The examination process will assess the candidate according to the assessment policy. Exam pattern and difficulty level is derived from assessment policy of each part. The content specification outlines presented below represent the body of knowledge that will be covered on the CFIA examination and expand upon the examination content descriptions that appear in the Program Announcement. The outlines may be changed in the future when new subject matter becomes part of the common body of knowledge.

Candidates are responsible for being informed on the most recent developments in the areas covered in the outline. The content specification outlines serve several purposes.

These purposes include:

  • Establishing the foundation from which each examination will be developed.
  • Providing consistent coverage on each examination.
  • Communicating to interested parties more detail as to the content of each examination part.
  • Aiding candidates in their preparation for each examination.
  • Providing information to those who offer courses designed to assist candidates in preparing for the examinations.


1. The percentage range given for each major topic within each examination part represents the relative weight range given to that topic in an examination part. A candidate will be required to answer questions that equal the minimum relative weight but do not exceed the maximum relative weight for a major topic.

2. Each examination will sample from the subject areas contained within each major topic area to meet the relative weight specifications.

No relative weights have been assigned to the subject areas within each major topic. No inference should be made from the order in which the subject areas are listed or from the number of subject areas as to the relative weight or importance of any of the subjects.

3. Each major topic within each examination part has been assigned a coverage level designating the depth and breadth of topic coverage, ranging from an introductory knowledge of a subject area (Level A) to a thorough understanding of and ability to apply the essentials of a subject area (Level C).

4. The topics for each of the examination parts have been selected to minimize the overlapping of subject areas among the examination parts. The topics within an examination part and the subject areas within topics may be combined in individual questions.

5. Questions containing ethical issues can appear on any part of the examination. The ethical issues will be addressed within the context of a specific subject area. For determining the relative weight distribution of an examination, the questions containing ethical issues will be counted in the major topic area in which the ethical issues are raised.

6. Candidates for the CFIA and CCFS designations are expected to have a minimum level of forensic and fraud in financial field for all examination parts

The Three Levels of coverage can be defined as follows:

Level A

Requiring an appreciation of the broad nature and fundamentals, the ability to recognize the existence of special features and problems in various business transactions, and the ability to apply this knowledge in new and concrete situations, i.e., requiring the skill levels of knowledge and comprehension.

Level B

Requiring a sound understanding of the broad aspects of practices and procedures and awareness of the problems relating to more detailed aspects, the ability to apply such broad knowledge in new and concrete situations, the ability to analyze the components of the material and their relationships, and the ability to reformulate the components into a new whole, i.e., requiring the skill levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, and analysis.

Level C

Requiring a sound understanding of principles, practices, and procedures, the ability to analyze material so that its organizational structure can be understood, the proficiency to apply such knowledge to situations likely to be encountered, the ability to deal with all aspects of the situation without extensive recourse to technical research and assistance, and the ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose, i.e., requiring all six skill levels.

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