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IMC Syllabus Change - 1 December

Important information

The IMC syllabus will update from IMC syllabus edition 15 to 16 on the 01 December 2018. All candidates sitting their IMC exams from the 1 December 2018 will be tested on this new syllabus. CFA UK recommends all candidates study from the correct and up to date syllabus. If you are a candidate sitting your IMC exams from the 1 December 2018 you are advised to study from the Official Training Manual Edition 16 and learn the new updated tax table.

 

Which tax rates will be used in my exam?

The current tax tables are available to download from the Latest Updates panel on the IMC page.

Candidates will not be provided with tax rates in the exam; these must be learned by the candidate.

When do you update the tax tables?

We update the tax tables on 1 December each year in line with the syllabus update.

When does the syllabus change?

The IMC syllabus is updated every year on 1 December. This is to ensure that the content of the IMC remains relevant to the current financial services industry landscape.

The examination is written to the syllabus; therefore you will be tested on the new syllabus from 1 December.

On some occasions it will be necessary to update the syllabus before this due to significant changes within the financial services industry; for example, the when the change from the FSA to FCA took place.

Where can I see the changes?

The changes are detailed on the IMC page.

 

If I do each unit under different versions of the syllabus, will I still achieve the IMC?

Yes.

The structure of the IMC qualification has not changed.

How much change is there?

The document highlighting the changes is available on the IMC page.

The IMC syllabus is updated every year on 1 December. This is to ensure that the content of the IMC is relevant to the current financial services industry landscape.

Typically, Unit 1: The Investment Environment has more updates due to the changing regulations within the financial services industry. Unit 2: Investment Practice has fewer changes as it tends to cover material which does not often change.

Will my old Official Training Manual (OTM) cover the new syllabus?

We do not encourage candidates to use old versions of the OTM.

The examination is written to the syllabus; therefore you will be tested on the new syllabus from 1 December.

It is important that candidates carefully consider when they plan to sit the IMC. This is because the syllabus tested may change depending on the date that they sit the exam.

 

When will the new Official Training Manual (OTM) be available for purchase?

The new OTM will available at the end of October from the Studying for your exam page.

 

Why do you change the syllabus?

Due to the fast-moving nature of the profession, it is necessary to update the IMC syllabus regularly. This is to ensure that the content of the IMC remains relevant to the current financial services industry landscape.

It is important that candidates carefully consider when they plan to sit the IMC. This is because the syllabus tested may change depending on the date that they sit the exam.

Does the change in syllabus mean that the IMC is still a level 4 qualification? expand
Yes.

The level of the IMC qualification has not changed.

 

Will the new syllabus still count towards RDR compliance?

Yes.

The IMC at level 4 still counts towards RDR compliance, and appears on the FCA Appropriate Qualifications tables.

For more information about the IMC and RDR, please see the FAQs on the IMC and the Retail Distribution Review

Studying for the IMC

IMC test taker tips

We recommend you save or print these guides for reference before your exam.

IMC Test Taker Tips

 

What kinds of questions are used in the IMC exams?

Since 2010 the IMC has used three different question types: standard multiple choice, 'gap fill' and item sets.

Standard multiple choice questions comprised of a question with four (4) answer options.

'Gap fill' question types require candidates to enter a value into the answer field. There are specific formatting requirements (no symbols or letters unless specified in the question), these formatting requirements are always given in the question.

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.

The Question Type Guide is provided to candidates so that they may become familiar with them.

Where can I buy the Official Training Manual (OTM)?

The Official Training Manual (OTM) for the Investment Management Certificate is available for purchase online through the CFA UK website.

 

Where can I see the question allocation for the IMC?

Question allocation across the syllabus is balanced on the guidance of psychometric and industry specialists.

Each syllabus contains the Areas of Weakness and Question Allocation guide which provides candidates with a broad indication of the relative ?weighting? of different parts of the syllabus in IMC examinations.

The syllabuses are displayed in the 'What does the syllabus cover?' section of the IMC webpage.

 

How long does it take to study for the IMC?

The recommended study times for each unit of the IMC are as follows:

- Unit 1 - 80 hours

- Unit 2 - 120 hours.

Which tax rates will be used in my exam?

