Chartered
Professional
in Islamic
Finance (CPIF)

Programmes

Why CPIF?

The Chartered Professional in Islamic Finance (CPIF), the Institute’s flagship programme, is an industry-recognised professional qualification aimed at developing future leaders in the Islamic Finance. Uniquely structured with a dual pathway that provides specialisation within Islamic banking and Takaful, completion of the CPIF qualification enables the candidates to utilized the ‘CPIF’ professional designation that reflects candidate’s status as a highly skilled and competent practitioner of the Islamic finance profession that is committed to delivering the highest quality and standards of service, while maintaining the highest degree of integrity to its customers and stakeholders.

How can CPIF benefit the industry?

Qualification Structure

The diagram below provides an overview of the structure of the CPIF qualification:

Further details on the modules within the CPIF qualification is provided in the CPIF Programme Prospectus which can be downloaded at the following link:

Foundation Level

1. Shariah

This module is a primer on fundamental Shariah principles and concepts, introducing the candidates to sources of Shariah, applications and impact to trade and finance, economics and ethics. Candidates will also learn key injunctions prescribed by Shariah and learn the role of logic and critical reasoning in the application of Shariah to decide various matters.

2. Economics and the Financial System

This module prepares candidates to operate in today’s economic and financial landscape. The first part of the module, on applied economics, is designed for candidates to develop an awareness of key economic activities that affect the financial system and financial institutions (Fls). The second part of the module, on the financial system, touches on the role of Fls in facilitating the flows of goods, services and funds between governments, households, firms and external trade. In addition, candidates will learn about the various financial markets, lessons from past crises and monetary policy operations.

3. Legal and Governance Framework for Islamic Financial Institutions

This module introduces candidates to the legal, regulatory and Shariah governance framework that underpins the conduct of Islamic financial institutions. Candidates will be exposed to the practices of the legal and regulatory frameworks for Islamic finance in several key jurisdictions. This module will also introduce the roles of international standard-setting bodies in developing best practices for the regulation of the sector. Finally, candidates will learn of the regulatory and compliance issues from the perspective of both regulators and institutions. The broad overview of regulatory matters in this module sets the stage for operations-related and product-structuring modules at the Intermediate and Proficient levels.

4. Overview of Financial Products

This module introduces candidates to a wide range of products and services offered in the banking and takaful industries, and how these products address the financial needs of various categories of customers. Candidates will learn about the underlying principles of Islamic law and will be able to differentiate between conventional and Islamic contracts. Lastly, the module will expose candidates to the comparison between equity and debt products in the banking industry. At the Intermediate level, candidates will progress to the Applied Shariah in Finance module, in which they will critically discuss the underlying Shariah contractual principles that form the basis of financial products and services.

Intermediate Level

1. Applied Shariah in Finance

This module is an extension of the concepts introduced in the Shariah module (Foundation) and expands on the underlying principles that form the basis for financial products and services. The primary focus is on contractual principles and structures in financial transactions – what constitutes Shariah compliant contracts, their validity and elements, intended facilities and economic impact, what would nullify or breach the contracts, and the products’ incentives and liability management from the business perspective.

2. Reporting for Islamic Financial Institutions

This Intermediate level module will provide an introduction to the general accounting framework and principles, focusing on how Islamic financial transactions are accounted for. Candidates will learn account techniques and methods adopted in reporting Islamic financial transactions. Finally, candidates will explore the issues and challenges related to financial reporting for Islamic financial institutions.

3. Professionalism and Ethics

The purpose of this module is to ensure that the candidates apply ethical and professional behaviour in carrying out their tasks at work. It is the only module that is not eligible for exemption. Candidates will learn about ethics in general, and specific to Islamic finance practice – including the various international and domestic standards (Malaysia) on ethical practices. In addition, professional ethics is discussed vis-à-vis the CIIF Code of Ethics. The module also outlines important professional skills and touches on governance issues relevant to Islamic finance practices.

4. Banking Operations I

This module introduces candidates to how Islamic banks operate, the main services that Islamic banks provide, and the relationship between Islamic banks and their customers in providing these services. Candidates will learn about risk in Islamic banking services and the risk management measures practiced in Islamic banks. The module ties together some of the Shariah, legal and financial system knowledge from the Foundation level, and sets the stage for competencydriven modules such as Banking Operations Il and Structuring Products at the Proficient level.

