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New qualification in ESG Investing launches in December

  • CFA UK’s certificate will be the first formal qualification on ESG investing available sector-wide to investment professionals in the UK
  • Investment professionals from 60 firms participated in the pilot programme
  • Nearly 500 investment professionals have signed up to take the exam
  • Qualification expected to be launched in additional markets from 2020

CFA UK’s Certificate in ESG Investing, the first qualification of its kind in the UK, will be available to investment professionals from December. The Certificate has been introduced to meet the increased demand for ESG knowledge and skills in the investment sector and is already seeing high uptake.

In the UK, over 500 candidates are already signed up to complete the course; they will be able to take the exam from 2 December 2019.

The launch follows a pilot programme conducted in September 2019, which was designed to ensure that the training materials developed for the qualification were robust. More than 160 students from 60 firms took part in the pilot, which achieved a very good pass rate.

Participants in the pilot programme represented a wide spectrum of the profession, including asset owners, asset managers, consultants and pension providers. Many were senior professionals, with 32% having earned the CFA designation, and 34% holding the Investment Management Certificate (IMC).

One participant of the pilot exams said:

“The content is broad enough in scope to make it accessible to budding ESG practitioners, whilst also covering topics in sufficient detail to enhance the knowledge of those with more experience in the ESG space.”

Version two of the syllabus is currently being developed and though, at syllabus level, changes are expected to be minor, coverage in the underpinning learning materials is likely to be expanded in the areas of climate change and coverage of asset classes.

CFA UK also hopes to launch the qualification in additional markets. Representatives from nine other CFA Societies – Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, France, Spain and Denmark – participated in the pilot and CFA UK plans to offer the qualification in these countries from January 2020.

Says Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA UK:

“CFA UK’s new Certificate in ESG Investing was designed to augment practitioners’ technical and ethical competency, enabling them to serve their clients to the best of their ability.”

“For investment professionals, being able to demonstrate their proven ESG capability is likely to become increasingly important. CFA UK’s new qualification will allow those professionals looking to expand their portfolio of skills to integrate ESG factors into their day-to-day roles.”

Says Christina Curtin, Director of Education at CFA UK:

“The launch of our Certificate in ESG Investing follows a very successful pilot exam. We have already seen a high level of interest from investment professionals, including a great response from overseas. Improving understanding of ESG, which is increasingly important to investors, is now vital to the success of the profession, and we are pleased that firms and individuals are reacting so well.”