RMA® Candidate Resource Center


CPWA Study Resources
The support you need

We are here to provide the guidance and innovative tools you need to manage the examination process more easily. 

Getting started

Among Institute designations, the RMA® certification process can be completed in the shortest amount of time.

Review Investments & Wealth Institute's Code of Professional Responsibility.

Time commitment

We estimate the the online portion will take about nine weeks of study (two–three hours per week to pass). The Capstone is two full days of in-person instruction and the examination can take up to three hours.

You will have access to the online course for one year from the date of purchase. All steps of the RMA®  certification process must be completed within two years of purchase.

RMA® Core Body of Knowledge

The following are the high-level core topics

RMA Core Topics

If you are a candidate for RMA® certification, the exam will test the major topic areas below


Exam Percentage




Client Diagnostic Kit

Chapter/Module 1—The Client Planning Process: 20%
Chapter/Module 2---The Household Balance Sheet: 13%
Chapter/Module 3---Household Cash Flows: 20%


Retirement Allocations

Chapter/Module 4---Assessing Retirement Risks: 12%


RMA Toolbox

Chapter/Module 5---Risk Management Allocations: 14%
Chapter/Module 6---Account Location/Product Selection:  7%


Practice Management

Chapter/Module 7---Presenting and Monitoring the Plan:  6%
Chapter/Module 8---Professional Guidelines:  7%

Retirement Policy Statement

A key feature of the RMA® certification curriculum is something called the Retirement Policy Statement or RPS. The RPS, like an investment policy statement or IPS, is a highly customized document that guides and formalizes the implementation of a client household’s plan. Unlike an IPS, the RPS focuses on the client household’s retirement-income plan.   
As part of the curriculum, advisers will learn how to create an RPS and document the various aspects of a retirement-income plan, including: 
  • The central responsibilities of the client and the adviser 

  • The initial needs and goals of the client  

  • The client’s level of fundedness based on the client’s household balance sheet, which includes an assessment of the client’s human, social and financial capital and the present value of the client’s expenses in retirement 
  • ​The appropriate planning strategy (investment- or goals-based) 
  • The risk profiles and risk exposures of the household client 
  • A summary of realistic investment objectives that match the household client’s needs, goals and risk exposures as well as the capital market expectations that support the retirement allocations recommendations and determine the plan’s threshold rate of return – the minimum annualized real return necessary for the plan to work 
  • The appropriate allocation of investments and products in the appropriate accounts – taxable, tax-deferred and tax-free 
  • The appropriate withdrawal strategy 
  • A detailed explanation of the monitoring and reporting process and the triggers to adjusting the plan 

Certificant and Candidate Complaint Process—Certificants and candidates can file a complaint with Investments & Wealth Institute about certification policy, practice, or decisions. Complaints must be in writing, and can be submitted by email, mail, or fax to Investments & Wealth Institute. Complaints must originate directly from the certificant and be incorporated into the Certification Complaint Form or the Candidate Complaint Form.

All complaints will be reviewed by an Investments & Wealth Institute management team including its Chief Executive Officer. After review, complaints involving a request to change certification policies may be forwarded to the appropriate volunteer body with governing authority over the particular certification policy. With regard to complaints about all other certification activities, the certification department management team will make a determination.  If the complaint does not relate to certification activities, it will be forwarded to the Senior Director of Administration and Chief Executive Officer for review and resolution. All decisions are final and not subject to appeal.