Risk Management Training for the PRM and FRM Certifications

PRMIA and GARP are the two most recognized Risk Management designations. These aims are also represented by the two competing international risk managers’ organizations:

  • GARP
    (Global Association of Risk Professionals) and

    (Professional Risk Managers’ International Association)

Online training for either certification can be accessed here.

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Value of Certification

Professional certifications are important to both the individuals that obtain them as well as the organizations in which those individuals work. In the financial field, personnel involved in risk management can obtain several important certifications from two major international groups. In today’s uncertain financial environment, professional certifications can go a long way to calm investors and regulators, as well as restore faith in the financial system in general.

There are two major groups offering risk management certifications: the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) and the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Both of these organizations show their certifications as widely recognized and accepted, although the organizations approach certifications differently.

PRMIA offers the Professional Risk Manager certification, or PRM. PRMIA calls the PRM certification “The Higher Standard in Risk Management” and is very flexible on how professionals prepare for the certification exams. The PRM is essentially a validation of skills that are most likely picked up in every day work in the risk management arena. The certification does stress professional standards and integrity in addition to skills and knowledge. Also, the PRM tests an individual’s ability to not only know best practices but his or her ability to apply those best practices in the appropriate situations. The candidate must be a member of PRMIA in order to sit for the certification exams, and, as in many cases with professional certifications, the candidate with other industry certifications, such as the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) may have an easier time attaining the PRM. In the industry at large, hiring managers often use the PRM designation as a measurement for the most desirable risk management skills.

GARP offers two major risk management certifications, the FRM, or Financial Risk Manager, and the ERM, or Energy Risk Professional. The FRM, according to GARP, is one of the certifications that is currently desirable to recruiters who are looking to fill senior risk manager positions. There are only around 18,000 FRM’s in the world, which is a small number for a professional certification that is recognized around the world. In order to qualify for the FRM, a professional must have two years related experience and must also be a member of GARP.

The ERM certification is obviously for energy industry risk managers, who must also have at least two years experience in the field of energy risk management. These professionals must also be members of GARP. GARP is in the process of creating a continuing education program and requirements for the ERM certification, which will most likely become a requirement in 2010. In the field of risk management, the ERM is one of the only designations that has or is about to have a continuing education requirement.

It’s a good idea to have a general feeling of what professionals hold risk management certifications – as well as what industries look for these professionals. The top industries with certified risk managers, and whose recruiters look for certifications, are banking, academics, asset management, and government. There are many other sectors of the financial industry in which you will find certified risk managers. Professionals who hold these certifications also hold a wide variety of positions, from junior through executive levels. The most common jobs held by certified professionals in the field are risk managers, analysts, consultants, accountants, traders, portfolio managers, and even operations managers.