The overall aim of the Institute’s Associate examinations is to provide Associates with the professional knowledge, skills and understanding required to undertake, after sufficient experience, a position as a BD specialist in any sphere.

The Objectives of the Examinations

The examinations will be set to test the ability of candidates to:

  • Recall facts, terms and definitions;
  • Demonstrate understanding of the syllabus content and concepts;
  • Apply the principles learnt to solve problems;
  • Analyse facts and use them to make generalizations, predictions and recommendations;
  • Draw conclusions from information provided;
  • Communicate effectively in writing.

The Form of the Examinations

Each Subject syllabus will be examined by a three hour paper. The syllabuses are arranged broadly in increasing order of difficulty and the later Subjects will be fully dependent upon a working knowledge of the earlier Subjects. Candidates are therefore strongly recommended to attempt the Subjects in alphabetical order. It is suggested that at the first sitting the Student should undertake one or two Subjects and at later sittings no more than two or three Subjects.


Foundation 1

  • Fundamentals of Business Development
  • Business Strategy
  • Information Systems & Database Administration
  • Research & Statistical Methods
  • Financial Management
  • Product Development

Foundation 2

  • Organizational Development
  • Negotiation Practices
  • Applied Management Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Selling & Sales Management
  • Innovation Management


  • Business Communication
  • Feasibility Analysis and Business Planning
  • Customer-Centricity
  • International Business Management
  • Risk Management
  • Intellectual Capital Management

Professional 1

  • Business Modeling
  • Business Presentation Methodology
  • e-Business
  • Leadership & Team Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Business Analysis and Reporting

Professional 2

  • Competitive Strategies
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Business Development Practice
  • Global Trends in Business Development
  • Managing Business Growth


Entry for the examinations is separate and distinct from registration as a Student or enrolment for a tuition course. Examinations for all Subjects will be offered in May and in November.

Examination Entry Forms
The examination entry form is changed each session so you must ensure that your examination entry is made on the correct examination entry form. The forms will be sent to all registered Students. You are advised to complete the examination entry form and return it to the Institute together with the appropriate fee by return of post (unless the entry is dependent on results still to be issued). The last date for receipt of examination entries for the May examinations is March and for the November examinations is September

Under no circumstances can entries be accepted after this date.

All examination entry forms will be acknowledged. Students are advised to check their acknowledgements carefully.

Examination Permits
An admission permit and instructions to candidates are sent two weeks before the examinations take place.

Examination Centres
There are three examination centres across the Country. A full list is included with the examination entry forms. If by any occasion examination centre is oversubscribed and in such cases it is necessary to restrict admission to these centres. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Candidates may give a second choice examination centre when completing the entry form.

Publication of Results
Results are dispatched to candidates as soon as they are available which should be mid August for the May examinations and late January for the November examinations. The Institute reserves the right to publish examination results whether successes or failures. The Institute will not communicate results to a candidate’s employer. Results will not be issued to any candidate who fails to pay his/her annual subscription.


Once you have registered as a Student of the Institute you will need to decide on the way in which you are going to study for the examinations. The following paragraphs give details of the aids to study and the forms of study support available to you. You are advised to begin studying in September of the year preceding the examinations. The purchase of tuition material does NOT constitute an examination entry.

Tuition Manuals
The Institute publishes a tuition manual for each examination Subject. The manual is produced in loose-leaf format for ease of up-dating which takes place each season. An order form is sent automatically to registered Students.

Distance learning
The Institute offers distance learning in the form of correspondence courses for the examinations. The correspondence course for May begins in October, for those Students who have already registered and paid the subscription for the following year, and finishes in April. The correspondence course for the November examinations begins in June and ends in October. The correspondence course comprises a tuition manual, test booklet and tutorial facilities with feedback from a tutor. It is not possible to purchase the correspondence course without the tuition manual. In order to gain maximum benefit from the correspondence course a planned method of study should be followed with completed tests being submitted regularly.

Further details of the operation of the correspondence course are given in the notes which accompany it.

Mock examinations

Students who have previously undertaken a correspondence course but failed the examination may buy the mock examination. Further details are given in the Institute’s Newsletter at the appropriate times.

Revision Courses
The Institute holds revision courses at designated centres immediately before the May and November examinations. The courses consist generally of half day sessions, each session being devoted to one examination Subject. Full details of the courses and application forms to be obtained from the Institute

Other Sources of Help
Once you have decided on the form of study that you are to use you should also remember that other help is available to you:

It is surprising how often colleagues are able to assist when you are having difficulty understanding a particular section in the syllabus. Do not forget to make use of their expertise.

The Institute’s Newsletter
The newsletter contains Institute news, examination and study information, general BD’s related information and appointments advertising. This publication is sent to Members on a monthly basis. You should read it to ensure that you are aware of current developments.

 Reduced Rate Publications
All Students are encouraged to read as widely as possible in order to improve their knowledge of current BD’s issues. Special reduced rates are available for Students for The Financial Times, IBD Business Review Journal.

Conferences and Seminars
The Institute holds Workshops and Conference at which topical subjects are spoken on and discussed. Students may attend the events at a reduced fee. Details of Conferences and Seminars are sent to all Members in the newsletter and can be found on the Institute’s website.

Board of Examiners’ Report/Past Examination Papers
These can be a valuable aid to revision. They can be downloaded from the website.