GARP FRM Continuing Professional Development Program

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes



The Financial Risk Manager qualification from GARP may be your ticket to a flourishing career in finance. However, after passing your course and getting certified, the learning journey does not stop.

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program is needed to strengthen your skills in risk management and keep them relevant.

New regulations, new information, cyber fraud and tariff wars are all risk management consideration that FRMs must face up to.

A dynamically shifting global economy will always present new challenges and certified persons are always encouraged to continue improving their skills and knowledge.

The Global Association of Risk Professionals offers the CPD program that avails current knowledge and resources for professionals to maintain their high expertise in the risk management field.


Let’s take a deeper look about the program.


1. What does CPD stand for?

CPD is an acronym for Continuing Professional Development. The program involves documenting knowledge and skills plus the experience that you gain long after certification.

Essentially, it is proof of what you have learned and then applied in your profession. It is akin to a document summarizing data bank for your professional journey.

The program involves a vast range of learning opportunities and use of tools that you can use to document your progress in the field of risk management.

To maintain the power and significance of your new title, GARP expects you to participate in CPD throughout your career. And from this course, you will earn trackable credits in the process.

This optional program happens within a two-year cycle, and professionals are needed to accumulate 40 credits per cycle.

The credits are measured per hour of a prescribed learning activity. Fortunately, professionals have the freedom to choose their ideal learning activities from the many provided.


2. What is its usefulness?

The CPD program’s main goal is to help advance your career. This educational driver helps you to track your progress, new skills and knowledge amassed in the course of your career.

As a result, the program is a great indicator of that Financial Risk Manager professional who is operating at the top of their profession. You can use the program to gain new knowledge that can propel your career to higher heights.

The program also stands out as an excellent self-evaluation tool. It also enables professionals to assess their strengths and weaknesses and their overall value in the workplace.

And because of this, you can then focus on strengthening your areas of weakness. Take note, employers in the finance sector consider CPD status when doing employee appraisals (and hiring).

The training undertaken in GARP’s program ensures that professionals are up to date with the latest developments in the field.


3. Making the link

There is continuous learning, and the whole environment is simply not directed towards passing an exam.

One fundamental distinction is that the CPD program is more informal and covers many aspects of your risk profession.

While the course is an entry portal into a formal world of financial experts, CPD programs happen after certification and aim to widen and refresh your skills on the job.

The latter is what progresses you from advanced knowledge to a sophisticated understanding of practical concepts and best practices.


4. The significance to professionals

The Development program is proof that a risk expert keen to improve their careers. It is a chance to review, reflect and document your new skills acquisition even after the formal training.

Essentially, it is a way to discover gaps in your skill sets and seal them to continue to be a valuable member of your organization.

The Professional Development program complements your certificate and boosts your image to employers and clients.


5. Is participating obligatory?

CPD is not obligatory for Financial Risk Managers. Be that as it may, it is encouraged for certified professionals to continue advancing their profession and to be the industry’s most trusted experts.

Continued professional development is how you get to maintain and even improve the high proficiency gained in the designation.

It is noted that the program requires you to earn 40 credits every two years in your profession.


6. How do I get started?

After becoming certified, GARP will send you a notification about your cycle opening. Your cycle can either open in the same year you get approved, or early the following year.

For candidates that get certified before 1st July, their cycles start in the same year. If you are certified after July, your cycle open in January the following.

In the later scenario, you will have to wait till January to start submitting credits.


7. What is the CPD cycle?

GARP’s Development cycle spans 24 months beginning on January and ending December in the following year.

For instance, a period that began January 1, 2019, would end on December 31, 2020. During this cycle, there is a range of activities to engage in and submit credits for the same.

Typically, you first start by identifying your current career status and where you want to take it in the future. You will then plan and create objectives for your professional and personal development, stating clear outcomes.

After defining goals, certified individuals will choose an activity and record progress in CPD hours, reflect on the learning gained and then submit their portfolios for review.


8. What activities qualify for credit?

Financial Risk Managers are to engage in educational activities relevant to the profession in order to earn Continuing Professional Development credits.

Thus, you will be required to build on your knowledge and show proof of progress throughout the cycle.

As mentioned before, you will have the leeway to choose from a wide range of activities, including:

  • Reading books, articles, whitepaper or journal
  • Attending a GARP chapter or society meeting in the profession
  • Pursuing a self-study course online or live
  • Taking part in career advancement training provided by employers
  • Learning more through videos, webcasts, and podcasts
  • Publishing, lecturing or teaching related subjects
  • Volunteering with GARP as a writer, committee member or expert
  • Taking part in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
  • Passing any related exams


9. How do I calculate credits activities?

You can calculate credits based on the time invested in learning. Each one-hour spent on one of the aforementioned-listed activities earns you one credit, while half-an-hour gives you 0.5 credits.

