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The Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential® is designed for all professionals who would benefit from understanding the link between sustainability and financial performance.

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Overview

Join thousands of professionals worldwide who have verified their expertise with the premier, cross-functional credential at the forefront of sustainability disclosure and analysis.

Accounting has long been the universal language of business. The FSA® Credential equips professionals with the knowledge and skills to understand the link between sustainability and a company’s financial performance.


What's involved

The FSA Credential combines two exams to assess a candidate’s knowledge of the concepts and skills necessary to navigate the sustainability disclosure landscape and ability to analyse sustainability-related financial information. After passing Level I, a candidate is identified as an ‘FSA Credential Level II Candidate’. After passing Level II, a candidate officially becomes an ‘FSA Credential Holder’.

110 multiple choice questions

At Level I, candidates will:

  • understand the historical basis for disclosure and today’s sustainability disclosure landscape, including the role of standard-setters, regulators, data providers and others;
  • become acquainted with the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards and gain a deep understanding of the concepts that underpin them; and
  • learn how material sustainability information—both cross-industry and industry-specific—can inform corporate strategies and investor decisions.

See the Level I curriculum

55 multiple-choice questions associated with 13 cases

At Level II, candidates will:

  • identify the sustainability-related risks and opportunities that affect a company’s financial position, performance and prospects; 
  • normalise sustainability data for effective fundamental, comparative and industry analysis; and
  • connect sustainability information to a company’s revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities and cost of capital, and apply it to valuation models.

See the Level II curriculum


Exam logistics

For detailed information about exam procedures and policies, please download the FSA Credential Candidate Handbook.

Where can I take the exams?

You can take exams in person at one of many test centres around the world or online with a remote proctor. Exams are administered by our test partner, Pearson VUE.

When can I take the exams?

Exams are hosted throughout the year in three testing periods: January–February, May–June and September–October. Please note that due to recent curriculum updates, the first Level I exam block in 2024 will follow a revised schedule from February-March. Several time slots are available on each day of testing. See the FSA Credential Candidate Handbook for more details.

How do I study for the exams?

You will receive access to the study guide upon registering. The study guide contains all the testable material for each exam and includes review exercises and sample questions to support self-study. The average candidate spends 30–50 hours studying for each exam. If you would like additional exam preparation support, you can register for a course offered by one of our Approved Education Providers.

Can I reschedule or cancel?

You can cancel your exam and receive a refund within 14 days of initial registration. You can reschedule your exam up to 48 hours prior to the exam date without paying an additional fee. If you reschedule with less than 48 hours before your exam time, you will be charged a US$60 fee. 


How it's benefited others

The knowledge that FSA has given me has supported me in writing articles, opened doors in discussion communities about ESG here in Brazil as well as given me technical support in consulting activities to diagnose the stage of maturity of our clients and make suitable recommendations…

Filipe Monteiro, Senior Manager Internal Audit & Sustainability, ICTS Protiviti

The FSA is essential education for those of us who are committed to understanding the range of sustainability issues and how they are linked to financial performance and value creation for investors, companies, and the broader stakeholder community.

Ryan Frazier,
CEO & Managing Principal, Frazier Global Strategies

This study has fine-tuned my view and understanding of non-financial risk and its factors. It will improve our investment analysis and helped me push us to be a lead investor.

Chistopher Ailman,
Chief Investment Officer, California State Teachers Retirement System

The FSA was one of the first credentials that linked sustainability analysis to an investment and corporate perspective. I like that the FSA contains elements of both theory and practice of sustainability issues in investment decisions.

Sarah Adams,
Chief Sustainability Officer, Vert Asset Management

ESG integration is the future of finance and I want to be ready for that future. The FSA gives me a language to communicate material ESG factors in a standardised and decision-useful way… The FSA has already helped me both in the classroom and in serving clients.

Tara Mei Smith,
MBA Candidate, NYU Stern School of Business

I feel like I am more able to make the business case for sustainability and have a much deeper understanding of materiality. Overall, it’s given me high-level perspective on how sustainability is really judged by the C-suite in terms of its impact to a company and the bottom line.

Hope Connolly,
Senior Supply Chain Analyst, Gap Inc.

Register now

You must pass both the Level 1 and Level 2 exams to earn the FSA Credential.

What's covered?

Discover the link between sustainability and financial performance

Next testing window if you sign up today

1 February to 31 March or 1 May to 30 June.

Cost for non-members

US$450

Cost for Alliance members*

US$400

Prerequisite

None

You can reschedule or cancel up to 48 hours before the exam via the Pearson VUE portal.