5. Takaful Operations I

This module aims to provide an understanding of the takaful concept, business models and products. Candidates will be exposed to the concept of risk and mitigating such risks through takaful, and candidates will learn the legal and Shariah regulations governing the takaful industry. Candidates will also, take a deeper look at takaful products in terms of underlying principles, types, risks covered, and exclusions. The module ties together some of the Shariah, legal and financial system knowledge from the Foundation level, and sets the stage for competency-driven modules such as Takaful Operations I and Structuring Products at the Proficient level.

Proficient Level (Banking)

1. Treasury and Fund Management

This module will develop the candidates’ understanding of the treasury operations and products in a Shariah-compliant business environment, and the legal and regulatory framework within which the treasury function operates. This module will also lead candidates to acquire practical knowledge and skills in the capital market, money market, foreign exchange market, and Islamic derivatives market.

2. Banking Operations II

The objective of this module is to develop the key competencies required for candidates to become a practitioner in the areas of retail banking, business banking and/or trade financing. This module will also provide an insight to the tools to improve banking operations including customer evaluation, financial market, and industry analysis.

3. Sales and Marketing

This module will introduce to the candidates the general concepts and strategies of sales and marketing, and their application in Islamic banks. This will include a focus on consumer behaviour towards optimising the Islamic bank’s brand management policies. Finally, candidates will be exposed to the unique issues and challenges relating to sales and marketing for Islamic banks.

4. Structuring Products 

This module will provide candidates with practical knowledge and skills on the documentation and processes involved to structure an Islamic banking product. Candidates will also be introduced to the practical approaches to effectively manage financing portfolio and risk exposure.

Proficient Level (Takaful)

1. Treasury and Fund Management

This module aims to provide candidates with an understanding of treasury operations and products in a Shariah compliant business environment, and the legal and regulatory framework within which the treasury function operates. This module will also lead candidates to acquire practical knowledge and skills in the capital market, money market, foreign exchange market, and Islamic derivatives market.

2. Banking Operations II

The objective of this module is to develop the key competencies required for candidates to become a practitioner in the area of family and/or general takaful. The module covers risk assessment and pricing of takaful products. Candidates will also learn about key processes such as underwriting and claims, and the management of these processes. 

3. Sales and Marketing

This module introduces the candidates the general concepts and strategies of sales and marketing, and their application in takaful operators. This will include a focus on consumer behaviour towards optimising the takaful operators’ brand management policies. In addition, the module touches on the various distribution channels for family and general takaful products. Finally, candidates will be exposed to the unique issues and challenges relating to sales and marketing for takaful operators. 

4. Structuring Products 

This module will provide candidates with practical knowledge and skills on the documentation and processes involved to structure a takaful product. Candidates will also be introduced to the practical approaches to manage risk exposure, including the role of re-takaful. 

Chartered Level

1. Strategic Management Practices

The purpose of this module is to equip candidates with the knowledge, skills, attributes and tools relating to strategic management, both at organisation and individual level. This module will explore case studies and illustrative examples for candidates to demonstrate strategy-in-action, focused on anticipating and addressing challenges for the Islamic financial services sector. Successful completion of this module should enable the candidate to apply the knowledge and contribute to the effective execution of an organisation’s strategic management policies and initiatives. 

2. Enterprise Risk Management Practices (Banking)

The purpose of this module is to equip candidates with the necessary knowledge on the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework and practices to support the implementation of ERM programmes within an Islamic bank. Candidates will also learn how to leverage ERM in the three lines of defence, evaluate ERM requirements for the organisation, and how ERM processes and tools are developed and implemented. Successful completion of this module should enable the candidate to apply the knowledge and contribute to the effective execution of an Islamic bank’s ERM programmes and initiatives. 

3. Enterprise Risk Management Practices (Takaful)

The purpose of this module is to equip candidates with the necessary knowledge on ERM framework and practices to support the implementation of ERM programmes within a takaful operator. Candidates will also learn how to leverage ERM in the three lines of defence, evaluate ERM requirements for the organisation, and how ERM processes and tools are developed and implemented. Successful completion of this module should enable the candidate to apply the knowledge and contribute to the effective execution of a takaful operator’s ERM programmes and initiatives. 

4. Audit and Compliance Practices

This module will equip candidates with knowledge, skills and attributes to manage the audit and compliance function, and to perform financial crime and regulatory investigations in an Islamic financial institution. Successful completion of this module should enable the candidate to apply the knowledge to manage and lead the audit and compliance functions in an Islamic financial institution. 

Assessment Structure

The table below explains the difference between how a candidate is assessed at different level of the CPIF qualification:

CPIF Pathway

There are several pathways available for candidate that wishes to pursue the CPIF qualification (as provided in the diagram below). However, each pathway has its own entry requirements and only candidates that meets the requirements are allowed to register for the pathway.

