The Certificate in International Cash Management is the definitive qualification in cash management for both corporate and financial institutions from a global perspective.

It is widely recognised by major banks and corporates alike. The compulsory tuition and revision learning workshops give a unique opportunity to swap experiences and build relationships not only with corporate peers, but also with sell-side professionals. 


Perfect for you if you:

  • are a cash manager in a corporate who wants to demonstrate your expertise and dedication with a globally recognised qualification
  • have recently moved into a cash management role (or would like to), either within corporate treasury or as part of a general finance remit
  • want to expand your understanding of how cash management works at an international level
  • are a banker or a consultant who needs to understand international cash management from the perspective of the corporate in order to advise clients more effectively

This programme has been specially designed for you if you have previously studied and passed the Award in Cash Management Fundamentals (AwardCMF) and would like to progress onto the full CertICM qualification. In order to be awarded the CertICM, you will need to complete five additional units of study, attend five days of learning workshops that are scheduled throughout the six-month study period and pass one final assessment at the end of the programme.


Study time

5 - 8 months; 255 - 260 study hours


Two online assessments

(If you have already completed the Award in Cash Management Fundamentals, you will only have one assessment to sit)


Online course fee £2,105 I AED 9,999
Assessment fee £175 I AED 845
Membership fee £151 I AED 712

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements to book onto CertICM, however the assessment at AwardCMF stage must be passed in addition to the assessment at CertICM, in order to be awarded the full qualification.


If you have already passed AwardCMF, there are five further units that need to be studied (units 3 - 7) and assessed as well as attending the workshops in order to gain the full CertICM qualification.

Unit 3: Making and receiving international payments

Each country has its own clearing and settlement systems to handle both paper and electronic payments, and with the exception of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), these systems are usually not compatible. When payments are made between different countries, therefore, it is necessary to use intermediaries to facilitate the transfer of funds and the handover from one system to another. In this unit we examine and illustrate the primary types of clearing and settlement systems found worldwide, many of which follow the same basic format and principles.

We then discuss the process of moving money from one system to another, describing the international banking infrastructure, the major
players, their roles and the different ways in which international funds transfers are effected, both electronic and non–electronic. The only thing of which the cash manager can be certain is that cross–border payments involve additional expense and processing time.

As most cash managers discover, there comes a point where the value and/or volume of cross–border transactions is such that it
becomes more efficient and cost effective to maintain foreign currency (FCY) accounts to make and receive payments. We explore
the options available for the location of such accounts as well as discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Finally, we examine the role played by trade vehicles in mitigating the risk inherent in international transactions.

On completing unit three you will be able to:

  1. Explain the challenges and issues in making international payments and collections.
  2. Differentiate between the various types of clearing and settlement systems.
  3. Determine the most appropriate payment method for making international payments.
  4. Illustrate the role of the key players in making electronic and non–electronic cross–border payments.
  5. Determine how international payments and collections can be made more efficiently.
  6. Evaluate the optimal location for a foreign currency account.
  7. Evaluate the options available to the cash manager in using trade vehicles to mitigate risk in international transactions.

Unit 4: The international cash management function

This unit highlights the importance of forecasting and examines the more common methods used by cash managers. A good forecast is an essential tool in managing a company’s liquidity, not just for short–term day–to–day cash management but also for medium–term investment and borrowing. It is also instrumental in managing risks, enhancing returns and maintaining financial controls. Cash forecasting tools range from the simple spreadsheet to sophisticated computer models integrated into a company’s enterprise–wide resource planning (ERP) system. What is most important, however, is that the technique selected is fit for the purpose, reliable and accurate.

As a next step, this unit discusses the investment process and reviews the most commonly used short–term investment instruments used by cash managers in managing liquidity. It also explains some of the essential calculations used for computing yields and differentiates between conventions used for different instruments. Due to the intertwined nature of the borrowing and investment topics (one company’s debt is another’s investment) many instruments that are covered here as also referred to in the short–term borrowing topic albeit from a different context.

The last topic covered is short–term borrowing, with a focus on external sources of financing. This complements the information provided in Unit 2 where the trade financing vehicles were discussed. In addition to explaining the process and calculations used in determining the all–in cost of borrowing, it also addresses the issues of loan documentation.

