This section will explore what is expected from students when answering exam questions related to ethics. You are advised to view scenarios using an “ethical lens”, being aware of any potential threats or “red flags” to the longer term success of the business, and to apply the Code and consider ethical conflict resolution. In the end of this part there is a selection of questions and scenarios based on past exams and practice tests, together with links to further resources.

Evidencing an understanding of Ethics

Throughout the exams in the syllabus your application of the CIMA Code of Ethics and your consideration of ethical conflict will be tested. Examiners have noted that there are times when students:

  • struggled with applying analysis to the ethical aspects in the exams
  • gave too generic and speculative answers
  • failed to distinguish between business and ethical considerations 

Ensure that you are prepared for the ethical dimension of exams to avoid mistakes and missing out on marks. 

The examiners recommend that you evidence:
  • What the ethical issue is
  • Why you consider it to have an ethical dimension
  • Detailed and justified advice on what actions could be taken to address the ethical issue in the short-term and longer-term together with your justification for the advice.


This not only shows how you have developed an ethical understanding, but will also help you achieve higher marks.

The syllabus includes a wide range of topic areas, including for example ethics in relation to tax, corporate responsibility, organisational culture and the impact of globalisation. It also includes ethical conflict resolution.