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CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

Current as of 2/02/16

THE FSA CREDENTIAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3


About SASB. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

About the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential . . . . 3

How to earn the FSA Credential. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

EXAM REGISTRATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Eligibility requirements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Register for the FSA Level I exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Register for the FSA Level II exam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Choosing an exam location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Special accommodations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Language for the exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Rescheduling and refunds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Extenuating circumstances. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

FSA candidate timeframes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

BEFORE AND DURING THE EXAM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


What to expect for the Level I exam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Before starting the exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Exam conduct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

AFTER THE EXAM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11


Results
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Passing the Level I exam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Continuing education and re-testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Renewing FSA benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

How candidates should refer to their FSA status publicly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Failing the Level I exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Appeals requests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Candidates access to exam performance information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

FSA CREDENTIAL UPDATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13


Updating the online directory of candidates credential status . . . . . . . . . . 13

Reviewing and updating the FSA exams and exam-related materials. . . . . . 13

CONTACT INFORMATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Contact information for test centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Contact information about the FSA Credential. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

The Candidate Handbook outlines what candidates need to know to successfully take
the Level I exam, including how to choose an exam location, study tips, exam policies,
and more.

THE FSA CREDENTIAL


About SASB
SASB was created to fill the market need for standardized disclosure of sustainability
information. SASBs mission is to issue sustainability accounting standards that help
publicly listed corporations disclose material information in compliance with SEC
requirements. That mission is accomplished through a rigorous process that includes
evidence-based research and broad, balanced stakeholder participation. SASB is an
independent 501(c)3 nonprofit and an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
accredited standards developer.

About the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential


The FSA Credential assesses professional expertise in the principles and practices of
sustainability accounting. Sustainability accounting is a cross-disciplinary practice of:
(a) identifying industry-specific sustainability factors likely to be material under U.S.
securities laws, (b) integrating the measurement of those factors into financial reporting
processes, (c) reporting standardized data about those factors, and (d) analyzing
sustainability performance to inform internal or external investment decision-making.
By its nature, sustainability accounting involves the work of investment analysts,
sustainability professionals, financial reporting professionals, and lawyers. The Credential
consists of two exams. The first examLevel Ifocuses on essential principles and
emerging practices. The second examLevel IIfocuses on application and analysis.

How to earn the FSA Credential

LEVEL I

Pass the Level I exam

LEVEL II

Pass the Level II exam earn the FSA Credential

Maintain your FSA


Credential benefits with a
simple annual renewal

FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

EXAM REGISTRATION
Eligibility requirements
There are currently no pre-requisites for the FSA Level I exam.
To register for the FSA Level II exam, a candidate must have passed the FSA Level I exam.
To earn the FSA Credential, a candidate must pass both exams within the required
timeframes. See FSA candidate timeframes.

Register for the FSA Level I exam


To begin the registration process, candidates should go to FSA.sasb.org/register. From
there, a candidate will be able to:
Create a test taker account
Select an exam location*
Select a date and time
Pay the registration fee
*See Choosing an exam location below for more information
Once a candidate has successfully registered, he or she will receive access to the Level I
study guide to begin preparing for the exam.
Candidates who need to reset their password can visit this page.
Candidates who encounter difficulties creating a test taker account should email
FSA@sasb.org or call 424-261-9930.

Register for the FSA Level II exam


The FSA Level II exam is currently under development. It is expected to open for
registration in summer 2016.

Choosing an exam location


Two types of locations are available for the Level I exam: a Kryterion Testing Center or an
online proctored location.

FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

Kryterion Testing Center


The Kryterion Testing Network includes more than 350 locations in 50 states in the
United States. Every testing center includes a computer and a proctor. The list of
available testing centers is available here.
Note: the FSA Level I exam is only being offered at Kryterion Testing Centers in the
United States. If a candidate does not live near a testing center, the candidate may take
the exam at an online proctored location.
Online Proctored Location
An online proctored location allows the candidate to choose a disturbance-free area
with a reliable internet connection. The candidate must provide a detached web camera
(only detached web cameras are accepted).
After registering for an online proctored exam, but at least one day before the scheduled
exam date, the candidate must login to their WebassessorTM account to verify their
identify with facial recognition and keystroke analytics. The candidate will also be
required to download the Sentinel testing software, which will be used to conduct the
exam.
Candidates should review the Online Proctoring Tips and How-To Guide that is included
in the exam confirmation email sent immediately after the candidate completes the
purchase. If a candidate needs a copy of the online proctoring guide, s/he can email
SASB at FSA@sasb.org.
Candidates should review the Online Proctoring Tips and How-To Guide that is included
in the exam confirmation email sent immediately after the candidate completes the
purchase. If a candidate needs a copy of the online proctoring guide, s/he can email
SASB at FSA@sasb.org.
The proctor may ask the candidate to move the detached web camera around the
location to ensure it is free of study materials. The proctor will also monitor the
candidate during the exam. If there is cause to believe the candidate is not following
exam policies, the exam will be paused or terminated. Note that mobile computing
devices are not allowed during the exam. Wristwatches are also not allowed to be worn.

Special accommodations
It is the candidates responsibility to request any special testing accommodations prior to
scheduling a test session. Special testing accommodations are made for candidates with
a disability, handicap, or medical condition that would affect their ability to complete

FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

the exam. To request special testing accommodations, a candidate must contact SASB
before scheduling and paying for the exam and at least 30 days before the desired
exam date. Candidates can contact SASB at FSA@sasb.org. Candidates who require a
special accommodation and have not already made arrangements with SASB should
cancel their exam and contact SASB immediately.
Candidates will receive a reasonable and appropriate accommodation, which may
include a reader, a scribe, and/or additional time to complete the exam. Before the
appropriate accommodations can be arranged, candidates should provide medical
documentation when sending a request to FSA@sasb.org.

Language for the exam


The study guide, exam questions, and all other materials are only offered in English.

Rescheduling and refunds


Candidates must reschedule or cancel their exam with more than seventy-two (72)
hours notice by logging in to WebassessorTM. If exam rescheduling is not complete and
confirmed with 72 hours advanced notice, the candidate will face a rescheduling fee.
The FSA team at SASB will not be able to help if an email is sent or a call to reschedule
is made shortly before the rescheduling deadline. If a candidate needs to reschedule
within the 72 hours, the FSA team at SASB can be reached at (424) 261-9930. (Note in
the table below that Online proctored exams need to be rescheduled at least 24 hours
before the scheduled exam time.)
If a candidate is late for a scheduled testing appointment and is not admitted to the
testing center or if a candidate does not show up at all, s/he will be expected to pay the
rescheduling fee to schedule a new date and time.
Associated Timelines and Fees:
On-site proctored exam
Hours before exam

Rescheduling fee

More than 72 hours

$0

72 hours or less

$90*

Online proctored exam


Hours before exam

Rescheduling fee

More than 24 hours

$0

24 hours or less

$90*

*C
 andidates must call SASB at 424-261-9930 to change their exam during this time period before their exam. SASBs
test delivery partner may waive the fee if a candidate experiences extenuating circumstances, as described below.
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FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

Candidates are eligible for refunds within 14 days of their registration date. 14 days is
counted by using the registration date in Kryterion and counting 14 days forward on
the calendar. On the 15th day, a refund can no longer be accommodated. To request a
refund, contact SASB directly at FSA@sasb.org.
Refund Policy:
Days since registration

Eligible refund

0 14 days

Full refund*

15 days or more

Refund unavailable

*Note that if a candidate requests a refund within 14 days of registering but with less
than 72 hours before a scheduled on-site proctored exam or less than 24 hours before a
scheduled online proctored exam, s/he will receive a refund less the $90 rescheduling fee
mentioned above.

