There's an element to the CIMA qualification that you MUST know – the practical experience requirement. This is an essential part of the qualification and a great opportunity to gain valuable experience along the way and show employers that you can use your knowledge and skills in the professional world!
Here at Astranti, we've got you covered for the theory side of things – but that's not the only aspect we can help out with! We're also here to help provide a comprehensive guide for the practical aspect! Take a look at our key points below.
So, what are the practical experience requirements?
As you may already know, these four areas are:
- Technical Skills
- Business Skills
- Leadership Skills
- People Skills
You will need to undertake a minimum of three years experience across these four knowledge areas, with a maximum of 60 months. At least four competency categories must be selected between Technical and Business skills, with at least one from each covering the three years minimum.
There also needs to be a minimum of one competency category each from the People and Leadership skills over the three years.
At least 18 of these months must be at the intermediate, advanced or expert levels. The remaining 18 months can be gained across all levels: foundation, intermediate, advanced and expert. This work experience will need to verified by your current or past employers – ideally, your manager.
So what's the difference between all these levels, according to CIMA?
It's important to know the difference between your levels – you don't want to spend a year thinking you are gaining advanced experience when it's actually intermediate!
Foundational – A basic understanding of the business structures, operations and financial performance. Includes responsibility for implementing and achieving results through your own actions.
Intermediate – A moderate understanding of overall business operations and measurements, including responsibility for monitoring the implementation of strategy. Includes limited or informal responsibility for colleagues and/or needs to consider broader approaches or consequences.
Advanced -A strong understanding of the organisation’s environment, current strategic position and direction with strong analytical skills and the ability to advise on strategic options for the business. Includes formal responsibility for colleagues and their actions; and that their decisions have a wider impact.
Expert -Requires expert knowledge to develop strategic vision and provide unique insight to the overall direction and success of the organisation. Includes formal responsibility for business areas. Your actions and decisions will have a high level of strategic impact.
I have more than 5 years experience – what should I do?
If this is the case, you will need to have detailed evidence of all five years to upload to CIMA. If you have any remaining experience, this will need to be recorded in your Career Progression Summary.
MAT – Your personal and online Membership Application Tool.
All membership applications must be submitted using the MAT.
You can start recording experience as soon as you have started on the Operational level or higher. It's best to record everything as you go, to ensure that you don't miss out on any important information.
My experience hasn't been accepted by CIMA! Why is this?
There are several reasons for this and it can result in your application being deferred for additional information or review. The reasons set out by CIMA are:
- The experience has been recorded against an inappropriate competency
- The experience does not demonstrate clearly that the competency has been achieved
- The experience has been recorded against the competency at an incorrect level.
Don't forget these key things before you submit!
- Your application must be verified by at least two people who have knowledge of your work prior to submitting your membership application. This will usually be your manager or supervisor. They cannot be a relative.
- Before you submit your application, you must upload a Career Progression Summary. This document helps to give the assessors a holistic overview of your career and should show how your detailed experience and competencies fit in with other experience that you have gained throughout.
- You won’t be able to submit your practical experience for assessment unless you have met the minimum requirements set out in Appendix A: Minimum Requirements. You can find out more about these here.
I've completed my three years - when should I submit?
You can submit your application once you have completed the final Strategic level. You can, however, start recording your experience as soon as you have started the Operational level – so if you find yourself completing the three years experience before you have finished the Strategic level, you can still submit your application. Once this experience has been approved, your membership will become provisional pending until your exam results day. Once you get that pass (which you will!) you will then become a full member of CIMA!