Ecctis Benchmarks the CFA Charter

Jun 25, 2022

CFA designation found to be comparable to Master’s degree standard across 12 markets globally


CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announces today that Ecctis, a UK-based and internationally respected reference point for global qualifications and skills standards, has deemed the CFA charter comparable to Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 7 and Master’s degree standard[1] in 12 markets in a recent study; those markets account for over 80 percent of CFA Program candidate volumes.

Following updates to the CFA Program, exam structure, and the move to computer-based testing, CFA Institute commissioned Ecctis to undertake an independent benchmarking exercise of the CFA charter against 12 international education systems. Ecctis is a trusted, rigorous reference point for global qualifications and skills standards and for the past 20 years has thoroughly benchmarked a wide range of international academic, vocational and professional qualifications against national academic standards in the UK and across the world. Ecctis recently evaluated the CFA charter in 12 international education systems: US, Canada, Brazil, UK, France, South Africa, India, China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, Australia, and Japan. In all 12 markets studied, Ecctis found the CFA charter comparable to Master’s degree standard[2].

Chris Wiese, CFA, Managing Director, Credentialing, at CFA Institute, commented: “After two years of an incredible pace of change for the CFA Program, the outcome of this assessment by Ecctis and the continuity of the findings are important to us and our constituencies. We encourage aspiring investment professionals to consider the CFA Program as a capstone to their college education.”

Ecctis’ established, objective, tried-and-true methodology– involves a thorough review of the full curriculum, learning objectives and assessment of the CFA Program. Focus areas for the Ecctis team when vetting the CFA charter included:

  • Entry requirements
  • Duration
  • Content and structure
  • Modes of learning and assessment
  • Learning outcomes
  • Associated outcomes

Quality assurance, control mechanisms and processes were also considered for the purposes of determining comparability and were found to be sufficient in confirming comparability of the CFA charter.

Following this evaluation, Ecctis found levels of comparability for the CFA charter as follows:

“The markets in which the CFA charter has been formally deemed comparable to Master’s degree standard are - according to the latest Global Financial Centers Index - host to the world’s top 10 financial centers, and we are really excited about this recognition of the capstone nature of our program. Aspiring investment professionals pursuing the CFA charter will ultimately contribute to a more robust profession, underpinned by mastery of benchmarked educational standards and principles of ethical practice – core components of the CFA Program,” added Wiese.

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1.       [1] The CFA charter is not, on the other hand, an academic degree/diploma equivalent and does not in itself allow for progression to higher-level academic studies in any education system

2.       [2] Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 7 in the UK.



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