Extenuating circumstances
If a candidate experiences extenuating circumstances (medical or otherwise) that prevent
him/her from taking the scheduled exam at the appointed date and time or that prevent
him/her from completing the exam once s/he has already begun, the candidate must
contact SASB directly if s/he would like to reschedule the exam or receive a refund.
Unless SASBs test delivery partner chooses to waive it, there will be a $90 processing
fee. The candidate will be expected to provide documentation of the extenuating
circumstances.
The candidate will not be assessed a rescheduling fee if s/he was prevented from
completing an exam due to a problem at the testing center that similarly affected all test
takers.
If a candidate is forced to leave an examfor whatever reasonafter s/he has
already begun, s/he may have different options available to him/her, depending on the
circumstances:
If the candidate has seen fewer than 10 exam questions and spent less than 30
minutes sitting for the exam (as recorded by the Kryterion system), s/he will be
allowed to take the same exam form
If the candidate has seen more than 10 exam questions or spent more than 30
minutes sitting for the exam (as recorded by the Kryterion system), s/he will take a
different exam form

FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

The following events qualify as extenuating circumstances:


Documented illness, either yourself or immediate family member
Death in the immediate family
Disabling traffic accident
Military service
Last-minute court appearance or jury duty

FSA candidate timeframes


The delay between separate attempts for the same exam
If a candidate has taken an exam (or has seen more than 10 questions or spent more
than 30 minutes on the attempt), s/he must wait 60 days before s/he is eligible to sit for
the exam again.
The delay between passing the Level I exam and passing the Level II exam
Within two years of passing the Level I exam, candidates must pass the Level II exam to
earn the FSA Credential. If a candidate does not pass the Level II exam within two years,
s/he must re-take the Level I exam and then pass the Level II exam.
Access to test registration following payment policy
A candidate must complete an exam within 6 months of registering and paying for the
exam. If the candidate does not complete the exam within 6 months, s/he will be required to re-register for the exam and pay the registration fee.

BEFORE AND DURING THE EXAM


What to expect for the Level I exam
The Level I exam is a two-hour exam consisting of 100 scored multiple choice questions
in addition to several unscored questions. Candidates will not know which questions are
scored and which ones are unscored so it is important that they answer each question to
the best of their ability. It is also important for candidates to manage their time during the
exam. Most test takers complete well before the two-hour limit, but the time limit requires
you to spend only a minute or so on each question.
The Level I exam includes two types of multiple-choice questions: single answer and
multiple answer. For single answer questions, there are at least four answer choices and

FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

only one is the correct answer. For multiple answer questions, there are between four and
six answer choices, and two or more must be selected to answer the question correctly.
If a candidate does not select all correct answers for a multiple-choice multiple answer
question, s/he will not receive any credit. For any question that is left blank (i.e. no answer
choice is selected), that question will be counted as an incorrect answer.

Before starting the exam


Candidates are expected to be ready to take the exam at least 10 minutes before the
scheduled start. This involves accounting for time to find parking and find the office where
the exam will be delivered.
On-site Proctored Exam
Candidates must bring their Test Taker Authorization Code or the proctor will not be
able to load the assessment. Candidates will be required to provide the Exam Proctor
two (2) forms of identification (one must be a photo Government issued ID). Secondary
identification would be a credit card, bank debit card, employee identification card.
NOTE: In the United States a Social Security card is not an acceptable form of identification.
Online Proctored Exam
Candidates who choose to take an online proctored exam are required to provide a quiet
environment, a computer with a reliable internet connection, and a detached web camera.
Candidates should test their Internet connection and detached web camera to ensure they
are all functional and reliable before initiating the exam.
After registering for an online proctored exam, but at least one day before the scheduled
exam date, the candidate must login to their WebassessorTM account to verify their identify
with facial recognition and keystroke analytics. The candidate will also be required to
download the Sentinel testing software, which will be used to conduct the exam.
Candidates should review the Online Proctoring Tips and How-To Guide that is included in
the exam confirmation email sent immediately after the candidate completes the purchase.
If a candidate needs a copy of the online proctoring guide, s/he can email SASB at
FSA@sasb.org.
To initiate the exam, candidates should log into the Test Taker home page using their
WebassessorTM login and password. At their selected test date and time, the candidate will
see a button appear to Launch the exam. The button will not appear before the selected
test date and time and it will remain there for up to 20 minutes to allow some time for
the test taker to get set-up. Clicking on the Launch button to the right of the name of the
exam will begin the exam.

FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

Before a candidate begins an online proctored exam, a proctor will test to make sure
the candidate is visible and that no study materials are present. The proctor will also not
allow any mobile computing devices or watches on or near the test taker. It is possible the
proctor will also ask the candidate to move his or her detached web camera around before
the exam to inspect the testing area to ensure materials related to the exam are not within
sight. During the exam the proctor may ask a question or pause your exam if there is a
reason to believe the candidate may not be following the exam policies.

Exam conduct
All candidates that register for an exam agree to adhere to all of the policies described in
the Candidate Handbook.
Any candidate that engages in misconduct may have their exam session terminated. This
decision is made at the sole discretion of SASBs exam delivery provider.
Misconduct includes:
Failing to follow a proctors instructions
Repeatedly disturbing other candidates
Accessing study materials or other aids (produced by the candidate, SASB, or any
other organization or individual) during the exam
Capturing or copying any part of an exam question, either by writing it down,
taking a photo, taking a screenshot, or by any other methodology
Replicating any part of an exam question, even from memory, after the exam (this
includes instances where the candidate does not distribute the information but
simply keeps it for his or her own use)
Providing or offering to provide any individual with any exam questions or
answers after beginning to take the exam
Impersonating an exam candidate
Failing to adhere to exam policies and other documents the candidate has agreed
to during the registration process
Any other conduct that is a form of cheating or that compromises the privacy or
integrity of the exam, the study guide, and all other exam-related materials that
are the sole property of SASB
In addition to or independent of a terminated exam session, candidates that engage
in misconduct may be subject to other penalties. These penalties may include either a
temporary or permanent ban from registering for and taking an FSA exam or other SASB
exams offered in the future, or voiding the results of any FSA exam, even for exams
where the candidate was not found engaging in misconduct at the time.

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FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

AFTER THE EXAM


Results
Level I exam candidates will receive his or her result immediately after submitting
the exam.

Passing the Level I exam


Candidates who successfully pass the Level I exam will receive exclusive benefits for one
year, including:
Recognition as a successful Level I candidate on the FSA website
FSA-only content, such as readings, to keep candidates updated on related news
and trends
A first look at exam updates and future exam offerings
Candidates who successfully pass the Level I exam also become eligible to take the Level
II exam. Registration will open for the Level II exam starting in the first half of 2016.

Continuing education and re-testing


There are currently no requirements for continuing education or re-testing for the FSA
Credential. Instead, candidates can annually renew their benefits to receive materials that
will help them stay up-to-date on important developments in the subject matter. This is
a great way for candidates to maintain their expertise without additional requirements.

Renewing FSA benefits


After passing the Level I exam, candidates are entitled to exclusive benefits for the first
year. After that time, candidates must renew their credential on an annual basis in order
to continue receiving these benefits and to stay up-to-date on the information they need
to know.
The renewal process is simple and involves a $30 processing fee.

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FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

There will be two renewal deadlinesApril and October. The candidates benefits
renewal month is determined by the month when s/he passed the exam. The candidates
first renewal period begins in the calendar year after passing the exam.

