The process of preparing for and successfully completing the FAST Standard Organisation’s (FSO) assessment procedures is a useful way for individuals to confirm to themselves that they understand and can apply the FAST Standard to the spreadsheet models they build.

The FAST Level 1 Certificate is evidence of an individual’s understanding of the FAST Standard (and therefore the arguments for standardised financial modelling) and the application of the Standard in building spreadsheet models that are flexible, appropriate, structured and transparent.

The FAST Level 1 Certification awarded by the FSO provides evidence that an individual has proved competent on a specified date in understanding and applying the FAST Standard. The certificate will be useful for individuals that are seeking to present a case to existing or potential employers of their modelling credentials and experience.

1. Preparing for the FAST Level 1 Certification

An individual who is ready to apply for the FAST Level 1 Certification, and do well in the assessment procedures is likely to be able to:
– describe in some detail the contents of the FAST Standard;
– explain what the FAST Standard is trying to achieve;
– recognise what a FAST compliant model should look like; and
– apply the FAST Standard to simple modelling assignments.

The test is designed to assess how well you UNDERSTAND the FAST Standard and how well you can APPLY it to a practical modelling situation.

You will be given one attempt to complete the assessment procedures and submit your results. If you wish to undertake the assessment procedures again, then you must apply to take a new test and pay any associated fees.

In helping you prepare for the assessment procedures we recommend that you undertake a practice model build assignment: Biomass. Biomass is representative of the level of complexity you might expect in the assessment procedures.

You will find:
Biomass modelling assignment
Biomass “start” model for modelling assignment
Biomass solution model
Sample multiple choice questions

2. Sponsoring bodies

Each individual is required to supply details of a sponsoring body who will be asked by the FSO to provide assurance that the test undertaken and submitted was the individual’s own work. A certificate will not be issued by the FSO unless a sponsoring body that has been registered with the FSO has been identified and is willing to act as the individual’s sponsor.

The FSO is pleased to receive applications from prospective sponsoring bodies – in particular employer and training organisations. Applicants should complete a registration form by following this link.

The name of a sponsoring body will appear on any FAST Level 1 Certificate issued by the FSO. In the absence of a sponsoring body, the FSO will not issue a certificate to an individual.

3. Registering for the FAST Level 1 Certification

Assessment procedures may be undertaken online on a date of your choice. You will need to able to access Microsoft Excel as part of the assessment procedures.

You may register for the FAST Level 1 Certification by signing up using the form below.

4. What to expect from the test marking

To help you know what to expect, you can download the test marking guide in .pdf format or in .xlsx format.

5. Obtaining the FAST Level 1 Certification

A certificate will be issued to an individual once they have:

– passed a test of their competence;

– provided confirmation by an appropriate body (employer or training organisation registered with the FSO) that the test attempted was their own work; and

– paid an appropriate fee.

In assessing whether an individual has done well enough in their test to receive a certificate, the FSO will undertake a quantitative and qualitative assessment of an individual’s test submission and confirm whether the individual has passed or failed the test. An individual has no right of appeal against the FSO’s decision; nor is the FSO under any obligation to share details of how it reached its decision.

The fee for undertaking the FAST Level 1 Certification test is £195 + VAT (if applicable).

Before signing up for the certification:

– please view our terms and conditions.
– ensure you have read thoroughly, and are completely familiar with the FAST Standard


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