Exemptions. The Big Question on everybody’s lips. Do I qualify for exemptions? How do I get them? Lucky for you, this web page will explain all of it in detail.

What is the point of exemptions?

Firstly, let me explain what an exemption is. If you have previous training, like a course that you did, you might qualify for an exemption. Most colleges allow you to get exempted from some subjects in a course if you have a relevant qualification in a similar area. For example, if you are interested in studying a CIMA course, you might qualify for an exemption if you have a previous accounting qualification. Then you might be able to get a subject that you don’t have to write an exam for.

Only CIMA can decide if you get exemptions. Your college cannot give you any exemptions, only CIMA can do that. Before you can apply for exemptions, you must be registered as a student with CIMA. Once you have decided that you are going to take the exemptions, you will need to pay an exemption fee.

How do I apply for exemptions?

If you have any previous qualifications and wish to apply for exemptions, you can either apply directly to CIMA, or you can ask your college to help you with it. The best colleges like College SA will do all that for you. All you need to is give them all the documents that prove which qualifications you have, and they will do it for you.

Once you have applied for the exemptions, you just need to wait and see which exemptions you qualify for, decide which ones you want and pay the applicable exemption fees.

What does CIMA say about their exemptions?

CIMA is very careful about who gets exemptions, because they must make sure that all students are able to do the work in a course if they are exempted from it. Here is a shortened version of CIMA’s exemption policy:
  • You must first register for a CIMA course before you can apply for exemptions.
  • You must give CIMA copies of all the documents that prove what courses you studied and for how long. These are transcripts, marksheets, certificates, diplomas or degrees.
  • All the documents you hand in must be in English.
  • CIMA will contact the college where you have had previous qualifications to make sure that your qualifications are authentic.
  • Only CIMA can decide who qualifies for exemptions. Their decision is final.
  • You cannot apply for exemptions based on qualifications that are older than 10 years.
  • CIMA does not give exemptions for work experience – you must have a previous qualification.
  • If you failed a subject after you declined the exemptions for it, you cannot reapply for that exemption.
  • You cannot get exemptions for high school subjects.

Should I always take my exemptions?

Exemptions are a bit more complicated than they seem. There are some very obvious good reasons for taking the exemptions. But there are also some really good (not-so-obvious) reasons why you should perhaps not take the exemptions.

For every exemption you accept, you will need to pay an exemption fee. The fee is for CIMA’s administration concerned with the exemptions. CIMA will give you all the information about exemptions when they tell you what exemptions you qualify for.

Another reason you should consider doing a subject even if you have exemption for it, is that you might need to brush up on the information covered in that subject. If you haven’t studied in a while or if you suspect you might benefit from doing the same work again, do not hesitate to deny the exemptions. It is always a good idea to study something again. You will always learn something new.