Certified Private Equity Associate (CPEA)

The Overview

CPEA prepares graduating finance, accounting and business students best for quick, impressive starts to their careers in the exciting private equity industry, laying a foundation for a faster growth as a bonus.

The CPEA credential efficiently tops-up your current degree in finance, accounting or investment management for smoothing your entry in the private equity industry. Among the most esteemed global PE qualifications around, the CPEA ratifies and stamps best your potential and promise of handling even the most complex of roles in the PE space. The rigorous USPEC IFIS standards underlying the CPEA certification govern and control CPEA exam content, policies and credentialing mechanism to ensure that individuals qualifying the CPEA program are indeed, most thorough in their knowledge and skills and fit to hit the ground running for achieving extraordinary results for their organizations. You can register for CPEA anywhere you may be in the world, and take your certification exam right in your city. We cover all the major locations today, serving CPEA exams in state-of-the-art exam centers across 183 countries.

Certified Private Equity Associate


Pre-registrations are currently open for the spanking new CPEA version marked to the updated USPEC IFIS Ver 0016-1.3 launching 19 September, 2019.

Pre-Register Now
CPEA Exam Fee: $ 550 USD

Just Why is the CPEA a Blockbuster Credential

CPEA stands tall as an industry-focused qualification primarily because it has been developed after extensive research and consultations with more than three dozen experienced and accomplished PE experts including chief investment officers, principal partners, fund managers and investment principals. Remember, the same people who eventually hire talents for their PE firms.

For another, the comprehensive and insightful USPEC IFIS standards framework ensures every CPEA certified professional has been proven profession-ready because she has qualified CPEA exams that cover even the more advanced managerial and decision aspects of private equity business and functions.

Just Why is the CPEA™ a Blockbuster Credential
Register Online

Register 24X7. Online.

The moment you decide you have to look at a bigger, swankier Private Equity career, just storm right into the CPEA segment on the USPEC website, anytime of the day – or better still – even in the night! Pick a coffee. Just click Apply. And within minutes, you’ll be done – registered for what is the world’s most powerful qualification the young and the bubbly Private Equity professionals can earn today! Everything happens smooth: you apply; you complete your CPEA registration; schedule your CPEA exam and pay-up for it using your credit card, and receive a couple of email notes from us – all before you finish your coffee! In the meanwhile, your smart and meaty CPEA learning resources kit has been pushed on its way to you.

World’s Best Learning Resources on Private Equity

Unlike other certification bodies, USPEC neither provides any special exam preparation material, nor asks individuals registered for CPEA Certification to purchase any such text or kits from any external organization. Instead, USPEC focuses on empowering the registrants with text and learning resources that help them build and expand their knowledge of Private Equity. USPEC, hence, does provide the CPEA Resource Box complimentary to every CPEA registrant, containing printed and electronic resources with complete information on the CPEA Certification as well as the latest on USPEC standards and Private Equity theory and practice. The Resource Box includes the USPEC flagship publication – Private Equity- The USPEC Handbook for Practitioners– the world’s first and the only standards-aligned and the most authoritative text on the science and art of Private Equity ever. It’s a book for life for all Investment and Private Equity professionals, and also the most important reading reference for preparing for CPEA Certification exams. The electronic resources include an e-Copy of the CPEA™ Exam Preparation Guidelines. Once you receive CPEA™ Resource Box, you are set for commencing your journey to becoming a private equity professional ready for the most very best of global employers. Start your preparation for your online-proctored CPEA™ exam, which you can take almost anywhere you may be – in the comfort of your home or office after getting your computer and exam room USPEC-verified and approved for the exam.

World’s Best Learning Resources on Private Equity

The Candidacy Tracks

CPEA Track

The following table summarizes the specifics of what it takes to become a CPEA. Following is the convenient track covering Finance and Private Equity professionals from diverse backgrounds and experience to earn a CPEA!
  • Minimum Qualification Required
    Students or Holders of a Graduate/ Master's Degree or Diploma qualification in Business/ Finance/ Management/ Accounting/ Economics or in any other discipline related to capital markets, finance, investments or accounting.

  • Minimum Work Experience
    Experience not Mandatory; basic understanding about entrepreneurship, funding, banking, corporate finance, investments, capital markets, accounting and business is desirable

Getting the CPEA - A Preview of the Journey

There are eight distinct stages of your journey toward becoming a CPEA. Here's what these stages look like. Of course, we've just tried to take you through a quick tour, so many of the details may be missing. You may Contact Us for more information.

The CPEA Journey

  • 1Check Eligibility Requirements +

    All USPEC certifications mandate you to meet certain educational and work experience requirements to become eligible. The requirements for each USPEC certification is unique, so before proceeding, check if you satisfy the minimum eligibility requirements for the CPEA™ certification, you wish to apply for.
    It is recommended that you keep this information handy as it will be required while filling up your online application.

  • 3Validation +

    An internal check is conducted to validate your credentials against the prescribed candidacy prerequisites for earning the CPEA™.

