Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
CImA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is an internationally recognized professional body that supports over 164,000 students and members in 161 countries. CIMA is responsible for the education and qualification of Chartered Management Accountants who work in all business sectors, in roles both within and outside finance.
CIMA has been named a 2009 Business Super brand by the UK Super brand organization, an independent authority on branding.
Chartered Management Accountants look forward to being at the heart of business, evaluating and interpreting financial information and making strategic decisions about the future direction of organizations.
If you are starting to think about your future and aiming to develop a truly successful and diverse career in business, CIMA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, can accelerate you towards achieving your career goals.
CIMA is the only professional body that qualifies accountants solely for business. CIMA Chartered Management Accountants work in industry, commerce, the public sector and not-for-profit organizations.
- CIMA is a leading membership body that offers a globally recognized professional management accounting qualification. CIMA qualification has an emphasis on accounting for business.
- CIMA qualified management accountants have an excellent understanding of finance and business. They use this to shape the future of their organizations. They have a broad business perspective and excellent employment opportunities around the world.
- CIMA is the only professional accounting body that revises its syllabus and related examinations every four years following a comprehensive consultation and research program to ensure that the syllabus and examinations reflect the current needs of business. All of the syllabus content is international in scope and the structure has been carefully considered to reflect the importance of both examinations and practical experience.
To qualify as a Chartered Management Accountant under the CIMA qualification, an applicant must:
- Meet the stringent entry requirements for the professional qualification
- Register as a student with CIMA
- Study for, sit and pass nine examinations, as defined within the syllabus
- Sit and pass the CIMA test of Professional Competence in Management Accounting (TOPCIMA), as defined within the syllabus.
- Gain a minimum of three years practical experience, as defined within the CIMAP ractical Experience Requirements, and have their Career Profile approved
Theoretical + Practical + Applied and professional standards = CIMA qualification VALUE for Employer
- Employers value the CIMA qualification for its balanced mix of theoretical, practical and applied development of skills and knowledge. The combination of these factors ensures that CIMA members understand how a business operates.
- The CIMA syllabus provides the in-depth theory which is the cornerstone of all CIMA members knowledge. CIMA's strength is combining the theory with the need to demonstrate the practical application of this in the real world of business. TOPCIMA, the final test of professional competence, is the ultimate test of practical ability prior to qualification.
- Not only do CIMA members gain the tools and techniques within the syllabus to apply the theory in practice, but there is a rigorous requirement of practical application prior to qualification. Each student has to complete a minimum of three years practical experience.
- This practical experience complements the CIMA syllabus by identifying the essential financial and technical skills required to become a competent Chartered Management Accountant, but what really differentiates Chartered Management Accountants is that this focus includes a demonstration of the broader management abilities, such as interpersonal and organisational skills, that are so essential to succeed in the business world.
- CIMA believes that the practical application of knowledge is of greater value than the acquisition of the knowledge itself. Therefore, CIMA has a robust continuous professional development policy which is based on outcomes rather than hours completed.
- CIMA works closely with employers to ensure a synergy exists with their in-house training needs and development. This avoids duplication whilst adding value to the employer. We have a CPD (CIMA Professional Development) accreditation program which is specifically designed to support employer organizations to get the best out of their CIMA qualified staff.
Ethical Conduct and Governance
- Membership of CIMA demonstrates the achievement and maintenance of technical competence but beyond this, members are also required to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards when applying their knowledge and skills.
- This is a fundamental difference between qualifications retained through a professional body and other role-focused qualifications such as MBAs, diplomas and certificates.
- It is part of CIMA's responsibility to stakeholders, including employers, regulators and the business community at large, to promote ethics to our members and to help them to continually demonstrate high ethical standards.
Roles and Functions of CImA Members
The diversity of functions in which CIMA members operate can be demonstrated from the findings of our 2006 member survey. The following are areas which occupy a significant amount of time within the roles of CIMA members.
Planning and Strategy
If you are new to business or accounting studies and you do not already have an exempting qualification you will start by gaining the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.
Entry into the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting is open to all, regardless of your financial knowledge. All you require is a passion to succeed in business.
If you enter the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting after studying at university, you may be eligible for exemptions from one or more of the modules. To see if you are eligible for any exemptions, visit CIMA Global exemptions details.
- In order to apply for exemptions you will need to send us a certified copy of your award certificate and a copy of the transcript (details of the subjects you studied) along with your completed registration form and relevant fees. To be certified the copy of your certificate and transcript must be signed by a responsible person as a true copy of the original. We suggest asking your manager or a lecturer to sign the copy. All certified certificates and transcripts must be in English.
- If you are awarded any exemptions we will confirm them to you upon registration.
- Please note that you should not sign up for a CIMA course until you have written confirmation of your exemptions. We do not accept liability for course fees which have been affected by an exemption decision.
- When you have completed the Certificate, or if you already have a qualification that gives you direct entry, you can begin studying for the CImA Professional Qualification.
CIMA is not just about getting your career off to a good start. CIMA will give you the skills to succeed at the most senior levels.The skills you develop through your CIMA study will give you a lot of choice in your career.
