CIMA Professional Operational
This is the first level of the CIMA Professional qualification. You’ll learn about managing finance in a digital world, costs and analysis used in production, and financial reporting and taxation.arrow_downwardView entry requirements arrow_downwardView syllabus arrow_downwardView course overview
The level is made up of three Objective Test subjects and one Case Study. You must pass all three Objective Tests before moving onto the Case Study, which tests what you’ve learned overall in the level. You need to pass all assessments to be able to progress to the Management level.
You’ll need to have completed CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, AAT Professional (Level 4), or have an accountancy or finance degree.
You should check whether you're eligible on the CIMA website launch and apply for any exemptions before you start studying.
The Objective Test subjects can be sat in any order. You must have passed all 3 Objective Tests before you can book your Case Study examination.
Subjects (4)Compare study methods
Managing Finance in a Digital World (E1)Essential
You’ll learn about the role of finance in organisations, the structure and shape of the finance function, and how it interacts with the organisation to create and preserve value.
Management Accounting (P1)Essential
You’ll learn the importance of costs in the production, analysis and use of information for decision-making in companies. P1 covers short-term budgeting, and making short-term decisions on products and services, as well as digital issues in costing.
Financial Reporting (F1)Essential
You’ll learn about the regulation and preparation of financial statements, giving you the skills to produce basic financial statements for individuals. You’ll also learn about working capital and business tax.
Operational Case Study (OCS)Essential
You’ll be tested on your overall knowledge of E1, P1, and F1. Using the skills gained during the level, you’ll resolve issues that a management accountant may come across at work.
Timetables and study methods
Study methods available for this level
The benefits of a traditional classroom but with the flexibility of an online environment. Live interactive classes at a scheduled time delivered by expert lecturers following the same exam focused material and structure as traditional classroom courses.
OnDemand gives you the flexibility to study when and where you want, with unique online resources designed to give you structure, keep you motivated, and cement your understanding of the subject.
Distance Learning is our most flexible study option, allowing you to study independently in your own time, at your own pace, from anywhere. We provide a range of online and printed learning materials, that are written by our experts, and you’ll still get tutor support if you need it.
Exams and sittings
CIMA Professional Operational is made up of three Objective Test subjects and one Case Study. You must pass all three Objective Tests before moving onto the Case Study, which tests what you’ve learned overall in the level. You need to pass all exams to be able to progress to the Management level.
The Objective Tests are computer-based and are 90 minutes each. The exams can be sat at any time of the year, and can be taken in any order. All exams are marked by computer. At the end of the exam you will be given a provisional pass/fail result which will then be confirmed on your MY CIMA account within 48 hours.
The Case Study exam is 3 hours long, is computer-based, and available to take in four windows throughout the year (February, May, August, November). The exam is based on a pre-seen that will be released approximately 7 weeks before the exam window. From May 2020 the pre-seen will be valid for two sittings, one pre-seen for May and August and another for November and February. It is marked by a human, and results are available 5 weeks after the close of the exam window. It will test your research and analysis skills, how you present information, and your persuasion and communication skills.
Study materials and delivery costs
All students will receive printed and online materials. We are the only official CIMA publisher so you can be sure that our materials include everything you need to know.
The following material is included with the Objective Test courses:
Our Study Text covers the full syllabus and includes examples and activities.
Integrated Workbook (Live Online and OnDemand only)
Is a condensed version of the Study Text, with room to write notes it will help guide you through the syllabus.
These modules help you to deepen your knowledge of key topics, see how what you have studied can fit together and how it could be applied to practical scenarios.
Study modules (Live Online and OnDemand only)
Engaging, online modules including bite-sized tutor led lectures taking you step by step through the whole syllabus.
Outlines the course structure, providing support on what to do and when to do it.
For Live Online and Distance Learning your study programme is accessed on MyKaplan and is integrated into your course.
For OnDemand, you can choose one of three study durations so you can study at your own pace. Once you have chosen which option you would like, you will get access to a printable study programme.
These are brief notes on the essential topics from the syllabus and being pocket sized, they are handy for taking out and about with you.
