Course Guidelines for Continuing Education (CE) Activities

To maintain your certification, you must comply with the continuing education requirements of the designation. As a CIM® designation holder, you have an obligation to continually develop and expand your abilities, skills, and current knowledge of portfolio management services. You can satisfy the CE requirement by completing 20 hours of Professional Development and 10 hours of Compliance every 2 year cycle.You must retain supporting documents to confirm your completion of CE credits. In order to qualify, the content of the program must correspond to one of the competencies found within the CIM® Professional Competency Profile

Compliance Courses

Compliance courses generally fall within competency 1 and its sub-competencies as set out in the CIM® Competency Profile.

1. Abide by the laws and regulations pertaining to portfolio management.

Professional Development Courses

Professional development courses generally fall within competencies 2 through 11:
2. Access financial information to conduct analysis to determine security selection.
3. Construct a portfolio of securities for clients and/or funds.
4. Evaluate performance against objectives and appropriate benchmarks to report on portfolio performance.
5. Manage a portfolio of clients and/or fund securities.
6. Discover a client’s portfolio including financial resources, investment experience, needs, goals, time horizon, tax status and risk tolerance.
7. Create an investment policy statement (IPS) based on the client’s profile.
8. Build and maintain a book of discretionary business (managed accounts).
9. Participate in the creation of new fund mandates.
10. Support the implementation of comprehensive fund compliance and risk control processes and procedures.
11. Provide client support activities related to pooled fund institutional investor clients

Types Of Acceptable Activities

Completion of courses, online activities, and attendance at seminars, webinars or conferences, must be documented either through an Attendance Certificate or proof of completion of an examination or online quiz.

The following types of activities are acceptable as CE:

In-house Courses

Courses or seminars that are offered by your firm are acceptable if they meet the competency requirements.In-house courses that are firm-specific with regard to corporate policy or product development and delivery are generally not acceptable as a continuing education program. For example, time spent listening to a speaker about the benefits of the firm’s products is not considered an acceptable CE activity. However, an in-house course demonstrating the basics of how to assess client financial statements for the purpose of asset assessment would be acceptable. Although it is not mandatory to do so, employers may submit courses to CSI for approval for continuing education purposes

Seminars and Webinars

Seminars and webinars offered by third party providers are acceptable if the topic is related to one of the competencies associated with the CIM® competencies. For example, in an hour long seminar, if the speaker discusses the markets and the economy and then spends time reviewing the performance and characteristics of a particular firms’ investment product, time must be deducted from that hour for the time spent on the proprietary product.

CSI CE Activities

CSI courses are acceptable if they cover topics associated with CIM® competencies. Courses that make up the designation educational program are not generally considered for continuing education purposes. For example, the Derivative Fundamentals Course would be acceptable, whereas the Canadian Securities Course would not be acceptable as it is considered to be base content to earn the CIM® designation.

College or University Courses

Completing a course at a college or university is an acceptable CE activity if the topic is related to one of the competencies. For example, a course in taxation would be acceptable whereas a course in sociology, Spanish or philosophy would not be.

Other Educational Providers

Programs offered by other educational providers are acceptable if the topic is related to one of the competencies. Although it is not mandatory to do so, providers may submit courses to CSI for approval for continuing education purposes. An assessment fee will be applied.


Conferences offered by product suppliers or professional designation groups are acceptable activities.Attendance must be documented. Only time spent learning counts. Time allocated to lunches, breaks and presentations about the firm’s products must be deducted from the total time spent at the conference. For example, a full day conference will generally qualify for a maximum of 7 credits.


Writing articles, books, course materials or newsletters that are educational is an acceptable CE activity.Articles, newsletters or columns are only acceptable for credit in the cycle they are written. The topic must relate to the content in one of the competencies. Marketing materials or newsletters written for clients are not considered acceptable. For example, a monthly column on investment planning for a newspaper or industry magazine would qualify. Writing a column for a newsletter that is distributed to clients would not. To qualify for compliance credits, the topic must relate directly to new regulations or rules including how they will impact a CIM®’s dealings with clients or the firm.

Teaching and Speaking Engagements

Teaching a course at a college or university is acceptable if the topic relates to one of the CIM® competencies.A course can only be used once for CE credit. Presenting or giving a speech at a conference is acceptable for CE credit. Credit will be given for the length of the presentation. The audience must be financial advisors or trust specialists. For example, giving a speech at an annual conference or a presentation to colleagues at the firm would qualify for credit, but conducting a seminar to potential clients would not. For example, giving a presentation describing a new anti-money laundering regulation and its impact on the types of questions a CIM® asks the client would qualify for credits.

Examples Of Not Acceptable Activities

The following provides examples of activities that would not be considered acceptable for CE credits. It is not an exhaustive list.

• Providing seminars to clients even if the topic relates to one of the competencies
• Courses or seminars on basic business skills. For example, tutorials on basic computer programs such as Word or Excel
• Seminars or webinars that cannot be verified
• Any learning or teaching activity that does not relate to a competency
• Any writing activity aimed at clients
• Non-verifiable activities such as reading newspapers, books, magazines or internet material, even if it relates to a competency

Calculation Of CE Credits

In general, one hour of content is equivalent to one CE credit. The content must be directly related to one of the competencies associated with a CIM®. Content promoting a firm’s proprietary products does not qualify for CE credits. Although many courses and programs can easily take 50 or 60 hours to complete, the most an activity will be awarded is 40 CE credits in professional development or 10 credits in compliance (not both). Compliance courses can be used for professional development credits.