For candidates that have enrolled for the management or senior management fast track, he/she is required to sit for a Comprehensive Assessment Paper (CAP) exam. Upon passing the CAP exam, the candidate will be granted automatic exemption from specific levels of the CPIF qualification (Note: Professionalism & Ethics module is non-exemptible).

 

Policies & Guidelines

Provided below are the complete and updated list of documents related to the CPIF qualification. It is the responsibility of the candidates to read and understand the documents set forth by the CIIF.

 

All candidates must adhere to all rules & regulations pertaining to the CPIF qualification that is outlined in the Handbook 

The CAP2 Guidebook provides key information (programme information & examination matters) for candidates that have registered for the management fast track pathway of the CPIF qualification. 

CAP1 Guidebook: [LINK]

The CAP1 Guidebook provides key information (programme information & examination matters) for candidates that have registered for the senior management fast track pathway of the CPIF qualification. 

As a member of the CIIF, CPIF candidates are required to adhere to the Institute’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct at all time.

Exemptions – Eligibility, Application Procedure, Exemptions Database

Exemption allows a candidate to complete the CPIF qualification as well as attain the chartered membership status from the Institution within a shorter period.

Types of Exemptions

Candidates can gain exemptions from specific module(s) or level within the CPIF qualification. The exemption can be awarded based on the following:

Each exemption application will be go through a formal review by the Institute’s Accreditation and Exemptions Review Panel.

Application Procedure

Candidates can apply for exemptions via the Institute’s membership portal when enrolling for the CPIF qualification. The membership portal is accessible via the following link: [LINK]

Fees

For modular exemption, candidates are required to pay a fee for each module exempted. For exemption gained through the CPIF management fasttrack pathway, candidates are not required to pay any exemption fee. Candidates can refer to the fees related to exemptions by clicking on the following link: [LINK]

Qualification Database

Candidate may search for their academic and/or professional qualification in the qualification database to do a preliminary self-assessment to determine whether the subjects/modules qualifies for any exemptions from the CPIF qualification. However, regardless of whether the qualification is in the database or not, candidates are still required to make a formal application for exemption through the portal.

Fees

Provided below are the complete and updated list of documents related to the CPIF qualification. It is the responsibility of the candidates to read and understand the documents set forth by the CIIF.

 

Standard Pathway

*Note:

  • Professionalism & Ethics is a non-exemptible module.
  • The exam fee is also applicable for re-sits.
  • Exemption fee is applicable for modular exemption.

Management & Senior Management Fastrack Pathway

*Note:

  • Upon passing the CAP exam for either the management or senior management pathway,
    the candidate will be required to pay the module registration and exam fees as per the normal fee
    structure of the standard pathway until the completion of the CPIF qualification.

  • The exam fee is also applicable for re-sit.

Examination Delivery

The CIIF, at its absolute discretion, may decide whether to offer an examination through offline (paper-and-pen format) and/or online (computer-based) format. For an offline examination, candidates will be required to sit for the examination at a venue determined by the CIIF. A local invigilator will be on-site to invigilate the examination.

Online exams are supervised through remote invigilation and conducted on the CIIF’s online exam management system. The online exams will be completed on a computer/laptop with a stable internet connection and through a web browser. Candidates are expected to choose a suitable private location to do the examination. 

After enrolling for the CPIF qualification, a candidate needs to firstly register for the module before he/she can sit for the exam. There are three (3) intakes available in a year for a candidate to register for the module: January, May, and September intake. Depending on the intake that the candidate has registered for the module(s), the candidate will be automatically registered for the exam window that corresponds to the respective intake. The table shown here highlights the exam window for each intake:

To clarify further on the table above, as an example, if a candidate registers for the Shariah module in the January intake, he/she will be automatically registered to sit for the Shariah examination during the examination window in April. Registration of modules can be done via the CIIF’s Membership Portal. For all important dates pertaining to registration and examination, kindly refer to CPIF calendar or login to our Membership Portal.

Deferment Of Examination

Candidates are allowed to defer their examination; however, a request must be made at least fourteen (14) days before the scheduled examination date and must be due to either of the following reasons:

(A) Work-Related

(B) Family Emergency

(C) Illness / Accidents Causing Bodily Injury

Request for deferment that is made less than the required fourteen (14) days before the scheduled examination date will be dealt with by the CIIF on a case-to-case basis. Upon approval of a candidate’s deferral request, the candidate’s examination will be automatically shifted to the next examination window. As an example, a candidate who was originally scheduled to take the Professionalism & Ethics exam during the August examination window but has requested for deferment will now be required to take the exam during December examination window.

