How to Acquire the Corporate Finance Qualification (CFQ)

The corporate finance qualification (CFQ) is a jointly developed course by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI). The CFQ is meant for professionals working in the field of corporate finance. It officially recognizes your accomplishments in this profession at the topmost level. Acquiring such a qualification involves getting three academic credentials.

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1. Certificate in Corporate Finance

This is the commencement stage where students develop important basic knowledge in the field. If you have a profession in corporate finance or any related field, this certification is meant for you. The syllabus consists of corporate finance techniques, legislation and regulations that equip you with an understanding of how transactions in the sector are developed to meet clientele needs. This certificate is recognized by the Finance Conduct Authority (FCA) as a credible course in equipping learners with the technical and regulatory understanding of corporate finance. There are no initial prerequisites and exemptions for this certificate. Upon completion, successful students can continue to the subsequent stage.


2. Diploma in Corporate Finance

You can only take this course if you have successfully completed the certificate in corporate finance. This diploma enables you to gain knowledge, expertise and skills in the field. The syllabus is work-related. It arms you with technical and commercial skills that will enable you tackle complex issues and add value to your organization. Additionally, it enables progressive learning that may lead to CISI Chartered Member status and the ICAEW Corporate Finance designatory letters.

The exam is recognized by the FCA and has two sittings for paper 1 (Corporate Finance Techniques and Theory) and paper 2 (Corporate Finance Strategy and Advice). The paper 1 exam is scheduled in June, and paper 2 in December. There are various prerequisites that you need to oblige to before sitting for the exam. You need to be a holder of either the CISI Level 3 Certificate in Corporate Finance or have a recognized Accountancy Qualification. Once you are successful in both papers, you need at least three years of experience in the corporate finance field to merit the qualification and a certificate in finance designation.

3. Corporate Finance Qualification

Prior to being awarded this qualification, you are required to have completed the Diploma in Corporate Finance and demonstrated at least three years of working experience in the sector. You must also have a confirmation of professional good standing. This qualification confirms your credibility and status as an experienced and leading specialist in corporate finance. Once you successfully meet the eligibility criteria listed above, then you can acquire the qualification.

Apart from the study route, you can also use the experience route. However, this is majorly for senior and highly experienced corporate financiers. If you are applying through the experience route, you will be required to have a minimum of five years’ work experience in a relevant industry. Additionally, you will have to provide substantial evidence that you have played a lead advisory role in more than six corporate finance transactions over the required minimum years of experience.