The current tax tables are available to download from the Latest Updates panel on the IMC page.

Candidates will not be provided with tax rates in the exam; these must be learned by the candidate.

 

Will I be given formulas in the exam?

Candidates will not be given formulas in the exam; these must be learned by the candidate.

 

When do you update the tax tables?

We update the tax tables on 1 December each year in line with the syllabus update.

Registering for the IMC

My login details don't work.

If you are trying to schedule your exam:

  • try clicking 'I forgot my password'. You will be asked for your username, firstname and surname. A new password will be emailed to you shortly.
  • alternatively you can schedule over the telephone by calling Pearson VUE directly on 0870 609 5777.

If you are trying to view your provisional exam result:

If you are trying to log into the Members Area of the website for IMC study support:

 

How often does the IMC exam take place?

The IMC exam is can be taken every working day at Pearson VUE test centres in the UK, and at selected overseas sites.

Once you have registered and paid for your exam, you will be able to choose the venue, time and date of your exam.

Candidates are required to sit the exam within 12 months of the registration date.

 

How much is the examination fee?

  • Unit 1 Investment Environment £260
  • Unit 2 Investment Practice £280
  • Unit 1 Investment Environment & Unit 2 Investment Practice £540

The exam fee is paid through a secure online payment screen. The society does not invoice for exam fees, and we cannot take payment over the telephone. VAT is not payable on exams.

 

I'd like to ask for extra time/wheelchair access/medication breaks etc...

The society is committed to preventing barriers to assessment where possible. 
Take a moment to read the reasonable adjustments policy, and submit the reasonable adjustments application form once you have registered for the exam.

 

Can I postpone my exam?

Candidates wishing to reschedule an arranged exam appointment should provide more than 72 hours prior to your exam appointment time.

This can be done by logging into the Pearson VUE website or calling 0870 609 5777.

All exams must be sat within the 12 month period agreed upon enrolment, or the registration will become void. Refunds will not be issued under any circumstances.

I have passed one unit but not yet registered for the second; how do I do so?

To register for your second exam (or indeed a resit) you will need to complete the online registration form as before. 

It is important that you use the same primary email address as your original registration; this will ensure the system detects you are the same candidate and reconciles your enrolments. 

If you are unable to use the same email address, please email info@cfauk.org

How do I register for the IMC?

Registration is a two step process, completed online.

Go to the registration page

Once registered you will receive a confirmation email providing scheduling instructions and your unique username and password.

You can then login to Pearson VUE's website to select a date, time and location to take the IMC. You can sit your exam on most working days in one of 52 locations across the UK or in selected centres worldwide.

Find your nearest Pearson VUE test centre

When can I take my IMC exam(s)?

You can sit your exam on most working days in one of 52 locations across the UK or in selected centres worldwide.

Find your nearest Pearson VUE test centre

You will be able to view available test appointments once you have registered for the exam(s).

How long do I have to complete my IMC exam(s)?

From the date of initial registration you will have one (1) year to sit your exam.

After that, your registration will expire and you will have to re-register.

If you register for both units on the same day, you will have one (1) year to sit both exams.

If you register for each unit on separate days, your registrations will expire on separate days one (1) year from registration.

 

Can I get an extension to the one year registration period for my IMC exam(s)?

The recommended study times for each unit of the IMC are as follows:

-          Unit 1 - 80 hours

-          Unit 2 - 120 hours

This is achievable within the one year registration period.

All exams must be sat within the 12 month period agreed upon enrolment, or the registration will become void. Refunds will not be issued under any circumstances.

How do I update my address details?

All requests for a change of address must be made in writing to info@cfauk.org

CFA UK will not be held responsible should you not receive your results letter or certificate.

How many times can I sit an IMC exam?

You may not take an IMC exam more than four times in any four month test window.

Once a passing score is achieved, no further attempts are allowed.

Taking the IMC exams

What if I miss my exam due to a flat tyre/flu etc...?

You are able to reschedule your test appointment online at no extra charge 72 hours prior to your exam appointment time. 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 centre, and those who arrive with incorrect ID. If you miss your test due to illness or difficult personal circumstances on the day, please refer to the society's special consideration policy and complete the application form. Reasonable adjustments application form

Special consideration application form

 

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

You need to bring photo identification with you to the test centre.

