Starting this summer, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) will begin offering a new credential, CSCA (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis), part of an initiative to offer supplemental credentials to fill IMA’s certified members’ need for continuous career growth. The new certification will be available exclusively to CMAs® (Certified Management Accountants) and/or CFMs®, with registration beginning in late May. 

The decision to offer this new credential began three years ago, when a task force of staff and volunteers from the IMA Board of Directors and ICMA Board of Regents sought to evaluate the need for additional credentials as a way to advance the management accounting profession and the careers of IMA’s certified members. Based on a comprehensive statistical research study, the task force concluded that this need existed, and so, the IMA Board of Directors approved the development of a new specialty credentials program. The planned specialty credentials will be rigorous programs, with content focusing on topics that provide accounting professionals with deeper, more specialized knowledge as they progress in their careers. 

Said Dennis Whitney, CMA, CAE, ICMA senior vice president, certifications, exams and content integration, “This new credentialing program will offer our CMAs numerous benefits, including improved career prospects, better perceived value in the marketplace, and greater competence in specialized areas. These specialty credentials are consistent with the missions of IMA and ICMA – which are educating and certifying the world’s best management accountants. 

“Further, this new credentialing program supports IMA’s strategy of improving member expertise through the delivery of valuable products and services. The specialty credentials will enhance the value of both the IMA and CMA brands by providing our certified members the opportunity to expand their skill set and further advance their careers.” 

The first specialty credential IMA will offer is the CSCA, which will focus on the specific discipline of strategic planning and test areas such as strategic analysis, strategy formulation, and strategy implementation and evaluation. To be eligible to take the CSCA exam, members must be an active CMA or CFM (Certified Financial Manager). To be certified, members need to pass Part One of the CSCA exam and maintain active status as a CMA or CFM. 

The CSCA exam will be three hours long and consist of 60 multiple choice questions and one case study. It will be administered in a computer-based testing format and offered at Prometric Testing Centers located throughout the world. 

The exam will be offered during the months of March and September, beginning on September 1, 2017. IMA will start accepting registrations for the exam in late May. Learning product information for the new exam also will be available starting in May 2017.