Strong employer focus
Our syllabus changes are the result of thorough research with employers worldwide that includes the competency frameworks of a large number of employer organisations.
We have used our CGMA Competency Framework to:
- Determine the changes to the syllabus so that CIMA can provide the business skills employers have requested
- Update the assessment so we can test key competencies to the global standards employers require.
How does the competency framework increase employability?
As our syllabus is based on our competency framework, employers can be sure that as a CIMA qualified accountant you will meet their needs. They see you as ‘employable’.
Employers also have the assurance that, as members of CIMA, you abide by a code of ethics and undertake lifelong learning including continuing professional development.
Our research showed that while producing good accounting information is of course essential, you also need to apply financial disciplines in managing a business.
To do this well, you need to have an understanding of the organisation, its business model, its strategic context and its competitive position. You also need people and leadership skills.
The skills you need vary throughout your career
CIMA research findings show the competencies you are expected to have at four levels of proficiency. They are:
Foundational (staff/entry level) | Intermediate (supervisor/manager) | Advanced (senior manager) |Expert (Executive)
Foundational roles require higher levels of technical skills, and less people skills and leadership skills. In more senior roles, there is less emphasis placed on technical skills, and more on business, people and leadership skills.
The structure of the CIMA syllabus has been developed to match this competency mix at different levels within organisations.
- The operational level of the CIMA syllabus corresponds to foundational
- The management level of the CIMA syllabus corresponds to intermediate
- The strategic level corresponds to the early stages of advanced
- The CIMA syllabus ends at this point, but support provided by continuing professional development (CPD) products allows members to further develop their skills.
You can see the relative importance of the various competencies in the three levels of the CIMA syllabus below.
CFO and rest of senior management team
Long essays, supported by calculations and analysis
CFO and senior business managers
Long and short essays, supported by calculations and analysis
Manager and product owners
Short essays, supported by calculations and analysis