A maximum of two (2) consecutive deferrals per module are allowed. Candidates who fail to sit for any or both of the deferred examination sitting(s) will be deemed to have failed the examination. However, candidates may write in an appeal to the CIIF for additional deferral however this will be dealt with on a case-to-case basis and the candidate are expected to support the appeal application with proof (Example: doctor’s letter due to extended medical leave or health condition).

A candidate who has been absent from an examination and has not furnished evidence to the CIIF within seven (7) days after the scheduled examination date, and has not provided any request for deferment, shall NOT be entitled to any refund of the relevant examination fee, and may not be allowed to carry forward the fee to the next examination sitting.

For all important dates pertaining to registration and examination, kindly refer to CPIF calendar or login to our Membership Portal.

Deferment Of Examination​

Before The examination

ONLINE EXAMINATION (I.E., COMPUTER-BASED)

For online examinations, candidates are required to log on to the examination platform and/or video conferencing platform at least forty-five (45) minutes before the start of the examination. Candidates who log into the examination platform forty-five (45) minutes after an examination has commenced, shall not be permitted to take the examination.

OFFLINE EXAMINATION (I.E., PEN AND PAPER)

Candidates sitting for the examination need to be at the examination venue at least fifteen (15) minutes before the start of the examination. Candidates who arrive at the examination venue forty-five (45) minutes after an examination has commenced, shall not be permitted to take the examination.

Identification

Candidates are required to bring a valid identification document (national registration identification card, passport, driver’s license) to the examination venue. For online examinations, candidates should ensure that the identification document is kept in view/nearby as candidates may be required to show to the remote invigilator via the web camera.

Equipment

Candidates are required to bring their own stationery and calculator. The calculator must not be programmable. Writing papers will be provided to the candidate before the start of the examination. Smartwatches, and electronic devices that are capable of transmitting verbal, audio or visual information are strictly now allowed to be brought into the examination venue. Bags and personal belongings must be placed at the designated area within the examination venue.

For online examination, candidates must prepare/bring a laptop and charger. If the laptop does not have a built-in camera, the candidates must ensure that the laptop is connected to an external web camera. Candidates must also ensure that the electronic devices are placed on the desk where it is visible to the invigilator.

During The Examination

Candidates are not allowed to communicate with other candidates during the examination. Candidates are required to follow the instructions given by the invigilator. If the exam invigilator suspects any suspicious activity or the use of unauthorized materials during the examination, the exam invigilator may enquire and take the necessary actions.

ONLINE EXAMINATION (I.E., COMPUTER-BASED)

Candidates are required to send a message to the invigilator via the examination platform or video conferencing platform to ask any questions. The audio and video of examination sessions may also be recorded for security and verification purposes. Candidates must ensure that no one else is physically present in the room where the candidate is being tested and no one speaks to the candidate during the examination.

OFFLINE EXAMINATION (I.E., PEN AND PAPER)

The candidate shall raise his/her hand if help or clarification is needed from the invigilator at any point during the examination or wishes to leave the exam venue for a toilet break. The candidate may not leave the examination venue during the first thirty (30) minutes or last fifteen (15) minutes of the examination’s writing time.

Examination Missconduct

If a candidate is found to have cheated, attempted to cheat during the examination, or does not adhere to the rules and regulations of the examination, the candidate will be immediately disqualified from the examination and may be barred from taking the qualification in the future. For a candidate who is sponsored by their respective institutions, the institutions will be also be notified of the misconduct.

AFTER THE EXAMINATION

The examination papers and candidates answer scripts are the property of the CIIF and deemed private and confidential. Candidates are not allowed to bring back the examination paper after the examination ends. Hence, the examination paper is to be left on the desk/table before candidates leave the examination venue.

RELEASE OF EXAMINATION RESULTS

Examination results will typically be released within four (4) weeks from the date of the examination. Any delay in the release of examination results will be communicated to the candidates by the CIIF.

Appeal of Examination Results

Examination results are final and appeals are not permitted.

Examination Re-Sits

Candidates who fail the examination for any of the modules are allowed to re-sit for the examination. In addition to the first attempt of the examination, every candidate is allowed two (2) re-sit attempts. The attempt shall also include a candidate’s absence without reason on the day of examination. Upon failing both re-sit attempts, a candidate may appeal to the CIIF for a third re-sit; however, this will be dealt with by the CIIF on a case-to-case basis. A candidate that fails the second and/or third re-sit attempt (assuming that the candidate has been granted permission by the CIIF to sit for the third re-sit) will result in the failure of the whole level, after which the candidate is required to attempt all modules in that particular level until successful completion before being allowed to proceed to the next level in the qualification.

