CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) Operational Level

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is the world's leading professional body of management accountants, offering the most relevant accounting qualification for a career in business. Their blend of management and financial accounting with business focused subjects produces confident Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA) who can lead their organisations to success.

Begin working towards earning one of the most popular business finance qualifications with the CIMA Operational Level course. Providing the foundation for intermediate and advanced CIMA qualifications, the Operational level course helps finance professionals understand short-term finance strategy.

When will I start the course and how long will it take?

The course has start dates in September and January. You will attend College on Tuesday from 6.00pm - 9.00pm for one year.

We also offer the option to study individual units with flexible start dates. More information available upon enquiry.

The course takes place at St Helens College, Town Centre Campus, St Helens WA10 1PP.

What will I study?

Operational level is the first level of the professional qualification and consists of four exams, outlined below. By passing the level, you will gain the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting.

  • E1 Organisational Management - You will learn how to analyse issues and events in the global business environment, develop an understanding of the structure and principles for sustaining the operational functions of the organisation and how to align and mobilise all its parts to implement strategy.
  • P1 Management Accounting - You will learn how to use budgeting as a means of short-term planning to implement the strategy of the organisation, how to analyse information of costs, volumes and prices to take short-term decisions on products and services and appreciate the impact of risk to these decisions.
  • F1 Financial Reporting and Tax - You will learn how to produce financial statements for both individual entities and groups with reference to international financial reporting standards, learn how to manage cash and working capital within the business and gain understanding to apply basic principles of business taxation.
  • Operational Case Study - For this module you will apply the knowledge you have gained in the three subjects to reflect real-life work situations. Students must complete all three objective tests within this level before they can sit the case study assessment.

CIMA will test a variety of skills including research and analysis, how to present information, and communication skills. The move to more case study assessments has been deliberate to test a wider range of skills and integrated learning across the topics by reflecting real work situations. The case studies consolidate the cross discipline learning at each level.

You will study alongside like-minded people in classes delivered by friendly supportive tutors.

How is it assessed?

The assessments comprises of calculations, short answers and essays. Candidates are allowed to see some of the case study information and associated databases before the assessment and will encounter fresh information during the assessment.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

In order to undertake this qualification, you must have achieved AAT level 4 or will be a graduate of a degree programme that is related to the CIMA syllabus. This can be found under the Exemptions section on CIMA's website.

What are the course fees?

The total cost of the course is £2600. Additional professional body membership and exam fees will need to be paid direct to CIMA.

There are a number of payment options including an interest-free payment plan with a monthly direct debit payment.

If your employer is willing to fund your course, we can help you to arrange this.

For further details, please visit our financial support pages.

What can I go on to do once I have completed this course?

Upon completion of this course, you may choose to progress onto the CIMA Management Level qualification. CIMA members are qualified to work across an organisation, not just in finance. In addition to strong accounting fundamentals, CIMA teaches strategic business and management skills.

I'm interested in this course, what do I do next?

If you would like any further information in relation to this course, please contact our enquiries team directly on 0800 99 66 99 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop into our next Enrolment and Information Event. Alternatively, submit an application form to secure a place.

Ref: Angela Rotherham