Fifteen minutes earns you 0.25 credits. As an example, a podcast lasting one and a half hours is filed as 1.5 credits.


10. How do I calculate credits for reading-related material?

Credits for related reading materials are often calculated based on the page length, depth of content and material relevance to financial risk.

Technical readings usually involve insight and critical analysis into financial management topics.

Readings falling below 50 minutes cannot be submitted to review unless they are pre-approved by GARP.

One page of non-technical reading in any subject of financial management is equivalent to 1.5 minutes. Therefore you will need 40 such pages to earn 1 credit.

On the other hand, one page of technical reading in a risk related topic in finance requires 3 minutes. Thus, you will need to read 20 such pages to earn 1 credit.

If you choose to do readings on GARP’s portal, each one has its pre-approved credits.

In the case of a college or university course, 1 academic credit equals 5 credits. The coursework will need to be at a graduate level or higher.

However, exam preparation courses will not earn you any credit. For instance, if it is a CFA or CPA course, you will only earn credits after passing the actual exam and not during the program.


11. How do I get my credits approved?

You will have to use the credit tracker in your GARP account to submit a request for credit approval. Credits earned from attending a GARP charter are approved automatically.


12. Are there fees for participating?

The GARP portal with its credit tracking tool is accessible and available to all whether or not you are a GARP member.

Nonetheless, you will need to be an active GARP member to get your credits reviewed and approved. That means you’ll have to pay your membership fees to obtain a CPD certificate from GARP.

The activities are free, but for books and learning materials you will pay to access them, just like what happens in the certification process.

However, you can get free access to MOOCs on platforms such as ‘Coursera’. These are all creditworthy and should be taken as a great outlet.


13. What are other ways to earn credits for free?

Apart from using free learning platforms, you can subscribe to GARP’s CDP credit bulletin.

You will then receive offerings each month comprising of creditworthy materials such as webcasts, whitepapers, research papers and articles.

It is noted that videos and podcasts are preferred by many for they offer a quicker way to earn more points.


14. Am I obligated to earn credits from GARP materials and activities?

Absolutely not! You are free to veer off from the selections provided by GARP when taking part in CPD learning. Everything is accepted as long as the activity or material is related to your career and goals.


15. What are the advantages of online courses?

Structured online courses will allow you to test your knowledge, undertake practical exercises and share your thoughts and analysis with an online community of experts and colleagues.

You will typically find that the online training tends to be relatively flexible. You can participate in an activity that fits your lifestyle and work routines.

Most online CPD courses can be accessed on the go without needing you to be in a particular place. You will also get to learn at a pace and time that is suitable for your experience.


16. Do I need to prove attendance for every activity?

No, GARP’s CPD program relies solely on the honesty of the FRM professionals. Nevertheless, you should record each of your activities and keep all your records because GARP conducts random audit checks.

You may be picked for an audit any time, and in that case, you will be required to verify all your activities versus the credits entered.


17. How do I submit my credits?

You will be required to submit your credits by accessing the credit tracker tool on your GARP account. Please note; there is no time limit for filing credits provided it is anywhere within the given cycle.

However,  credits from the current cycle cannot be forwarded to the next cycle. 

Professionals whose GARP membership has lapsed will not be able to record, submit and manage their credits. In this event, you will need to renew your membership before you can complete the cycle.

Credits entered often exclude time spent on breaks and networking. The minimum length of an activity is 50 minutes.


18. How are my credits approved?

Your credits will be approved within 3 to 5 business days if they fall within the set guidelines.

In some instances, credits are declined, or professionals receive fewer credits than what they submitted for approval because of many reasons.

For starters, the points could have been in excess or not compliant to GARP’s credit guidelines.

Additionally, GARP can also reject or lessen the credits if you included break times, networking time, and other non-instructional times.

Other cases credits get rejected if they were not relevant to financial management, or if you did not fully complete the activity.


19. What happens after I reach 40 credits?

You are allowed to print a certificate from the GARP portal after attaining 40 CPD credits. This certificate confirms your successful completion of the continued professional development.

Additionally, your digital badge will also be updated accordingly as well as your listing in the official directory.



In summary, knowledge-seeking is a career-long commitment for all financial risk management professionals.

It is what sets you apart from all other certified individuals, arming you with up-to-date knowledge and skills needed in the industry.

GARP’s FRM Continuing Professional Program comprises of engaging and fun activities too. There is no better way of staying relevant in the field.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this article. Please visit our article section for even more insight into the world of Financial Risk Managers and our Shop Page for several free PDFs to download.



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