CIMA Exemptions for Chartered Accountants

CIMA awards exemptions if you already have the necessary knowledge. Find out how you can qualify for the CIMA exemptions for Chartered Accountants here.

Are you interested in management accounting? Do you hold a Chartered Accountant degree? CIMA awards exemptions from the knowledge that you’ve already gained. Find out how you can qualify for the CIMA exemptions for Chartered Accountants here.

What are Exemptions?


Exemptions excuse you from something, giving you the privilege to skip it. In this case, CIMA does not want you to repeat work that you already know. You have already obtained with the qualification that is relevant to CIMA. When you get the exemption, it shortens the time that it takes to complete the course.

Do all Chartered Accountant Degrees Qualify for CIMA Exemptions for Chartered Accountants?


Yes, but not all of them are exempted for the same exams. Each Chartered Accountant qualification will be exempted different by CIMA, according to your years of experience.

Who is Eligible for an Exemption?

It depends on the type of qualification that you hold. The years of work experience will determine what exams you don’t have to write. Only CIMA can award you an exemption. Here are two examples to give you the difference between having the qualification, and having the qualification and work experience.

  • Level 5 Certificate: Accounting (SAQA ID: 80189) from South African Institute Of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), will be exempted for four subjects in the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. You will start with the CIMA Professional Qualification: Operational level.
  • SAICA members with 3-9 years of work experience will be exempted from 12 exams. You only need to write the E3 paper for the CIMA Professional Qualification: Strategic level. If you pass that exam, then you need to complete the Strategic Level Integrated Case Study Exam. This route allows you to finish the qualification sooner.
CIMA Exemption for Chartered Accountants will help you get you one step closer to achieving your qualification.

How do you Apply for an Exemption?


You can apply for a CIMA exemption via email or fax. You need to register first.

Apply for the CIMA Exemption for Chartered Accountants

Now that you are a registered CIMA student, you can go ahead and apply for your exemption by following the below steps.

  • Search for your qualification on the CIMA website. Make sure that you know what exemptions you can get.
  • Send documents as proof. Email documents to [email protected] (You can either email your Graduation Certificate or a letter from the University stating that you have completed the course). The subject line of the email should be: Your CIMA contact ID and should include Chartered Accountant.
  • Await confirmation from CIMA that they have received your exemption application. It takes 72 hours to get feedback.
  • It can take up to 20 working days to get feedback about your application. Accept or decline exemption granted.
  • Pay exemption fees.

Please note: Do not send your original documents, because CIMA cannot guarantee it’s safe to return. If you are unsure, you can read more about it in the CIMA exemption policy.

How Much Does it Cost?

If you have been awarded an exemption and accepted it, you need to pay exemption fees. This fee is for every exam paper that you are not going to write. The CIMA fees information is available on the CIMA website.

CIMA Benefits


When you are a CIMA student, you have the opportunity to become a CIMA member. To become a CIMA member, you must have three years of practical experience. CIMA membership boosts your professional status. You can also receive designation letters when you become a CIMA member. They include:

When you complete your CIMA qualification and become a CIMA member, you automatically hold the right to the CGMA designation. CGMA designation gives you professional status in your career.

Not Sure how to Register?


Register through a training provider like Skills Academy. We are a distance learning college with CIMA accreditation. Contact Skills Academy today and register on their toll-free number 0800 39 00 27. A friendly consultant will assist you with your application. Click on this link to complete your registration on the CIMA website.

Written by: Olivia Pika

Last Updated: May 6, 2020

Last Updated: June 15, 2022


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Thiana Pretorius
Thiana Pretorius
As an avid reader and writer, Thiana aims to create content that is both interesting and useful. She also has a passion for creative writing. Most of her free time is spent either reading or letting her imagination run wild while crafting her own stories. View my LinkedIn profile