IMCA Announces ANSI Accreditation for CIMA Credential

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CIMA the first internationally accredited financial services certification in the United States

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION® (IMCA®) announced today that the Certified Investment Management Analyst℠ (CIMA®) certification program has met the requirements to become the first financial services credential in the United States to be accredited by American National Standards Institute (ANSI®) by meeting the international standard ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 (Accreditation Number 1005).

The American National Standards Institute, or ANSI, is a private non-profit organization that facilitates standardization and conformity assessment activities in the United States. The Institute oversees the creation, promulgation, and use of thousands of standards, guidelines, and conformance measures that directly impact businesses and consumers in nearly every industry. ANSI also provides third-party accreditation of organizations that certify that products, processes, personnel, services, systems, and certificate programs meet recognized international standards. The CIMA Certification has been granted accreditation under ANSI’s personnel certification program.

ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) via the U.S. National Committee, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), and other international and regional forums.

IMCA invested significant resources over a four-year period to tailor its certification processes, governance, examinations, and requirements to meet the rigorous standards of the international standard for personnel certification. All of IMCA’s changes were designed to enhance and highlight IMCA’s high standards and allow more financial professionals an avenue to demonstrate a level of competence to clients, employers, and other stakeholders.

Many organizations and individuals are increasingly turning to ANSI accreditation for validation of certification programs and to help reduce fraud and misuse in certain industries. In view of the growing number of designation programs and the need to help consumers make informed decisions, various agencies and governments are looking to ANSI accreditation to differentiate valid programs and improve practices. Accredited certifications contribute to the integrity, confidence and mobility of certified professionals as well.

“In the future, credentialing organizations that are not transparent, objective, impartial and fair—and accountable through accreditation by a third-party—will fall short,” said Sean R. Walters, CAE, Executive Director and CEO of IMCA. “The CIMA certification program will maintain the high standards we’ve developed over its 23-year history by continuing to focus on the ‘Four E’s’ of experience, education, examination, and ethics. As a result, CIMA certification has become the new standard for investment advice in financial services.”

To achieve accreditation, IMCA was evaluated on a broad range of activities and CIMA certification policies and procedures needed to demonstrate that:

  •     The program is open and transparent
  •     The program is fair, objective, and impartial
  •     There are appeals procedures for complaints
  •     The program is supported by an organization with sound management systems
  •     The decision-making body for the certification program is autonomous and without undue influence by special interests
  •     Certification is based on a process that consistently distinguishes those who meet a level of competency and skills as an investment management professional from those who do not.

During the past several years as IMCA anticipated applying for accreditation, IMCA’s volunteer policy makers set transparent standards for registering education providers, modified the governance structure to address potential conflicts of interest, and separated the education program from the actual certification function.

As in the past, candidates must successfully complete the education portion of the program, currently offered in conjunction with The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and must pass a rigorous, comprehensive certification examination in order to attain the designation.

Certifications, unlike degrees or educational designations must be renewed periodically. IMCA requires continuing education to help maintain and update certificants’ competence. All CIMA certificants are responsible for completing and reporting 40 hours (including two ethics hours) of continuing education (CE) every two years.

Based in Denver, IMCA® was established in 1985 to deliver the premier investment consulting and wealth management credentials and world-class educational offerings—membership, conferences, research, and publications. CIMA® (Certified Investment Management Analyst℠) certification is the premier credential for advanced investment advisors and consultants, and the CPWA® (Certified Private Wealth Advisor℠) designation is an advanced credential created specifically for wealth managers and advisors who work with high-net-worth clients on the life cycle of wealth: accumulation, preservation, and distribution.

IMCA® and INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION® are registered trademarks of Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. CIMA®, CERTIFIED INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ANALYST(℠), CIMC®, CPWA®, and CERTIFIED PRIVATE WEALTH ADVISOR® are certification marks of Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. does not discriminate in educational opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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