In 2006 we launched the current CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting qualification syllabus. All of the Certificate subjects were refreshed and we introduced a new and exciting module covering ethics. In adding ethics to this level in the CIMA qualifications framework, CIMA is signaling the crucial place the topic has in our curriculum and the part ethics plays in being a professionally qualified Chartered Management Accountant.
- Certificate Level - The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting is ideal for people who are new to the world of business qualification because it offers a solid grounding in the basics of management accounting, financial accounting and business and consists of 5 papers. It is also a stepping stone towards the CIMA Professional Qualification.
- Managerial Level - The managerial level is broadly equivalent to a professionally focused relevant degree and consists of 6 papers. By completing it you will develop decision making and management skills, as well as expertise in technical accounting - all skills required to operate effectively as a management accountant.
- Strategic Level - The strategic level has been developed to focus on key strategic issues and business practices. It is broadly equivalent to postgraduate level study and consists of three papers, each building on the content within the relevant pillars at the managerial level. Through these exams, you will develop the top level skills needed to progress your management career.
- Test Of Professional Competence In Management Accounting (TOP CIMA) - It is based upon a case study and set within a simulated business context. By passing this exam you will prove that you have the ability to transfer your strategic and practical knowledge to a real life business situation. The TOP CIMA has no specific syllabus content. Material from any of the Managerial and Strategic level subjects could be relevant.
All the exams are three hours long and have the pass marks of 50%.
It is essential that you read the subject syllabus before starting your studies.
CIMA body has built CIMA's Professional Qualification syllabus on three pillars of learning - culminating in a new Test of Professional Competence in Management Accounting (TOPCIMA).
The pillars are called:
- Management Accounting Pillar
- Business Management Pillar
- Financial Management Pillar
There are three subjects in each learning pillar. two of the subjects in each pillar are from the Managerial level. The third is from the Strategic level.
- Certificate Level
- Once a student completes the Certificate in Business Accounting, he will be able to progress to the Managerial level. A permanent credit is awarded for any paper in which the candidate scores 50% or more.
- Students wishing to appear in May manual exam of Managerial Level must have passed all papers of Certificate level by 28th February. For appearing in November exam Certificate Level must be passed by 31st August .
- Please note you will not be awarded the CImA Certificate in Business Accounting if you have accepted exemptions from all five assessments.
- Managerial Level
- No progression rules and you can study as many papers as you wish in any order. A permanent credit is awarded for any paper in which the candidate scores 50% or more.
- Students can study the subjects in each pillar separately or can study a selection of subjects across pillars. This level consists of 3 hour papers.
- The content of the Management Accounting pillar has been re-structured and the Business Management pillar has expanded coverage of management issues.
- Please note you will not be awarded the Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting if you qualify for, and have accepted, exemptions from all six papers at Managerial Level.
- Strategic Level
- You must complete all Managerial Level papers (P1, P2, P4, P5, P7 and P8) before attempting the Strategic Level Papers (P3,P6 and P9). This level consists of 3 hour papers with each building on the content within the pillars at the Managerial Level. A permanent credit is awarded for each paper in which the candidate scores 50% or more.
- Test Of Professional Competence In Management Accounting (TOPCImA)
- The TOPCIMA is a new final assessment. It is based upon a case study and set within a simulated business context. It is a three hour exam. It will be taken after the Strategic Level subjects have been successfully completed.
- Those who attain this level will have proven that they have the ability to apply their strategic and practical knowledge to a real life business situation.
- Once you have completed TOP CIMA, and had your practical experience approved, you will be officially recognized as a qualified Chartered Management Accountant.
All three Strategic Level papers must be taken together at your first attempt at this level.
Any necessary re-sits can be taken in any combination and in any order.
CBAs are available for all the papers of the Certificate Level and can be taken at any time of the year, allowing students to progress through to the Intermediate level paper based exams at their own pace.
CBA uses computers to deliver questions and receive answers. Objective test questions are used in the assessment (the most common type is multiple choice but there are other formats).
The CBA system has many benefits:
- You will receive your results immediately after you finish the assessment, because the computer can mark it instantly.
- You will receive individual performance feedback after the assessment, if you are unsuccessful this will help you to identify the areas of the syllabus where you require a better understanding of the topics.
- You can sit computer based assessment whenever you wish - you aren't restricted to the two paper based exam sittings per year.
- You can also re-sit assessments as and when you are ready.
- You can use CBA to progress quickly through to the Intermediate level paper based exams.
- CBA allows for a wide range of the syllabus to be covered so you can be confident that you have a sound grounding in business and accounting in preparation for the Intermediate level exams
- Upon successfully completing an exam by computer based assessment you will receive a 'Certificate of Achievement' from the centre. Your student record will automatically be updated by CIMA and an exemption will be awarded for the appropriate paper based subject.
CBA can be taken at any time of the year, provided that you are a registered CIMA student. However, if you are using CBA to fast track through to the Intermediate level papers you need to be aware of CIMA's registration, exam entry and exemption deadlines.
This is particularly important if you want to sit Financial Accounting and/or Management Accounting Performance Evaluation from the Intermediate level, as we must have notification that you have completed the Foundation subjects Financial Accounting Fundamentals and/or Management Accounting Fundamentals before you can be entered for these papers (this is due to the progressive nature of these subjects).
If you are interested in sitting the May Intermediate level paper based exams - you must register as a CIMA student by 31 January. You must return your completed exam entry form to CImA by 1st March and you have until the 18th March to pass the relevant subject by CBA and be awarded an exemption.
If you want to sit Financial Accounting from the Intermediate level in May, you will need to register as a student with CIMA by 31 January - we will then send you an exam entry form for the May exam and you must return that to CIMA by 1 March. On the form you should indicate that you wish to be entered for the Financial Accounting exam but you are pending an exemption from Financial Accounting Fundamentals. You then have until the 18 March to complete Financial Accounting Fundamentals by CBA, in order that you can sit Financial Accounting in May.
For the November paper based exams, you must register as a CIMA student by 31 July. You must return your completed exam entry form for the November exams to CIMA by 1st September and you have until the 18th September to pass CBA and be awarded the relevant exemption.
CIMA (UK) enjoys the following exemptions from other professional bodies:
Exemptions to CIMA Qualified or Part Qualified Students and Members
- CA (ICAP) - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of CIMA (UK) will be exempted from the PPT, Foundation and Intermediate examinations (Modules A to D) of ICAP. Such candidates shall apply for exemption from PPT, Foundation and Intermediate exams of ICAP and join CA Firm / Training Organization for a training period of three years. Moreover, these candidates shall be eligible to appear for Module E exams eighteen months after entering the training period and shall be eligible for Module F exams during the last year of training.
- ICMAP - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of CIMA (UK) will be exempted from 18 papers out of 21 of ICMAP.
- ACCA - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of CIMA (UK) will be exempted from Knowledge & Skill module (Papers F1 to F-9) of ACCA (UK).
- ICAEW (UK) - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of CIMA (UK) will be exempted from 8 papers of ICAEW (UK) out of 15.
- CAT - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of Certificate Level of CIMA (UK) will be exempted from 4 papers of CAT.
- BBA / MBA - Candidates who had successfully completed Managerial level will be awarded BBA honors degree from UCP and MBA degree after qualifying all exams of CIMA. Candidates have to submit a thesis (research paper) for BBA degree and for MBA they have to pass one semester and have to submit a thesis (research paper).
Exemptions to Students / Member of other Professional Bodies
- CA (ICAP) - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of CA (PAK) will be exempted from Certificate Level and one Paper of Managerial Level of CIMA (UK). Candidates who had successfully completed Module A to D of CA (PAK) will be exempted from All Papers of Certificate Level except Business Law of CIMA (UK).
- ICMAP - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of ICMAP will be exempted from Certificate Level and two papers of Managerial Level of CIMA (UK).
- ACCA - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of ACCA will be exempted from Certificate Level and three papers of Managerial Level of CIMA (UK).
- ICAEW (UK) - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of ICAEW will be exempted from Certificate Level and Managerial Level of CImA (UK).
- CAT - Candidates who had successfully completed all exams of CAT will be exempted from two Papers of Certificate Level CImA (UK).
- MBA / M.COM / MPA - Candidates who have successfully completed all exams of MBA will be exempted from Four Papers of Certificate Level of CIMA (UK).
- Law Degree Holders - Business Law of CImA
- Economics Degree Holders - Economics for Business and Business Mathematics of CImA
- Management Degree Holders - Organizational Management of CImA
Examination Schedule for Students Availing Exemptions
May Examination Attempt
November Examination Attempt
You may register as a student at any time. However, if you want to sit for Managerial Level or Strategic Level examination, you must have registered yourself and sent in all your supporting evidence (see below) by 31 January for the May exam sitting, and 31 July for the November exam sitting. You can, however, sit for Certificate Level examinations via Computer Based Assessment (CBA) as soon as you have registered yourself. There is no deadline for those students wishing to start the qualification at Certificate level.
Annual Subscription Payment
Certificate Level Clearance
Last Date - May Attempt
Last Date - November Attempt
If you wish to sit for Managerial Level exams, for the May examination diet you must complete all Certificate level computer-based assessment (CBA's) by 1st March and for the November examination diet you must complete all Certificate Level Computer-Based Assessment (CBA's) by 31st August.
Last Date - May Attempt
Last Date - November Attempt
Payable to CImA-UK
No. of Papers
( £ )
Registration Fee (one time)
Certificate Level* (per paper)
Operational Level (per paper)'
Managerial Level (per paper)'
Strategic Level (per paper)'
Annual Subscription Fee
* All papers of the Certificate level have to be attempted as Computer Based Assessments.
' All papers of the Operational, Managerial and Strategic Level have to be attempted as written examinations in May or November session.
Students can claim exemptions from the CIMA papers on the basis of their previous academic qualifications, the details of which are available at the respective campus.
Certificate Level (per paper)
Managerial Level (per paper)
Strategic Level (per paper)
For more information on this course kindly visit on Chartered Institute of Management Accountants global website