Investment Foundations Program FAQs

Effective immediately, the Investment Foundations® Program will now be available for free to everyone worldwide. Further, we will be moving the program assessment (exam) online in February so that anyone with an Internet connection can complete the program at their convenience. These changes will help CFA Institute achieve our goal for the program, to become a new standard of investment industry literacy, and help us build a more diverse, inclusive, and talented industry.

We have developed the following guide to assist you during this transition period.

Investment Foundations Program

We are increasing access to the Investment Foundations content by making it available as a free online program. By removing barriers posed by test center accessibility and the associated costs of testing, we can increase the number of people who can take the program, and so further our commitment to building market integrity.

 

The curriculum and content will remain the same. What is changing is how the content will be delivered and testing administered. This will now happen exclusively online.

 

We are working on determining when the transition will happen. There are a number of technology and operational subjects that need to be addressed. The current expectation is that the online assessment will be available February 2019.

 

As of now, we expect a seamless transition so that Investment Foundations candidates will be able to take the exam at a computer-based testing center through the Pearson VUE network through January, and beginning in February 2019 they will be able to take the assessment online through our Learning Ecosystem.

 

Ethics are at the core of CFA Institute, and we will expect Investment Foundations candidates to understand the importance of ethical conduct and sign a pledge as they sit the assessment. Many financial services firms require their employees to complete annual compliance training online, pass an exam, and certify the results. We see the evolved Investment Foundations Program in the same light. The curriculum will remain free and accessible to all, just as it was when the exam was offered at a test center.

 

Yes, exam takers will need to sign a pledge prior to completion of the exam.

 

For the professionals who have already earned the certificate, the knowledge gained from the program will continue to be important and relevant for years to come. We are confident that the high-quality curriculum and exam content can be even more valuable as a mission-driven, free, online program. By removing commercial barriers, the program will expand and access to investment industry knowledge will be increased. The curriculum and exam retain the same high quality going forward as they always have.

 

No. The decision to make the program available as a free online program does not devalue the knowledge acquired by those participants who previously received a certificate. This decision was made so we can offer the program to a much wider participant pool by removing barriers of test center access and cost.

 

Yes, successful program completion still results in certification. Certificate holders will be able to use a digital badge and print a paper certificate.

 

We are delighted by your firm’s interest in the program. The program is already being offered for free from September onward, and employees are most welcome to continue registering, studying, and sitting the exam as we transition the assessment from computer-based testing to online through our learning ecosystem.

 

We anticipate that the program will still be eligible for CPD credits in most markets. However, CPD criteria around the world varies by regulator and we are reviewing with them whether the repurposed Investment Foundations program will continue to meet their criteria. Over the next few months, we will have a better idea of which regulators may change the status of CPD credit in their markets.

 

From 4 September 2018 until January 2019, candidates will still be provided 180 days (or 6 months) to learn the material and sit the assessment in order to earn the certificate. Candidates who register after February 2019 will have two attempts per registration to pass the exam. Even if they are not successful on either assessment attempt, they can re-register and receive two more attempts in a year.

 

Candidates can register twice a year, attempting the assessment twice each registration. Ultimately, candidates will have four opportunities in a year to earn the certificate.

 

We are still in the process of designing the online assessment that we will deliver in February 2019. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to that date.

 

Registration between now and February will remain the same through our registration page. For the fully evolved state, we ask that you stay tuned for more details as we approach February 2019.

 

We will update the curriculum content going forward. We will provide more details about those updates after we roll out the new candidate experience in February 2019.

 

Stay tuned for more details as we approach February 2019.

 

We are still in the process of designing the online assessment that we will deliver in February 2019. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to that date.

 

Any active registrations that are eligible for a refund will not be canceled, and candidates are welcome to sit the exam and earn the Investment Foundations certificate. We request that any candidates who choose not to sit for the assessment make sure to cancel any exam appointment they have scheduled through Pearson VUE.

 

Yes. A full refund is available to all candidates who have registered for the program but have not yet taken the exam at a Pearson VUE test center.

Please note that CFA Institute may take up to 30 days to process all refunds. Due to fluctuating exchange rates outside of our control, we cannot guarantee that the exact amount paid to CFA Institute will be the same amount returned in the original currency.

B2B voucher purchase:
For corporates who have purchased vouchers, CFA Institute will refund the purchase price:

  1. For all unused, but not expired, vouchers
  2. For all vouchers used to register for the program, but where the candidate has not sat for the exam at a Pearson VUE test center yet.

B2B Pay Go purchase:
For corporates who have opted for the Pay Go functionality as payment method, CFA Institute will refund the purchase price, in the same payment method used for registration, for all candidates who have registered but have not sat for the exam at a Pearson VUE test center yet.

Individual purchase:
For individuals, CFA Institute will refund the purchase price in the same payment method used for registration, for all candidates who have registered but have not sat for the exam at a Pearson VUE test center yet.

 

Exam registration will be free beginning 4 September 2018. The free online assessment will be available February 2019. Until that time, assessments will still be administered through Pearson Vue testing centers.

 

Questions should be directed to the CFA Institute Global Contact Center.

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