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Getting started

This section contains information on the various study options, finding a tuition provider, how to buy your learning materials and how to apply for exam credit / exemptions.

Study options

Each of the six ICAEW CFAB modules is examined by a computer-based assessment exam. You can sit these exams in any order and at any time in the year at an approved exam centre. There are exam centres in many countries around the world.

There are lots of study options to choose from to suit your learning style and existing commitments. You can choose the same study option for all of your modules or you can opt for different study methods on a module-by-module basis.

Classroom tuition

Face-to-face learning with experienced tutors allows you to ask questions and network with your fellow students. There are a number of approved tuition providers for you to choose from and learning materials are normally included in your course fee if you opt for classroom tuition.

Online learning

If you are unable to attend classes, then online learning could be ideal for you. Online learning will usually involve a mix of tutor sessions and self-study support. Tutor sessions could be delivered in a number of ways including recorded or live online tutorials. Search for tuition providers who provide this option.

Self-study

This involves you studying for ICAEW CFAB on your own without any tuition. So you could study from the comfort of your living room, kitchen table or when you’re on the train. You will need to purchase the ICAEW CFAB official learning materials directly from our distributors Gillards.

The learning materials are updated every year, so make sure you buy the correct edition. If you intend to sit any exams in 2017, you must use the 2017 edition of the learning materials. For any exams you intend to sit in 2018, you must use the 2018 editions. Do not use old editions.

Blended learning

You can also choose different study options on a module-by-module basis, depending on the level of support you / your employer feels you need. This is known as blended learning. As an example, you could take two modules through online learning, three through classroom tuition and one through self-study.  

Cost of studying
Registration fee  £165 (+ VAT) – one off fee 
Computer-based exams
£70 per attempt
Learning materials
£30 per subject + post/packing

Tuition
Costs may vary by location, study option chosen and by tuition provider
ICAEW CFAB tuition providers

When choosing an ICAEW CFAB tuition provider, you will need to consider the following:

  • cost of the programme
  • course structure and subject combinations
  • timing of courses in relation to your work and other commitments
  • feedback available during the course
  • additional resources offered such as online learning tools
  • typical class sizes and location of the centre.
Learning materials

The learning materials for the ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) comprise of a study pack for each module. Each study pack contains a study manual and question bank. 

The syllabus is updated each year, so it is essential that you use the correct edition of learning materials for the exams you intend to sit. If you intend to sit an exam at any time in 2017 – you must use the 2017 edition for that module. If you intend to sit an exam in 2017, you must only use the 2017 edition. For this reason, we also recommend that you buy the learning materials one module at a time.

ICAEW cannot be held responsible for any errors you make in the exams based on information you have used from old/previous editions of the ICAEW CFAB learning materials. Therefore, you should always ensure you use the latest edition of the learning materials.

Please check with your employer or tuition provider if you are expected to order your learning materials, or whether they will be ordered for you.

You can order your ICAEW CFAB learning materials from our distributors, Gillards. The learning materials currently cost £30 per module.

A study guide for each module can be downloaded from the study resources area. These guides provide vital guidance which puts the module into context and helps you understand the practical significance of each part of the module. You should read this before you start each module.

If you enrol on a tuition course, learning materials are normally provided for you by the tuition provider and included in your course fee. Please check with your tuition provider.

Errata (errors in learning materials)

Very occasionally, errors are found in the learning materials after the materials have been printed. These errors are known as ‘errata’. For errata information on the ICAEW CFAB learning materials, please see the study resources page for each individual module.

Credit for prior learning (exemptions)

Credit for prior learning (CPL) – also known as exam exemptions – is available to individuals who are studying for, or hold relevant qualifications. This includes a professional accountancy qualification (eg AAT) or a recognised university degree with components in accounting, business or finance.