to the
achievement of such skills.
support is available to students during the introduction
of the new professional qualification?
range of support guides will be available covering many
aspects of the qualification, including gap analyses giving
subject by subject comparisons of the new and old syllabus.
Pilot papers for each of the nine subjects at Managerial
and Strategic level will also be available – these are
indicative of the style and format of the new exam papers.
I sit exams under the current syllabus in May/November
2004 or wait until the exams in May 2005?
you are sitting exams in May and/or November 2004 you
are advised to continue with your studies as planned.
You will be transferred over to the new syllabus and you
will not have to sit more papers than you would have under
the current syllabus. The content of the subjects you
sit under the current syllabus will form an essential
underpinning for the subjects at the higher level of the
can I get more information?
information will be available from this web area in March.
You are also recommended to read the March edition of
CIMA Insider. Tuition providers have been fully briefed
and should be able to respond to your queries.
have purchased Study Systems for this year's exams (2004),
will I be able to use these for the new exams in 2005?
always advise students to use the most up-to-date Study
Systems and this is essential with the introduction of
the new syllabus exams in 2005. The new Study Systems
have been designed specifically to meet the demands of
the new syllabus and students who use the old texts are
likely to have some gaps in their knowledge, or spend
time studying areas which are no longer relevant to the
long does registration take ?
no more than 28 days from the time CIMA received your
are the registration deadlines for new students?
January for the May exams, or 31 July for the November
exams. Students who wish to register only and do
not wish to avail MCG support services should send their
registration form with the appropriate fee directly to
I pay for exemptions now?
register, you must send CIMA the minimum payment of the
registration fee, and subscription fee for the year. Invoices
for exemption fees are sent separately, once they are
confirmed. (See 'Fees & dates' above).
does 'certified copy' mean?
of your educational certificates must be signed by a responsible
person, such as a senior work colleague, to confirm that
they are genuine.
do I apply for exemptions, and what is a course transcript?
course transcript is an official list of courses, from
the university or institute that you have passed to obtain
your previous qualification. The exemptions award automatically
by CIMA will depend on whether your particular qualification
is on the database. More information can be found under
‘ Entry point’ above.
am waiting for my AAT Technician results. Can I still
if you already meet the CIMA minimum entry requirements.
Please send CIMA a copy of the relevant certificates,
such as AAT Intermediate, with your student registration
form, before the appropriate closing date. As soon as
you get your AAT Technician results, please send them
on to CIMA.
do I enter for the exams?
Full details are available
I have to pay a whole year's subscription if I register
part-way through the year?
unless you register after 1 September, when your subscription
is valid until 31 December the following year.
many hours per week do I need to study?
important to realise that it's not the sheer quantity
of hours of studying that matters but rather the quality.
You can judge this quality by its effectiveness. CIMA
exam system offers a flexible approach at the Foundation
and Intermediate levels and you can choose to sit up to
six papers at a time. Therefore, general statements about
how many hours per week you should devote to studying
need to be qualified carefully.
a rough guide, the average CIMA student should be looking
at an average of about 3-4 hours per week per paper being
studied over a 6-month period. It's important to stress
that there are some students who can successfully do less
than this and others who need longer. Another factor is
that the time devoted to studying usually increases in
the pre-exam phase, so the 3-4 hours is an average over
the whole period of study. The CIMA recommended amount
of teaching time per subject is 60 hours. For those
studying by distance learning total study time may be
estimated at twice the tuition time.
recommend that you approach time management planning in
a methodical way. You should identify, in advance, when
you're going to study during each week or month, using
a calendar dedicated to your studies. On this calendar
you should show each period you will devote to studying,
clearly marking the subject, or even topic area, you will
cover. This will give you a definite plan, in writing,
to work to and to monitor your progress against.
is the Duration of the programme?
You can sit between one and six papers from the Foundation
and Intermediate levels (subject to some progression rules)
at any single exam sitting. You must complete the Foundation
and Intermediate levels before you can sit exams for the
Final level. The first time you sit the Final level exams
you must take the three management accounting strategy
papers at the same exam sitting. You can choose to sit
the case study exam at the same time, or at a later sitting.
The average time in which students will be expected to
qualify will be three to four years.