EXIN BCS Foundation Certificate in Commercial Awareness

For any change - major or minor, contextual and specific Commercial and Organizational Knowledge is required for effective business analysis work.

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This certificate is concerned with the commercial and organisational knowledge required for business analysis work. The syllabus is structured around the two key areas of Business Finance and Organisational Behaviour, and uses definitions, techniques and principles from the books specified in the recommended reading list.


Holders of the BCS BSD Certificate in Commercial Awareness should be able to:

* Understand three techniques used to evaluate a financial case.
* Understand costing and pricing.
* Understand cash flow forecasting and budgeting.
* Describe the contents of financial accounting documents.
* Interpret financial accounts.
* Explain specified business performance ratios.
* Define the elements and usage of Porter’s Five Forces Framework and Value Chain.
* Define the elements and usage of the Boston Consulting Group’s matrix.
* Define the performance measures and usage of the Balanced Business Scorecard.
* Define the elements of specified cultural analysis approaches.
* Explain the different management structures and their characteristics.
* Define the different architectures that may be adopted by organisations.

Target group

Anyone who wants to understand of the structure, operation and behavior of organizations. It’s particularly relevant to those in a business change role such as business analysts, program or project managers, solution architects and service managers.


This Foundation in Commercial Awareness certificate can be studied alongside other BA Foundation certificates, prior to progressing to Practitioner level.

Examination details

  • Examination type: Computer-based or paper-based multiple-choice questions
  • Number of questions: 40
  • Pass mark: 65%
  • Open book/notes: No
  • Electronic equipment/aides permitted: Yes
  • Time allotted for examination: 60 minutes
  • The Rules and Regulations for EXIN’s examinations apply to this exam.

Use of calculators

Simple non-programmable calculators can be used during paper based examinations (to be provided by the candidate). Candidates taking on-line examinations will have access to an on screen calculator. No other calculators or mobile technology will be allowed.


Candidates can study for this certificate in two ways: by attending training courses provided by Accredited Training Organisations or by self-study. An accredited training course will require a minimum of 14 hours. A reading list to support self-study is provided below.

Contact hours

The recommended number of contact hours for this training course is 14. This includes group assignments, exam preparation and short breaks. This number of hours does not include homework, logistics for exam preparation and lunch breaks.

Indicative study effort
14 hours, depending on existing knowledge