New ESG qualification for investment professionals to be launched this year by CFA UK

Tuesday 14 May 2019

  • The ‘Certificate in ESG Investing’ will be the first qualification of its kind in the UK market and has been designed to meet the increased demand for ESG industry knowledge and skills

  • The qualification is recognised by the United Nations-supported PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment)

  • The first open sitting of the exam will be available from 1 December 2019


CFA UK has announced the launch of a new qualification in ESG investing, which will be available to investment professionals later this year. Revealed at the CFA Institute Annual Conference in London, the 'Certificate in ESG Investing' is recognised and supported by the PRI, the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment.


The Certificate will be the first formal qualification on ESG investing available sector-wide to investment professionals in the UK. Its introduction follows a surge of interest in ESG from investors in recent years and will help to meet the investment sector’s increasing demand for further education, guidance and standards around ESG.


The qualification sets out the fundamentals for ESG investing and will equip professionals with the skills and knowledge to integrate ESG issues into their day-to-day work. It has been designed for investment professionals in all roles, from asset management to sales and distribution, as well as students seeking a career in the investment sector.


The syllabus covers broad issues such as the development of ESG investing and narrower, technical issues such as portfolio construction. The skills learned will be applicable to all asset classes. The content is deliberately non-prescriptive, enabling individuals and organisations to continue to hone their own approaches to ESG while ensuring a standard level of competency.


The qualification has been modelled on, and extends, CFA UK’s existing Investment Management Certificate (IMC), which is considered the benchmark entry-level qualification for the UK investment profession.


A pilot exam with professionals from firms including HSBC and Vanguard is scheduled to take place in early September, at which point general registration will open. The first official open sitting of the exam will be available from 1 December 2019.


While a solid grounding in the investment process is strongly recommended, there will be no formal entry criteria for candidates. Registration for the qualification will also be open to companies and individuals alike.


Says Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA UK: “CFA UK’s purpose is to make sure that investment professionals are technically and ethically competent to serve their clients well. Clients understand that ESG factors are financially material and expect their managers to help them meet their fiduciary duties by integrating ESG into analysis, valuation and investment decision-making.


“Our job is to help investment professionals to do so and we’re delighted to be working with the PRI to provide the sector with a formal qualification that can equip professionals with the knowledge and skills they need.


“The certificate will help professionals to build and demonstrate expertise in ESG investing and investment firms to extend their resources and illustrate their commitment. We are pleased to support the development of the sector’s skills and competencies in this critically important field.”


PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds said: “We are very pleased to build on our previous collaborations with CFA Institute to support CFA UK with the launch of its new Certificate in ESG Investing. With more than 6,000 enrolments representing students from more than 60 countries, the PRI Academy is also focused on training professionals on how ESG factors can impact company performance, shareholder value and investment decision making. We welcome CFA UK’s decisive step to engage and educate investment professionals in the UK on responsible investing.”


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About CFA UK

Part of the worldwide network of member societies of CFA Institute, CFA UK represents the interests of 12,200 investment professionals in the UK.


The CFA Institute Annual Conference

The 72nd CFA Institute Annual Conference is currently taking place at ExCel London, from 12-15 May. Exploring the theme ‘Disruption: The New Reality in Investment Management’, the conference is bringing together investment professionals from around the world for a series of panels and interactive sessions led by subject experts including successful investment practitioners, noted economists, leading researchers and best-selling authors. If you would like to attend please contact: