ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Frequently asked questions about the CF qualification

Some frequently asked questions about the Corporate Finance (CF) qualification.

Select one of the following topics that relates to your question. If your question is not answered here, please contact us by email or call +44 (0)1908 248 250.

CF qualification study route

Is the syllabus internationally applicable?
404 people found this useful
The syllabus is focused on corporate finance practice and theory and as such is internationally applicable. The syllabus also covers UK listing rules which are directly relevant to many members practicing outside the UK, including those advising clients listed on a London Exchange. We have international students from a variety of locations including; South Africa, Bucharest, Singapore, Bahrain, Dubai and Hong Kong.
What are the entry requirements for the Diploma in Corporate Finance?
925 people found this useful

The Diploma in Corporate Finance is designed to build on the knowledge gained through the Certificate in Corporate Finance. The certificate is therefore the normal prerequisite for the Diploma in Corporate Finance. The certificate consists of two units:

  • Unit 1: Corporate Finance Regulation 
  • Unit 2: Corporate Finance Technical Foundations 

Special arrangements

There are special arrangements for individuals with the following qualifications:

Holders of SFA Corporate Finance Representative examination or previous SII CF Diploma

Holders of the following qualifications, which provide a specific corporate finance and regulatory underpinning for FSA Activity 8, advising on investments in the course of corporate finance business, are exempt from the level 3 Certificate in Corporate Finance:

  • SFA Corporate Finance Representative examination
  • Previous SII CF Diploma if a regulatory paper is held

Candidates outside the UK who do not hold the full level 2 Certificate in Corporate Finance

Candidates outside the UK who do not hold the full level 3 Certificate in Corporate Finance may substitute a local regulatory paper for the Certificate in Corporate Finance unit 1: Corporate Finance Regulation and will need to complete unit 2 of the Certificate in Corporate Finance - Corporate Finance Technical Foundations.

Other local regulatory papers may be considered and are assessed on a case by case basis.

Holders of the ACA

Holders of the ACA are exempt from the level 3 Certificate in Corporate Finance but are advised that the Diploma in Corporate Finance requires a high level of specific technical knowledge and are thus strongly recommended to sit the Certificate in Corporate Finance unit 2: Corporate Finance Technical Foundations to gain an appropriate academic underpinning to the diploma.

Other accountancy institutes may be considered on a case by case basis.

Holders of the diploma paper for the previous ICAEW Corporate Finance qualification

Holders of the diploma paper for the previous ICAEW Corporate Finance qualification are exempt from the level 3 Certificate in Corporate Finance. To gain the new Diploma in Corporate Finance, they are required to pass the Corporate Finance Strategy and Advice paper of the new Diploma in Corporate Finance. 

 
What is the deadline for applications?
10 April 2017  Summer 2017 exam booking deadline for international applicants
8 May 2017  Summer 2017 exam booking deadline for UK 
How is the studying done?
Either through distance learning (self-study from anywhere in the world with the support of hardcopy and online materials) or classroom learning (with a tutor, surrounded by peers).

Online content includes interactive webinars, presentations, recordings of prior knowledge elements from the Certificate in Corporate Finance, regular communication with tutor and fellow candidates, etc.

Note that classroom learning is only available in the UK.
Where / when can I sit the Diploma in Corporate Finance exams?
988 people found this useful

In the UK, Diploma in Corporate Finance exams will take place in London.

Exam  Dates Cost
Paper 1: Corporate Finance Techniques and Theory 27 June 2017  £330
Paper 2: Corporate Finance Strategy and Advice 26 June 2017 £391
Outside the UK, exam venues will be arranged with local British Council offices. Candidates will be responsible for the local costs of the exam venue. The fee will vary between £50 and £130. Where a British Council office is not available, a suitable venue will be sourced.

Once your booking form has been received and processed, the British Council / venue will be contacted on your behalf by the CISI to provisionally book your exam sitting. The British Council will contact you directly about one month before for payment. It is the candidates’ responsibility to make the payment as it will confirm your exam place.

Please note that ICAEW or the CISI does not have any control over the local costs. These are payable directly to the venue and at the venue’s discretion.

UK late entry charge of £50 per subject if applying after standard closing date.

UK late entry charge of full UK exam fee if applying after the late closing date.
What is the estimated study time?
1009 people found this useful

The estimated study time is between 200-300 hours per paper.

What is the pass mark?
985 people found this useful
The pass mark varies but is never less than 50%.
How long are the exams?
986 people found this useful

Each exam will take about 3-4 hours to complete:

  • Paper 1: Three hour open book examination (short scenario style questions)
  • Paper 2: Four hour open book examination based on a case study 

Eligibility to apply for the experience route

Do I need to be a chartered accountant to apply?
693 people found this useful
There is no requirement for you to hold a professional accounting qualification. To be eligible to apply you must have specialised in the field of corporate finance for at least five years. You must currently be working in corporate finance, or another relevant role, and corporate finance should form a substantial part of that role. You should be working at a senior management and/or leadership position (eg, partner, principal, director, managing director).
How much experience do I need to be eligible to apply?
866 people found this useful
All senior professionals who have at least five years’ experience in corporate finance are eligible to apply. You will need sufficient work experience to meet each of the requirements in the Examination of Experience, as set out in the application form through a description of six transactions and/or deals in which you have played a lead role, three of these must have been completed in the last three years.
I have had a career break so I have more than five years’ experience but I don’t have experience from the last three years. Am I eligible to apply?
244 people found this useful
One of the requirements of this qualification is to demonstrate knowledge of the current business environment which is why we insist that applicants must have experience in the last three years.
I have experience of corporate finance but currently live outside the UK, can I still apply?
833 people found this useful
As long as your experience is current and you meet the eligibility criteria, living outside the UK does not disqualify you from applying. The CF qualification is a global qualification and as such is open to applicants from all over the world.
I have completed three deals in the last three years but not all of those deals were successfully transacted. Can I still apply?
897 people found this useful
As long as the three deals on which you have worked have been concluded and as long as at least one of these deals was successfully transacted from your client’s perspective you are still able to apply.

Examination of Experience

I have moved jobs within the last three years but the application form requires the three referees to have known me for at least three years. Whom should I approach for a reference?
881 people found this useful

Your referees must have known you for at least three of the last five years and must have knowledge of the quality and scope of your work. At least one must be someone independent of your current or previous employers. All referees must be in a senior management and/or leadership position in corporate finance (eg, partner, principal, director, managing director). Their role is to recommend you for the qualification.

In addition to the three referees, each of the six transactions and/or deals you submit must be certified by a transaction or deal certifier. The deals may be certified by the same or different certifiers, who may also act as a referee. They must be a senior manager or equivalent (eg, partner, principal, director or managing director) and be a member of a professional body with an ethical code and/or hold the Corporate Finance qualification.

Is there a limit on the number times that I can apply?
1012 people found this useful
You are eligible to attempt the Examination of Experience up to four times. If you fail, you should review the marks and comments made by the assessors in your results and feedback letters.
What is the cost of the experience route?
211 people found this useful

The cost of the Examination of Experience is:

  • ICAEW member £788.00 + VAT
  • Non ICAEW member £985.00 + VAT 
What is the deadline for applications?

The experience route application submission deadline is 2 October 2017.

Answering the Examination of Experience requirements

What guidance will I receive to help me apply for the experience route?
244 people found this useful
The application form contains detailed guidance notes to help you with your submission, including an example of a deal/transaction summary. You can download a copy of the guidance notes (PDF 95KB/2 pages) from our website. In addition, there is a webinar available to talk you through the application process.
What support is there if I am unsure what to do?
1575 people found this useful
If you require further information or advise, our CF qualification team is available to answer your questions, please call +44 (0)1908 248 250 or email cfqualification@icaew.com.

Examination of Experience resubmission requirements

If I am unsuccessful, can I re-apply?
1014 people found this useful
You may re-apply until you reach the maximum of four attempts. Details of resubmission requirements are set out in the feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
Do I submit all the transactions when I resubmit my Examination of Experience?
1015 people found this useful
When you resubmit your Examination of Experience, you should submit all six of the original copies of your transactions together with any reworked and/or new transactions as recommended in the examiners’ feedback. You should read this feedback carefully in order to satisfy all requirements. All transactions should be marked appropriately in accordance with the instructions within your results and feedback letter. You must ensure that all transactions submitted were completed or terminated within the last five years.
Do I need to include new examples in the transactions that I am resubmitting?
881 people found this useful

The Examination of Experience refers to the use of examples of experience that are recent. This means examples of experience from within the last five years. As it may have been some time since you last applied, you will need to make sure that when resubmitting the transactions previously failed, you include examples from within the last five years. This enables you to include and reflect upon the most up-to-date and relevant examples in your answers.

All transactions and deals must be verified by a transaction or deal certifier. Where they have been reworked for resubmission, they must be reverified by a transaction or deal certifier.

Do I need to include a curriculum vitae (CV) in my resubmission?
679 people found this useful
Yes, if it has been some time since you applied, an up-to-date copy of your CV is requested. This enables you to include any new positions you have held or currently hold since your last application.
Do I need to ask my certifier(s) and referees to sign off my resubmission?
887 people found this useful
Yes, the assessors will expect your certifier(s) to have read the deals and/or transactions in your resubmission and reverify each one as authentic and a true record. Your referees must also reconfirm the accuracy of the total resubmission and recommend you for this qualification. The certifier(s) and referees may be those from your previous application.
What is the cost to resubmit my application should I fail?
1011 people found this useful
The cost of each resubmission is £788.00 + VAT
Who do I contact for information and advice?
313 people found this useful
If you require further information or advise, our CF qualification team is available to answer your questions, please call +44 (0)1908 248 250 or email cfqualification@icaew.com.

Assessment of the Examination of Experience

Who will assess my Examination of Experience?
531 people found this useful

Suitably qualified and respected members of the corporate finance community have been invited by ICAEW to mark and assess your application. They combine the necessary technical skills and practical experience with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the assessment. ICAEW is a highly regarded awarding body and, in order to ensure that the CF qualification standards are consistent and results are reliable, employs similar assessment procedures for all its qualifications which include double marking.