Which is better - FRM or PRM

FRM or PRM: Which course is better?
This is a question asked by many who aspire to be Risk Professionals.
General Comments
  • It doesn't matter too much which one you take because any of these gives you just basic knowledge. "Real world problems" are far-far away from the requirements of any designation
  • FRM is a much older and established exam compared to PRM. While both are good, there are a few points to consider.
  • Both are equivalent. Quantitative Finance (Mathematics) part of PRM is broader than FRM. Both have international recognition equally well. The main difference is in exam pattern. So, just compare the Course of Study and select one which you like most or which you feel easy to crack.
  • Practical exposure and experience in the Risk Management field will give be better understanding of the coverage of both exams.
  • FRM is considered to be more prestigious compared to PRM. This stems from the fact that FRM tests deep knowledge, while PRM tests foundation knowledge. Usually, FRM is more like an accreditation to your profession and not to switch your job into risk management. So, you would want to do FRM to extend your deep knowledge in financial risk management.
  • PRM exam can be taken from anywhere in the world and is an online exam. For FRM you have to go to a test location
  • If you are starting out go for the PRM, but if you already have good knowledge then FRM is worth the effort
  • Some people who have gone through both exams or have seen the syllabus suggest that FRM is a much tougher exam to crack for sure. Toughness here is the extent to which the exam tests the practical exposure or the application one has learnt over the years.
  • PRM eligibility is very relaxed compare to GARP.
  • FRM programme is excellent from both angel it's recognition (industry demand) as well as knowledge wise.FRM programme is awesome.
  • Biggest advantage of PRM and that is why I personally opted for it is that you can write it any time of the year, it is Prometric based whereas FRM is available 2 times a year.
  • Those with a quantitative background have better chance in PRM than FRM
  • It makes sense if one considers own background and flexibility at work. FRM tends to suit those who are more qualitative while PRM is more quantitative.
  • PRM is more well-rounded and actually it is better if you want to read the quantitative risk literature and understand it well or talk quant modeling issues (though you would still need to enhance your knowledge by further reading of the statistics and risk literature)
  • PRM is for people that want to perhaps focus quantitative skills on modeling and want a basic background for work as a quant analyst of some sort--predictive analytics, scoring, opVaR modeling, etc
  • FRM is for people that are not necessarily going to develop or test these models but are going to apply them or their results in risk management or risk audit--needing to know how the instruments work, the essential ideas about certain quantitative issues, etc
Cracking the exams
  • Cracking FRM needs determination n passion and having experience in the same field counts a lot (as someone rightfully mentioned it checks your in-depth knowledge of the subject, as each question is related to more than one concept)
  • Since the pattern of the exam is MCQ based, along with the knowledgeable lot few lucky ones also get the chance to crack it.
  • Many suggest to first have a practical experience of Risk Management domain and then move to take this exam to make the most out of it
Market Acceptability
  • A PRM or FRM qualification is likely to get you a shot at a first interview if you don't have any/much risk background. It shows some commitment to/interest in risk.
  • PRM (unfortunately) trails behind FRM in recognition as many feel that in the job market, FRM gets better acceptance
  • FRM widely recognized by people in the risk management business such as the banking industry and covers broader risk management topics including market risk, credit risk, operation risk, and investment/hedging risks. The syllabus is a complete review of current risk management issues and practices
  • FRM has global recognition--Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia. PRM is more recognized in Europe (where it is well regarded).
Work experience
  • After completion of graduation you can write the exam, but to write FRM with your name, you need to get the permission from GARP and that permission you will get when you will give the proof of minimum two years of professional work experience in Risk Management. You will get 5 years of time to submit your two years work experience in Risk Management. If you will not able to submit your work experience certificate within 5 years then you have to write the FRM Exam again and again same procedure will follow, if by that time GARP will not make any changes in its FRM designation policy.
  • PRMIA will allow you after validating your active participation in PRMIA conferences, discussions and other Risk Management related activities. You also need to present papers and give presentations on hot topics of Risk Management, you can publish your thesis in well renowned Risk Journals, but that thesis or research should be of international standards and of your own
Other factors
  • The GARP has so many affiliations that there are some other designations you can obtain either automatically or with little effort, just by having the FRM
  • If your free times at work are more erratic you better try PRM otherwise u may lose your money (in case of FRM) which is timed / written only twice a year.
  • PRM is more skewed towards UK regulations whereas FRM towards US regulations

What Next

  • If you are looking for FRM/PRM classes, support group, FRM/PRM study material etc, please contact us at frm@riskpro.in 
  • If you live in a City that does not have local FRM/PRM study classes, you can take our online FRM / PRM coaching modules that can be done from your home. This is a great way to prepare for the exams


Manoj Jain

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