The philosophy of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is predicated on the idea that an active commitment toward excellence is fundamental to the process of education. ICMA utilizes its capacity to create programs that meet the needs of a dynamic society without limiting the educational delivery system. It feels a need for innovative programs that reduce barriers while maintaining standards of quality. The structure and programs are designed to offer a sensitive and stimulating vehicle for the academic and professional pursuits of the full-time working person. Since a need is satisfied, ICMA continues its development as an institution dedicated to growth and excellence and sincere concern for the specific needs of its student membership body.
Student members are offered a variety of methods to obtain their qualification: Directed web-based Independent Study, Classroom Lectures, In-House Seminars and Workshops. ICMA offers guidance, stimulation to growth, support for creativity and learning, evaluation, and access to a community of peers and faculty.
Ultimately, ICMA is committed to scholarship and quality education at the lowest possible cost to its students.
The educational objectives of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) are therefore to further the development of management accounting education in the universities and schools of Australia and Internationally, to encourage research into the application of management accounting theory and practice, and to provide continuing professional development for its members.
In order to achieve the above objectives, the following educational programme has been implemented by the Institute. The programme covers both the requirements to obtain “Graduate” and “Associate” status in the Institute, and also the advanced programme for certification as a “Certified Management Accountant”. Three intermediary qualifications, the Registered Business Accountant (RBA) the Registered Cost Accountant (RCA), and the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) that form part of the Graduate programme are also covered.
An overview of the Graduate, Associate and CMA membership programmes are illustrated in the following figure. It can be seen that both the education and training required for Graduate membership, and for the CMA programme can be undertaken at either a CMA Recognised Provider Institution or at an accredited university. The requirements of Graduate programme can also be satisfied via the examinations of another recognised professional accounting body
Holders of university degrees and professional qualifications in disciplines other than accounting could undertake a Graduate Conversion Program of 4 subjects to satisfy the requirements of Graduate membership (GMA status).
Holders of Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Advanced Diplomas and part-qualified accountants (i.e. those doing the CIMA, ACCA final stages, or the final year of university accounting degrees) need to do the full GMA Conversion program to satisfy the requirements of Graduate Membership (GMA status ).
All Graduate and Associate members must satisfactorily complete the CMA programme of the Institute prior to being certified as a Certified Management Accountant.
Entrance via University
It is envisaged that students who have obtained a degree in accounting, commerce, business accounting or a related discipline (with a major in accounting) would have satisfied the broad educational objectives of the Graduate member programme. Degree programmes that are not covered by the above categories would need to be accredited by the Institute on a case-by-case basis. Such degree programmes must, as a minimum, be of three-year's duration covering 24 subjects.
Entrance via recognized provider institution
Students with a pass level at a Country (or State) administered university entrance examination (eg. TER, SAT, IB or 'A' Levels) (or equivalent), may apply to undertake the Graduate Member program exams at a Recognized Provider Institution.