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. Developed by leading subject matter experts, we compiled some helpful resources to guide you through your exam preparation process.

Getting started

To successfully prepare to sit for the RMA® Certification Examination, the recommended study time is 4-6 hours per week for approximately 4-6 months.

To begin, start with downloading the RMA® Candidate Handbook. The handbook provides information on learning objectives, testing centers, exam day preparations, and more.

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

Time commitment

We estimate the RMA Program will require about four to six months to complete with a recommended 4–6 hours of study per week, this includes reading material, instructional videos, knowledge checks and section or module quizzes to complete the education requirements. The Capstone event may be delivered live in-person, live online or on-demand and includes approximately 16 hours of instruction and executive education.

​The RMA Certification Exam is 110 multiple choice questions with an allotted exam time of 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

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


Exam Percentage




The Retirement Opportunity

Chapter/Module 1—The Retirement Landscape: 5%
Chapter/Module 2---The Retirement Mindset: 8%
Chapter/Module 3---The Ethical Advisor: 5%


The Retirement Client

Chapter/Module 4--- Client Discovery and Analysis 15%​
Chapter/Module 5--- Assessing Retirement Readiness 13%​
Chapter/Module 6--- Retirement Risk Management 13%


Retirement Planning Technical Design

Chapter/Module 7---Retirement Portfolio Allocations = 10%
​Chapter/Module 8---Key Retirement Planning Decisions = 12%​
Chapter/Module 9---Implementation Strategies = 9%​
Chapter/Module 10---Life in Transition = 6%​
Chapter/Module 11---Retirement Policy Statement = 14%

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, advisors 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 advisor 

  • 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.