On completing unit four you will be able to:

  1. Assess the different purposes for which treasury uses the major cash flow forecasting techniques.
  2. Construct a forecast using the information provided.
  3. Recommend any possible future courses of action having reviewed the implications of cash forecasts.
  4. Recommend an appropriate investment strategy based on the assessment of the characteristics of short–term investment vehicles.
  5. Determine the optimal investment strategy by comparing interest rates on investment instruments.
  6. Recommend a financing strategy based on the characteristics of short–term financing instruments available to the treasurer.
  7. Determine the all–in–cost of financing and the implications of loan documentation.

Unit 5: Managing the international treasury function

There are many factors that influence how a treasury is organised and supported. This unit takes a broad look at the issues, both financial and non–financial, internal and external, that determine the optimal structure for a company and how that is supported through the financial institutions and technology.

Initially we review the advantages and disadvantages of a centralised treasury and the many specialised vehicles treasury can use to gain economies of scale, outsourcing functions and optimise tax efficiencies. We then examine the many roles a bank can play and the process a company goes through in selecting its cash management banking partners.

As companies manage increasingly geographically dispersed organisations and multiple banking relationships, technology plays an important role in facilitating the communications and processes. This unit discusses the cash management systems that are currently available, implementation challenges and system security issues.

Finally, treasury is subject to both internal and external constraints. No discussion of the treasury organisation would be complete without reviewing the policy, regulatory and tax issues. Although, as a general rule, cash management is not the driving factor behind tax planning, any and all cash management activities and structures will have tax consequences, positive or negative. These need to be taken into account when deciding on an appropriate cash management structure.

On completing unit five you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different treasury structures, from centralised to decentralised.
  2. Recommend appropriate treasury structures for different scenarios.
  3. Recognise the importance of bank relationship management, and the various roles that banks fulfil for treasury.
  4. Understand the bank selection process and how the request for proposal (RFP) is used to select a banking relationship.
  5. Critically analyse the role that technology plays in supporting treasury.
  6. Evaluate the functionality offered by different treasury systems.
  7. Assess the issues when implementing new technology, reviewing performance and ensuring system security.
  8. Explain the importance of treasury policies and procedures and how they can be used to develop key performance indicators to measure treasury performance.
  9. Evaluate the regulatory and taxation issues that particularly impact cash management decisions and structures.

Unit 6: Managing cross-border liquidity and risk

The netting concept was introduced in an earlier unit as the basis for one of the settlement system types, net settlement systems (NSSs).
In this unit we examine how netting techniques are used internally for managing cross–border liquidity companywide and making inter–company transactions more efficient. Although a very simple concept, multilateral netting can be quite complex to perform. It is one of the major tools used by companies with a centralised treasury or an in–house bank. Although the emphasis in this unit is on inter–company netting, it is also a technique that is used to realise considerable cost savings in industries where there are frequent two–way flows between participants.

The next step is to apply the netting concept to inter–company lending as internal sources of funds are usually more cost–effective than
external borrowing. Offsetting deficit cash pools against surplus cash pools can be very cost effective as it reduces negative balances and eliminates the spread taken by banks on borrowing and investing. In this unit we examine the most used techniques for inter–company lending, including notional pooling and cash concentration, and how these essential cash management techniques are used by companies for cross–border liquidity management. In addition to the general information provided in Unit 4, the specific regulatory, tax and practical challenges surrounding the successful implementation of notional pooling and cash concentration are considered in more detail.

No discussion of international cash management would be complete without a review of foreign exchange (FX). This unit reviews what a cash manager needs to understand about foreign exchange; the terminology and the basic techniques and conventions used by traders. It also explains the calculations cash managers are most likely to use; the spot, forward and swap transactions. 

Doing business internationally inevitably brings new risks and exposures that the cash manager has to measure, monitor and manage. This unit identifies those risks and provides an introduction to some of the techniques and tools used for managing risk, with particular emphasis on managing foreign exchange risk. Note: The accounting aspects of hedging are beyond the scope of this syllabus.

On completing unit six you will be able to:

  1. Perform a cost–benefit analysis to justify the case, qualitatively and quantitatively, for implementing a multilateral netting system.
  2. Evaluate how a netting centre can be used as a platform for further liquidity management efficiencies.
  3. Recommend appropriate cross–border liquidity management vehicles.
  4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed structure for managing global liquidity.
  5. Evaluate the tax, legal and regulatory issues associated with cash pooling.
  6. Use spot, forward and spot calculations showing when it is appropriate to use each of them.
  7. Formulate a strategy for managing the risks involved in doing business internationally.
  8. Recommend vehicles to mitigate different types of risk, especially foreign exchange risk.