 

What's covered?

Gain skills to evaluate corporate performance on sustainability-related matters

Next testing window if you sign up today

1 January to 29 February or 1 May to 30 June.

Cost for non-members

US$650

Cost for Alliance members*

US$500

Prerequisite

Passing Level 1

You can reschedule or cancel up to 48 hours before the exam via the Pearson VUE portal.

*The IFRS Sustainability Alliance is a diverse global network of members who explore and develop best practices related to sustainability standards and integrated reporting. For more information about Alliance membership, visit the IFRS Sustainability Alliance page.

Businesses can pre-purchase FSA Credential registrations for a group of staff. Organisations that choose this path are eligible for discounts based on the number of employees registered, gain access to an expanded testing calendar and have the option to participate in a group Q&A session with an IFRS Foundation staff member. If you are interested in purchasing group registration for your organisation, please email Fsa_credential@ifrs.org.

Number of candidates Amount per person for Level I + Level II Discount
5 to 29 candidates $900 (Level I and II can be purchased separately: $400 and $500, respectively) 18%
30 to 49 candidates $850 (combined price for Level I and II, purchased as package) 22%
50+ candidates $800 (combined price for Level I and II, purchased as package) 27%

Candidates can choose from a range of options for additional exam preparation support beyond self-study. Attend a self-paced online course, work with an instructor in real-time or earn the Credential as part of a degree or executive education track via the Approved Education Providers.

The exam registration fee is included in the price of each course. The Approved Education Provider will supply course details, additional study materials and a voucher to register for the exam with Pearson VUE. Pricing, additional resources and time commitment vary by Provider.


FAQs

You will receive a download link and an access code for the relevant FSA Credential study guide after paying the registration fees and scheduling your exam on Pearson VUE. This link is delivered via a confirmation email titled ‘Confirmation of Pearson VUE Exam Appointment’. The access code provided in this email will allow you to download the study guide using this form for Level I and this form for Level II. You can come back to this form at any time using your access code to download the study guide. If you are interested in learning more about the topics covered by the FSA Credential before registering, we encourage you to review the Level I and Level II exam curricula.

For FSA Credential Level I and Level II:

  • create or log in to your Pearson VUE account;
  • choose exam, proctor and exam date and time;
  • complete payment; and
  • check email for study guide and exam details.

The FSA Credential was originally developed by SASB to teach corporate professionals, investors and other professionals throughout capital markets to think critically and effectively communicate the financial effects of sustainability-related matters. It seeks to equip professionals with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions within a complex and evolving sustainability disclosure landscape. The purpose of the FSA Credential remains the same under the IFRS Foundation. 

All FSA Credential materials are reviewed and updated at least once every two years to ensure the content is accurate and up to date. The study guides are written and rigorously reviewed by subject-matter experts, including IFRS Foundation staff and external practitioners and academics. Click here to see the full list of contributors. 

The FSA Credential Level I curriculum has been updated under the IFRS Foundation, but the fundamental learning objectives and purpose of the FSA Credential remain unchanged. Specifically, the FSA Credential Level I curriculum includes important content related to the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, including details related to the investor-focused standards and frameworks upon which the Standards were built (the SASB Standards, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Framework, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) Framework and the Integrated Reporting Framework). The FSA Credential Level II materials will be updated in 2024.

The FSA Credential will enable you to identify, quantify, communicate and analyse the sustainability-related risks and opportunities that affect a company’s financial position, performance and prospects. These skills are valuable for professionals in many organisations and sectors.

Your status as an FSA Credential Level II Candidate or Credential Holder is not affected by curriculum updates. The FSA Credential badge signifies that you have passed rigorous exams to verify your competence in topics essential to sustainability-related financial disclosure and analysis. 

If you are a Level II Candidate (ie, you have passed the Level I exam), we encourage you to register for Level II to complete your FSA Credential. 

If you are already an FSA Credential Holder, we encourage you to refresh your knowledge using the updated materials, which are provided free of charge via email. Please note that the latest materials are always made available free of charge to those who have previously passed their FSA Credential Level I and Level II exams. To download the latest materials, enter the code received upon registration for the FSA Credential exam using this form for Level I and this form for Level II.

Level II differs from Level I in three main ways:

  • the Level II study guide teaches qualitative and quantitative analysis using sustainability and financial information, whereas the Level I study guide focuses on principles, rationale and context.
  • the Level II exam tests application and analysis skills relevant to understanding a company’s performance, whereas the Level I exam tests candidates’ ability to understand and recall core concepts and principles.
  • the Level II exam is case based. Candidates must answer multiple-choice questions associated with a series of miniature case studies. The Level I exam is also multiple choice but does not include case-based analysis.