Exam Practice Kit
Includes exam style questions and answers so you can test your knowledge.
The following material is included with the Case Study courses:
The official CIMA textbook covers how to prepare for your integrated case study exam, including worked examples and activities.
Familiarisation and Practice Workbook
A tool you can use to prepare for your exams, based on the case study. It includes ethical considerations, key issues, and how to prioritise and plan your answer. The workbook includes 10-12 case specific tasks including a familiarisation quiz and exercises. You can download it and print it out.
Case analysis video
Via video, a tutor will walk you through the pre-seen material on the live case study. They will highlight the key points and potential examinable topics.
Technical recap modules and notes (not available for Distance Learning)
Recordings and notes that will help you to recap the key syllabus areas from the underpinning subjects. They will also introduce you to ways that they could be examined in the Case Study exam.
To buy the materials separately
You can buy CIMA books for each subject on this level from Kaplan Publishing.
How much it costs to deliver your study materials and how long it takes depends on where in the world you live.
Delivery fees are as follows:
Malaysia - 160RM
Rest of Asia/America - $47
All other countries - €25
Our standard delivery times are:
Malaysia - 3 to 5 working days*
EU – 5 to 7 working days*
Rest of the World – 7 to 10 working days*
*Subject to availability
Delivery charges apply to all Distance Learning, OnDemand and Live Online courses which include printed materials. If delivery charges are applicable for your course, they will be shown during the online checkout process, before you complete your payment details.
We’ll support you every step of the way throughout your learning experience with us. You can contact a tutor and get the help you need quickly and easily.
Provided by our Academic Support team (our dedicated team of expert tutors):
- LiveChat (instant feedback)
- Email (we'll get back to you within 4 hrs)
- Discussion Forum and online community (we’ll get back to you within 4 hrs)
Testing and mocks
As part of your course you will get access to various tests and mocks on MyKaplan which will help you to prepare for your exams.
For the Objective Test, all study options come with the following:
As you go along, knowledge checks help assess your understanding of a topic before you move onto the next one.
Each course has a consolidation test approximately two thirds of the way through the knowledge/application phase. It has the same look and feel as the real exam but is a little shorter, with 40 questions. It'll test how you are doing and allow you to identify and address problem areas early on in the course so they don't become 'big problems'.
Progress test (not available with Distance Learning)
Check your understanding with this exam standard test. It has the same look and feel as the real exam so is a great start to your revision. It will help pinpoint your weaker areas to help you focus your exam preparation on the topics that need most attention.
An online question bank made up of hundreds of questions, so you can build your own tests to target weak areas, or to check your overall knowledge.
Two mock exams
Practice your exam technique and check your progress with two mock exams. The mocks have the same look and feel as the actual exam.
The Case Study is a difficult exam, testing your overall knowledge across the level. You are tested with a written exam, based on a business scenario. We support you with resources that match the feel of the real Case Study:
3 mock exams based on the live case (2 for Distance Learning)
All marked with personalised feedback.
Recorded debrief of all 3 mocks (Distance Learning will get one debrief on the first mock)
To help you understand the approach you should have taken and some common mistakes that were made.
MyKaplan: online learning environment
MyKaplan is an online learning portal with practical resources to help you prepare for your exams.
- View your online materials in one place and access your content in a few clicks
- Contact a tutor directly using live chat or email
- Complete tests and get instant feedback (Objective Tests)
- Take part in forum discussions with students and tutors and find answers to common questions
- See instantly when your assessments have been marked (Case Study)
- Access on mobile, tablet, computer or through the dedicated mobile app
- Access to VideoBank - hundreds of tutor-led videos to help you get the most out of your course.
Your chosen study method determines how long you can access your content for. All extensions are for existing content and do not include any updated content.
Three months from last lesson date, with one three month free extension on request.
You will have access for six months from the first day of the selected start month, with one three month free extension on request.
12 months from the first day of the selected start month, with one three month free extension on request.
For the Case Study, access durations are all six months after the selected exam sitting.