Certified Financial Modeler examination regulations

Regulations for the conduct of the exam for the Certified Financial Modeler by the German Institute of Corporate Finance

As of July 2020 (in conjunction with the General Terms and Conditions)

 

(1) The title of Certified Financial Modeler is conferred by the German Institute of Corporate Finance.

(2) The requirements for this title are the passing of all Certified Financial Modeler examinations. Professional Excellence: Passing of the case study comprising course 1 and 2. Academic Excellence: Passing of the case study comprising course 1 and 2 as well as passing of the oral or written examination.

(3) Persons who have passed all exams are awarded the certificate Certified Financial Modeler. Following receipt of the certificate, they are entitled to hold the title Certified Financial Modeler.

(1) The examination board of the Certified Financial Modeler program is responsible for organizing the exams and the tasks attributed to it by the present examination regulations.

(2) The designation “examination board” is used synonymously with the designation “board of examiners“.

(3) The examination board is composed of the two directors of the German Institute of Corporate Finance.

(4) The examination board is responsible for complying with the provisions of the examination regulations and makes suggestions for reforming the exam content and the exam regulations. The members of the examination board are entitled to be present during the exams.

(5) The examination board has a quorum, if all members of the examination board are present. The resolutions of the examination board are made by majority of the present directors’ votes. In case of a tie, the request is considered as rejected.

Professional Excellence:

(1) The candidate has paid the fees listed in §4 of the General Terms and Conditions of the Certified Financial Modeler to the German Institute of Corporate Finance.

(2) There are no further admission requirements.

 

Academic Excellence:

(1) The candidate is admitted to take the Certified Financial Modeler examination if all the following requirements are met:

  • (a) The candidate is enrolled as a student or has a completed Bachelor degree or a higher degree;
  • (b) The candidate has received the informal confirmation of registration for the examination from the German Institute of Corporate Finance;
  • (c) The candidate has paid the fees listed under §4 of the General Terms and Conditions of the Certified Financial Modeler to the German Institute of Corporate Finance;
  • (d) The candidate has registered for the examination via the Certified Financial Modeler webpage at least 3 weeks before the oral examination which takes place once a semester or the written examination which takes place by arrangement.

(2) The candidate can cancel the registration for the Certified Financial Modeler examination by informing the German Institute of Corporate Finance informally by e-mail at info@dicf.de that he/she will not take part in the examination. This cancellation must be made at least 3 weeks before the examination date for which the candidate has registered. If the candidate does not cancel within the deadline, he/she will be considered registered for the examination and his/her performance will be assessed by the examination board.

(3) Should the candidate deregister from the examination board due to illness and send the examination board a certificate by e-mail, the examination board will regard the examination as not registered and will accordingly not evaluate the examination performance. If the cancellation is received by the examination board at least 3 weeks before the examination date, the fee for a re-examination will also be waived. If the cancellation due to illness has not been received by the examination board at least 3 weeks before the examination date, the fee for a re-examination must be paid when registering for the re-examination.

(4) The examination board reserves the right at all times to offer only an oral examination and no written examination. As soon as the Examination Committee learns of the circumstances which induce the offering of an oral examination only, it will inform the candidate accordingly. The examination board is not accountable to the candidate for the reasons for this.

(1) General principles concerning both Professional Excellence and Academic Excellence

(a) The examination board will assess your performance.

(b) After passing the Certified Financial Modeler examination, the candidate receives the certificate for holding the title Certified Financial Modeler in German and English.

(c) If the candidate attempts to influence the result of the examination by deception, the examination will be graded as "failed".

(d) A passed examination cannot be repeated.

 

(2) Principles regarding Professional Excellence

(a) The assessment of the examination is as set out in §5.

(b) If the candidate has submitted the two courses of the case study to the German Institute of Corporate Finance, the examination board will make an assessment of the examination performance.

(c) The examination performance is graded "passed" or "failed".

 

(3) Principles regarding Academic Excellence

(a) The assessment of the examination is as set out in §6.

(b) The participants receive a certificate upon successful completion:

  • The certificates "Certified Financial Modeler" by the German Institute of Corporate Finance in German and English
  • A university certificate of the HfWU
  • A Certificate Supplement with the statement of the achievements and the acquired ECTS

(c) Only if the case study as well as the oral or written examination are successfully passed will the candidate receive a university certificate.

(d) Within the framework of the certificate course "Certified Financial Modeler" 8 ECTS are acquired. These can be presented for recognition in Bachelor and Master courses.

