You may hear of the IMC if you’re looking to catapult yourself into the investment industry. Let’s decode the acronym and the enigma that lies behind it…

What’s the IMC?

The IMC (Investment Management Certificate) will provide you with fundamental knowledge in the investment banking scene. Awarded by the CFA Society for the UK, it’s widely recognised as a creditable introductory course to the investment industry. In fact, many employers (investment firms) see it as a benchmark qualification. In fact, it’s sometimes noted as a prerequisite for some investment roles, and it’s the first rung in the ladder for entry levellers to build up towards the CFA exam and CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) status.

The thing that gets employers excited about applicants with the IMC is that it’s one way of ensuring the people working for them have passed official exams in regulatory aspects of the investment industry.

What will it involve?

The IMC involves study of a wide range of regulatory issues, investment management theories and principles, financial mathematics, and advisory skills within the investment industry.

There are two units for you to crack, with an exam for each one. The first, Investment Environment, is an introduction to the financial markets, regulatory framework, taxation relating to investments, ethics and client advisory work. The second unit focuses on investment practice. This picks up on things like asset classes and investment products, economics and investment theories and models.

What will it enable me to do?

The IMC shows you have made efforts to achieve a high standard in knowledge and conduct in the investment industry as a relatively new kid on the block. It provides a solid grounding to move onto the full CFA qualification once you have mastered the IMC.

Of course, it’s really important that you don’t focus on achieving a qualification alone if you want to make it in this industry. The more work experience you can accrue, the better!

How do I get the IMC?

You could study on an individual basis for the IMC (the CFAUK website gives further details of the texts you’ll need to study). Alternatively, you could take a structured course to help you prepare for the exams with a course provider in the UK. BPP, for example, offers different study modes of preparatory classes and revision classes to help you work study around work or other any other commitments.

The IMC unit one exam costs £230; unit two costs £240.