Unit 7: Creating efficient international account structures

Designing an efficient account structure for the purposes of liquidity management and visibility brings together many of the elements discussed in previous units:

  • How to organise the treasury function
  • When and where to hold foreign currency accounts
  • Which liquidity management techniques and vehicles to use
  • Determining which banks are most suited to which roles
  • The impact of tax, regulatory and legal issues and constraints.

This unit examines some of the most prevalent structures that have evolved over time, both traditional and new, to satisfy the operational, governance and liquidity management needs of organisations. There are no universal solutions, however, and the challenge to the treasurer is to put in place one that achieves the company’s primary cash management objectives, is appropriate for the countries in which the company does business and does not create adverse tax or regulatory issues.

The final element is to provide the international context and while it is beyond the scope of this manual to cover the entire world, this unit focuses on areas that are of primary importance to the majority of companies. By illustrating how cash is managed in these local environments, the treasurer gains insights into appropriate structures when dealing with those regions. The US and SEPA have been highlighted, being two of the major trading partners for the rest of the world. They are also important to cover due to the unique characteristics of the specialised cash management vehicles in these areas.

Lastly, this unit also provides a series of case studies providing insights into how companies manage their cash and liquidity in different parts of the world and with a specific focus that is appropriate to companies in that region.

The case studies cover the following areas:

  • Dubai and the Middle East
  • Hong Kong and China
  • SEPA region
  • Singapore and regional treasuries in Asia
  • South Africa and Africa
  • United Kingdom and global companies

On completing unit seven you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate how factors such as treasury organisation, legal structure and regulatory constraints influence account structures.
  2. Assess how in–country footprint impacts cash and liquidity management options.
  3. Recommend a banking structure that will support the treasury objectives.
  4. Construct an account structure that is appropriate for different regions of the world.
  5. Design an optimal account structure that allows for efficient, cost effective cross–border cash and liquidity management, showing your justifications and taking into consideration many variables such as:
  • Treasury organisation
  • Legal and regulatory constraints
  • Treasury objectives
  • Corporate culture.


The Certificate in International Cash Management is delivered as a blend of online, through the ACT Learning Academy learning management system, and five face-to-face tuition and revision learning workshops. Study guides take you through the learning step by step. You will have access to your online content for 18 months upon booking, giving you plenty of time to choose when you want to sit your assessment.

Your study materials include:

  • Study guides provide focused syllabus coverage through readings and practical examples, with learning outcomes signposted throughout. You can download a pdf copy of the study guide and eReader friendly versions from the course page of the ACT Learning Academy study site. Quizzes within each unit help you assess your progress and prepare you for tuition and revision learning workshops.
  • Revision tools, which include past exam papers and their solutions as well as examiner guidance notes help you focus on problem areas and learn how to avoid common mistakes and weaknesses.
  • Study techniques and exam strategies material written by ACT examiners help coach you for success.
  • A discussion forum that gives you access to tutors online, peers and the programme team, allowing for discussion and collaboration to you connected and motivated while you study.
  • Tuition and revision notes are also provided at the learning workshops

You will need to attend a compulsory five days of revision and tuition learning workshops in order to proceed to the exam. The learning workshops are scheduled throughout the study period at venues in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and although they do not count towards your assessments, they are a vital part of your exam preparation. Widely seen as the highlight of the programme, they provide an opportunity to build your professional network, share your experiences with the tutors and fellow students, and includes a mock exam component to help you with exam performance. 

Learning workshops provide you with the opportunity to get a good understanding of what you need to do to succeed in your assessment, share your experiences within a supportive classroom environment and build long-lasting and valuable professional relationships with other attendees. Our CertICM tutors are leading international cash management professionals, and will guide you through the study materials and bring the topics to live by using case studies drawn from the region and by offering their own insights and tips. 


 Learning workshops

  Content and unit coverage

  Dates and location


 Making and receiving international payments & foreign currency accounts (covering topics from Units 3 & 7)

  6 January 2018


 Cash forecasting & managing the treasury function    (Units 4 & 5)

  27 January 2018


 Multilateral netting and calculation & cash pooling    (Unit 6)

  17 February 2018
  4  Risk and foreign exchange & efficient account structures (Unit 6)   10 March 2018
  5  Calculations and mock exam (Units 4 & 7)    31 March 2018

For more information and details of how to book, please contact Alan Stevens at Alan.Stevens@vector-consultants.com

Online course fee £2,105 I AED 9,999

Buy qualification


When booking onto the Certificate in International Cash Management you will become a student member of the ACT for up to 12 months. Your membership fee is £151 I AED 712.

