Frequently Asked Questions about the Professional Operational Risk Manager Designation

Many of your questions can be answered in the Candidate Guidebook. However, as a quick reference, some of the more commonly asked questions from candidates can be found on this page.
Do not hesitate to contact [email protected] or call+1-612-605-5370 or +44 020 7096 0827 for answers to any other questions that you may have.

About the Professional ORM Designation

  1. Why should I apply for a new designation program?
  2. What is the difference between the Professional ORM Designation and the certificate program?
  3. What are the requirements for the Professional Operational Risk Manager Designation?
  4. Why is there only an outline of topics rather than a full syllabus?
  5. When will more details be released about the syllabus?
  6. What can you tell me about the test design?
  7. What are the application and program fees?
  8. How can I apply for the Professional ORM Designation?
  9. Who can I contact if I have other questions?

About the Pilot Exam Administration

  1. What is a pilot exam?
  2. How does the pilot exam compare to the "real" exam - number of questions, difficulty level, scoring, etc.
  3. When will the pilot exam be offered?
  4. What resources should I study to prepare for the pilot exam?
  5. What is the passing score for the pilot exam?
  6. What happens if I pass the pilot exam?
  7. What happens if I do not pass the pilot exam?
  8. How can I apply for the pilot exam?
  9. Who can I contact if I have other questions about the pilot exam administration?

Resources that are available for the Professional ORM Designation candidates

  1. What resources should I use to prepare for the exam?
  2. Which textbooks are made available to candidates currently enrolled in the ORM Designation program?
  3. How do I access the PRMIA sourced materials?
  4. How do I access externally courses materials?

Answers

About the Professional ORM Designation:

Q. Why should I apply for a new designation program?
A. The PRMIA Designation programs are developed to ensure that skilled professionals have greater opportunity for jobs, promotions, and higher salaries. The Professional Operational Risk Manager Designation was approved for development by the PRMIA Education Committee due to the increased opportunities for Operational Risk Managers in the financial services industry.

Despite this growth in opportunity, there is no clear path to obtaining a formal role of Operational Risk Manager since many employers have a variety of entry requirements for the role. Having the PRMIA Professional ORM Designation on your resume and highlighted after your name will allow for more opportunities at these new roles in banks, insurance companies, and other places.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 Operational Risk Managers in the financial services industry made over US$200,000 annually on average. Source: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes111021.htm

Q. What is the difference between the Professional ORM Designation and the certificate program?
A. The development of the Professional ORM Designation was done purposely to ensure that the ORM certificate program would remain the entry program for individuals learning about operational risk management. The ORM certificate program will continue to be offered and be provided as a way for individuals who might be new to operational risk to learn more about the tools and techniques used.

The Professional ORM Designation recognizes those individuals who have the skills and capability to fill a job role for Operational Risk Manager. Individuals with experience working with the risk function in their institution and those who have worked with an operational risk team in the past are best suited for seeking the Professional ORM Designation. If you meet the eligibility requirements that include one year of risk management responsibilities, the Designation program may be a good fit for you to advance in your career.

To learn more about the difference between a certificate and a professional certification program, please visit the Institute for Credentialing Excellence's website.

Q. What are the requirements for the Professional Operational Risk Manager Designation?
A. To receive the Professional ORM Designation, candidates must meet the eligibility requirements and pass the required examinations. Candidates may retake any failed exam, but must wait 60 days from the date of the failed exam.

Q. Why is there only an outline of topics rather than a full syllabus?
A. The exam content is in development now (starting February 2022) and is expected to produce a full, final exam form by early March. The content development working groups are advising on the assessment objective statements for a more full syllabus. Once the full syllabus is approved by the PRMIA Education Committee, it will be released publicly. Any current candidate for the program will be notified as additional information is released related to the syllabus and the reference material supporting the exams.

Q. When will more details be released about the syllabus?
A. We expect more details on the syllabus and reference materials to be released in late March 2022. Any current candidate for the program will be notified as additional information is released related to the syllabus and the reference material supporting the exams.

Q. What can you tell me about the test design?
A. On March 3, 2022, the PRMIA Education Committee approved a test design that includes a two-part, one-session examination. This design was based on input received from the Job Analysis Study and the Operational Risk Taskforce members. 

The two-part examination will be administered in one test session. Examinees are required to complete Part 1 before they may proceed to Part 2. Once Part 1 is submitted, examinees are not allowed to return to Part 1.

Examinees may take a break after Part 1. Examinees taking a break after Part 1 must follow all test security requirements and instructions provided by the test administrator (whether the exam is administered in a test center or in an online proctored environment). 

The total test time is 5 hours, which can be used in any way for both parts 1 and 2. For this reason, it is important that examinees monitor their total testing time as they complete the two parts. Once Part 1 is submitted, the remainder of the 5-hour duration may be used to complete Part 2.

