CFA Program Deferral Policy
For registered candidates who cannot sit for their scheduled exam and want to move to a new exam window, we provide the following options.
Registered candidates: Continue to check back for form availability closer to your exam window. Generally, forms are posted about 4 weeks before the start of an exam window.
(Available once per paid exam registration.)
Scheduled candidates may purchase a USD 399 deferral up until 24 hours before your scheduled exam appointment. If you don’t have a scheduled appointment, you have up until 3 days following the close of the exam window to purchase a deferral.
When you purchase a deferral, you may postpone your exam appointment for up to 12 months, depending on your exam level. See the table below for eligible exam windows. Registration and scheduling deadlines apply.
Once you purchase the deferral, your registration and scheduled appointment will be cancelled immediately. Please note that your decision is binding. Only one paid deferral is permitted for each paid registration. You will not be able to defer a second time unless you pay for a new registration. No refunds will be available.
Candidates may request an Emergency Deferral up to 3 days following the close of the exam window. You are eligible for a free emergency deferral if you are experiencing a:
- life-threatening illness (candidate or immediate family member)
- death of a candidate’s immediate family member
- mandatory military deployment (candidate only) during the exam window
- pregnancy (candidate only). Please note the candidate may request only one pregnancy deferral per level.
- rescheduled exam by Prometric within 30 days of the start of the exam window and after contacting Prometric, you are unable to find a new acceptable appointment date.
You must provide documentation to support the claim for an emergency deferral, at no-cost. Once the deferral is approved, you may defer your exam appointment for up to 12 months, depending on your exam level. See the table below for eligible exam windows. Registration and scheduling deadlines apply.
If you do not qualify for an emergency deferral, or do qualify but cannot provide the proper documentation, then you are not eligible for an emergency deferral and your request will be denied. However, you may purchase a deferral.
Completion of the emergency deferral form represents your consent for CFA Institute to use the information provided by you to verify your eligibility for an exam deferral and monitor exam deferral volumes. All deferral requests are subject to the terms of the Candidate Agreement, up to and including review by our Professional Conduct department.
Please allow up to seven weeks for us to validate the documentation you provide and to complete processing of the emergency deferral requests.
CFA Institute has received numerous false Emergency Deferral requests. Providing false documentation is a serious violation of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. If we suspect your documentation is false, your request will be denied and you will be referred to our Professional Conduct department for disciplinary sanctions, including possible restriction from the CFA Program exams.
If you do not qualify for an Emergency Deferral, purchase a deferral instead. Do not risk disciplinary sanctions by falsifying documentation.
Eligible Exam Windows for Deferred August 2023 Candidates
You may be eligible to register for one of the following windows depending on your level. Registration and scheduling deadlines apply. If registration has already closed for a window, you will not be permitted to register.
|Moving From||Available Windows|
|August – Level I||February 2024, or May 2024, or August 2024|
|August – Level II||May 24, or August 2024|
|August – Level III||February 2024 or August 2024|
What is the difference between an emergency deferral and a paid deferral?
We understand the need to provide flexibility for candidates. Those in situations involving qualifying major hardships, and can provide the required documentation, are eligible for an emergency deferral.
We also understand that sometimes life just gets in the way. If for any reason you feel it is necessary to defer your scheduled exam, we now offer an option to defer for a fee.
Why does the paid deferral fee cost USD 399?
CFA Institute contracts with our exam administrator and incurs extra expenses anytime a candidate changes their plans. We pay for your absence from an expected exam and the cost to arrange for seating for a future exam, as well as the cost of extending your Learning Ecosystem access.
I have decided I want to defer my exam. What can I expect next?
If you are eligible for an emergency deferral, it will take up to seven weeks for us to review and process your request. You will receive an email once your account has been updated.
If you pay to defer your exam, your registration and scheduled exam appointment will be cancelled immediately. You will receive an email containing your registration voucher code for your next exam. Your voucher code will also be available in your Candidate Tile.
Where do I find the deferral form?
Candidates registered for an exam can find the deferral form on this page when it is available for their exam window. You must wait until the deferral form is available for your window to submit your deferral request.
Who is considered immediate family?
CFA Institute defines the candidate’s immediate family as only the candidate’s parent, sibling, spouse/domestic partner, or child. For the purposes of deferrals, grandparents are not considered part of a candidate’s immediate family.
What is included in my paid deferral?
When you purchase the deferral, your registration and scheduled appointment will be cancelled. Purchase of the paid deferral allows you to move your exam appointment for up to 12 months, depending on your exam level. Once your deferral is processed, you must register and schedule your exam appointment. Please note that registration must be open for your chosen exam window. If registration has already closed, you will have to select another exam window. Refer to the table above for available exam windows.
Please note that your decision is binding. No refunds are available. Only one paid deferral is permitted for each paid registration. You will not be able to defer a second time unless you pay for a new registration.
Will I continue to have access to the Learning Ecosystem?
You will continue to have access to your Learning Ecosystem account throughout your deferral period. If you register for an exam in a future calendar year, your LES will be updated at that time with the new curriculum.
What if I buy a deferral but need to change my plans again?
Only one paid deferral is permitted for each paid registration. Once the initial deferral is purchased, you cannot defer again. If another change is required, you must pay for a new registration.
What if I buy a deferral but then decide that I can sit for my exam after all?
Choosing and paying for a deferral cancels your registration and scheduled exam appointment (if applicable). It is a binding decision and cannot be changed. Refunds are not available.
What if I need to change my exam appointment within the same exam window?
The fee to change your scheduled appointment within the exam window is USD 250.