Possibly! Here are the discount opportunities currently available:

  • IFRS Sustainability Alliance members receive US$50 off Level I exam registration and US$150 off Level II exam registration. (Enter discount voucher code at checkout. To receive the discount voucher code, email Fsa_credential@ifrs.org or Sustainability_alliance@ifrs.org.)
  • AICPA & CIMA members receive US$50 off Level I exam registration and US$150 off Level II exam registration. (Enter discount voucher code at checkout. The discount voucher code is available through the AICPA or CIMA member portal.)
  • group registrations for five or more candidates are eligible for discounts.
  • candidates who take an FSA Credential exam preparation course through an Approved Education Provider will receive a discount on their exam fees.

We recommend you spend 30–50 hours preparing for each of the FSA Credential exams. The FSA Credential Level I and Level II curricula include concepts related to sustainability, finance, accounting and other disciplines. If you have experience in these areas, you might find you are already familiar with some concepts, thus reducing your study time. However, all candidates should review the curriculum in its entirety and use the review exercises and sample questions provided in each study guide.

Yes. Both in-person and online exams are monitored by a Pearson VUE proctor. You must verify your identity and meet requirements to ensure the integrity and security of the testing experience.

The Pearson VUE testing network has more than 5,000 testing centres in more than 180 countries to proctor exams securely worldwide. For more details, please see the FSA Candidate Handbook.

Yes. To switch from an on-site proctored exam to an online proctored exam, contact Pearson VUE.

According to discussions with several issuers of professional designations, the FSA Credential often qualifies as a source of continuing education (CE), continuing professional development (CPD) or continuing professional education (CPE) credit. Contact your designated authority to determine whether the FSA Credential is accepted as CE credit. Details for certified public accountants (CPAs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs) are provided. If you represent another professional designation program and would like to provide the FSA Credential for CE credit to your members, please contact Fsa_credential@ifrs.org.

CPAs licensed in a US jurisdiction that accepts courses from the National Registry of CPE Sponsors are eligible to receive up to 27.5 CPE1 credit hours for completing the FSA Credential—15 CPE credit hours for passing Level I and 12.5 CPE credit hours for passing Level II. When creating an account with Pearson VUE, CPAs should tick the box in the ‘additional information’ section to confirm they would like to earn CPE and to receive a certificate verifying their achievement.

Please note: the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) requires a minimum score of 70% to earn CPE credit for all approved self-study courses. The pass/fail score for the FSA exams is determined using a rigorous, validated methodology that is considered best practice in the credentialling industry, but that does not always produce results that are precisely aligned with NASBA’s minimum score threshold. Currently, the score required to pass the FSA Level II exam is slightly below 70%. For this reason, it is possible that Level II Candidates might pass their exam without qualifying for CPE credit. Refer to the Candidate Handbook for additional information.

CPAs who are AICPA & CIMA members are eligible to receive US$50 off Level I exam registration and US$150 off Level II exam registration. (Enter discount voucher code at checkout. The discount voucher code is available through the AICPA or CIMA member portal.)

CFA Charterholders are not required to engage in CE, but the FSA Credential is eligible for CE based on the time a candidate spends preparing for each exam.

1 The IFRS Foundation is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: https://www.nasbaregistry.org/

The FSA Credential is currently only offered in English. The study guide, exam and all other associated materials are in English.

After passing the FSA Credential Level I exam, you will:

  • receive a digital badge that says ‘FSA Credential Level I’;
  • be identified as an ‘FSA Credential Level II Candidate’;
  • be permitted to share and display the digital badge and status on your résumé, digital profile, email signature and other personal brand material;2 
  • be listed in the FSA Credential Directory, if desired; and
  • be invited to join the official FSA Credential community group on LinkedIn.

After passing the FSA Credential Level II exam, you will:

  • receive a digital badge that says ‘FSA Credential’;
  • be identified as an ‘FSA Credential Holder’; 
  • be permitted to share and display your digital badge and status on your résumé, digital profile, email signature and other personal brand material;2
  • have your FSA Credential status updated in the FSA Credential Directory, if desired; and
  • be invited to join the official FSA Credential community group on LinkedIn.

2 Please note that FSA Credential Holder status does not entitle you to letters after your name (ie, please do not refer to yourself as Jane Doe, FSA).

Email Fsa_credential@ifrs.org or call +1 (424) 261-9930 and FSA Credential staff will respond as soon as possible.