The Units for the Certificate in Pensions Calculations (CPC) are assessed by centrally devised assessments, i.e. case study exams set and marked by the PMI.
Learners must demonstrate their competence to deal with member events across four areas:
Exams are held twice a year in March and September and are assessed online.
Learners must ensure that suitable accommodation is available for the exams to be held, as the exam space will be checked prior to invigilation.
Because the case study examinations are intended to simulate the normal working environment, learners are allowed to have with them any reference material that they need, i.e. they are ‘open book exams’.
The exams assess the learners’ ability to carry out manual calculations for members of three different pension schemes and to communicate with the member or client. The three pension schemes are examples of different types of scheme (and the individual Booklets, Tables of Factors and Key Features booklets and documents form part of the 'open book' approach) :
Learners are given five case studies to cover all three schemes and the range of member events defined in the units. They also have to write at least one letter to a member or client explaining the benefits payable and requesting whatever information is required before the scheme can pay the benefits.
There is an on-line learning facility available for these units which provides a complete learning process including practising on old new examples each year and past examination papers (2 years). This is located at: https://www.cpc-learning-materials.com
The key to success in these examined units is practice
Learners can use the Learning Website to access the Scheme Booklets (relevent to the particular year of exam) and Past Papers to help them understand the schemes and the type of questions set.
Completing the Number Crunching Exercises on the Learning Website for revision and using the Past Examination Papers for comparing answers with the actual answers (suggested in the Examiners Report) will help identify any areas of knowledge that may need to be worked on.
The Number Crunching Exercises also have copies of the Letter response given in that particular situation, and it is advisable to practice against these and gain confidence in writing them for the actual exam itself.