(e) Within the framework of the HfWU certificate of higher education, the candidate can receive the following grades after passing the case study as well as the oral or written examination:

1,0          A+          95 – 100 %
1,3          A             89 – 94 %
1,7          A-           83 – 88 %
2,0          B+          77 – 82 %
2,3          B             71 – 76 %
2,7          B-           65 – 70 %
3,0          C+          59 – 64 %
3,3          C             53 – 58 %
3,7          C-           47 – 52 %
4,0          D+          40 – 46 %
n.a.        F               0 – 39 %

(f) An examination performance shall be considered "failed" if the candidate fails to appear at an examination date without a valid reason or if he/she withdraws during or after the examination without a valid reason. The same applies if a written examination is not completed within the specified time.

(g) A candidate who disturbs the proper course of the examination can be excluded from the continuation of the examination performance by the person entitled to examine or the person supervising the examination. In this case, the examination performance in question will be graded as "failed".

Professional Excellence is about successfully completing a selected case study.

(1) A case study looks at an example company from different financial directions. The final result is a holistic financial model, which is to be created step by step by the examinee under guidance.

(2) The case study of all three modules is divided into two courses, each of which is in turn divided into 3 course units. The specific framework conditions for the examination to become a Certified Financial Modeler are listed directly in the case study document, which the examinee receives after payment of the course fees.

(3) In general, all three course units in course 1 and course 2 can be repeated up to two times. A course examination is passed if the course units 1,2 and 3 are passed. A course unit is evaluated either with "passed" or "failed". The case study of the selected module is thus passed if course units 1,2 and 3 of course 1 and course units 1,2 and 3 of course 2 are passed.

(4) The case study shall be solved in Excel. The Excel file must contain the following items:

  • a) Management Summary
  • b) All top 10 financial modeling standards listed in the textbook are to be considered
  • c) The model comprises all 4 process steps "problem definition", "model structuring and model planning", "model construction" and "quality assurance". The fifth process step "model presentation" is not included.
  • d) The model is based on the 19 milestones located under the 4 process steps.

The examination to become a Certified Financial Modeler (Academic Excellence) is divided into two levels 1) Case Study and 2) oral or written examination. In level 2) the candidate can choose between an oral and a written examination.

(1) Case Study

For the case study, the framework conditions described in §5 apply. In contrast to the "Professional Excellence" path, however, the case study is not assessed with "passed" or "failed" but with the grading scale shown in §4.

 

(2) Oral examination

(a) The oral examination will take the form of a video conference. Further information on this will be given to the candidate by the Examination Committee in the case study (level 1).

(b) The examination will be held in German or English. The candidate may choose the language before the start of the examination.

(c) The oral examination will be held by two members of the examination board. At the beginning of the examination, the candidate must prove his identity to the supervising persons by means of his identity card or a passport. The supervising persons will inform the candidate before the beginning of the examination about the course of the examination, the time available and the permitted aids and working materials.

(d) 10 questions must be answered during the examination. Upon passing the case study, the examination board will send the candidate a catalogue of 30 questions. Dealing with these 30 questions enables the examinee to understand the quantitative elements of financial Modelering that the examinee has analysed in the case study from the qualitative side. The aim of the catalogue is to understand the overall context of the selected module and the individual interdependencies. The 30 questions are formulated in general terms and can be asked in a case-related and modified way during the oral examination.

(e) The oral examination lasts 30 minutes.

(f) The oral examination can be repeated a maximum of two times.

(g) The oral examination is graded according to the grading scale shown in § 4.

 

(3) Written examination

(a) The written examination will be held in the form of an attendance test on the premises of the HfWU or Deutsche Börse. The Examination Committee will provide the candidate with more detailed information on this in the case study (level 1).

(b) The examination will be held in German or English. The candidate may choose the language before the examination begins.

(c) At the beginning of the examination, the candidate must prove his identity to the supervising person(s) by means of his identity card or passport. The supervising person(s) will inform the candidate before the start of the examination about the course of the examination, the time available and the permitted aids and working materials.

(d) 10 questions must be answered during the examination. Upon passing the case study, the examination board will send the candidate a 30-question catalogue of questions. Dealing with these 30 questions enables the examinee to understand the quantitative elements of financial Modelering that the examinee has analysed in the case study from the qualitative side. The aim of the catalogue is to understand the overall context of the selected module and the individual interdependencies. The 30 questions are formulated in general terms and can be asked in a case-related and modified way during the written examination.

(e) The written examination lasts 90 minutes.

(f) The written examination can be repeated a maximum of two times.

(g) The written examination is graded according to the grading scale shown in § 4.