IFRS Foundation

The FSA Credential is designed for professionals who benefit from understanding the link between financially material sustainability information and a company’s ability to drive enterprise value.

Overview

Join thousands of professionals worldwide who have verified their expertise with the premier, cross-functional ESG credential

The Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential equips professionals with the knowledge and skills to understand the link between financially material sustainability information and a company’s ability to drive enterprise value.

How it's benefited others

Filipe Monteiro

Senior Manager Internal Audit & Sustainability, ICTS Protiviti

“The knowledge that FSA has given me has supported me in writing articles, opened doors in discussion communities about ESG here in Brazil as well as given me technical support in consulting activities to diagnose the stage of maturity of our clients and make suitable recommendations…”

Chistopher Aliman

Chief Investment Officer, California State Teachers Retirement System

“This study has fine-tuned my view and understanding of non-financial risk and its factors. It will improve our investment analysis and helped me push us to be a lead investor, pushing the SEC and the industry to make SASB standards a required disclosure.”

Tara Mei Smith

MBA Candidate, NYU Stern School of Business

“ESG integration is the future of finance and I want to be ready for that future. The FSA gives me a language to communicate material ESG factors in a standardized and decision-useful way… The FSA has already helped me both in the classroom and in serving clients.”

Ryan Frazier

CEO & Managing Principal, Frazier Global Strategies

“The FSA is essential education for those of us who are committed to understanding the range of sustainability issues and how they are linked to financial performance and value creation for investors, companies, and the broader stakeholder community.”

Sarah Adams

Chief Sustainability Officer, Vert Asset Management

“The FSA was one of the first credentials that linked sustainability analysis to an investment and corporate perspective. I like that the FSA contains elements of both theory and practice of sustainability issues in investment decisions.”

Hope Connolly

Senior Supply Chain Analyst, Gap Inc.

“I feel like I am more able to make the business case for sustainability and have a much deeper understanding of materiality. Overall, it’s given me high-level perspective on how sustainability is really judged by the C-suite in terms of its impact to a company and the bottom line.”

Meet Our Contributors

What's Involved

The FSA Credential combines two exams to assess professional expertise in the materiality of sustainability information for corporate performance and investment analysis. After passing Level I, candidates are identified as an “FSA Level II Candidate.” After passing Level II, candidates become an “FSA Credential Holder.”

Level I Exam - Principles

110 multiple choice questions

  • Gain a common language to communicate financially material sustainability information to professionals across capital markets
  • Learn how material, industry-based sustainability information can inform corporate strategies and investor decisions
  • Understand the ESG landscape, including the role of standard setters, regulators, data providers and others

See Level I Curriculum

Level II Exam - Application

55 multiple choice questions associated with 13 cases

  • Identify the sustainability issues that are relevant to a company’s financial performance
  • Analyze company sustainability performance with qualitative and quantitative ESG data
  • Identify the link between ESG metrics and a company’s revenues/expenses, assets/liabilities and cost of capital

See Level II Curriculum

Exam Logistics

For detailed information about exam procedures and policies, please download the Candidate Handbook

Where do the exams take place?

Candidates can take exams in-person at one of many test centers around the world or online with a remote proctor. Exams are administered by our test partner, Pearson VUE.

When are tests offered?

Three testing periods are hosted throughout the year: January-February, May-June, and September-October. Multiple time slots are available on each day of testing. See the Candidate Handbook for more details.

How do I study for the exam?

Registered candidates receive access to the study guide, which represents the body of testable material. The average candidate spends 30-50 hours studying for each exam. Candidates that would like additional exam preparation support can register for a course offered by one of our Approved Education Providers.

Can I reschedule or cancel?

Candidates may cancel their exam and receive a refund within 14 days of initial registration. Candidates may reschedule their exam up to 48 hours prior to their exam date without paying an additional fee.

