CSRIC Designation

Written by: Nik Ventouris

Last updated:

The chartered sustainable, responsible, and impact investments counselor (CSRIC) designation is a highly esteemed qualification often viewed as the benchmark for financial professionals in the field of socially responsible investing.

This comprehensive guide will delve into what the CSRIC designation entails, including a detailed look at its curriculum, the examination procedure, and the career opportunities it can open for you.

It’ll also help you determine if the CSRIC program is the right choice for you based on your professional interests and goals.

Understanding the CSRIC Designation

Issued by the College for Financial Planning (CFFP), the CSRIC designation signifies an individual’s deep understanding of best practices and portfolio-building strategies related to sustainable, responsible, and impact investments (SRI). This refers to the investing practice of generating positive societal impacts in addition to long-term returns by following environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria.

While CSRICs represent a burgeoning area of the finance industry, they really helped to kick-start this sector. Because the CSRIC professional designation program was the first finance qualification specifically dedicated to SRI, it’s highly respected by top financial firms.

Moreover, seasoned professionals designed this certification as a comprehensive approach to learning about socially responsible investing. As such, it prepares candidates for any challenges in the world of sustainable investing by merging academic insights with practical application.

Recommended Study Materials

Interested in starting your CSRIC studies? We recommend Kaplan’s in-depth study materials.

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Overview of the Curriculum

Here’s an overview of the key topics covered in the CSRIC designation’s curriculum:

  • Foundations and History of SRI: This foundational topic explores the origins and evolution of SRI. It sets the stage for understanding how the principles of SRI have taken shape over the years and where they stand today
  • SRI Through Shareholder Advocacy, Community Investing, and Corporate Responsibility: This topic gives professionals tools and insights to help them understand and promote positive change through investment strategies, ensuring alignment with broader societal goals
  • ESG Performance: This topic dives deep into the metrics and considerations of ESG, enabling professionals to evaluate investments based on their sustainability and impact
  • Portfolio Construction With SRI in Mind: Given the unique focus of SRI, this section ensures professionals know the portfolio construction principles to guide a clients investments in a way that both adheres to SRI principles and meet the clients’ financial objectives
  • Fiduciary Standards in SRI: This topic ensures professionals understand their fiduciary responsibilities and ethical obligations when advising on SRI, keeping the best interests of clients at the forefront

Overall, the CSRIC designation’s curriculum provides candidates with a solid understanding of the most important facets of SRI to enable them to serve clients with the highest standards of sustainable and responsible investment expertise.

How to Become a CSRIC

To attain the CSRIC designation, candidates must complete an intensive educational program, pass the final exam, commit to upholding ethical standards, and remain dedicated to continuous learning.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the specific requirements in each area.

Educational Requirements

The CSRIC program offered by the CFFP has an in-depth curriculum divided into specific modules that focus on various aspects of socially responsible investing.

Your online learning platform will walk you through each module, which comes with reading assignments, recorded video lectures, quizzes, and other valuable resources to promote a thorough understanding of the subject matter.

Examination and Experience Requirements

Because the CSRIC program is a foundational course in sustainable investing, it has no educational or work experience requirements that candidates must meet in order to to take the course.

However, candidates will need to obtain a score of 70% or higher in order to pass the final exam and obtain the CSRIC designation. This rigorous test will gauge your expertise in the topics outlined above across 70 questions.

Ethical Conduct Requirements

Additionally, all CSRIC designees must adhere to a code of ethics in order to use the CSRIC designation. This ensures CSRIC professionals consistently uphold the highest levels of professionalism and ethical behavior in their practice.

Post-Qualification Requirements

After successfully completing the educational and examination stages, candidates must satisfy certain ongoing requirements in order to continue using this designation. This includes:

  • Authorization: After meeting the CSRIC’s academic requirements, candidates must apply for authorization to be able to use this designation. This can be done via email, where you’ll receive a notification 48 hours after course completion, or through the Kaplan website
  • Continued Education: CSRIC designees must renew their status every two years, which involves completing 16 hours of CE credits, upholding certain ethical guidelines, and paying a $95 renewal fee

Keep in mind that you can boost your chances of success by leveraging the right educational resources. Online courses are a great way to do this because they offer a flexible and targeted approach that is tailored to each candidate.

Ready to get started? StateRequirement recommends having a look at Kaplan’s study materials and resources.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Financial

Is the CSRIC Designation Right for You?

Determining if the CSRIC designation is right for you will depend on several factors, such as your career objectives, your current role, and the amount of time you can invest in this qualification.

If you’re a professional already engaged in the SRI space or passionate about ESG criteria, this designation could maximize your career development. However, the CSRIC designation might not benefit you if your primary interest isn’t socially responsible investing or if you want to focus on broader finance sectors like traditional banking or asset management.

Additionally, this designation might not prove advantageous if you’re based in areas less concerned with SRI or you already possess similar financial credentials.

This means that you should aim to pursue a designation that aligns with your career goals and will help your professional development in the long run.

Ready to get started? StateRequirement recommends Kaplan’s study materials and resources.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Financial

CSRIC Designation FAQ

What is the CSRIC designation?

The CSRIC designation is a professional credential for financial advisors who focus on socially responsible investing. It demonstrates expertise in sustainable, responsible, and impact investments, emphasizing ESG criteria in the realm of personal financial planning. The CSRIC is also a good step towards further specialization as graduates earn direct credit for a course in the CFFP’s Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning.

How long does it take to get the CSRIC?

The time needed to earn the CSRIC designation typically varies based on an individual’s pace. However, once enrolled in the CSRIC program, candidates have one year to complete the educational course and take the final exam. Many complete this process within a few months, depending on their dedication and previous knowledge.

Is the CSRIC worth it?

Becoming a Chartered SRI Counselor (CSRIC) can offer financial professionals a competitive edge, emphasizing their expertise in sustainable investments. It’s particularly financial advising professionals who target socially conscious clients who want to ensure their investments align with their personal values and global responsibility. See our How to Become a Wealth Manager article to learn more about this professional designation.

Is the CSRIC exam an open book?

The CSRIC exam tests candidates’ proficiency in the curriculum topics. While specific exam conditions can change, it’s best to check with the CFFP for current guidelines. This’ll ensure you’re adequately prepared and can approach the exam with confidence.

Do you need a degree for the CSRIC?

There are no prerequisites, such as a specific degree, to pursue the CSRIC designation. However, prior industry experience or knowledge can prove beneficial as you pursue this educational program for investment professionals. This type of background can streamline the learning process and enhance your comprehension of the course material.

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