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CIMA Operational Level

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

The CIMA Operational Level is the first level of the CIMA Professional Qualification and consists of three subject areas. When you pass the level, you will gain CIMA’s Diploma in Management Accounting.
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Average salary


No formal entry requirements

Average time to complete

3 years

Members worldwide

Over 690,000

Progress your career with CIMA Operational Level

This is the first step in the globally recognised CIMA Professional Qualification, you will gain invaluable business and finance skills to drive business success.

CIMA certificate levels

CIMA entry requirements

Generally speaking, you will need a good level of maths and English in order to succeed in this module. To qualify for this level, you will also need a relevant degree or accounting credentials, such as an AAT or ACCA qualification, or have completed the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.


The Operational Level is made up of three Objective Test subjects and one case study. You must pass all three Objective Tests before moving on to the case study, which will test what you’ve learned overall in the level. You need to pass all assessments to be able to progress to the Management Level.

CIMA’s Three Learning Pillars

  • Enterprise pillar

Focuses on the role of the finance function and how it interacts with the organisation through the use of data and technology.


  • Performance pillar

Uses the tools and techniques of management accounting and risk management to ensure that strategy is realistic and to monitor its implementation.


  • Financial pillar

Focuses on the financial accounting and reporting obligations of the organisation. 

CIMA Operational Level subjects

You’ll learn about the role of finance in organisations, the structure and shape of the finance function. This topic also covers how finance function interacts with the organisation to create and preserve value, as well as how data is used by the finance function and the technology landscape.

P1 covers short-term budgeting and making short-term decisions on products and services, as well as digital issues in costing. You’ll learn the importance of costs in the production, analysis and use of information for decision-making in companies.

You’ll learn about working capital and business tax, as well as the regulation and preparation of financial statements, giving you the skills to produce basic financial statements for individuals.

What does the CIMA subscription include?

100% syllabus coverage

Gain access to all CIMA certificate levels within the CIMA syllabus as part of your subscription – providing all the learning content you need to pass your exams.

BPP learning resources

Approved BPP learning resources, videos, study notes and reading materials.

BPP's Achievement Ladder

Access to BPP’s Achievement Ladder to progress you to exam success.

No financial tie-ins

Ultimate flexibility around your timescales; stop and restart at any time. You’ll only pay for the time it takes you to complete with our monthly subscription.

No upfront costs or contracts - just a simple monthly subscription

Our subscription-led pricing means you can study at a pace that suits you. Sign up, get started, and hit pause whenever you need to. The CIMA Operational Level is part of our CIMA subscription, the costs of which are as follows:

  • Prepaid plan


    one-off payment

    12-months access

    Pay up front and access all your CIMA Courses online learning materials for 12 months.

    A one-off payment of £550 will be taken from your confirmed payment details and you will have access to your learning materials for 12 months.

    Please note that you will need to select the monthly subscription if you want to access the free 14-day trial.

  • Quarterly Subscription


    billed every 3 months

    Save 20%*

    An initial payment of £150 will be taken from your confirmed payment details. You will be billed every 3 months until you cancel your subscription.

    Please note that you will need to select the monthly subscription if you want to access the free 14-day trial.

    *save 20% compared to equivalent subscription length on the monthly subscription plan.

  • Monthly subscription


    billed monthly

    Free 14-day trial

    Subscribe now to access your 14-day free trial. You can cancel at any point before the end of the 14 days without being charged.

    Once the trial period is over, a recurring monthly payment of £60 will be taken from your confirmed payment details every 30 days until you cancel your subscription.

Frequently asked questions

  • This is the first level of CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification.

  • The material can be complex, but providing that you dedicate enough time to your studies and you have the relevant experience, you will be able to complete the course.

  • On average, students will take one year to complete this level. This can vary depending on the time you have available to dedicate to your study.

  • This consists of three computer-based Objective Tests and one case study exam.

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It is truly value for money. It has everything in there that you need pass your exams successfully. Supported by the ladder that you walk through until you reach your objectives.

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