Withdrawal From Qualification

A candidate who wishes to withdraw from the CPIF qualification must submit the intent to withdraw in writing to the CIIF’s Programmes Unit. The candidate will receive confirmation from CIIF within two (2) weeks from the date on which the candidate has submitted his/her intention to withdraw.

Exam Information: Overview (Assessment Structure), Rules & Regulations, Exam Timetable

Candidates have the options of taking exams within three (3) examination windows that are available every calendar year – in April, August, and December. The default exam delivery is through the Institute’s secure online exam delivery platform. 

Exam Information: Overview (Assessment Structure), Rules & Regulations, Exam Timetable

The detailed rules and regulations pertaining to the exam for the CPIF qualification is provided in the CPIF Handbook, downloadable at the following link: [LINK]

FAQs on CPIF Professional Qualification

Pre-registration

  • Having the CPIF signifies the beginning of your on-going development as an Islamic finance (IF) professional.
  • Completing the CPIF means being certified by a professional body and signify that you are ready to deliver quality professional services in today’s financial sector.
  • The CPIF qualification covers a comprehensive range of competencies that will allow candidates to assume wide-ranging role and responsibilities, culminating in a leadership position.
  • Having the CPIF demonstrates your commitment to ethical and responsible Islamic Finance practice and conforms to the accepted professional standards.
  • Since the CPIF qualification is primarily a self-study programme, you will study at your own pace and the expected total duration for completing a course will differ based on each individual. However, on average, a candidate can take anywhere between 3-5 years to complete the qualification. For candidates that have enrolled for the management fast-track pathway, the duration can be shorter – less than 3 years.
  • It is not compulsory. However, being in the core industry sectors will be an added advantage and be recognised as relevant work experiences to progress your membership.
  • If you wish to gain knowledge in Islamic finance, to attain professional qualification or to explore careers opportunity in the Islamic finance industry, CPIF is an option for you.

Registration

  • A candidate is required to have completed or currently pursuing a recognised undergraduate degree to be eligible to register for the CPIF.
  • For experienced professionals, and those already with Islamic Finance qualifications, you may request exemptions for certain modules or levels (through the CPIF Management Fast-track Pathway). Exemptions are subject to the approval of the Accreditation and Exemptions Review Panel.
  • There are three (3) intakes available in a year – January, May and September.

There are three (3) examination available in a year – April, August and December.

For more information examination, please click on the following link: [LINK]

You are required to register for the module(s) of the respective level and then sit for the exam during the examination window. For experienced candidates that are eligible, they may register for the CPIF Management Fasttrack Pathway and then sit for the CAP exam.

You may refer to the CPIF Programme Prospectus by clicking on the following link: [LINK]

The CPIF qualification is primarily a self-study programme however you will be provided with learning materials (official study texts, sample exam questions, lecture videos) to prepare for the exams. All learning materials are readily available in the CIIF’s Learning Management System (LMS) which are made accessible to you once they have registered for the CPIF qualification and modules.

If you are interested in attending tuition classes, you may directly contact CIIF’s approved learning partner however the availability of the tuition will be determined by the learning partner, and will incur additional fees (please kindly contact the CIIF for further details on this).

Currently, all exams for the CPIF qualification are computer-based and delivered online through the CIIF’s Exam Management System.

  • Official confirmation and receipt of the course registration.
  • Study texts: both in pdf version (will be made available for download) and hardcopy (optional).

Exemption

If you have relevant academic and/or professional qualifications, you may apply for modular exemption via the CIIF’s Membership Portal. If you have relevant professional experience and meets the eligibility criteria to enrol for the CPIF Management Fasttrack Pathway, you will be granted automatic exemption upon passing the CAP examination.

Yes, a fee is applicable for every module in which you have been awarded exemption. However, you are required to pay the fee as soon as the invoice is received.

You should apply for exemptions when you register for the CPIF qualification. Please be aware that you must wait until your exemptions have been approved before proceeding to any course of study.

Payments

You may refer to our CPIF Prospectus, page 12 [here] for the fee structure details.

  • At the moment, there are no scholarships being offered by CIIF.
  • However, some employers do provide scholarships/subsidy/support for continuing professional development courses, depending on the organisation policies. Do speak to your employers for such opportunities.
  • There is also tax relief given to Malaysian Citizens for pursuing Certificates in Islamic Finance.

Contact Details

You may send your enquiries to Programmes@www.ciif-global.org or Membership@www.ciif-global.org . We are also reachable via Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Calendar

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The Registration Process

The registration process is as provided in the diagram below:

Interested to join the
CPIF Programme?