The only accepted forms of ID are:

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

Photocopies of the above are not acceptable.

If you are unable to present the required ID, you must make Alternative ID arrangements at least one week prior to your exam date.

To arrange Alternative ID please read alternative identification policy and follow the instructions provided.

You do not need to bring a calculator as you will be provided with a Casio fx~83GT Plus by the test centre staff.

Which calculator will I use in the exam?

The test centre staff will provide you with a Casio fx-83GT PLUS to use in the exam, along with an erasable whiteboard and pen for your workings.

Any other belongings must be locked away in the secure locker area before entering the test room.

We advise that candidates read this short downloadable document when preparing using the fx-83GT PLUS, so that they feel comfortable using it at the test centre during their exam.

It is the responsibility of candidates to familiarise themselves with the functioning of the standard calculator. Pearson Vue staff can not give support to candidates on the use of the calculator during the examination.

Download the Casio fx-83GT Plus user guide.

Can I bring my own calculator?

No.

The test centre staff will provide you with a Casio fx-83GT PLUS to use in the exam, along with an erasable whiteboard and pen for your workings.

Any other belongings must be locked away in the secure locker area before entering the test room.

We advise that candidates read this short downloadable document when preparing using the fx-83GT PLUS, so that they feel comfortable using it at the test centre during their exam.

It is the responsibility of candidates to familiarise themselves with the functioning of the standard calculator. Pearson Vue staff can not give support to candidates on the use of the calculator during the examination.

Download the Casio fx-83GT Plus user guide.

What kinds of questions are used in the IMC exams?

Since 2010 the IMC has used three different question types: standard multiple choice, gapfill and item sets.

Standard multiple choice questions comprised of a question with four (4) answer options.

'Gap fill' question types require candidates to enter a value into the answer field. There are specific formatting requirements (no symbols or letters unless specified in the question), these formatting requirements are always given in the question.

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.

The Question Type Guide is provided to candidates so that they may become familiar with them.

Where can I see the question allocation for the IMC?

Question allocation across the syllabus is balanced on the guidance of psychometric and industry specialists. This information is displayed in the syllabus for each exam.

Each syllabus contains the Areas of Weakness and Question Allocation guide which provides candidates with a broad indication of the relative ‘weighting’ of different parts of the syllabus in IMC examinations.

Which tax tables will I use in the exam?

The current tax tables are available to download from the Latest Updates panel on the IMC page.

Candidates will not be provided with tax rates in the exam; these must be learned by the candidate.

 

Will I be given formulas in the exam?

No.

Candidates will not be given formulas in the exam; these must be learned by the candidate.

For more information about what happens on the day of the exam, please see the FAQs on Taking the IMC exams.

When do you update the tax tables?

We update the tax tables on 1 December each year in line with the syllabus update.

How can I resit the IMC exam?

You will need to wait 3 working days after the exam date to re-register for the exam. You will need to complete the registration on the IMC Registration page.

Please be aware that all candidates are only permitted to attempt each unit of the IMC exam once per calendar month.

How do I update my address details?

All requests for a change of address must be made in writing to info@cfauk.org

CFA UK will not be held responsible should you not receive your results letter or certificate.

How many times can I sit an IMC exam?

You may not take an IMC exam more than four times in any four month test window.

Once a passing score is achieved, no further attempts are allowed.

Results and Certificates

I need a replacement copy of my IMC certificate

Please note, this process also applies to candidates who do not contact the society about the status of a missing certificate more than three months after their exam date.

To request a replacement certificate, you must submit a written request containing the following:

  • your full name
  • DOB
  • the approximate date of your exam, e.g. April 2007
  • a photocopy of your passport or UK photo drivers licence
  • a cheque for £30 made payable to 'The CFA Society of the UK'  

Send your request to: CFA UK, 4th Floor, 42 Mincing Lane, London EC3R 7AE

Or fax it to: 020 7648 6222

Please note that all replacement certificates will be awarded from 'The CFA Society of the UK'. Replacements certificates are usually provided within ten working days.

If you have any questions, please email info@cfauk.org.


How do I get my exam results?

