Certificate in Climate & Investing (CCI) – Frequently Asked Questions
At Quartic we get lots of questions from candidates thinking about enrolling on the CFA UK Certificate in Climate & Investing, or CCI. Here we try to address some of the most common concerns and uncertainties.
What is CCI and what are the benefits of having the certificate?
CCI or the Certificate in Climate & Investing is a new exam, launched earlier this year by CFA UK. The programme, unsurprisingly, has two key areas – climate and investing! More seriously the syllabus describes the science of climate change, how it affects each major sector (both positively and adversely) and how analysts and portfolio managers can incorporate climate into portfolios.
All investors need to be climate-aware as, to some extent, every industry is affected both from a financial and non-financial perspective.
The main benefit of studying for the CCI is that it aims to equip candidates with the analytical ability to interpret climate information from companies, industries, governments and regulators and to assess to what extent this will affect an organisation’s operations and long-term value.
Climate factors are mostly long-term and, unfortunately, often ignored by many investors. The consequence is that as the world heats up companies may suddenly find themselves ill-prepared for changing regulations and consumer tastes.
Passing the CCI demonstrates to your employer and your clients that you have not only studied and gained the knowledge required for the exam, but you now have a solid foundation for analysing the impact that climate change can have on investments.
Who should enrol on this programme?
The CCI is highly relevant to anyone working with investments: portfolio managers, analysts, brokers and advisers, not to mention individual investors saving for the future. As new standards and regulations appear, other professions such as accountants and lawyers will find the syllabus both insightful and useful.
What are the entry requirements?
There are no formal entry requirements for signing up for the CCI. The syllabus contains various accounting, investing and mathematical terms, though each one is explained clearly when it is met. A knowledge of the investment decision-making process is useful, but again not essential.
What areas does the CCI cover?
The syllabus includes:
- Climate science and climate risks and the impact on the financial system.
- Regulations, government policy and corporate reporting, the ever-changing rules governing both the activities of companies in different sectors and what specific financial and non-financial information companies need to report.
- Climate change impacts and opportunities within each major sector, including new emissions-reducing technologies.
- Climate risk measurement, with descriptions of a range of future emissions and temperature pathways through the rest of the century.
- Stewardship and engagement, how investors can interact with and impact companies – climate benefits are potentially far greater by investing in a high-emissions company (and trying to reduce these) than by investing in a green organisation.
- Listed and unlisted investment instruments, and how each one has specific features relating to climate.
- Portfolio management and client needs – how portfolios can be constructed with different objectives in mind, and what various clients may require from their portfolios.
How does CCI compare to the Certificate in ESG Investing? Should I take both?
It’s different, though there is some degree of overlap. The Certificate in ESG Investing (from CFA Institute, but originally CFA UK) covers environmental, social and governance issues, as well as (like CCI) regulations, investments and portfolios. The biggest single ESG issue facing most organisations is, of course, climate – so CCI is narrower and deeper than ESG on the topic of climate.
Many CCI candidates already have the Certificate in ESG Investing which may give candidates a head-start but it is really not a requirement. Both certificates are of similar difficulty and each of them will add value to any curriculum vitae (CV).
The curriculum for the CCI is longer than for the Certificate in ESG. However, with well-crafted learning materials and strategic studying, passing the exam should be more than achievable.
How long will it take to do the studying?
The recommended number of hours is 150, which you can think of as an hour or two a day for around three months. However … each candidate is different. A lot of technical background knowledge (on science, regulations, investing or portfolio management) may reduce the required hours; if you prefer to go into depth on each topic and explore the background sources then you will need more time. To pass the exam you will need to get most of the questions right (see below); each learning journey to this destination takes a different path.
When you register with CFA UK and Quartic, you get 12 months of access to studying materials: we strongly recommend that you aim at no longer than around 3 or 4 months. Studying for longer than this could mean that early content covered is forgotten before you reach the end.
How do I register for the CCI?
The exam is administered by CFA UK. Registration with CFA UK is done on their website; registration with Quartic is on our website. When you feel ready to sit the exam you then register with Pearson Vue and book your exam slot via your CFA UK login.
What’s the best way to prepare for the exam?
The “Official Training Manual” or OTM is the curriculum, provided by CFA UK with your registration fee. Although every exam question refers to information within these chapters, you may prefer to use educational materials from an official training partner such as Quartic for additional materials and study support. Every chapter is presented on slide decks and video using real world examples, graphic visuals and inspirational teaching. You will also receive 800 practice questions, including two full-length mock exams. Quartic offers personalised one-to-one tutor support via Zoom or e-mail.
The Quartic materials also include a Finance Essentials section covering technical terminology on accounting and investment theory that may be new to some candidates.
Can a group of colleagues study together?
Yes of course. Get in touch with Quartic to discuss group tuition, tutor support and bespoke corporate or group arrangements.
What’s the exam like?
For most candidates the exam is at a Pearson Vue centre, available in locations around the world. If you have reliable internet at home you can opt for remote testing instead, but you need a room that is certain to remain undisturbed for the duration of the exam.
The CCI exam contains 100 questions to be answered in 2 hours 20 minutes. Most of these are standalone, but there are also some multi-question item sets (case studies) that contain three to five questions each.
Questions are of a variety of structures:
- Standard multiple choice, with 1 of 4 options being correct.
- Multiple response (“select all that apply”) with 4 options, some or all of which may be correct.
- Gap-fill: numerical questions in which the answer must be typed into a box.
- Drag and drop: selected response is to be dragged into an appropriate space.
- True/False: two per question, the word to be typed in a gap-fill box.
Do I need a calculator?
Yes and no. There could be calculations in the exam and your only tool is an on-screen calculator. A bit of practice beforehand will help you to know the best approach to crack numerical questions.
When do I get results?
You get your provisional result as soon as the exam is complete. Be careful before you press “Submit”!
What is the pass mark and pass rate?
The pass mark is a heavily-guarded secret, but is moderated to ensure a consistent level of knowledge being required to pass – it is expected to be in the range 60 to 70%. The exam is intended to have a pass rate between 60 and 75%. Again this is not published – you just need to focus on answering enough questions correctly!
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