Choosing a Program

Determining which CAIA Association program is right for you will depend on several factors: What level of knowledge do you need? What is your current role? What path will your career take? And more. Compare our two programs below and assess for yourself:

Program Overview

The CAIA Charter is a self-study program and the go-to credential for investment professionals seeking to stay on the leading edge of our industry.

Who will benefit from taking the program?  

Professionals who want to develop a deep level of knowledge and demonstrated expertise in alternative investments and their contribution to the diversified portfolio should pursue the CAIA Charter.

• Asset Allocators

• Risk managers

• Analysts

• Portfolio managers

• Traders

• Consultants

• Business development/marketing

• Operations

• Advisors

How many exams will I need to take?

The CAIA Charter is granted upon completion of two levels of qualifying exams, combined with relevant professional experience.

How long will it take to complete the program?

A minimum of 200 hours of study time is recommended for each level (a total of approximately 400 hours).

When is the program offered?

Exams are offered in March and September, which allows Candidates to potentially complete the program in one year. The exams are available globally at proctored, computerized test centers and, in many cases, via an online proctored format from a secure location.

What do I achieve by successfully completing the program?

You will earn the CAIA Charter and be eligible to join the CAIA Association. By doing so, you may use the CAIA designation to signal your expertise in alternative investments and join a global community of over 12,000 CAIA Charterholders in more than 100 countries.

Can I join the CAIA Association after successfully completing the program?

Yes, after passing the Level II exam, you are eligible to join the CAIA Association with relevant professional experience. Only after joining the Association will you be eligible to add the CAIA designation to your professional profiles. 

How do I sign up for the program?

Register Now

Program overview

The Fundamentals of Alternative Investments Certificate Program is an introductory level, online course on alternative investments. The 20-hour, self-paced course is designed to provide a foundation of core concepts in alternative investments.

Who will benefit from taking the program?

Anyone who needs to gain a fundamental understanding of alternative investments concepts but does not require a deep level of expertise should pursue the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments course. The course is recommended for:

• Financial advisors, planners, and consultants

• Administration/operations personnel

• Sales and marketing personnel

• Legal counsel/compliance

• Accountants

• Media

• Anyone who wants to master a fundamental understanding of alternative investments

How many exams will I need to take?
There are no qualifying exams. However, each module includes a 10-question open book quiz which requires a 70% passing rate to move to the next module.

How long will it take to complete the program?
The program can be completed in approximately 20 hours. The curriculum is presented in one-hour long modules. No additional reading or studying is required.

When is the program offered?
Enrollment is open year-round. You may view the modules at your own pace.

What do I achieve by successfully completing the program?
You will receive a certificate of completion by the CAIA Association.

What will my proficiency level in alternative investments be after completing the program?
Upon completion you will demonstrate an understanding of core concepts in alternative investments.

Can I join the CAIA Association after successfully completing the program?
No, CAIA Association Membership is only available to CAIA Charterholders.

How do I sign up for the program?
Go to fundamentals.caia.org for individual enrollment. Get in touch for information about group enrollment.