FAQs

The FSA Credential continues to be an important program under the IFRS Foundation. The status earned by FSA Credential Holders was not impacted by the consolidation. The Credential is a vital resource for connecting businesses and investors on the financial impacts of sustainability issues. As the SASB Standards and Integrated Reporting Framework transitioned to the IFRS Foundation and ISSB, the global relevance and the value of the FSA Credential will only increase.

The FSA Credential empowers candidates to identify, quantify, communicate and analyze the sustainability factors that impact a company’s value. These skills are valuable for professionals at a wide range of organizations.

Yes. The FSA curriculum is designed to be relevant to professionals around the world. It benefits professionals that are interested in understanding:

  • how material sustainability information can provide insights into a company’s opportunities and risks; and/or
  • the impact of sustainability on a company’s operating performance and financial value.

There are three key differences:

  • The Level II study guide teaches a methodology for analysis while the Level I study guide teaches context, facts and figures, and principles.
  • The Level II exam tests application and analysis skills relevant to understanding a company’s ESG performance while the Level
  • I exam tests candidates’ ability to understand and recall core concepts and principles.
    The Level II exam is case-based. Candidates must answer multiple choice questions associated with each miniature case study.

For FSA Level I and Level II:

  • Create or log in to your Pearson VUE account
  • Choose your exam, proctor & exam date/time
  • Complete payment
  • Check email for study guide and exam details

The study guides are automatically sent to each candidate after they register for an exam in an email with the subject line “Confirmation of Pearson Exam Appointment.” Registrants can also download the study guides at any time on the Level I and Level II pages.

While it varies for each candidate, 30 hours of preparation for each of the FSA Credential exams is recommended. The Level I exam covers essential concepts and emerging practices. Some of the content may be familiar to certain individuals, reducing their study time. Every candidate should review the curriculum in its entirety and utilize the practice exercises and questions provided in each study guide.

Yes. Both in-person and online exams are monitored by a Pearson Vue proctor. Each candidate must verify their identity and meet requirements to ensure the integrity and security of the testing experience.

The Pearson VUE testing network has more than 5,000 testing centers in over 180 countries to securely proctor exams worldwide. For more details, please see the Candidate Handbook.

Yes. To switch from an on-site proctored exam to an online proctored exam, contact Pearson VUE.

Based on discussions with a range of professional designations, the FSA Credential often qualifies as a source of CE/CPD/CPE credit. Candidates are encouraged to contact their designated authority to determine if the FSA Credential is accepted as continuing education credit. Details for CPAs and CFAs are provided below. If you are aware of a professional designation program with continuing education requirements that formally approves third-party continuing education providers and would like the FSA Credential team to request approval, please contact [email protected].

CPAs licensed in a US jurisdiction that accepts courses from the National Registry of CPE Sponsors are eligible to receive up to 27.5 CPE* credit hours for completing the FSA Credential – 15 CPE credit hours for passing Level I and 12.5 CPE credit hours for passing Level II. When creating an account with Pearson Vue, CPAs must mark the box in the “additional information” section to confirm that they would like to earn CPE in order to receive a certificate verifying their achievement.

Please note: The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) requires a minimum score of 70% to earn CPE credit for all approved self-study courses. The pass/fail score for the FSA exams is determined using a rigorous, validated methodology that is considered best practice in the credentialing industry, which does not always produce results that are precisely aligned with NASBA’s minimum score threshold. Currently, the score required to pass the FSA Level II exam is slightly below 70%. For this reason, it is possible that Level II Candidates may pass their exam without qualifying for CPE credit. Refer to the Candidate Handbook for additional information.

CFA Charterholders are not required to submit continuing education, but the FSA Credential is eligible for continuing education based on the time a candidate spends to prepare for each exam.

*The IFRS Foundation is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org

The FSA Credential is only offered in English. This includes the study guide, exam, and all other associated materials.

