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Apply for Pathways to Membership

If you meet our application criteria, you can apply for ICAEW membership via Pathways to Membership. Download the Pathways to Membership application pack and send the form, required paperwork and fee to us with your Examination of Experience before the submission deadline date. Please make sure your application arrives by the required deadline. Any late applications will be rejected. The Pathways to Membership scheme closes to all permanently on 11 December 2015 at 5pm.

Pathways to Membership application pack

If you meet the full application criteria and wish to apply for Pathways, please register your interest and download the application pack.

Register and download form

Examination of Experience

The Examination of Experience is a series of questions that are equivalent in standard to the ACA Case Study. The Examination of Experience asks you to review your own work experience and demonstrate your professional competence, skills and expertise.

Complete the Examination of Experience and send this along with your completed application form, required paperwork and fee (as stated on the application pack) for review at the next available marking panel.

Final submission date      

  • 11 December 2015 - before 5pm (UK time)
Pathways to Membership closes permanently to all on 11 December 2015 at 5pm.

There are several steps you need to complete for the Examination of Experience.

Step 1: Register your interest in Pathways to Membership

Only candidates who fully meet the full applicant criteria and sponsor criteria should register their interest. If you do not meet these criteria, you are not eligible to apply. Once you have registered your interest as an eligible candidate you will have access to a wide range of free support to help you succeed in your application.

This includes:

  • Application pack and guidance notes
  • Sample scripts
  • Hints and tips from examiners
  • A free workshop and/or free webinar.

    We advise all applicants to make full use of these free resources as they are designed to help you understand what is required of you and what the examiners will be looking for in your application. As an example, individuals who attend a Pathways workshop tend to do better at their application.

Step 2: Download the application pack

Your application pack will contain several items:

  • The application pack
  • The template you will need to follow to complete the Examination of Experience
  • The requirements of your sponsor and the sponsor application form
  • Application fees.

There is also important information on the audit qualification and applying for a practising certificate (if required).

Please note: You are allowed a maximum of four attempts at the Examination of Experience.

Step 3: Attend a workshop or listen to the webinar

We run regular workshops for applicants. These workshops last for about two hours. They are free and will help you understand how to approach the Examination of Experience and what the examiners will look for in your answers. Applicants who attend workshops tend to be more successful in their application.

If you cannot attend a workshop, you can download our free webinar recording (you can access the webinar recording from the 'Register your interest' page. This will provide you with the same guidance and information that is available at workshops.

Step 4: Submit your completed application

You will need to submit a fully completed application form and Examination of Experience and submit the appropriate fees. Please see your application pack for details of where to send your completed information and fees.

You must ensure that ICAEW receives your completed application by the submission deadline date (see below) as we are not able to accept late applications.

You are allowed a maximum of four attempts at the Examination of Experience.

The final submission dates is: 

  • 11 December 2015 (5pm UK time)

The Pathways to Membership scheme closes to all on 11 December 2015 at 5:01pm (UK time). Any late entries – even if still in transit by courier or postal system – will not be processed. Email applications are not accepted. All applications must be in hard copy and must arrive before the specified deadline date and time.

Pathways closes permanently to all immediately after this date. It will not exist as a route to ICAEW membership after this date.

If you have any queries before you submit your application, you can contact us on:

T: +44 (0)1908 248 250
E: pathways@icaew.com

Step 5: What happens next?

Once you have submitted your completed application and appropriate fees, your Examination of Experience will be verified to ensure it is complete, you and your sponsor have met all of the criteria and you have included the correct fees. Applications that satisfy all of these criteria will be assessed and marked by professional examiners. Any application that does not meet the full application criteria will be rejected and will not be submitted for assessment or marking.

Once applications have been marked, we will then send a letter to each applicant to advise you if your application has been successful.

You can find exam results release dates in the prices and dates section of the website.

If you have been successful

We will send you a letter of congratulations and confirm your result. This letter will also give you a date on which you will be officially admitted into ICAEW membership. It is from that date that you are then entitled to use the ACA designation after your name and can access the full range of ICAEW member benefits. Please note you are not entitled to use the ACA designation or refer to yourself as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant until the date of your admission into membership. Any misuse of these terms before this date is treated very seriously.

We will also publish an online Pathways to Membership online pass list. Your name will appear on this list (unless you opted out of this at the time of application).

An ICAEW membership certificate will automatically be issued to you six-eight weeks after your ICAEW admission.

If you have been unsuccessful

We will send you a letter to advise you of your result. You will also receive detailed feedback from the examiners as to which questions at the Examination of Experience you have failed and why your application has been unsuccessful.

This feedback is designed specifically to help you with a re-submission (you are allowed a maximum of four attempts at the Examination of Experience) and will highlight the reasons you have been unsuccessful, which can range from failure to address the requirements of the question to insufficient evidence, or the use of poor examples.

As the Examination of Experience is comparable to the ACA Case Study, the marking process has been designed for rigour. This means that your submission will have been marked at least twice, and then checked by a Senior Assessor in a final moderation process.

Your assessment fee will be refunded (minus an administration and assessment cost of £275.00 including local taxes). The refund process takes from 15 -35 working days and all refunds are issued in the same manner in which the original payment was made.

You are allowed up to four attempts at the Examination of Experience. Please refer to the application form for details of what your resubmission needs to look like. We advise all applicants to make full use of the free resources (pre-recorded webinar, examiner guidance and sample scripts) as they are designed to help you with your application. Access these from the register your interest screen using your login ID.