login Forgotten password? Register

PMI Level 3 Certificate in Pensions Administration

The Certificate in Pensions Administration (CPA) is suitable for pension scheme administrators working on either DB or DC pension schemes - or both. The qualification is designed to allow organisations and their pensions administrators to select and construct a competence based qualification that reflects their normal working activities.

This qualification can only be taken in PMI Approved Centres.

Workplace Pensions Trailblazer Apprenticeship

This qualification can be used as part of the Workplace Pensions Trailblazer Apprenticeship. Amongst the many benefits of the apprenticeship is the opportunity to access Government funding to cover the cost of the qualifications and any associated training.  Further details on the apprenticeship can be found here

Qualification Content

To complete the qualification 8 units must be completed, out of 14 possible options.


There are 2 different methods of assessment:

Work-based assessment where evidence is drawn from the day to day activities carried out by the administrator.

Open book case study examinations. The case studies are based on three fictitious pension schemes - two final salary schemes, one of which is contracted out and a money purchase scheme with the option to contract out.

It is possible to complete the qualification via;

• a combination of work-based assessment and examinations


• work-based assessments only

How often are the examinations?

The examinations are offered biannually in March and September.

Studying for the examinations

Early preparation and a planned study schedule for the examinations is essential.

Registering to take the qualification

Registration for CPA can only be made through PMI Approved Centres.

Guide for Candidates

PMI Membership

When you apply to take this qualification, if you are not already an active PMI member,  you will automatically become a VQ Student member of PMI. Click here for more details.

On completion of CPA individuals can apply for certificate level of membership of PMI and have the designatory initials CertPMI after their name. Click here for more details.

Customer service

The PMI is committed to providing a customer focused and professional service to all its approved assessment centres, students and candidates taking any of our qualifications.  Please click on the attached links for details of all of our commitments to you.

Customer Service Statement

Equal Opportunities Statement

Complaints and Appeals

The PMI is committed to providing fair and consistent examination, verification, approval and assessment processes.

Details of the PMI's complaints and appeals policy for VQ examinations are available here and Assessments and verification decisions are available here.

Further information

For further information please contact Kumba Bokoka kbokoka@pensions-pmi.org.uk or on 020 7392 7400. 


  1. Qualification Specification Certificate in Pensions Administration

    2017 Qualification Specification CPA

  2. Qualification Fees 2020

    A summary of qualification fees for 2020. updated 2/1/20