For more details on the test design, including the number and type of questions in each part, please download the Candidate Guidebook and review the section related to Examination Requirements.

Q. What are the application and program fees?
A. The Application Fee is US$150. The Program Fee is US$1,200 for current PRMIA Sustaining members or US$1,500 for Contributing or non-members.

Q. How can I apply for the Professional ORM Designation?
A. To be eligible for the Professional Operational Risk Manager Designation, you must first apply for the program.

Once your application is approved, you will be sent details on how to pay the Program fee and formally enroll into the program.

Individuals with an approved application must enroll into the program within 90 days of the application approval. If program enrollment is not completed within 90 days of the application approval, the application will be marked as "expired" and a new application fee will be required.

Q. Who can I contact if I have other questions?
A. If you have other questions that are not answered here, please Contact Us or email [email protected].

Answers

About the Pilot Exam Administration:

Q. What is a pilot exam?
A. A pilot examination is the first administration of an exam for a newly developed professional designation program. The purpose of the pilot exam administration is to ensure that the exam forms developed and administered appropriately measure the skills and competencies shown in the program's syllabus and through the test design.

After the pilot exam administration is complete, statistical analysis is conducted to validate the exam program and its results. The PRMIA Education Committee and the Operational Risk Taskforce members will play an integral role in validating the exam program at this stage of development.

Q. How does the pilot exam compare to the "real" exam - number of questions, difficulty level, scoring, etc.
A. A pilot exam form is developed to meet the requirements of the approved test design. The pilot exam form will contain additional test questions or case study sets to ensure that if any test questions are found to be inappropriate or unreliable, that other test questions can be used towards the final score for pilot exam participants.

The difficulty level of the pilot exam will also meet the requirements of the syllabus. The final syllabus will indicate the level of cognition expected of examinees for each specific topic area, and the types of test questions that are developed are to ensure that level of cognition is met.

The results of the pilot exam administration will not be released until after a cut score study is performed, which is a study of the difficulty of that exam form against an expected level of performance for candidates, and the results of that study are approved by the PRMIA Education Committee.

It is expected that the results from the pilot examination will be released in 2-3 weeks after the last day of the pilot exam period, which closes on April 10, 2022.

Q. When will the pilot exam be offered?
A. The pilot exam is scheduled to be administered between March 28 and April 10, 2022. Given the dependency of the development and publication processes, these dates are subject to change. Once the exam is published with Pearson VUE, registration will open for the exam so approved candidates can begin to schedule the exams.

Q. What resources should I study to prepare for the pilot exam?
A. The exam content will be developed using the references provided in the Candidate Guidebook. Be sure to download the Guidebook for details on the exam outline and suggested reference materials. Review the information in the next section of these FAQs for details on resources that are available to candidates as they prepare to sit for their exam. 

Q. What is the passing score for the pilot exam?
A. The required passing score for the pilot exam will be established during a cut score study, which will be conducted once the pilot exam administration period closes. The purpose of a cut score study is to study the difficulty of that exam form against an expected level of performance for candidates. The study is conducted by a group of subject matter experts in operational risk management. The process is facilitated by a psychometrician and the results of that study are approved by the PRMIA Education Committee. Once the recommendations from the cut score study panel are reviewed and approved by the PRMIA Education Committee, the pilot examinees are notified of their results, and the details of the required passing score will be published in the ORM Designation Candidate Guidebook.

Q. What happens if I pass the pilot exam?
A. Individuals who pass the pilot exam will be provided their passing score via email. If there are other requirements that need to be met, those details will be sent to the individuals who pass.

If all requirements are met after passing the pilot, the passers will be issued a "Holder" status and a certification indicating this status as a Professional Operational Risk Manager.

Q. What happens if I do not pass the pilot exam?
A. Individuals who do not pass the pilot exam will be provided their score via email. Within a week of the result being communicated, a detailed score report will be issued to allow for information that can be used to study for a retake exam.

Q. How can I apply for the pilot exam?
A. To be eligible to be one of the first certified as a Professional Operational Risk Manager, you must first apply for the program.

Once your application is approved, you will be sent details on how to register for the pilot exams. This information will be sent once the exams are published with Pearson VUE and the scheduling window opens for the pilot examination.

Individuals sitting for the pilot examination will be offered a one-time 30% reduction in the program fee. After the scheduling period ends for the pilot examination, individuals who have registered for the exam will be sent details on next steps based on the results of their exam.

Individuals who do not pass the pilot exam will have additional opportunities to sit for the exam based on the published exam schedule.

Q. What if I have an approved application but choose not to register for the pilot exam?
A. Individuals with an approved application must enroll into the program within 90 days of the application approval by paying the program fee. If an approved applicant chooses not to sit for the pilot exam, but would like to enroll into the program and schedule the exams for a later testing window, the program enrollment must be completed before 90 days from the approval date.

Q. Who can I contact if I have other questions about the pilot exam administration?
A. If you have other questions that are not answered here, please Contact Us or email [email protected].

Answers

Resources that are available for the Professional ORM Designation candidates:

Q. What resources should I use to prepare for the exam?
A. The ORM Designation program examination was developed using the list of references shown currently in the ORM Designation candidate guidebook.
Visit the ORM Designation Resources and Case Studies page for a complete list of ORM Designation resources. Some resources are publicly available while others you may access as a PRMIA Sustaining member.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to locate and purchase the reference materials they feel they need to study as they prepare for the examinations.

Q. Which textbooks are made available to candidates currently enrolled in the ORM Designation program?
A. As part of the ORM Designation enrollment fee, PRMIA provides access to the following resources shown in the ORM Designation reading list.

  • The PRMIA Operational Risk Manager's Handbook
  • The Essentials of Risk Management, Second Edition by Michael Crouhy, Dan Galai, and Robert Mark
  • Operational Risk Management: Best Practices in the Financial Services Industry by Ariane Chapelle
  • Operational Risk Management: A Complete Guide for Banking and Fintech by Philippa X Girling
  • Ten Laws of Operational Risk: Understanding its Behaviours to Improve Its Management by Michael Grimwade

Q. How do I access the PRMIA sourced materials?

A. There are several resources available to ORM Designation candidates that are available directly from PRMIA.

  • PRMIA Institute Papers https://www.prmia.org/prmiainstitute/
    PRMIA Institute Papers are available for purchase for non-members and are a complementary benefit for current PRMIA Sustaining Members. If you are not currently a PRMIA Sustaining member, you may join here.
  • PRMIA Standards and Bylaws
    PRMIA Standards and Bylaws are publicly available and can be linked from the ORM Designation Resources and Case Studies  page.
  • PRMIA Case Studies
    PRMIA Case Studies are publicly available and can be downloaded from the ORM Designation Resources and Case Studies  page.
  • PRMIA Operational Risk Manager Handbook
    The PRMIA Operational Risk Management Handbook forms the basis for the ORM Certificate program exam. It provides foundational knowledge in operational risk and is developed to help prepare individuals for the certificate exam.

    Current practicing Operational Risk Managers should be familiar with the concepts addressed in the PRMIA Operational Risk Management Handbook. This resource is made available as a reference source for current candidates, should current candidates need a refresher on the foundations of Operational Risk Management.

    Access to the handbook is granted only to those individuals who pay the ORM Designation program fee.

    If you have paid the program fee, to view the handbook,
    - Sign in to your PRMIA account.
    - Click your profile icon to access your account.
    - Click the tab "PRMIA Certification Profile" and scroll to the bottom of the page.
    - In the "Digital Handbook Access", click the tab ORM to access the handbook.

Q. How do I access externally courses materials?

A. There are several resources available from other publishing organizations. The ORM Designation reading list provides the book title, author, publisher, and ISBN to allow candidates to locate the resources and purchase from their bookseller resource.

As part of the paid program enrollment fee, PRMIA provides current ORM Designation candidates with access to several of the resources shown in the reading list.

  • The Essentials of Risk Management, Second Edition
    The Essentials of Risk Management, by by Michael Crouhy, Dan Galai, and Robert Mark, and published by McGraw-Hill, forms the basis for the APRM Certificate program exam. It has become a go-to source for current practicing risk managers. It includes helpful information about risk management in general, and includes operational risk management topics in some sections.

    Given this textbook is intended for financial risk management in general, each current ORM Designation candidate should determine whether the textbook will be helpful in their studies for the ORM Designation examination.

    PRMIA offers a digital version of this resource on its LMS platform. The Table of Contents  can be viewed to determine if this is a helpful resource for a current candidate's studies.

    Current ORM Designation candidates may request access to this textbook by sending an email to [email protected]
  • Wiley published Textbooks
    The following Wiley published resources are available in Wiley's VitalSource Bookshelf platform:
    • Operational Risk Management: Best Practices in the Financial Services Industry by Ariane Chapelle
    • Operational Risk Management: A Complete Guide for Banking and Fintech by Philippa X Girling
    • Ten Laws of Operational Risk: Understanding its Behaviours to Improve Its Management by Michael Grimwade

    To gain access to the textbooks, ORM Designation candidates are emailed a redemption code that can be used to access the resources on the Wiley VitalSource Bookshelf  platform.

    Information about the Bookshelf platform and the available apps  can be viewed on the Wiley website.

     

     

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