What is the Path To the CIWM



What are the Pre-requisite Requirements?

To be eligible for enrolment in the CIWM Certification Examination, candidates must meet the pre-requisite requirements and complete the Dealing with High Net Worth Clients Program.

  • The pre-requisite requirements for registration in the CIWM Certification Exam:
    • Candidates must hold either a Financial Planning (PFP®, CFP®, CLU or IQPF) or Investment Management (CIM®, CIM or CFA®) designation, or
    • have completed CSI's Wealth Management Essentials (WME®) Course


Dealing with High Net Worth Clients Program

Candidates must complete the Dealing with High Net Worth Clients Program prior to enrolling in the CIWM Certification Examination. The Dealing with High Net Worth Clients Program is the core education component on the path to the CIWM designation. It includes a wide variety of courses focused on the knowledge and skills required of an advisor dealing with high net worth clients. It offers a modularized structure that makes the curriculum bite-sized, accessible and flexible for learners. It also provides recognition of a student's prior learning.

The modular structure allows learners to select topics most relevant to their needs. In addition, learners will be able to incrementally earn multi-jurisdictional CE credits, micro-certificates (represented by digital badges), course completions and certificates while working towards completing the internationally recognized CIWM designation.

The Dealing with High Net Worth Clients Program consists of 5 online courses as follows:

Note: There are no pre-requisites to enroll in any of the courses within the Dealing With High Net Worth Clients Program. Enrolment is open to anyone.

Recognition of Prior Learning

As candidates for the CIWM have generally been in the industry for at least several years, they likely will already have taken parts of the curriculum through other course offerings. Please see the following table to identify courses that are considered equivalent to the courses within the Dealing with High Net Worth Clients Program.

Course Exempted CSI Course that gives exemption CSI Certificate that gives exemption External certification that gives exemption*

Retirement Planning for High Net Worth Clients

Advanced Retirement and Estate Planning Strategies

Certificate in Retirement Strategy


Advanced Retirement Management Strategies



Investment Strategies for High Net Worth Clients

Advanced Investment Strategies

Certificate in Advanced Investment Advice

Chartered Financial Analyst

Investment Management Techniques



Estate Planning for High Net Worth Clients

Advanced Retirement and Estate Planning Strategies

Certificate in Estate Planning and Trust Strategy

Chartered Life Underwriter

Advanced Estate Planning and Trust Strategies


Trust and Estate Practitioner

External Designation Recognitions are subject to CSI's External Designation Recognition policy and fee.

Individuals who have completed recognized wealth management courses from educational providers other than CSI can apply for course exemptions. Use the Exemption Request Form to apply for a course exemption.

CIWM Certification Examination Requirements

The CIWM Certification Examination will assess candidate's expertise in developing strategies and relationships with high net worth clients. The examination has three components based on a high net worth client scenario to be completed over the course of 8 weeks. The level of effort required is estimated at 25-35 hours.

For more information of the CIWM Certification Examination, click here.


Experience Requirements

Candidates applying for the CIWM Designation, must have at least 3 years of experience working directly with, or in support of, the wealth management needs of retail clients.

What Are Other Requirements?

Code of Ethics : When applying for the CIWM you must commit to the CIWM Code of Ethics.

Trademarks : You are also required to agree to the terms of the CIWM Certification Mark License Agreement,
which grants you the right to use the CIWM trademarks in your own marketing.

Application/License : The initial application fee is $325 and includes your license fee for the year.

To maintain your CIWM designation in good standing, you must:

Learn more about CIWM Maintenance Requirements

CSI holds itself to the highest standards of honesty, transparency and fairness when dealings with clients, students, designation holders and regulators.
We are committed to ensuring impartiality in carrying out our CIWM certification activities (e.g., certification examination results and other decisions related to granting designations). We actively manage conflicts of interest to ensure objectivity.
Learn more about the appeals policies and processes for certification examinations.
To appeal other certification decisions please email us.