Month of
exam date

Jan

Feb

Month of renewal
deadline (in the
next calendar year)

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

April

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

October

How candidates should refer to their FSA status publicly


If a candidate has registered for the FSA Level I exam, s/he can indicate her/his status
with: FSA Level I candidate
If a candidate has passed the FSA Level I exam, s/he can indicate her/his status with:
FSA Level II candidate
If a candidate has passed the FSA Level II exam, s/he can indicate her/his status with:
FSA Credential holder

Failing the Level I exam


Candidates are entitled to one administration of the Level I exam per registration and
payment. Candidates who fail the exam and would like to attempt to pass the exam in
the future must select a new exam date and pay the registration fee.
A candidate is only allowed to sit for a specific exam three times, meaning s/he can take
the Level I exam a maximum of three times and the Level II exam a maximum of three
times. A candidate will be considered to have taken the exam if s/he meets one of the
following criteria:
S/he submitted her/his exam, even if not every question was answered
S/he spent 30 minutes of the exam administration time, even if not every question
was answered
S/he viewed more than 10 questions on the exam, even if s/he did not answer
every question (as recorded by the Kryterion testing system)
Candidates who believe an error was made in grading their exam may request an appeal.

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FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

Appeals requests
If a candidate thinks there may be an error with her/his exam results and/or an error
with a penalty for misconduct, s/he may contact SASB to request a review. To request
a review, s/he must send an email to FSA@sasb.org with the Subject: Exam appeal
request. In the email, s/he must include the following information:
Exam name (e.g. FSA Level I exam, FSA Level II exam, etc.)
Exam date and time
Exam location (address of the on-site proctored exam
or online proctored location)
Exam result
An explanation of why a review is justified
SASB will review exam appeal requests on a case-by-case basis. Candidates can expect
to receive an initial response within three business days.

Candidates access to exam performance information


Candidates are entitled to a record of their pass/fail result from each exam
administration. Additional details about their exam performance are part of exam
records that are owned by SASB. This information is not the candidates property and
will not be provided to the candidate.

FSA CREDENTIAL UPDATES


Updating the online directory of candidates credential status
SASB will update the list of FSA Level II candidates and FSA Credential holders every
work day. SASB reserves the right to change the frequency or day of the update.

Reviewing and updating the FSA exams and exam-related materials


SASB will continuously review the Learning Objectives, the content of the study guide,
and the exam items in accordance with best practices. When necessary, SASB will make
updates to keep the materials current.
If SASB determines that it must make a significant update to the Learning Objectives,
the content of the study guide, and/or the exam items, it will notify all existing
credential holders and those who have taken the exam but did not pass. It will explain
what changes will take place and why. SASB will also publicize this to the public and
prospective exam candidates by explaining the changes on the website and what the
changes mean for future candidates, current credential holders, and employers.

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FSA CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

CONTACT INFORMATION
Contact information for test centers
Candidates who are having difficulties finding a Kryterion Testing Network (KTN) exam
center within a 100-mile radius, and/or a KTN center with available dates and times,
should contact the KTN Support Team at 800-403-6199 (US and Canada) or +1 602281-3591 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Time) or send an
email to ktnsupport@kryteriononline.com.
If a candidate feels s/he was not proctored properly, or if s/he observes any inappropriate
behavior from the KTN center staff, s/he should call or email the KTN Support Team
using the above contact information. This helps protect the integrity of the testing
experience.
If a candidate is using the KRYTERION Online Proctored (OLP) Services and is having
trouble with the installation of KRYTERION required software, biometric enrollment, and/
or the test launch process including biometric authentication and camera placement,
s/he should contact KRYTERION OLP Support at 877-313-2008 or 602-659-4679 or send
an email to olpsupport@kryteriononline.com Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to
midnight (U.S. Arizona Time) and during all regularly scheduled Online Proctored testing
sessions. The KRYTERION OLP Support phone line tends to be very responsive, with little
to no wait times.

Contact information about the FSA Credential


Please contact the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting team at FSA@sasb.org or
424-261-9930 for all questions related to:
Test taker account creation
Exam registration and scheduling
Purchase confirmation
Re-scheduling a test session
Canceling a test session
Test result questions
Payment/invoice questions

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Sustainability Accounting Standards Board


1045 Sansome Street, Suite 450
San Francisco, CA 94111
415 830-9220
sasb.org