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Certificate in ESG Investing

Interested in accelerating your career? With the Certificate in ESG Investing, you can master real-world investing skills, incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in your skillset.

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Read about changes to the 2023 ESG Curriculum before you register.

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Certificate Overview

The CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing offers you both practical application and technical knowledge in the fast-growing field of ESG investing — an opportunity to both accelerate progress and demonstrate purpose.  

The certificate and learning materials were developed by leading practitioners for practitioners, and have been recognized by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), an independent body that seeks to encourage investors to use responsible investment to enhance returns and better manage business risks. 

The Certificate in ESG Investing is owned, administered, and awarded globally by CFA Institute having previously been developed and awarded by CFA Society UK.

Learn more about the Certificate in ESG Investing curriculum


Benchmarking the Certificate in ESG Investing

An independent evaluation found the following levels of comparability for the Certificate in ESG Investing:

Country Comparable To
USA Associate degree standard
UK RQF Level 4
Canada OQF Level 7
India NSQF Level 6
Hong Kong HKQF Level 4
Singapore Singaporean Polytechnic Diploma standard
Australia AQF Level 5
Brazil Curso Superior de Formação Especifíca (Higher Education Diploma of Specific Training)
China Preparatory Technician Certificate standard
Japan Associate degree standard
South Africa S.A. NQF Level 6
France NQF Level 4

Learn more and read the full independent evaluation (PDF)

Exam Fees, Costs, and Scheduling

Exam Registration Fee

USD 675

You can register for the Certificate in ESG Investing, USD 675. When you register, you may choose to purchase a hard copy of the syllabus (the Official Training Manual) with registration for an additional USD135 + shipping.


Once registered, you will have up to one full year to schedule your exam with Prometric. We recommend beginning to study before scheduling. Then depending on your study pacing, schedule your exam one month prior to your desired exam period. At a minimum, allow 2 working days after receiving your registration confirmation to schedule your exam.

All fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the candidate in their country of residence. Where CFA Institute is required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment/checkout process. 

For information about taxability related to online purchases from CFA Institute, please visit our Tax Policy page.

Exam Format

The CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing exam:

  • Consists of 100 questions in total, split between the following question types:
    • Standard multiple choice questions, and
    • Item set questions. Item sets consist of a vignette and include 4-6 multiple choice questions, which can be answered based on the information provided in the vignette. Please note that each question within the item set will count towards the total of 100 questions, but will display as a unique number (i.e. 6.1, 6.2, etc.) in the navigation list on the computer screen as shown below:
    • On a wide screen, you can see both the case scenario (on the right) and the answer screen (on the left) side by side on the same screen.
  • To be completed within 2 hours and 20 minutes
    • Section 1: Exam Questions
    • Section 2: End of Exam Notification
    • Section 3: Survey
  • Administered in person at test centers in select markets*
  • Online proctoring is available, depending on local regulations and system capability 

*ProProctor remote proctoring for CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing is not available in all markets at this time. Please check if remote examination or a physical test center is available in your area before registering.

Study Time

We recommend you devote about 130 hours of study time to achieve the Certificate in ESG Investing. Feedback from certificate graduates shows that experienced professionals may only need around 100 hours to study for this exam.

When you register, you will gain access to the following resources:

  • the syllabus
  • digital version of the curriculum
  • self-assessment questions
  • a mock exam

Who Should Register?

This certificate is designed for investment practitioners who want to learn more about how to analyze and integrate material ESG factors into their day-to-day roles. It is suitable for anyone working in front or back offices and adjacent roles — including sales and distribution, wealth management, product development, financial advice, consulting, risk — as well as anyone looking to improve their understanding of ESG issues.

We recommend you have a foundational knowledge of the investment process, whether achieved through formal qualification or through experience.

Is the Certificate in ESG Investing available globally?

We are introducing the product on a market-by-market basis. This certificate is currently not yet available in a number of markets, including mainland China.

At this time, the exam is administered in person at test centers in the markets listed here. Online proctoring is also available, depending on local regulations and system capability.

To determine the availability of specific test centers, please search using Proscheduler.

Additional ESG-related content including webinars, reports and more can be found online: CFA Institute and China Live.

Certificate Testimonials

The curriculum is broad and covers all the key elements. The result is a qualification that starts the journey into ESG investing, a segment that is evolving quickly and will form a key part of our investment future.

Caroline S., Head of Fund and Asset Management

It's quite a challenge to not get lost in ESG language and stay on top of all recent developments. This course helped me in getting a comprehensive overview of the history of ESG investing, the present with many new initiatives being built and anticipated future changes to our industry which will be relevant to all of us.

We aim for long-term partnerships with our clients and are happy to be part of their ESG journey!

Michael W., CAIA, FRM; Head of Institutional Sales Germany & Austria

Stay Updated

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Still Have Questions?

Please visit our contact us page.

From 1 September the Certificate in ESG Investing has transferred ownership and administration from CFA Society UK to CFA Institute. If you registered with CFA Society UK before 31 August 2021 please click on the link below for exam scheduling information. 

Find information on exam registration and scheduling your Certificate in ESG Investing exam >

Get the CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing

Ready to make a move that makes a difference? Register for the Certificate in ESG Investing today. 

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