  • A print out of your provisional results will be provided at the end of your examination at the test centre.
  • Provisional results will be available online three working days after your examination date.
  • Your official results will be confirmed in writing and will be posted to your primary postal address within 21 working days from your examination date.
  • The CFA UK does not release your exact score or provide details of which questions you answered correctly or incorrectly. 

How do I update my address details?

All requests for a change of address must be made in writing to info@cfauk.org

CFA UK will not be held responsible should you not receive your results letter or certificate.

Exemptions

Are there any exemptions for Unit 1 The Investment Environment?

Yes. Exemption arrangements for Unit 1 The Investment Environment of the IMC can now be made using either:

  1. A Statement of Professional Standing from another Awarding Body
  2. A qualification from the FSA Appropriate Qualification table which would entitle a candidate to hold a Statement of Professional Standing

For the full details on which qualifications apply, please see our Exemptions Policy Page.

Candidates cannot apply for an exemption using a qualification which itself was gained by exemption.

 

Are there any exemptions for Unit 2 Investment Practice?

Yes. Candidates who hold CFA Level I and above are eligible to apply for exemption against IMC Unit 2 Investment Practice.

  • CFA Level I or II can be used for exemption from IMC Unit 2 providing no advice to retail (private) investors is undertaken
  • CFA Level III can be used for exemption from IMC Unit 2 (including those who advise retail (private) investors)

For the full details, please see our Exemptions Policy Page.

 

Can I get exemptions for both Unit 1 and Unit 2?

No. It is a general policy that the IMC qualification cannot be achieved by exemption alone; all candidates must sit and pass one unit at the same level of the exemption requested.

Candidates cannot apply for an exemption using a qualification which itself was gained by exemption.

 

When will I receive my exemption certificate?

Normal certification rules apply to exemptions.  Approved applicants will receive their certificate within 21 days of approval.

 

How do I apply for an exemption?

For Unit 1 Exemptions

Candidates will find the application form by logging in to the results page having passed the IMC Unit 2 Investment Practice exam.

For Unit 2 Exemptions


Candidates will find the application form by logging in to the results page having passed the IMC Unit 1 The Investment Environment exam.

The IMC and the Retail Distribution Review (RDR)

How has the IMC been affected by the Retail Distribution Review?

Individuals holding the level 4 IMC qualification plus Level I of the CFA Program will achieve RDR compliance for advising and dealing in securities and derivatives.

The combination of these two qualifications has been listed by the FCA (on the Appropriate Exams list) as fully meeting the exam requirements of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). Note that this works in combination; IMC or CFA alone are not RDR compliant. The IIMR Associate Exams (leading to the ASIP designation) is also listed.

The IMC became a level 4 qualification on 1 September 2010,

Retail practitioners who have taken both CFA Level I and the 'old' (level 3) IMC will need to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) activities in order to 'fill the gaps' and be RDR compliant.

This is also true of those with the ASIP designation who took the Associate Examinations before 2002.

Register for the level 4 IMC now

Please direct any queries to info@cfauk.org.

 

What does 'other qualifications that meet specialist standards' mean?

IMC level 4 holders may apply for a Statement of Professional Standing if they also hold exams from other bodies which meet the specialist standards Securities and / or Derivatives in full.

CFA UK recognises the following qualifications and modules from the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI):

- Derivatives (Investment Advice Diploma)

- Securities (Investment Advice Diploma)

- Investment Advice Diploma.

 

Do I need an Appropriate Qualification to do my job?

There are certain compulsory qualification requirements where investment professionals are dealing with retail clients. Information relating to this can be found on the FCA Appropriate Qualifications table.

 

Which qualification is appropriate for the activity I undertake in my job?

The FCA's Appropriate Qualifications Tables appears in Appendix 4.1.1 of the Training and Competence (TC) sourcebook and show which qualifications are suitable for which activities and the extent to which those qualification meets qualification requirement.

The key to reading this is as follows:

Identify the activities you undertake in your job.
Identify the qualification(s) you hold or are studying for.
Identify the extent to which those qualifications meet the requirements.

 

How does the FCA define 'retail clients'?

A retail client is defined by the FSA (in COBS 3.4.1) as a client who is not a professional client or an eligible counterparty.

 

I hold the IMC at level 3, what else do I have to do to become RDR qualified?

