The Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis

The most cost effective and flexible way to truly master Excel, modelling, finance, and data analysis

The Foundations Program is Launching  Soon!

The CertFM Program

The CertFM Program is a comprehensive set of on-line courses for self-study.

It is is designed to develop you into a highly competent and well-rounded professional modeller and data analyst.

There are three Levels:

  • Foundation Level (Level I)
  • Advanced Level (Level II)
  • Expert Level (Level III)

Across the three Levels, there are five course in total:

  • I. Foundations of Modelling with Excel
  • II.1 Economics and Financial Evaluation
  • II.2 Data Analysis and Manipulation
  • III.1 Finance, Valuation and Markets
  • III.2 VBA Macros and Automation

The Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis (for each level) is awarded when all courses in that Level and in prior Levels have been completed (including the quizzes). For example, to achieve the Advanced Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis, one would need to complete courses I, II.1 and II.2.

The courses are designed to be taken in order. You can sign-up to take an individual course without having completed a prior course; however, no certificate will be awarded, and you need to ensure that you have the pre-requisite knowledge to take the course.

On-Line Study + Support + Certification

The materials consist of:

  • Reading materials. These describe the concepts and practical methods of implementation, as well as providing detailed examples with screenshots to demonstrate the points made. The materials are visually very rich, with many images to show step-by-step processes and illustrate all key points. We believe that this highly visual approach using static images is more effective than using videos.
  • Suggested exercises in Excel. It is recommended that readers follow the text by creating the models used in parallel. In addition to this implicit suggestion, the materials contain further suggested exercises at certain points.
  • Quizzes. These are an integral and mandatory part of the Program. They are embedded at regular intervals, and relate directly to the prior course materials. As well as testing comprehension of key topics, most quizzes contain some questions which require practical work in Excel.

You can sign up any time and work at your own pace.

We provide unlimited free support by e-mail, which allows you to clarify issues that about the materials.

Quiz-Based Certification

The quizzes in the courses are mandatory. Each has a minimum pass mark (which specific to each quiz, but generally around 60%). Each may be taken an unlimited number of times.

The quizzes are intended to be straightforward to pass, as long as the materials have been properly studied and the exercises completed. 

They have several roles:

  • To reinforce and test understanding of key topics.
  • To ensure the development of active skills.
  • To create more engaging course materials.
  • To create variety in the learning experience.
  • To ensure credibility to the value of the certification.

The quizzes can be considered as forming a series of “mini-exams”, as in a “continual assessment” approach to student evaluation.

Support and Help

The materials are designed to be worked through on a self-study basis. However, we recognize that issues may arise which are not clear to students. 

We therefore provide unlimited support by e-mail so that registered students can ask clarification questions as they work through the materials and quizzes.

  • The support is applicable only during the course access period, and to fee-paying students. It is not available for materials which are accessible without payment, nor after the course access period has expired.
  • The scope of the support is for issues that directly relate to the materials and quizzes, and which impact the student’s ability to progress further. It does not involve providing additional materials, nor reviewing a student’s work, and so on.
  • The support does not include providing explicitly the answers to any question in the quizzes!

The Core Skills Program

(On-Line Self-Study)


Essentials of Modelling with Excel

The definition of modelling · Purpose, uses, application areas · Decision support, criteria and challenges. Links between modelling and data analysis. The skills required in modelling and data analysis. Excel as a modelling tool · Creating formulas · Manual and automatic calculation · Mapping a concept into calculations · Dependency and precedents tracing. Copy, paste, insert, delete, undo · Find/Replace · Wildcard characters · Named ranges · GoTo and GoTo Special · Efficient selection of ranges · Navigation around a model. Formatting · Conditional formatting · Custom formatting. Sensitivity analysis · DataTables · One-way analysis · Two-way analysis · GoalSeek. Principles of effective visual communication · Using graphs and charts. Tips and tricks · Short-cuts and KeyTips · Excel functions: Logic, conditions, comparison and aggregation. Modelling structures: corkscrews, waterfalls and triangles. Best practice principles. 8 Quizzes


Economic Evaluation: Criteria and Calculations

Payback periods · Scenario modelling · Lookup functions · Measuring growth. Logarithmic measures. Growth formulae. Present values.· Growth calculations in modelling · Inflating and discounting · Time-value-of-money. Risk-free rates. Yield curves. bootstrapping. Interest calculations. Compounding methods and formulas. Effect of payback on compounding. Accruals. Time-period conversions · Annuities and terminal values. Measures for economic evaluation. Calculation of returns · Internal rate of return · Limitations to calculation of returns · Discounted cash flow, net present value · Comparing IRR and NPV. Calculations of loan amortisation and mortgages. Implied interest rates in loan repayment schedules. 5 Quizzes.


Data Analysis and Statistics

Databases · General versus database structures · Excel Tables · Filters and sorting · Advanced filters and criteria-based extraction · PivotTables · Introduction to PowerPivot and the data Model · Excel functions for data analysis· Aggregation functions · Database functions · Dynamic sorting · Basic aspects of data manipulation, cleaning, splitting and integration · Unique values and duplicates · Statistical functions · Single variable statistics (e.g. averages, percentile, standard deviations) · Confidence intervals · Multi-variable statistics (e.g. correlation, rank correlation, Kendall’s tau) · Linear regression · Multiple regression · Array calculations and bespoke logic. 5 Quizzes.


Model Planning, Design and Best Practices

Context and objectives. Addressing the right decision · Frameworks and tools for analysis and development of business strategy · Decision criteria · Economic criteria · Ratio analysis · Dupont analysis · Determination of model variables, flow and granularity · Horizontal or vertical time axis · Links to interest compounding · Data sources, structures and model types · Database approaches · Historical versus forecasted analysis · Logic reversals · Updating requirements · Structural limitations versus parameter flexibility · Allocations, linear and non-linear · Time allocation with triangles · Corkscrew structures · Waterfall allocations · Checking consistency and error-elimination. Designing for modularity. Approaches to linking modules · Selection and exclusion structures · Consolidation and inclusion structures · Appending data sets · Modelling sequences of decisions · Best practices in Excel modelling · Layout and flow · Principles of transparency · Dealing with circularities. Complexity reduction and optimisation.

To Start the Program...

Register on the site and work through the programs course by course.


First read the free sample materials within the first course “I. Foundations of Modelling with Excel”.





II.1: Economics and Financial Evaluation

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Certificate Level I

Foundation Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis.

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Certificate Level II

Advanced Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis.

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Certificate Level III

Expert Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis.

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