CSFA™ Advanced candidates are required to receive the CSFA™ Standard certification before applying for the CSFA™ Advanced certification.
CSFA™ Advanced requires candidates to actively participate in live instructions, seminars, ESG portfolio construction and presentations, combined with a final thesis writing on a specific topic area:
CSFA™ Advanced will group candidates into specific areas (Banking, Corporate, Insurance, and Fund Management).
WSFA creates a specific research topic for each CSFA™ Advanced class, which is administered by the Sustainable Finance Institute (SFI). WSFA also partners with global institutions and corporations* to create such Class Topics (CT).
Once the Class Topic (CT) is created, a curriculum will be generated with the most recent developments around the world.
The class is typically made by:
*please contact CSFA@sfina.org if you are interested in creating a Class Topic for your institution.
CSFA™ Advanced candidates are required to participate in all scheduled group exercises. Candidates will build an investment portfolio by creating ESG analysis including establishing fund objectives and investment pitches on companies they prefer.
Candidates are also required to review and discuss leading corporate ESG/Sustainability reports, and design an ESG/Sustainability report on a company of choice and present the report to class. The performance of each candidate during the group exercises will be counted towards final certification. Full score for this section is 100.
CSFA™ Advanced candidates are required to write a thesis (or research report) at the conclusion of the training program. The thesis will be based on the Class Topic created by WSFA or its partner institution.
The thesis is about the candidate’s plan on how to apply sustainable finance and ESG analytical skills to the CT. In some occasion, the thesis can also be about the candidate's plan to apply sustainable finance to his/her own organization, regional development, or other situation specific project.
Faculty advisor and Teaching Assistant will be assigned to each candidate to facilitate the writing of the Thesis. It normally takes a candidate 40 to 80 hours of extracurricular research, writing and revisions to satisfactorily complete the writing.
Full score for this section is 100.
CSFA™ Advanced candidate’s final score is made up by: Group Exercise and Class Portfolio Building Practice (100) + Thesis (100). A final score of 160 or above is required to get certified with each section must be 80 or above.
CSFA™ Advanced candidates are required to have at least 6 months of full-time work experience in sustainable finance and/or related fields. Those who do not have the required work experience will receive an official “Certified Sustainable Finance Analyst: CSFA™ Advanced/Candidate” certificate until the work experience requirement is met.
CSFA™ Advanced candidates are required to receive the CSFA™ Standard credential before enrolling in the Advanced program. Only in rare occasions, candidates may qualify for waiver of with written application to the CSFA™ Certification Board (CSFA@sfina.org) that can clearly demonstrate prior sustainable finance experiences. Candidates may not be able to enroll in such program unless the CSFA™ Certification Board approves such petition.
CSFA™ Advanced candidates are also required to select one of the following subject areas:
CSFA™ Advanced candidate is required to have at least 6-month’s full-time work experience in sustainable finance and relevant field before receiving the official “Certified Sustainable Finance Analyst: CSFA™ Advanced” certificate. However, candidates are still able to register and take the Advanced training classes (see “Certification Procedure” section for details.)
Language Proficiency: The CSFA™ Program is currently offered in English. Courses, exams, and thesis require English proficiency for reading comprehension and formulating reasoning to complex ESG analytical scenarios.
However, CSFA™ is working with partners on developing local language versions. CSFA™ Local may also introduce localized contents such as case studies, exams, group discussions, portfolio companies, speakers, and teaching assistants. Final thesis and course related writings in local language can also be accepted provided such writings can be critiqued by WSFA-approved, SFI-certified instructors with comprehensive knowledge of the language.
Email to: CSFA@sfina.org or consult with your local World Sustainable Finance Association branch or partner if you cannot meet the English proficiency requirement or to otherwise help clarify if you can meet our minimum standards for participation.
Please note that the World Sustainable Finance Association (WSFA) may request proof of education and/or work experience to be submitted at any stage of your journey as a candidate or even after becoming a certified member. Failure to provide requested documentation may result in cancellation of a current CSFA™ program participation, voiding of past certification, and may lead to investigation and disciplinary action by the World Sustainable Finance Association’s Professional Conduct Department.
CSFA™ was traditionally offered as customized training programs to specific corporate, firm, region as well as other groups of professionals such as investment chains. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted all aspects of global businesses, as well as an outpouring of demand from ESG and sustainable investing professionals worldwide, the board of the World Sustainable Finance Association has decided to bring traditional in-person, face-to-face, and customized curriculum to an online setting in order to standardize the certification process. We strive to deliver the most cutting-edge sustainable finance theories and practices to a safe, interactive, and more connected environment.
Currently, all CSFA™ programs are taught online, live, by faculties from our training partner - the Sustainable Finance Institute.
Upon signup, candidates will have access to their online accounts to take WSFA-approved, SFI faculty-led, TA (teaching assistant) assisted classes. Candidates are also required to finish each module’s assignments, including videos, case studies, research reports, and assigned readings.
Noted: Since the certification education process is based on live teaching and group learning, SFI will pool a minimum of 5 candidates from around the world to form a CSFA™ Advanced Certification Training Class (CTC). Any candidate meeting the following criteria (see next section) should send an email to: CSFA@sfini.org or CSFA@sfina.org to confirm a slot in a Class. The CSFA™ Advanced Classes are normally given every 3 months. We recommend candidates to register at least 45 days ahead of the intended starting date.