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Entry Routes to CIMA

understanding cima Jan 26, 2022
The CIMA institute prides itself not only on its curriculum and market standing, but also on the fact that it is extremely intuitive towards student needs. It understands that not everyone who pursues the course is at the same stage of their careers. Hence, not everyone has to go through the same set of exams and evaluation system to get the degree. It’s more about producing worthy professional than about producing professionals who were great at scoring in 16 exams. Keeping all this in mind, CIMA has multiple entry routes to be used in multiple situations. In this article, we are going to be discussing some of these entry routes to help you decide which one is the best suited for you.


1. Undergraduate and Graduate Route

All graduates are exempted from appearing for the Certificate Level of CIMA. Apart from this, students from multiple recognized universities can claim exemptions and enter through a fast route. You can check the exemptions for your university by clicking here.


2. Master's Gateway Route

The Master’s gateway route is an accelerated entry route for individuals who hold an MBA (Accounting Major) or Master's in Accounting. They get a direct entry at the Management Case Study, after which they can appear for the Strategic Level exams. Effectively speaking, the course looks something like this for them:

3. Global Professional Accountant Program

CIMA GPAP is a fast-track entry route for candidates who are a member of other professional accounting bodies. Candidates are required to submit their documents and proof of membership with a professional accounting body. The CIMA body then decides who qualifies for this entry route. The selected candidates get an exemption of the first 15 exams and directly have to appear for the Strategic Case Study after getting a preparatory course from learning partners or recognized tuition providers. The course structure looks like this for these candidates:


4. Global C-Suite and Finance Program

This route is exclusive to the Middle East and is aimed at CXOs such as CEOs, CFOs or senior management members with over 10 years of relevant experience. Selected candidates are required to attend a 4-day C Suite program workshop with CIMA and then appear for the Strategic Case Study. Since the entry criteria already includes relevant work experience, after the successful completion of SCS, these candidates are directly awarded with the CGMA and ACMA designations. The C Suite workshop takes place in Dubai in January, April, July and October. If you are pursuing this route, you need to take care of the deadlines so that you can plan the journey accordingly. Here’s a sample of the 2021 calendar:


5. A-Star Program

CIMA A-Star program is for undergraduates with remarkable professional standards. CIMA India only selects 200 students all over India for this entry route. The minimum eligibility criterions for the program are as follows:

  1. Student should be in the final year of B Com/ BBA/ BMS or any equivalent course
  2. Should be from a NAAC A Grade college
  • Must have a minimum of 75% in their academics

These selected students only have to appear for the Strategic Case Study Exam and then show relevant work experience (PER) to get the CGMA designation. The course structure for them looks the same as that of GPAP and Global C-Suite program.


6. CIMA Finance Leadership Program

The CIMA FLP program is exclusively for Ireland candidates. There is a comprehensive FLP platform wherein all the learning happens online, right from your learning and assessments to your case study preparation. The topics are assessed continuously instead of objective tests. There are annual subscription options for the platform which contains tutorial videos, interactive exercises, business simulation assignments and mock exams in a digital environment. It is a unique program with a revolutionized course structure.


Summing up, it is clear that CIMA is a candidate friendly program which aims at providing its students with maximum flexibility without compromising on the learning. There are various other entry routes as well. Some are country specific while some are university/ organization centric. The best way to know more about the options you have is to explore the CIMA website or to contact your country’s local CIMA office. These entry routes not only expedite your learning but can also make the course more cost effective and adaptable to your career needs.

 Happy Learning! 




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