Stackable Credential Program

Welcome! As a CFA charterholder, you may be eligible to earn the prestigious CAIA designation through successful completion of the CAIA Level II exam only and joining the Association. 

Earning the CAIA designation, the global benchmark of alternative investment education, stacked with your CFA charter, provides a powerful boost to your knowledge, your credibility, and also to the firms who employ you and others who opt to deepen their education.

Smart people make smart moves. Think like an allocator.

To keep up, you must keep learning. Earning the CAIA designation, combined with your CFA charter offers you:

  • Industry Credibility: Have your achievements recognized and your currency elevated in an increasingly competitive and complex space;
  • Specialized Curriculum: The CAIA Level II exam curriculum is focused on the latest alternative investment practices and strategies, providing essential and relevant knowledge and skills;
  • Continued Professional Development: Build on your already broad knowledge of investments with specialized education in the growing alternatives arena;
  • Career Enhancement: Stacking creates pathways to better positions through expanded knowledge and distinction.

Am I Eligible?

CAIA Association and CFA Institute are engaged in the shared mission of excellence in investment education, reinforced by the overlap in our respective membership bases. As the alternative investment industry grows, the knowledge base of these professionals must grow with it.

Enabling the waiver of the CAIA Level I exam, the Stackable Credential Program began as a pilot to evaluate whether CFA charterholders have absorbed the body of knowledge of the CAIA Level I exam curriculum through the CFA exam series. We have studied the results over the past several CAIA exam cycles and determined that offering this waiver serves to meet the growing need for alternative investment knowledge among CFA charterholders.

The minimum criteria for eligibility in the program are as follows. Applicants:

  • Must have no existing CAIA exam history, (examples of exam history include those who have registered for or passed/failed the Level I or Level II exam)
  • Must be a CFA charterholder, in good standing, and
  • Must have a digital badge, verifiable by CAIA Association.

Please review our complete Stackable Credential Eligibility Policy.

Application and Fees.

If you choose to apply for the Stackable Credential Program, you may begin the process at our Registration & Fees page.*

  • Select “Registration” and create an account.
  • Upon acceptance of the Candidate Agreement, you will be asked to select an exam type. Please select “Seek Level I Exam Waiver.”
  • For verification purposes, you will be asked to enter your CFA Digital Badge, obtained through your LinkedIn profile. Information or questions regarding obtaining your digital badge link should be directed to the CFA Institute directly at:
  • Your application will then be entered into a Verification queue. You will receive notification from that your application has been received with further information regarding the verification process.

* NOTE: Applications accepted are exclusive to the current exam period. If you do not wish to take the exam in the current cycle, you may apply beginning with a subsequent cycle. More information can be found here

Fees. If your application is approved, you may complete your registration. Exam fees for the Level II Stackable Credential Program include a $400 non-refundable enrollment fee and $1250 exam fee. A $100 discount may be applied during the early registration period and Association Partnership discounts may apply where applicable.

Contact Us

Please contact us at with any questions about the Program or your application. Questions regarding your CFA Digital Badge should be directed to CFA Institute directly at: