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ACA rules and regulations FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the ACA rules and regulations.

What are the rules and regulations that apply to ACA students and ACA exams?
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You can find all the regulations that relate to the ACA students and the ACA qualification at icaew.com/regulations.

What are the minimum entry requirements for the ACA qualification?
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This can depend on which country you study in as some countries have specific local requirements. Your employer may also choose to set their own entry requirements. Advice can be found at:

Is there a time limit on studying for the ACA qualification?
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The maximum period of time a student may enter into a training agreement is five years, unless the student is training under a strategic degree or other programme offered in partnership with an ICAEW Partner in Learning. However, there is no time limit on completing your exams. You may continue to sit ACA exams until you reach the maximum attempt limits which is four for each Professional Stage knowledge and application module and unlimited for Advanced Stage modules.

Can I study for the ACA with any organisation?
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Yes, as long as they are an ICAEW authorised training employer (ATE). There are over 2,850 organisations around the world that are authorised to train ACA students including large and small accountancy practices, businesses and commerce as well as public sector organisations. If they are not yet authorised, they can apply to become an ATE as long as they meet our training standards. It is a free and straightforward process to become an ATE.

How many attempts am I allowed at the exams?
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For all questions/answers relating to exams, see exams FAQs.

What exam credits/exemptions can I claim?
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Our term for exemptions is credit for prior learning (CPL). Depending on your previous academic and/or professional qualifications, you may be eligible to claim credit on some of the Professional Stage exams. You can check your credit eligibility at our online CPL directory.

For all questions/answers relating to credits and credit availability, see credit for prior learning FAQs.

I am a graduate wanting to claim exemptions but my qualification is not listed on your CPL directory. How do I know what exemptions I can claim?
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For all questions/answers relating to credits and credit availability, see credit for prior learning FAQs.

What identification do I need to take with me to the exams?
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For all questions/answers relating to exams, see exams FAQs.

What happens if I change my employer during my ACA training agreement?
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For all questions/answers relating to training agreements, see ACA training agreements FAQs.

What are the regulations and requirements regarding the Audit Qualification (AQ)?
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Please see Audit Qualification section.