I Pass the CFA Exam | Pass the CFA Exam & Other Finance Exams

CFA Exemptions (and Waivers You Gain after Passing Level 1)

cfa exemptionsAs far as I know, the CFA exam does not have exemptions. However, once you start on your CFA journey and pass the Level I exam, you start to enjoy the various waivers that you can receive from other professional exams and certifications.

Most of these CFA exemptions are related to security trading, investment advice, and portfolio management. By taking the CFA exam, you can also gain CPE credits for certain professional qualifications such as the US CPA.

Regulations change from time to time, however. Therefore, please check out the latest regulator waivers available from the CFA Institute.

Professional Certifications & CFA Exemptions

CFA Exemptions for CPA

The CFA Institute is a CPE sponsor registered with NASBA. Although you cannot qualify for CPA exam exemptions, CFA courses can be counted toward CPE for your CPA designation in participating states. For details, double-check with your State Board of Accountancy.

CFA Exemptions for ACCA

CFA charterholders are exempted from taking Paper F3 of ACCA, one of the five mandatory papers/exams. You can request a waiver document by emailing recognition@cfainstitute.org.

Waivers of varying degrees are available for these associations, too:

  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Chartered Professional Strategic Wealth (ChP)
  • Investment Management Certificate (IMC)
  • Professional Risk Manager (PRM)
  • Society of Actuaries (SOA)
  • The Institute of Directors Chartered Director (CDir)

CFA Exemptions for Regulatory Exams


Series 16 (NYSE Supervisory Analysts Qualification Exam)

If you pass CFA Level I and Part I of series 16, you don’t need to take the remaining Part II of the NYSE Supervisory Analysts Qualification Exam .

Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Examination)

CFA charterholders receive a waiver from the series 65 exam, which some states require for investment advisers and their representatives.

Series 86 (Research Analyst Qualification Examination)

A research analyst who has passed CFA Levels I and II may request an exemption from Series 86, a qualification exam required by research analysts.


Level I of the CFA program, combined with the RG 146 Gap Training Program for CFA charterholders and candidates, meets the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) initial training requirements for “those providing financial product advice to retail clients.”

Passage of both (CFA Level I and RG 146) also satisfies the mandatory Skills requirements for Personal Advice.


The Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM) exempts successful CFA Level II candidates from the requirements of taking the global content exams of the National Certificate of Professional Investment (CNPI).


Although requirements vary by province, successful CFA candidates and charterholders are eligible for regulatory recognition. This recognition includes:

  • A portion of the qualifications for the positions of portfolio manager and investment counsel (Ontario)
  • Qualification to advise in derivatives, commodity futures, or exchange contracts (British Columbia)
  • Qualification for the position of securities adviser (Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta)


The Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) waives CFA charterholders and successful Level III candidates out of various sections of the certification exams for employees of Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs) and credit institutions.

European Union

The Bologna Accords are part of a process to establish a European Higher Education Area. The general purpose of the ENIC NARIC network is to provide guidance on academic matters for those wishing to study outside their home country. The CFA and CIPM programs were benchmarked by UK NARIC.


The Deutsche Börse AG accepts the passage of Level III as the fulfillment of the professional requirement necessary to be an exchange trader.


To those who have passed level III, the Capital Market Commission (CMC) grants waivers for licensing requirements for analysts, portfolio managers, investment advisers, brokers, and registered representatives.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission accepts Level I of the CFA exam as a recognized industry qualification for investment representatives and commodities trading adviser’s representatives.


To operate a collective investments scheme, Bapepam-LK requires that at least one officer in the fund must hold a CFA charter.


The Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA) Board exempts charterholders from two of the six modules needed to earn the Professional Diploma in Financial Advice. The Institute of Bankers School of Professional Finance exempts those who have passed the CFA Level I exam from the Securities and Market module required to earn the Professional Certificate in Stockbroking.


The Mexican Market for Derivatives (MEXDER), in conjunction with Asociación Mexicana de Intermediarios Bursatiles (AMIB), waives its certificate renewal exam, given by AMIB, for those who have passed the CFA Level I exam.

New Zealand

The Code of Professional Conduct for Authorized Financial Advisers (AFAs) recognizes CFA charterholders as having satisfied the requirements of Unit Standard Sets A, C, and D.


The Administradores de Fondos Pensiones (AFP) require Level I as the fulfillment of SPS Regulation 114-2005, which defines the minimum qualification and experience requirements to ensure adequate technical competence of employees.


The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission requires at least one mutual fund manager in each member institution to pass CFA Level I.


The Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM) recognizes the CFA charter as the fulfillment of the qualifications needed as an investment adviser or financial analyst.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore recognizes the passage of Level I as providing an exemption from several modules of the Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services (CMFAS) Exam for those seeking a license as a fund manager or financial advisor representative.

South Africa

The Financial Services Board (FSB) recognizes the CFA charter as the fulfillment of Category I, II, IIA, III, and IV of the Financial Services Provider’s (FSP) entry-level qualification for the Key Individuals and Representatives licensing process.


Passing CFA Level III (or Level I with experience) meets the requirements to be a fund manager.


The Capital Markets Board of Turkey exempts those with the passage of Level I from the Basic License Exam, Level II from the Advanced and Derivatives License Exam, and Level III from the Basic, Derivatives, and License Exams.

United Kingdom

Based on its Retail Distribution Review (RDR), the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has new requirements for private wealth advisors. The FSA recognizes two CFA-related RDR compliant routes in conjunction with the Investment Management Certificate (IMC): CFA I + IMC or CFA +IMC I.


The State Securities Commission has exempted those who have passed Level II of the CFA exam from requirements relating to the issuance of securities practicing certificates. Charterholders are exempt from the three-year work experience requirement to obtain the fund management practicing certificate.

Would You Like More Information on Passing the CFA Exam?

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