The recent announcement that SASB and IIRC intend to merge in summer 2021 will not impact your FSA Credential registration. The merger is acknowledged in the Level I curriculum and the concepts in the FSA Credential have been written to reflect concepts that both IIRC and SASB have agreed to in the joint Statement of Intent to Work Together Towards Comprehensive Corporate Reporting.
The FSA Credential is offered during three testing blocks throughout the year. On any day of the year, you may register and choose an exam date in one of three exam periods: January-February, May-June, and September-October. There are multiple test times on whatever exam day you choose.
On any day of the year, you may register for the FSA Level II exam and choose an exam date in one of three exam periods: January-February, May-June, and September-October. There are multiple test times on whatever exam day you choose.
For example, if on March 30th you’d like to register for an exam you can choose to take it on any available day in May or June. If it’s May 15th and you want to register for an exam, you can take the exam on any available day in the rest of May or in June. If you’re registering on June 1, you can choose from test days in June or choose to take the test on any available day in September or October.
SASB will begin updating the Level II exam later in 2021.
While it varies for each candidate, SASB recommends 30 hours of preparation for each of the FSA Credential exams. The Level I exam covers essential concepts and emerging practices and some of the content may be familiar to certain individuals, reducing their study time. SASB recommends that every candidate at least review every section of the study guide. The Level II exam is closely tied to the study guide but does not require experience with a particular industry or industries.
Candidates must reschedule their exam with more than forty-eight (48) hours notice by logging in to the Pearson VUE online portal or by contacting Pearson VUE. If exam rescheduling is not complete and confirmed with 48 hours of advanced notice, the candidate will face a reschedule fee of $60.
The study guide, exam questions, and all other materials are only offered in English.
CFA members that complete the FSA Credential are eligible for up to 20CE credits for each of the two FSA exam levels obtained.
The FSA Credential helps you identify, quantify, communicate, and analyze the sustainability factors that impact a company’s value. These skills are valuable for professionals at a wide range of organizations.
Yes, at least if you are interested in understanding:
- how material sustainability information can provide insights into a company’s opportunities and risks, and/or
- the impact of sustainability on a company’s operating performance or financial value.
The Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential exams are assessment-based certificate exams. The Institute for Credentialing Excellence describes the difference between an assessment-based certificate program and a certification on its website. The FSA Level I exam is highly rigorous – developed by a wide range of subject matter experts, overseen by experts in exam development, with a proctored, secure testing environment. When candidates complete a certificate program, they do not receive letters after their name. FSA candidates can identify themselves as FSA Credential holder after they pass both the Level I and Level II exams, as described in the Candidate Handbook and on the FSA website.
The basic principles of sustainability accounting are unlikely to change over time, but there may be new laws and developments. At this time, you do not have to take another exam. However, in the future continuing education may be necessary for FSA credential holders. Any changes will be announced with significant advanced notice to those who have maintained their FSA credential.
There are three key differences:
- The study guide teaches a methodology for analysis instead of context, facts and figures, and principles
- The exam tests application and analysis skills relevant to understanding a company’s performance
- The exam features a series of case studies, with a set of questions analyzing each case study
Note that the Level II exam provides a methodology for analyzing sustainability information, rather than dictating that a specific investment decision or corporate strategy is correct.