Senior Private Equity Associate (SPEA)

The Overview

SPEA is a premium credential for senior finance, asset management, investment banking and private equity professionals preparing for higher, more complex roles and job-profiles in the private equity industry, and who seek to improve their performance and lead sooner than later.

The SPEA credential adds dollops of new value to your professional profile. SPEA certified professionals are viewed more capable of returning better performance and results because of their sharper comprehension of Private equity and their capabilities of applying it for better handling of problems. The fact that the SPEA is based on the groundbreaking EFIS body of knowledge serves to reassure employers about the high standards of private equity understanding the SPEA certified display. Registrations for SPEA can be done online, 24X7 from virtually anywhere in the world. SPEA certification exams too, can be taken in any of the Exam centers across 183 countries.

The Private Equity industry boasts of being run by probably the finest of finance and investment management professionals in the world. Career growth of senior professionals, therefore, is a story of winning amidst tough competition through constant upgrade in knowledge, leadership skills, network and an intuitive wisdom. The SPEA is a marquee credential for such private equity professionals who are poised for ascension to leadership roles.

Senior Private Equity Associate


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

Pre-Register Now
SPEA Exam Fee: $ 650 USD

Why is SPEA a Stand-Out PE Qualification

Founded on the groundbreaking USPEC IFIS standards framework, the SPEA qualification is the most the credible testimony of a PE professional’s grip, comprehension and mastery across all aspects that impact leadership quality in this high-stakes industry. The SPEA distinguishes itself among all global credentials in its category owing to its pedigree, rigor and comprehensive coverage of leadership-essential aspects. More than three dozen experienced and accomplished chief investment officers, principal partners, fund managers and investment principals from US, Europe, Singapore and APAC have contributed to the maturing and tempering of SPEA into what it is now.

The SPEA certification exams comprehensively test and validate knowledge and competence of professionals related to:

  • Related to mission-critical dimensions ranging from dynamics
  • Valuation
  • Deal-design
  • Negotiation and closing to aspects related to regulation
  • Compliance and ethics-backed best practices
  • Top-up investments and handling sell-outs and exits

A vital strand of the SPEA also covers:

  • Strategic competencies linked to managing scaling up PE operations
  • Handling change and partner-relationships
  • Managing deals and integrating operations across multiple locations
  • Building PE funds and portfolios for PE funds

SPEA exams are conducted in test centers across the world covering 7500 locations in as many as 180 countries.

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 SPEA 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 senior finance, asset management, investment banking, and Private Equity professionals can earn today! Everything happens smooth: you apply; you complete your SPEA registration; schedule your SPEA 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 SPEA 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 SPEA 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 SPEA Resource Box complimentary to every SPEA registrant, containing printed and electronic resources with complete information on the SPEA 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 SPEA Certification exams. The electronic resources include an e-Copy of the SPEA™ Exam Preparation Guidelines. Once you receive SPEA™ 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 SPEA™ 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.

Best Learning Resources on Private Equity

The Candidacy Tracks

SPEA Track

The following table summarizes the specifics of what it takes to become an SPEA. Following is the convenient track covering Finance and Private Equity professionals from diverse backgrounds and experience to earn an SPEA!
  • Minimum Qualification Required
    Should have completed 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
    Minimum 5 Years of experience in analyst- or sales- roles in valuation/ asset management/ M&A/ risk management/ portfolio management/ corporate finance/ hedge funds/ derivatives trading etc.,

Getting the SPEA - A Preview of the Journey

There are eight distinct stages of your journey toward becoming a SPEA. 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 SPEA 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 SPEA™ 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 SPEA™.

  • 5Taking the SPEA™ Certification Exam +

    USPEC earmarks a 45-day immersion period for SPEA™ registrants to help them orient completely and build their conceptual foundations in Private Equity. You can schedule your SPEA™ 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 SPEA™ exam.

  • 2Fill Online Application +

    Once you have satisfied the SPEA™ 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 SPEA™ 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.

A Preview of the Journey
digital badge SPEA

The Digitally Badged SPEA

Digitally badged by CredBadge, SPEA Credential broadens your avenues to clench jobs in higher, more complex roles and job-profiles in the private equity industry. Widespread establishments in the fields of senior finance, asset management, investment banking, and private equity can easily treasure trove you with the digital trajectories of SPEA Certification in your vita.

Credential Maintenance & Renewal

Renewal is mandatory to keep your certification live and current. You are required to renew your SPEA Credential every 5 years. When you renew, you show your continuing competence and commitment to the profession. USPEC will send you reminder emails for renewal of your credential or log into myUSPEC account and register for SPEA renewal. In order to receive email reminders from USPEC, please make sure to keep your email address current. Please note that training is not mandatory for renewal and you only have to register and complete a short–duration online refresher learning program as per the latest Private Equity Studyware (USPEC’s Private Equity Body of Knowledge) along with a small online assessment.

Renewing your SPEA Credential

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

SPEA Credential Renewal Policy – 2018

  • Life of the Credential (in years from the date of award) +
  • Standard Credential Renewal Duration +
  • Standard Credential Renewal Window +
  • Standard Credential Renewal Deadline +
  • Credential Renewal Convenience Period +
  • Credential Freeze and Suspension +
  • Credential Cancellation & Revival +
  • Validity of a Renewed Credential +


Schedule Code Renewal Categories Fees Deadline
SPEAR-1 Standard Renewal USD 150 Before the expiry of the credential validity
SPEAR-2 Renewal During The
Convenience Period
USD 200 Within maximum 60 days from the due date
SPEAR-3 Renewal/ Reactivation After Suspension USD 250 Within maximum 12 months from the date of suspension
SPEAR-4 Renewal/ Revival After Cancellation USD 300 Within 30 days from the date of cancellation

The SPEA Credential Case

The tastefully designed stylish certification pack is an added impetus for the awe-inspiring aspirants working tauter to qualify the USPEC Certification exam. The esteemed SPEA Credential is hemmed gracefully in a topnotch trendy strong box, which is convoyed by a conspicuous SPEA designation pin, which can be worn on shirt/coat pockets. Another ingredient that completes the certification pack is a treasure to relish for lifespan, known as the USPEC Code of Ethics booklet.

Credential Case


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

Pre-Register Now