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About This Certificate

The Private Equity Certificate is an intermediate level certificate that focuses on practical skills and outcomes expected of an analyst or associate in a private equity firm. The certificate includes financial modeling assignments developed in partnership with Financial Edge. Financial Edge delivers a range of technical training programs for many of the top Private Equity firms globally. Additionally, the certificate includes live Financial Modeling Q&A sessions with a trainer. The one-hour sessions will begin in September 2024.

Built on globally recognized CFA Program content, it provides job-ready skills you need to build robust LBO (leveraged buyout) models, analyze private market investments, assess deals, and leverage value creation strategies.

Learners will be able to develop their skills further with the Advanced Private Equity Certificate, available in August 2025. The Private Equity Certificate will be a mandatory pre-requisite for the Advanced Private Equity Certificate.

Not sure which level is right for you? Explore all private markets learning opportunities from CFA Institute.

Courses and Final Assessment

IMPORTANT NOTE: The first two courses of the certificate program will launch on 21 August 2024. The remaining three courses are released thereafter on a monthly schedule. See the course list below.

The certificate is composed of five courses and one final assessment. Learners who are already familiar with the foundational content covered in Course 1 can take an assessment before each module to determine if they are qualified to skip that module.

Courses must be completed in sequence as the concepts are related and build on each other. Course descriptions are provided below or you can view the full syllabus (PDF)

For the financial modeling assignments in Courses 1 and 4, learners will need Microsoft Excel running on a Windows device.

Available beginning 21 Aug 2024

This course equips learners with essential skills for the private markets, covering fixed income securities analysis, financial statement analysis, and financial modeling. Participants will learn to calculate bond metrics, understand the basics of derivatives for risk mitigation, distinguish business forms, analyze financial reports, forecast performance, and integrate financial statements for strategic forecasts. This foundation is crucial for thriving in private markets and prepares for advanced topics covered in the next four courses.

Learners who are already familiar with the foundational content covered in Course 1 will have an opportunity to test out of each of its three modules by successfully completing a pre-assessment for each module.

Available beginning 21 Aug 2024

By the end of this course, learners will have a clear understanding of private equity, focusing on value creation and the synergy between private equity firms and portfolio company managers. They will be equipped to navigate through private equity strategies for different company life stages, including venture capital, growth equity, and buyouts. Additionally, learners will be adept at analyzing the LBO model and VC (venture capital) investments, exploring various exit strategies in private equity, and evaluating the risk and return of these investments within a strategic asset allocation.

Available beginning 25 Sept 2024

This course explores private debt instruments and their applications in take-private transactions, focusing on their structures, terms, conditions, and providers, and the broader financial ecosystem. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of credit risk, methodologies for assessing corporate creditworthiness through both qualitative and quantitative lenses, and the implications for private debt valuation. Additionally, the course covers the role of derivatives and other risk mitigation strategies in managing risks in private debt used in take-private transactions. By the end of this course, learners will be equipped to understand and analyze private debt from the GP’s perspective in various market conditions.

Available beginning 30 Oct 2024

This course delves into the intricacies of financial modeling with a special focus on applications within the private equity sector. Learners will advance their skills in constructing financial models that accurately forecast company performance and facilitate effective valuation. Through a series of comprehensive modules, participants will explore advanced revenue modeling, cost analysis, asset management, and the integration of tax considerations into financial forecasts. This hands-on course is designed to equip learners with the practical skills needed to evaluate investment opportunities and make informed decisions in the private equity arena.

Available beginning 4 Dec 2024

Upon completion of the course, learners will possess a comprehensive understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a general partner in managing private investment funds. They will also be adept at discussing the mechanisms and strategies used by private investment firms to align interests with investors, evaluating fund performance, selecting investment opportunities, enhancing value within portfolio companies, and conducting due diligence while establishing business plans in the private investment process.

Available beginning 4 Dec 2024

Upon successfully completing the requirements for Courses 1 - 5, learners will be eligible to complete the final assessment. The final assessment will be an online, unproctored assessment consisting of multiple-choice questions. You will need to achieve a 70% score or better to pass the final assessment. You will have two attempts to do this. Once you have passed the final assessment, you will earn the Private Equity Certificate and digital badge.


No prerequisite knowledge is required, but a foundational understanding of private equity is recommended. This is achievable through the Private Markets and Alternative Investments Certificate, Level I of the CFA Program, or relevant work experience.

What You’ll Learn

  • Essential financial tools for analyzing and interpreting fixed income instruments and derivatives, crucial for informed decision-making in private markets.

  • Advanced accounting and financial reporting insights, paving the way for robust financial statement analysis and forecasting.

  • Strategic financial modeling techniques to project company performance and assess valuation in a private equity context.

  • Practical applications of intermediate financial modeling to enhance precision in private equity deal structuring and risk assessment.

  • Insight into the roles and responsibilities of general partners, with a focus on aligning interests, evaluating fund performance, and managing private investment funds.

Topics Covered

  • Course 1: Private Markets Essentials
    • Corporate accounting and financial statement preparation
    • Introduction to financial modeling and forecasting techniques
    • Fixed income securities and derivatives concepts: Features, valuation, and risk management
  • Course 2: Private Equity
    • Value creation and alignment of interests in private equity
    • Private equity strategies across the business life cycle
    • Valuation techniques: LBO and venture capital VC methods
    • Exit strategies and risk analysis in private equity investments
  • Course 3: Private Debt for Private Equity Practitioners
    • Survey of private debt instruments
    • Private debt structures and providers
    • Credit analysis and valuation of private debt
    • Risk management of private debt
  • Course 4: Intermediate Financial Modeling
    • Enhancing revenue projections and recognizing complex revenue patterns
    • In-depth cost structure analysis and financial impact of scaling operations
    • Asset management within financial models, including depreciation and amortization techniques
    • Tax implications in financial models, emphasizing deferred taxes and tax optimization strategies
  • Course 5: General Partner Perspectives
    • Roles and decision-making of general partners in private investments
    • Investor relations, fee structures, and performance evaluation
    • Selection and management of investments, value creation strategies
    • Due diligence and business planning in the private investment process