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No more CIMA exemption fees, what does this mean?


The Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) has removed exemption fees for new students. As of 1 August 2019, all students who apply for and are awarded exemptions by the accounting body will no longer have to pay an exemption fee.

According to CIMA, the change will apply to all new exemption applications made by students registered to study for the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and the CIMA Professional Qualification.

What does this mean? Let’s talk figures and facts.

In the past, if you were a student looking to study CIMA and you had a finance related qualification that is not older that 10 years, you would apply for exemptions. Basically, exemptions are CIMA’s way of saying you have enough knowledge to skip certain subjects and even levels in the course and only write exams for the subjects you are not exempted for.

This all sounds great, an opportunity to complete your qualification in less time. But exemptions came with a price.

You were required to pay an exemption fee of anything between R 1 372.77 and R 4 314.42 (depending on the level) for each subject you get exempted for. Depending on the number of exemptions received, this price could be pretty hefty. As a result, some students would either opt to not accept the exemptions or put their studies on hold. Which is why CIMA decided to drop all exemption fees.

This decision alone will lessen the financial burden on students and make the qualification more accessible. In a nutshell, students still need to apply for exemptions from CIMA but, if awarded, these exemptions won’t cost you a single cent.

What about students who applied for exemptions before 1 August 2019?

•    For applications made between 1 January 2019 and 31 July 2019, there will be no refunds and the fee will remain payable if not already paid.  However, any exams taken between 1 August 2019 and 31 December 2019 will result in a credit in your account to the value of the difference between the old and new exam fees.
•    The credit will be applied from October onwards, on a monthly basis, over the remainder of 2019 and can be used towards the 2020 student subscription fee.

How to apply for exemptions?
Exemptions are awarded at CIMA’s discretion. If you feel like you should qualify for exemptions email your academic transcripts to or check if you qualify on the CIMA database directly on their website:

How can we help?
Our CIMA students regularly pass first time. To study CIMA with us go to and click on the book now button. Alternatively, you can call Robert on 0861 111 411 for information on how to get started.