IMC level 3 holders need to complete a 'gap fill' course, plus CFA Program Level I.

More information regarding RDR requirements is available on the CFA UK website.

 

I hold the IMC at level 4, what else do I have to do to become RDR qualified?

IMC level 4 holders need to complete CFA Program Level I.

More information regarding RDR requirements is available on the CFA UK website.

 

I hold CFA Level I, what else do I have to do to become RDR qualified?

CFA Level I holders need to complete IMC level 4.

More information regarding RDR requirements is available on the CFA UK website.

 

How do I find out which level of the IMC I have?

Prior to September 2010 the IMC was a level 3 qualification.
After September 2010 the IMC has been a level 4 qualification.
If you are unsure of when you took your IMC, please email verifications@cfauk.org with your full name, date of birth, and the approximate date of your examinations.

 

How can I upgrade my level 3 IMC to a level 4 IMC?

It is not possible to upgrade a qualification from one level to the next.

IMC level 3 holders need to complete a gap fill course, plus CFA Program Level I.

This is not the same as saying you are level 4 qualified, but you would meet the RDR qualification requirements.

 

Can I use my CFA Level I to get exemption from IMC Unit 2 and still be RDR qualified?

No.

CFA Program Level I or II can be used for exemption from IMC Unit 2 providing no advice to retail (private) investors is undertaken
CFA Program Level III can be used for exemption from IMC Unit 2 (including those who advise retail (private) investors)
For the full details, please see our Exemptions Policy Page.

 

Can I use my CFA Level II to get exemption from IMC Unit 2 and still be RDR qualified?

No.

CFA Level I or II can be used for exemption from IMC Unit 2 providing no advice to retail (private) investors is undertaken
CFA Level III can be used for exemption from IMC Unit 2 (including those who advise retail (private) investors)
For the full details, please see our Exemptions Policy Page.

 

Can I use my CFA Level III to get exemption from IMC Unit 2 and still be RDR qualified?

Yes.

CFA Level I or II can be used for exemption from IMC Unit 2 providing no advice to retail (private) investors is undertaken
CFA Level III can be used for exemption from IMC Unit 2 (including those who advise retail (private) investors)
For the full details, please see our Exemptions Policy Page.


How do I prove to my employer / prospective employers that I am RDR qualified?

The FCA stipulates that all private (retail) client advisers in the UK gain an annually issued certificate called the Statement of Professional Standing (SPS).

The SPS certificate is a paper document that confirms the advisor has met specific qualification requirements, adheres to a recognised code of ethics and has completed at least 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD).

CFA UK is an FCA Accredited Body responsible for checking individual advisers have met the necessary requirements each year, and for issuing the SPS.

*Please note: The RDR recognises two distinct categories of adviser - advisers in 'packaged products' and advisers in 'securities and derivatives'. CFA UK can only support members who advise in securities and derivatives.

To find out more about or apply for a Statement of Professional Standing, please click here.

For questions regarding Statements of Professional Standing, email sps@cfauk.org.

 

I have a CF30 (Customer function) registration, does this make me RDR qualified already?

No. CF30 (Customer function) registration covers a number of different activities. It does not make you RDR qualified on its own. Therefore there is no CF30 qualification.

How do I become CF30 (Customer function) registered?

Typically this is something that your employer will do for you. Please contact the FCA on how to register as an individual.

 

I am studying for my CFA, why do I need to do the IMC if I need to be RDR qualified?

The Financial Services Authority took on the administration of the Appropriate Qualifications List in 2010. The Appropriate Qualifications List confirms which qualifications are formally approved for practitioners to demonstrate their competence for particular job roles in the industry. The Appropriate Qualifications List forms part of the (now) FCA rules on training and competence (T&C). Through a series of Consultation Papers in 2009 - 2011 the (then) FSA confirmed that certain qualifications (and combinations of examinations) are deemed to have met the requirements of the Retail Distribution Review for investment advisors. All advisors must have covered the content of the RDR 'Core' and 'Specialist' Examination Standards through assessment at level 4 or higher on the UK framework of qualifications and of a size of assessment equivalent to a 'Diploma' (requiring more than 370 study hours). Therefore, it is the combination of the exams which allow advisers to meet the qualification requirements specified by the FCA.