The Investment Management Consultants Association announced Monday that the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has signed on to offer IMCA’s Certified Investment Management Analyst certification starting in July.

In addition to providing education for CIMA certification, the Booth School offers coursework for IMCA’s Certified Private Wealth Advisor designation.

“As one of the world’s leading business schools in finance, Booth has the faculty capabilities, cutting-edge application, and research to thoroughly cover the CIMA curriculum and bring it to life,” said John Heaton, professor of finance and faculty director of the CIMA certification program at Booth, in a statement. “Participants who select Booth for their CIMA education should be prepared for an intense, challenging week of instruction.”

IMCA Executive Director and CEO Sean Walters (left), in New York on Tuesday for IMCA’s annual conference there, said competition has grown among continuing education providers for credentialing programs. But, he predicted, those many programs will be reduced to a handful of designations as regulators take a closer look at what is and isn’t a credible program.

Chicago Booth’s associate director of executive education, Mark Lewis, said the school was initially skeptical about offering the CPWA when IMCA approached it. The program’s success, however, led Booth to also offer CIMA certification, Lewis said Tuesday in New York.

“It was an experiment, and we think we’ve put together an excellent program,” Lewis said.

CIMA certification earned accreditation by the American National Standards Institute in April 2011, making it the first financial services credential in the United States to meet international standards (ISO 17024) for personnel certification. IMCA membership increased 7% to more than 8,400 in 2011.

As a registered education provider for Denver-based IMCA, the Booth School joins the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in offering CIMA certification. Wharton doesn’t offer the CPWA program. The two schools are ranked among America’s best five business schools, according to the 2011 Forbes annual ranking of top U.S. business schools.

Wharton has offered CIMA certification since 1988, when the education program was founded. The designation is designed as a complement for advanced investment advisors to the Certified Financial Planner designation.

The CPWA, on the other hand, is designed as an “advanced CFP” for wealth management professionals working with high-net-worth clients, said IMCA Chair Betsy Piper/Bach, who also attended the organization’s annual conference in New York on Tuesday.

In other continuing education news, on Jan. 24 the Financial Planning Association and the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education announced a partnership that will let FPA members pursue certification as Accredited Financial Counselors and Certified Housing Counselors certification.

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