You can email us at [email protected] or call 424-261-9930 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Register Now

You must pass both exams to earn the FSA Credential

You must pass both exams to earn the FSA Credential

Register Now

Level I Exam
Level II Exam
What’s covered?
Learn how sustainability factors impact enterprise value and investment performance
Gain skills to evaluate corporate performance on sustainability factors
Next testing window if you sign up today
September 1 - October 30, 2022
September 1 – October 30, 2022
Non-Members
$450
$650
Alliance Members
$400
$500
Prerequisite
None
Passing Level I
You can reschedule or cancel up to 48 hours before the exam via the Pearson Portal.


For more information about Alliance Membership, visit the IFRS Sustainability Alliance page.

What’s covered?Learn how sustainability factors impact enterprise value and investment performance
Next testing window if you sign up todaySeptember 1 - October 30, 2022
Non-Members$450
Alliance Members$400
PrerequisiteNone
You can reschedule or cancel up to 48 hours
before the exam via the Pearson Portal.

If you are looking for additional study support, you can sign up with one of our
Approved Education Providers
What’s covered?Gain skills to evaluate corporate performance on sustainability factors
Next testing window if you sign up todaySeptember 1 – October 30, 2022
Non-Members$650
Alliance Members$500
PrerequisitePassing Level I
You can reschedule or cancel up to 48 hours
before the exam via the Pearson Portal

If you are looking for additional study support, you can sign up with one of our
Approved Education Providers

Group Registration

Businesses can pre-purchase FSA registrations for a group of staff. Organizations that choose this path are eligible for discounts based on the number of employees registered (see below), gain access to an expanded testing calendar, and have the option to participate in a group Q&A session with a staff member. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in purchasing group registration for your organization.

Number of Candidates
Amount per person for Level I + Level II
Discount
5-29 candidates
$900 (Level I and II can be purchased separately: $400 and $500, respectively)
18%
30-49 candidates
$850 (combined price for Level I and II, purchased as package)
22%
50+ candidates
$800 (combined price for Level I and II, purchased as package)
27%

Group Registration

Businesses can pre-purchase FSA registrations for a group of staff. Organizations that choose this path are eligible for discounts based on the number of employees registered (see below), gain access to an expanded testing calendar and have the option to participate in a group Q&A session with a staff member. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in purchasing group registration for your organization.

Number of Candidates5-29 candidates
Amount per person for Level I + Level II$900 (Level I and II can be purchased separately: $400 and $500, respectively)
Discount18%
Number of Candidates30-49 candidates
Amount per person for Level I + Level II$850 (combined price for Level I and II, purchased as package)
Discount22%
Number of Candidates50+ candidates
Amount per person for Level I + Level II$800 (combined price for Level I and II, purchased as package)
Discount22%

Register Through an Approved Education Provider

Attend Live
On - Demand
Candidates can choose from a range of options for additional exam preparation support beyond self-study. Attend a self-paced online course, work with an instructor in real-time or earn the Credential as part of a degree or executive education track via the Approved Education Providers.

The exam registration fee is included in the price of each course. The Approved Education Provider will supply course details, additional study materials, and a voucher to register for the exam with Pearson VUE. Pricing, additional resources and time commitment vary by Provider.
Earth Academy

Open to all

Fordham University

For degree-seeking students

Course page coming soon!
Marquette University

For executive education students

ISOS Group

Open to all



Register Through an Approved Education Provider

Candidates can choose from a range of options for additional exam preparation support beyond self-study. Attend a self-paced online course, work with an instructor in real-time or earn the Credential as part of a degree or executive education track via the Approved Education Providers.

The exam registration fee is included in the price of each course. The Approved Education Provider will supply course details, additional study materials and a voucher to register for the exam with Pearson VUE. Pricing, additional resources and time commitment vary by Provider.

Attend Live
On - Demand
Earth Academy

Open to all

Fordham University

For degree-seeking students

Course page coming soon!
Marquette University

For executive education students

ISOS Group

Open to all

Course page coming soon!