If a firm provides a one hour seminar on an investment product but does not mention their proprietary version of the product, the seminar would be worth one credit. However, where part of the seminar is devoted to the characteristics and performance of the firm’s proprietary version of the product, credit would be deducted from the total time of the seminar. The seminar may be worth only 0.75 credits, depending on how much time is spent on proprietary product promotion.

Carry-Over Policy

Some courses may be worth more than the minimum required credits. CE Guidelines allow for a carry-over maximum of 20 Professional Development credits to the following 2-year cycle.

Compliance credits cannot be carried over to the next cycle.

CE Activities Eligible for Carry-Over

• CSI courses (not including courses that are considered base content for a CIM® holder e.g. CSC, AIS, IMT or PMT)

• University and college credit courses

• Courses from other educational providers that include an examination

• Writing a book or course (not including a magazine or newspaper article or column)

• Teaching a semester-long course at a college or university

CE Activities not Eligible for Carry-Over

• Attendance at conferences and seminars

• Writing magazine or newspaper articles or columns

• Presenting or speaking at an industry conference or seminar

• Courses that make up the designation’s educational program

Continuing Education Exceptions

CIM® holders commit to life-long learning. However, there may be times when completing the CE requirements becomes either difficult or impossible. Exceptions for extenuating circumstances may be requested. Please note that these exceptions are not approved by IIROC and individuals who are IIROC registered must contact IIROC directly if exceptions from IIROC requirements are being sought.

Maternity/Parental Leave Exception

A one year exception may be requested in the year a CIM® holder’s child is born, adopted, or if the CIM® holder is taking maternity or parental leave. A Continuing Education Exception Request form must be completed and submitted for approval prior to the end of the calendar year the exception is being requested. A copy of the child’s birth certificate or adoption papers must be submitted with the exception form.

Disability Exception

CIM® holders who have suffered a disability or medical condition may request an exception to the CE requirements. A Continuing Education Exception Request Form must be completed and submitted for approval. Medical documentation must accompany the request. Each case will be assessed on an individual basis. It is possible that accommodations can be made or that the CE requirements be postponed. However, it is unlikely that a permanent or long-term exception will be approved.

Other Extenuating Circumstances

Other extenuating circumstances may make it difficult to complete the CE requirements in a particular year. A Continuing Education Exception Request Form must be completed and submitted for approval. Each case will be assessed on an individual basis.

Continuing Education Exception Request Form

Please refer to the CSI website for a copy of the exception request form

(CE Exception Form)

Recordkeeping, Verification And Reporting Of CE Credits

It is the responsibility of the CIM® holder to maintain a record of the CE activity. A CE Assessment Tool and CE Completion Form have been provided on the CIM® Website. It is not required to submit this document when renewing the designation but it should be maintained and accessible if the CIM® holder is audited.Documentation should be kept on file for a minimum of one year after the end of a cycle. Some firms may require that the CIM® holder submit documentation of CE activity on an annual basis.

If the CIM® holder attended a seminar, webinar or conference, proof of attendance must be obtained.

Typically, a certificate of attendance or completion is issued by the provider. Proof of attendance at a webinar is commonly provided through the completion of an online quiz after the webinar. The following information must appear on the certificate:

• Name of attendee

• Name of provider (including signature and/or logo)

• Name of course

• Date attended

• Location

• CE credit hours

• Type of CE credit (professional development or compliance)

Documentation for courses must provide proof of completion and must include:

• Name of attendee

• Provider

• Name of course

• Course outline

• Official transcript from course provider (photocopy is acceptable)

• Length of program

• Date of successful completion

• Type of CE credit (professional development or compliance)

Documentation for other CE Activities must include sufficient detail to support the eligibility of the activity for CE purposes. Examples of acceptable documentation include:

• Conference sponsor, date, location and length of speaking engagement as evidenced by the conference program

• Date and name of publication for a writing activity

• Contract for the writing activity

• Copy of the articles, columns, or book

• Contract for teaching which states name of course, duration and date of delivery

• Other pertinent documentation to support the activity

Continuing Education Audit

CSI conducts annual audits of CIM® holders upon renewal of the designation to assess compliance with the Continuing Education requirements. The audit is carried out quarterly and selects a specific percentage of renewal applicants for audit purposes.

CIM® holders who are selected for audit purposes will be sent a letter notifying them of the audit and will be asked to submit documents to verify credit hours as indicated on their designation renewal form.

Failure To Comply With CE And/Or Audit Requirements

Failure to comply with CE requirements may result in the removal of the right to use the CIM® designation. If audited, the CIM® holder must respond within 30 days to the auditor’s requests for more information or a plan to make up the required CE credits.

Erroneous or fraudulent reports of CE activity may result in the removal of the right to use the CIM® designation. The CSI Designation Ethics Committee reserves the right to administer a penalty, suspension or expulsion of the CIM® holder from designation holder directory.

Misstated or fraudulent reporting of CE credits will be reported to the Ethics Committee as a violation of the Code of Ethics and will be considered according to the Designation Ethical Misconduct Process.

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