Becoming a certified professional in any field can be a rigorous process. Some designations require classroom study and preparation, while others simply require that a designee pass an exam based on his or her knowledge. Curriculum is also important, but also based on the field. If the field is a dynamic one, such as the financial industry, then a curriculum should be dynamic to match the field. In terms of the risk management certifications, both PRMIA and GARP offer self study programs, designed to be “at pace” with the individual. But both organizations offer examinations that are rigorous and that will test the ability and knowledge of the candidate.
The PRM program is comprised of four exams. As we discussed, PRMIA does not require that a candidate take all four exams at one time, nor does the organization require that the exams be taken in a specific order. PRM Exam I covers theory related to finance, as well as financial instruments and markets. In Exam II, the candidate will need to understand the mathematics that accompanies risk measurement. Exam III is a test of common practices in the risk management filed, and exam IV covers professional standards, conduct, ethics, and bylaws as set by PRMIA CISM certification cost .
The PRM exams are multiple-choice exams, consisting of 120 questions pulled from a database. Although the questions are multiple choice, the existence of a database proves that the organization is attempting to test from every possible angle. PRMIA reports that only 50% of its candidates actually finish the certification with the required 60% pass rate, so it appears that the exams are fairly difficult. Preparation is unstructured, that is, there is no actual requirement that a candidate attend courses. One of the first aspects that PRMIA stresses about exam preparation is that professionals in the field can prepare by simply doing their jobs well.
The organization also recommends that candidates examine all of the available resources, including professional journals, articles, online forums, conferences, and procedural documentation. PRMIA offers a self-study guide which the candidate can use to assess areas in which he or she needs further study and practice. The study guide also recommends reading in specific topic areas. The organization recommends a textbook (The Professional Risk Manager’s Handbook), which is written by 35 authors, as preparation for Exams I, II, and III. In order to prepare for Exam IV, the candidate is encouraged to examine a reading list provided by PRMIA. Once the candidate determines his or her areas for improvement, PRMIA offers online and classroom training targeted for those competency areas.