CIMA Exemptions

Exemptions can be granted by CIMA where students have already completed certain other relevant qualifications. Exemptions are granted in relation to specific exams – if you are granted an exemption for a particular exam, it means that you do not need to write it in order to complete your qualification. There are numerous ways in which you can qualify for an exemption. These ways are listed below.

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Ways according to which you can be eligible for an exemption:


  • Accredited degree accelerated route

You can apply for an exemption through this route if you already have a qualification that is present on CIMA’s database of accredited programmes.

  • Relevant degree accelerated route

You can apply for an exemption through this route if you have a degree that is not present on CIMA’s database, but is also relevant to the CIMA curriculum.

  • AAT accelerated route

Students or members of the Association of Accounting Technicians are eligible for certain exemptions.

  • Open University Accelerated Route

You may be eligible for an exemption if you have obtained the Open University Certificate in Accounting.

  • Masters gateway route

You may be eligible for an exemption if you have obtained an MBA or a Masters Degree in Accounting.

  • Management accountant gateway route

Members or passed finalists of ICWAI or ICMAB, and members of ICMAP, may be eligible for an exemption.

  • Professional gateway route

If you are in the process of studying or have already completed a relevant qualification with another professional body, you may be eligible for an exemption.


Important information regarding Exemptions:

    • CIMA has the sole discretion regarding whether or not an exemption will granted.

    • CIMA will not automatically grant you an exemption – you must apply to CIMA for an exemption.

    • CIMA will only decide whether or not you will be awarded an exemption once you are registered as a CIMA student.

    • As part of your application for an exemption, you need to send copies (not the originals) of all your academic records and certificates to CIMA. These need to be in English.

    • Professional experience is not recognised for the purposes of exemptions.

    • CIMA charges a fee for every exemption awarded. The exemption fee will normally be the same as the exam fee for the subject in question.

    • You cannot rely on qualifications that you obtained 10 or more years prior to your registration with CIMA in order to apply for an exemption from any of the exams that form part of the Professional Qualification.

    • Before you accept the award of an exemption, you should be certain that you would be able to pass the exam from which you are being exempted, as the next level’s work will be based on the work covered in the previous level. You therefore need to be sure that you will be able to manage the work.


Who to contact regarding applications for exemption:

Any enquiries in connection with exemptions and applications for exemption need to be forwarded to [email protected]



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