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CFA Level I moving to computer testing!

edited January 2018 in CFA Level I
Saw this coming! CFA Institute doing the base research to maybe, eventually move to computer-based testing for L1. Full text below, with the interesting bit bolded:

Dear fellow members,

As we ring in the new year, I wish each of you and your families the very best in 2018.

I want to let you know that your member organisation is thriving. I am tremendously energized because we have some incredibly demanding but very, very exciting transformational projects in flight that I would like to update you on. Our way forward is clear, and the work that is in front of us is well thought through. If we execute well, as I expect us to, we will incontrovertibly position CFA Institute as the professional membership organisation for the global investment management industry within the coming two years.

First, we are committed to delivering member value, and we believe we can be more partner and member centric. We want to deliver all member services through our affiliated member societies. Our societies are the best point of contact with our global membership, and we need to better resource and empower them to deliver even higher quality member benefits than they do today. This effort will focus initially on continuing professional development (CPD). We are calling this initiative Societies 2.0.

We are also shifting our relationship management team from a segmented approach to external stakeholders (universities, societies, institutions/employers, and regulators) to a one relationship management approach that coordinates all external interactions, allowing us to improve our ability to influence the key actors in each CFA® Society location.

Underpinning all of this is our ongoing commitment to raise brand awareness; it enhances all that we do in the eyes of our members because it is a real and very visible demonstration of our investment in member value. We are positioning CFA Societies as the pre-eminent professional bodies for the investment management industry in the eyes of regulators, employers, and the general public, in each location where we have a presence. Our new global advertising campaign, using the “Let’s Measure Up™” theme, will launch in January 2018. I very much hope you will like it. Please do give me your feedback.

Second, as part of our efforts to advance professionalism, we are working on significant changes to our credentialing and continuing professional development (CPD) work. We are developing Credentialing 2030, a process that takes a longer-term view of the trends on the ten-year horizon and sharpens our line of sight to the changes and potential disruption in the investment management and testing industries. The credentialing industry is adapting fast to the needs of the millennial generation, technology changes, and shifting perceptions of lifelong learning. We need to review the way we structure and deliver our programs to students so we can stay ahead of these changes. Part of this activity is a project called Future of Exam Delivery (FED). With FED, we are evaluating the best way to deliver exams across our suite of educational programs, which includes evaluation of computer-based testing at Level I. 

You may wonder why, in a year of record exam administrations, we might want to change a formula that is so successful. As we look to the future, we must consider what a “creative disruption” of our current model would mean for us (think Uber and taxis) and for the future of the CFA Program. If we stand still in a world that is changing rapidly on so many fronts, we fear that we will lose our leadership position— a position that has been built up over so many years of such hard work by so many. We believe making changes from a position of strength is exactly the right time to embark on this project, with the ultimate aim of protecting—and increasing—the value of the CFA charter.

An important part of the future is CPD. A robust CPD program is a vital part of our professionalism agenda and key to building member value and to becoming a recognized global professional body. I believe it will also dramatically improve member engagement with our societies. We intend to deliver the CPD product exclusively through societies and through our new Members App. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to download our app if you have not already done so. I have made no secret of the fact that if we can improve the quality and delivery of our CPD product, I intend to reopen the question of mandatory CPD. But first, I want to deliver a vastly improved CPD experience to our members.

These priorities require that our operations function optimally, especially technology. Several multi-year, multi-phase projects have been started to improve systems and internal efficiencies to enhance the member experience and improve management oversight and information.

For more information about our initiatives, programs, and financial performance in FY2017, please read the 2017 Annual Report (PDF). 

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in 2018 during my visits to CFA Societies. This program is ambitious, and it needs every single one of us to pull together to execute it.

Happy New Year!

Paul Smith, CFA
President and CEO, CFA Institute


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