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SAICA to CIMA: 100% first-time pass secrets revealed


Ten SAICA members took advantage of the new and innovative agreement with CIMA to obtain the highly desirable CGMA designation by passing only one exam. 

In 2017, ten SAICA qualified members enrolled as students with IBTC and embarked on a fast-track programme aimed at preparing them for the November exam sitting. An exam sitting which, if successfully completed, would earn them the CGMA designation and allow them entry into a global body of accountants.

The agreement between CIMA and SAICA became official in May 2017 and the first intake of SAICA members was in September.

IBTC designed a bespoke programme just for SAICA members and admits that students were thrown in the deep end. "It was going to be a tall order. There was so much to go through in so little time,” said Lewis Rwafa, Divisional Business Manager at IBTC.

The current Commercial Planner at PepsiCo and newly qualified CGMA, Zenzele Thwala, spoke about how each one of his fellow students had different motivations that inspired them to continue with the programme. "We all wanted this, but for different reasons. Our determination allowed us to conquer any challenges we encountered along the way" said Zenzele.

“I had a lot of support and a lot of people rallying for my success. The support from IBTC was phenomenal and their determination to make this programme work has positioned us where we are right now. It was great to know that we were not alone,” added Zenzele.


What is the attraction for a SAICA member to study CIMA?

According to Kuda, CIMA lecturer at IBTC, these two qualifications complement each other very well and having both qualifications would make you unstoppable in the industry.

"SAICA is highly focused on numbers and CIMA is very focused on value creation. CIMA understands the value of numbers and how to analyse them, communicate them to the right people and utilise them to drive business. That is what the industry needs," said Kuda.

Someone who is already reaping the rewards is Zenzele who excitedly shared that he will be starting a new position with Colgate-Palmolive in February.  

How did IBTC secure a 100% pass rate? 

"It's imperative to ensure there are no knowledge gaps with our students, so we focus on that first. Our secret is that we continuously monitor that students are studying at home. We understand that if they don’t put in the work at home, we do not get the pass rate in the class," says Lewis.

“We gave students access to face-to-face classes, gave them progress tests and tasks to complete as well as access to past question papers. We are proud of the hard work our students have put in. They will reap great benefits from this. We are continuously making improvements on this programme and we will continue to develop a strategic partnership with both CIMA and SAICA,” concluded Lewis. 

IBTC always aims for 100% pass rates in its classes. To sign up go to and click on the book now button and secure a seat in one of our classrooms. Alternatively, you can call Robert on 0861 111 411 and he will gladly offer advice to SAICA members who are interested in the CIMA qualification and the CGMA designation.