Frequently asked questions regarding the CIR/ICIR qualifications

How much does it cost to take the CIR/ICIR qualification?
IR Society members £750 + VAT
Non-members £950 + VAT
This includes your study guide, access to a mock exam platform and one examination sitting

Who should take the CIR/ICIR?
The Certificate in IR (CIR) and International Certificate in IR (ICIR) is suitable for anyone working in investor relations or in related professions. It is also suitable for those considering a move into IR, either in the UK or in other markets. The course content is comprehensive and covers most of what an IR practitioner would require. The CIR body of material also represents a useful guide and source of reference at all times.

How long does it take to study for the CIR/ICIR?
We suggest that a minimum of 40 hours of self-study is required to prepare for the examination, although this does depend on a candidate's existing level of experience.

What does the registration fee cover?
Once your registration fee has been received, you will be sent your study guide and login details for the online mock exam. The cost of the exam is also included in the registration fee.

How long is the exam?
The exam is a one hour hand written or online exam comprising of 60 multiple choice questions based on the topics set out in the syllabus in the study guide. 

Where is the exam held?
Exams can be taken online (via zoom) or you can attend our offices to sit your exam.

Who sets the exam?
The Investor Relations Society Examination Committee (comprising the Chair of the Society and other industry representatives) is responsible for all content of the CIR, including the examination questions.

What is the pass mark?
The pass mark is 65%.

How many candidates have obtained the certification?
As at the end of April 2024 2,140 candidates had passed the CIR/ICIR exam.

What are the success and failure rates?
On average approximately 75% of candidates will pass the CIR exam at the first attempt.

How do employers view the CIR?
Employers and search firms that specialise in IR recruitment view the CIR as a valuable industry benchmark which helps to ensure the competence and commitment of potential employees.

What happens when I pass?
Successful candidates are sent a certificate and may use the letters "CIR" after their name, along with our recognised "CIR" logo.  Candidates may also use the same on LinkedIn and similar professional social media profiles they might access.

What are the areas that candidates typically find the most challenging?
The Regulatory Environment and Accounting Valuation and Investment Principles are the two sections often cited as being the most challenging. The IR Society provides a range of courses that will help candidates address any areas of concern and we run a revision course prior to each exam sitting, as well as the online mock exam, that allows candidates to assess their own readiness to take the CIR examination. 

What are the demographic, experience and industry profiles of past candidates?
Previous successful candidates have included:

Experienced and senior IROs
IR managers and associates
Candidates new to investor relations
Company Directors
Non-executive Directors
Executive Assistants and Personal Assistants
Company Secretarial Staff
Public Relations Officers
Service providers and IR advisers across a wide range of IR-related services
Heads of Business Development and other corporate functional areas, including Communications, Compliance, Finance, Human Resources, Operations, Sales and Strategy

What next, after the CIR?
The Diploma in IR (DipIR) is a senior level qualification which will build on the knowledge developed through the CIR. We also run a number of senior IR programmes, including the DELIVER programme (DEveloping future Leaders though InVEstor Relations), which is targeted at high potential IROs with future leadership roles in mind.

Contact: tara.mitchell@irsociety.org.uk for further details

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