  • 5Taking the CPEA™ Certification Exam +

    USPEC earmarks a 45-day immersion period for CPEA™ registrants to help them orient completely and build their conceptual foundations in Private Equity. You can schedule your CPEA™ exam anytime after the 45-days immersion period is over. In fact, you also get an additional 135-days to plan for and take your CPEA™ exam.

  • 2Fill Online Application +

    Once you have satisfied the CPEA™ eligibility requirements, it is time to apply. Start the application process by creating your myUSPEC account. Once you have submitted the online application and made a successful payment of the fee, you will immediately receive an acknowledgement response email with instructions for the next step in the assessment process.

  • 4Certification Preparation Material +

    Post your payment confirmation, you will receive your unit of the CPEA™ Resource Box containing reading and learning material at the address you have registered with us. Normal delivery timeframe is 3-4 weeks.

  • 6Award +

    If you qualify the SPEA™ certification exam and meet other conditions laid down by the Private Equity Certifications Board (PECB), you are recommended for the award of SPEA™ Credential and the SPEA™ Digital Badge is immediately issued to you. You can expect the shipment of the physical credential pack to reach you within three to four weeks from the date of the credential- award.

Getting the CPEA
Digitally Badged CPEA

The Digitally Badged CPEA

CPEA Credential is digitally badged by CredBadge to acknowledge your interest earned in finance, accounting, and business while studying, ensuring that you are profession-ready. Thereon, the employers worldwide can easily perceive your CPEA emblazoned profile.

CPEA Credential Upgrade to SPEA

Upgrade is mandatory to keep your certification live and current. When you upgrade, you show your continuing competence and commitment to the profession. If you fulfill the candidacy norms of SPEA, USPEC will send reminder emails for upgrading your credential, or you can log into myUSPEC Account and register for CPEA upgrade to SPEA. In order to receive email reminders from USPEC, please make sure to keep your email address current.

Upgrading your CPEA Credential to SPEA Credential

  • Step 1 - Register for the CPEA™ renewal program by logging into your myUSPEC account.
  • Step 2 - Pay your CPEA™ renewal fee online.
  • Step 3 - Complete the USPEC prescribed learning program online followed by a small assessment.
  • Step 4 - Receive CPEA™ Credential renewal confirmation immediately from USPEC
  • Step 5 - Get your renewed CPEA™ Credential certificate & a new digital badge.

CPEA Credential Upgrade Policy – 2018

  • Life of the Credential (in years from the date of award) +

    The CPEA Credential is valid for 3 years. The CPEA Credential is not renewable, and can only be upgraded to SPEA. Credential-holders will be required to upgrade their CPEA Credential to SPEA – as applicable or permissible – to remain certified.

  • Standard Credential Upgrade Policy +

    An CPEA Credential can be upgraded* to SPEA, subject to fulfilment of the candidacy norms by the credential-holder, and upon successful completion of the prescribed online SPEA assessment as per the latest IFIS Body of Knowledge in the nearby test center.

    *Two months before the expiry of the credential validity of award of CPEA. Please note that after upgrade to SPEA, your CPEA Credential will expire. Refer to the fee schedule, CPEAU-1 for upgrade to SPEA.

  • Standard Credential Upgrade Window +

    The CPEA Credential Upgrade Window will open 60 days before the expiry of the credential and ends after 60 days from the date of expiry of the CPEA credential.

  • Standard Credential Upgrade Deadline +

    Before the expiry of the credential validity, e.g.; if the credential, was awarded on April 1, 2014, the Standard Upgrade Deadline will be March 31, 2017 i.e. 3 years after the award of the credential.

  • Credential Upgrade Convenience Period +

    A CPEA Credential can be upgraded to SPEA, within maximum 60 days from the date it expires, by paying the prescribed fee (Refer to the fee schedule, CPEAU-2). If upgrade formalities are not completed within this period, the upgrade to SPEA option will be withdrawn, in this case the CPEA Credential will expire.

  • Validity of a Upgraded Credential +

    The SPEA Credential’s validity will start 1 day after the expiry of the previously awarded credential i.e. CPEA. e.g.; if the CPEA Credential is expiring on March 31, 2017, the SPEA credential validity will start from April 1, 2017 irrespective of the actual date of upgrade for the next 3 years only.


Schedule Code Upgrade Categories Fees Deadline
CPEAU-1 STANDARD UPGRADE TO SPEA USD 350 60 days before the expiry of the credential validity of award of CPEA.
CPEAU-2 UPGRADE DURING THE CONVENIENCE PERIOD USD 400 60 days after the expiry of the credential validity of award of CPEA.

The CPEA Credential Case

CPEA Credential encloses in an élite fashionable box, for the reason that the elegant credential pack ought to simply be another sound inspiration for you to work a bit harder to succeed in the USPEC Certification exam enthusiastically. Placed neatly inside the folder-box, The CPEA Credential is accompanied by a lapel pin, which you can wear on your favorite shirt/ coat pockets, and flaunt your CPEA Certification. Moreover, there is a booklet for Code of Ethics by USPEC, which is a quintessence for epoch.

Credential Case


Pre-registrations are currently open for the spanking new CPEA version marked to the updated USPEC IFIS Body of Knowledge Ver 11-1.3 launching 19 September, 2019.

Pre-Register Now