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 March 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 both modules 1 and 2. Academic Excellence: passing of modules 1 and 2 and passing of the written examination at Deutsche Börse.

(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 examinee have paid the fees stated under article 4 of the Certified Financial Modeler General Terms and Conditions to the German Institute of Corporate Finance.
  2. There are no further admission requirements, as the candidate can send the respective submodules of the processed case study to the German Institute of Corporate Finance at any time.

Academic Excellence:

(1) The examinee is admitted to the exams provided that the three following conditions are in place:

  • a. they have received the registration confirmation by the GICF;
  • b. they have paid the fees stated under article 4 of the Certified Financial Modeler General Terms and Conditions to the German Institute of Corporate Finance;
  • c. the examinee has registered via the certified financial modeler webpage at least 3 weeks prior to the desired examination date. The examinee has given ​the following information which will be passed on to Deutsche Börse: desired examination date, surname, first name, date and place of birth, street, post code, town and country.

(2) The examinee may withdraw from the Certified Financial Modeler exam by notifying the GICF informally by email (info‎@dicf‎.‎de) that he will not participate in the exam. The cancellation must be made at least 3 weeks before the examination date for which the candidate has registered. Without timely cancellation, the examinee shall be deemed registered and the performance will be evaluated by the examination board.

(3) In case the candidate is sick and provides the examination board with a doctor's certificate, the examination board will consider the candidate as not registered and therefore the test performance will not be evaluated. If the cancellation has been done at the latest 3 weeks before the examination date, no fee needs to be paid for retaking the exam. If the cancellation has been done within 3 weeks before the examination date, the fee for a resit needs to be paid.

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

(a) The examination board will evaluate the candidate's performance.

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

(c) If the candidate tries to influence the result of the examination performance by deception or the use of unauthorised aids, the examination performance will be graded as "failed".

(d) A passed examination cannot be repeated.

(2) Principles regarding Professional Excellence

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

(b) If the candidate has submitted the two modules of the case study to the German Institute of Corporate Finance, the examination board will assess the examination performance.

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

(3) Principles regarding Academic Excellence

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

(b) The participants receive after successful completion of all modules:

  • 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 achievements and the acquired ECTS

(c) Only if the case study and the written examination at Deutsche Börse have been successfully passed will the participants receive a university certificate.

(d) 8 ECTS will be earned in the "Certified Financial Modeler" certificate course. These can be submitted for recognition in Bachelor's and Master's degree programs.

(e) Within the framework of the HfWU University Certificate, the examinee can receive the following grades after passing the case study and written examination at Deutsche Börse:

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 "insufficient" if the candidate fails to appear at an examination date without good reason, or if he/she withdraws during or after the examination without good reason. The same applies if a written examination paper 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 will be graded as "not passed".

  1. The specific framework conditions for the Certified Financial Modeler exam are listed directly in the case study document, which the examinee receives after payment of the course fees.
  2. In general, all three learning controls (submodules) in module 1 as well as module 2 can be repeated up to two times. A module exam is passed if sub-modules 1, 2 and 3 are passed. To pass a submodule, at least 75% of the points must be achieved. The exam is thus passed if the submodules 1, 2 and 3 of module 1 and the submodules 1, 2 and 3 of module 2 are passed.
  3. The case study has to be solved in Excel. The Excel File must cover the following topics:
  • a) Management Summary
  • b) All Top-10 Financial Modeling Standards discussed in the textbook must be taken into consideration.
  • c) The model spans all 4 process steps “Problem analysis”, “Model structure and model planning”, “Model setup” and “Quality control”. The fifth process step “Model presentation” is not required.
  • d) The model is oriented along the 19 milestones covered under the 4 process steps.
  • e) The recommendations for action provided as specifications of the milestones can, but must not be used in the Excel File (if, for example it is recommended that all input cells should be orange, the financial modeler is of course free to select a different color).

(1) Case study

For the case study, the framework conditions described in §5 apply.

(2) Written examination

  • (a) Deutsche Börse shall distribute paper and pens before the start of the examination. These will be collected again at the end of the Certified Financial Modeler exam.
  •  (b) Deutsche Börse AG or the DICF will appoint a person to supervise the exam when it is taken. At the beginning of the exam, the participant must identify himself/herself to the supervising person with his/her identity card or a passport and must follow the instructions of the supervising person. The supervising person will inform the participant before the beginning of the examination about the course of the examination, the time available and the permitted aids and working materials.
  • (c) The examination is a presence examination. Upon written request, Deutsche Börse AG or the DICF may allow the participant to take the examination at another venue.
  • (d) The examination will be held in German or English. The candidate may choose the language before the start of the examination.
  • (e) In the examination, 15 examination questions based on computer software are to be answered. An oral examination will not be sat.
  • (f) The written examination is passed if at least 40 points are obtained (40% of the maximum 100 points).
  • (g) All examination questions are stored in a database. In order to ensure the comparability of the examinations, the examination questions are taken at random from the database according to question type and level of difficulty.
  • (h) The processing time is 45 minutes.
  • (i) The written examination can be repeated a maximum of two times.