This gives you access to lots of great things: 

  • subscription to The Treasurer magazine
  • careers resources
  • events, regional groups and webinars
  • policy and technical updates
  • mentoring service

Remember to take advantage of these benefits - they are an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and network. When you have successfully completed the certificate, you will be eligible to become an Affiliate Member and use the designatory letters CertICM. These are the internationally recognised letters that go after your name that recruiters and employers look out for, because they show you are a very credible candidate. You can find out more about and buy your ACT membership here


The assessment for Units 3 – 7 may feature questions containing content from units 1 and 2 as well as the content from units 3 - 7 and is assessed via 3-hour online assessment featuring a mixture of short answer and essay style questions.  You will be expected to evaluate realistic situations, explain and discuss issues, and apply or suggest practical and relevant solutions and recommendations. You will be expected to display a wide appreciation of the international cash management environment.

Exam dates 

There are three remaining assessment windows for AwardCMF in 2017:

  Assessment Window 2018

  CertICM (Units 3 - 7)

  First Window

  April 2018

  Second Window

  October 2018

Book your assessment

Assessments can be booked at any time through the ACT. 

Go look at how and when you can take your assessment here. You can book straight away or wait until nearer the closing date.

Assessment fee: £175 | AED 845

Buy assessment


Programme timetable if you are booking in December 2017 and taking your assessment in April 2018



  7 December 2018 

 Booking deadline 

  18 December 2018

Start of course. You will be given access to the  Learning Academy study site. You will then have access to this site for a period of 18 months from the point of booking.

  Throughout 5-month study period

Self-study via online course

   Tuition and Revision Learning Workshops

Workshop 1: 6 January 2018
Making and receiving international payments & foreign currency accounts 
Workshop 2: 27 January 2018
Cash forecasting & Managing the treasury function 
Workshop 3: 17 February 2018
Multilateral netting and calculation & Cash pooling 
Workshop 4: 10 March
Risk and foreign exchange & Efficient account structures 
Workshop 5: 31 March 2018
Calculations and mock exam 

  Assessments 2018

  April (exact date TBC)

CertICM assessment window –  choose to sit your online assessment at a pre-arranged time on one of these days

Further assessments are also available if prefer a later date or need to re-sit. 


Photo - ACT trainer: Anthony BirtsChris van Dijl, MA, CTP CertICM

Chris has over 17 years of experience in corporate treasury management, holding key positions in The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States and the U.A.E. He started his career as a treasury analyst at Baan Company in the Netherlands and progressed to global cash manager at Rohm and Haas Company in Philadelphia (USA). Before relocating to Dubai, he held the position of Head of Cash Management at Petro-Canada, London. He is the former Group Treasurer of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group and Al Tayer Group, both located in Dubai.

Recent achievements include the establishment of an award-winning new group treasury function at the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, including the creation of an In-House Bank, Payment Factory, centralisation of Trade Finance activities and the implementation of a Treasury Management System, SunGard Quantum. The In-House Bank is the first In-House Bank for a Family Conglomerate in the GCC. The Treasury Team at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group won the prestigious "Small/Medium Treasury Team of the Year" Award at the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) Middle East Treasury Awards.

Chris is a regular speaker at corporate treasury conferences and spoke at the EuroFinance Regional Treasury Conferences in both Dubai and Singapore.

Recent publications include articles in The Middle East Treasurer magazine and HSBC’s Middle East & North Africa Treasury Handbook 2014/2015.

Chris is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and holds the Certificate in International Cash Management (CertICM). He furthermore holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Economics from the International School of Economics Rotterdam in The Netherlands and a Master’s degree in International Business & Management from the University of Westminster Business School in London, United Kingdom. He speaks Dutch, English, Spanish, German, and French.

The CertICM is widely recognised as the benchmark qualification for international cash management. Following several recommendations, I was keen to gain the qualification to validate and, ultimately, improve my knowledge of this broad and complicated business. Through an improved understanding of the corporate environment and the challenges faced with international cash management, I am now able to apply my knowledge in a more focused and confident manner in discussions with clients. I would recommend it to anyone who currently works in or has an interest in international cash management. The decision to take the CertICM has been one of the best of my career to date.
Edward Hebblethwaite, Vice President, International Cash Management Corporate and Institutional Banking, BNP Paribas