The Investment Management Certificate (IMC) is the most widely recognised qualification of its kind in the UK
Study for your exam Register for your exam

The profession's benchmark entry-level qualification, the IMC is used by most leading investment firms to demonstrate competence for regulatory purposes. The IMC offers an excellent foundation to careers in the investment profession. Many IMC holders continue their professional development by studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program. The IMC is an FCA Appropriate Qualification for the activity of ‘Managing Investments’.

CFA UK is the Awarding Organisation for the IMC qualification.

Who sits the IMC?

The Investment Management Certificate - the UK's foundation to investment careers.

Full recognition in the industry and essential regulatory status for career progression.

With over 5,000 exams sat each year, the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) is the most widely-recognised and established qualification of its kind in the UK. The IMC has been used by investment professionals for over 20 years, and is taken by staff in leading investment firms in the UK and overseas. The IMC is the industry's benchmark entry-level qualification. 

IMC candidates come from a broad range of backgrounds with equally broad aspirations. It is generally considered appropriate for anyone entering an investment-related role. Developed for front office investment professionals, the main categories of employees who take the IMC are those involved in:

  • Investment focused roles (portfolio manager, research analyst, trader, risk manager)
  • Client management roles (wealth manager, private banker, relationship manager, sale)
  • Middle office and support roles (IT, operations, project management).

The IMC provides the ideal foundation for those with future plans for the CFA Program and the IMC qualification covers approximately 30% of the CFA Level I curriculum. From induction to masters-level, the IMC-CFA route provides a globally-recognised career progression for investment professionals and their employers. Combining the IMC and CFA Level 1 also meets the exam standards required by the FCA of Retail Investment Advisers. 

Many candidates also take the IMC for career progression.

Please see the IMC syllabus for an understanding of the exam's level and content.

What does the syllabus cover?

Syllabus overview

Unit 1 – Investment Environment

Unit 2 – Investment Practice

Download the syllabus

IMC v14 Unit 1 – The Investment Environment IMC v14 Unit 2 – Investment Practice

Exam format

85 questions 105 questions

Online testing using standard multiple choice, item sets

and gap-fill style questions

Time allowed for exam

1 hour and 40 minutes 2 hours and 20 minutes

Total qualification time

80 hours 120 hours


8 credits 12 credits

Study materials

The Official Training Manual is available from the CFA UK website, including revision questions with fully worked calculations. A mock exam is available in the Candidate Area of the CFA UK website.

More information and policies

Please see our IMC FAQs.

IMC Policies

Where can I take it?

The IMC is examined using computer-based testing, and testing occurs throughout the working week at test centres across the UK. These are run by our test-centre partners, Pearson VUE. Having registered and paid with CFA UK, a candidate will receive details of how to schedule the time, date and venue of the examination through the Pearson VUE website. 


Pearson VUE has a network of test centres throughout the UK and Overseas. With more than 50 in the UK, including two venues in central London, we hope you can find a location convenient for you.



Test centre availability notice

Exam availability

We recommend candidates to start their study preparation and then register 1 month before they wish to sit their IMC examinations.

Availability can change on an hourly basis, and so we also strongly recommend that candidates log into their Pearson VUE accounts should they wish to schedule and reschedule. More than 72 hours notice is required to cancel or reschedule an examination. The IMC exam is only cancelled or rescheduled if a confirmation email is received from Pearson VUE.

What happens on the day?


It is important to arrive at your test centre at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start of your test. If you arrive after this time, you will not be admitted and you will have to organise any exam re-sit at your own cost. 


When you enter the test centre you must proceed to the reception desk, where you will be asked to present your ID.

The only accepted forms of ID are:

  • a valid, signed national passport, or,
  • a valid, signed UK photo driving licence, or,
  • a valid, signed UK photo provisional driving licence

Non-UK driving licences are not accepted as a form of identification. Photocopies of the above are not acceptable.You will be asked to provide an electronic signature and sign the Test Rules Agreement.

Check-in at the test centre  

Test centre reception

 When you enter the test centre you must proceed to the reception desk, where you will be asked to present your ID. 
The test centre staff will give you further instructions: whether to wait in the seating area or head straight to one of the numbered computer terminals in the testing room.

Test centre lockers

You will be asked to leave any personal items in the lockers beside the seating area.
You are not permitted to take anything into the testing room. This means no watches, wallets, bags, pens, papers, books, stationery, food, water, mobile phones and other electrical devices such as tablets and calculators.

Testing room

At your appointment time you will be asked to enter the testing room, where you will have a numbered desk with a computer terminal.

You will also be provided with a Casio fx-83GT PLUS scientific calculator, one small whiteboard and a whiteboard pen.

Invigilation desk

There is an invigilation desk in the testing room, from which the invigilator has a clear line of sight to every desk and computer. Your computer will only display the exam for which you are registered.

Test centre reception

 Once you have completed your examination, follow the instructions on screen and leave the testing room.

Proceed to the reception desk where the Test Centre Administrator will hand you a print out of your provisional examination results.

How to book your IMC exam