Administered by CFA Institute, the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) Programme is a graduate-level, self-study curriculum and examination programme for investment specialists.
Established in 1962, the CFA Programme sets the global standard for investment knowledge, standards, and ethics. Earning the credential can serve as a "passport" to entry or advancement within the investment profession or to work in other countries around the world. It tells clients, employers and colleagues that the charterholder has mastered a rigorous curriculum covering a broad range of investment topics and that he or she is committed to the highest ethical standards in the profession.
Congruous to its mission, our society encourages its members to earn the CFA charter and supports candidates by sponsoring CFA Exam study groups. Today, many of our members hold the esteemed CFA designation.
The CFA Programme includes a series of three exams; Levels I, II, and III. The exams:
- Are offered annually — at test centers around the world — on the first Saturday in June. The Level I exam is also offered in December.
- Must be passed sequentially.
- Are available in English only.
The exam content, learning focus, and question format increase in complexity with each level.
Curriculum Content and Learning Focus
An example showing the increase in complexity is the ethical and professional standards curriculum content. This content is similar for each exam level; however, candidates are asked different types of questions:
- Level I tests your knowledge of the ethical and professional standards.
- Level II tests how you apply those standards to situations analysts face.
- Level III tests how you apply the standards in a portfolio management and compliance context.
- Level I exams consist of basic knowledge and comprehension questions focused on investment tools; some questions will require analysis.
- Level II exams emphasize more complex analysis, along with a focus on valuing assets.
- Level III exams require synthesis of all the concepts and analytical methods in a variety of applications for effective portfolio management and wealth planning.