ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

ACA student regulations

Authorised Training Principals must meet and comply with certain conditions before and during the training agreement.

Effective from 7 February 2017

Entry requirement

1. To be eligible to enter a training agreement, a candidate shall meet one of the minimum educational standards set out in the ACA entry routes.
2. Exceptionally the Committee may, at its discretion, and where necessary with the approval of the Financial Reporting Council, accept qualifications or a combination of qualifications or experience other than those given in the ACA entry routes as satisfying the requirement for registering their approved training.

Approved training

3. A candidate for admission to membership pursuant to clause 5 of the Supplemental Charter shall complete a period of approved training under a training agreement as follows*:
  • of not less than three years and not more than five years; or
  • of not less than two years and not more than four years if the candidate is a member of an accountancy body which is a member of CCAB, or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, or other body as approved by the Committee.

* The requirements under regulation 3 relate to membership requirements for ICAEW only and do not relate to the requirements for the Audit Qualification. Please see the Audit Qualification regulations for the specific conditions to be met for the award of the Audit Qualification.

4. The period of approved training referred to in regulation 3 may be of more than five years if the student is training under a strategic degree or other appropriate programme offered in partnership with an ICAEW Partner in Learning.
5.

The period of approved training to be completed by the individual candidate shall be determined in accordance with regulation 3 by agreement between the candidate and the Authorised Training Employer or Authorised Training Principal that undertakes to provide or supervise the approved training.

6. The Committee may exercise its discretion:
7. Approved training must be:
  • obtained under the supervision of an Authorised Training Principal; or
  • obtained at an Authorised Training Employer
    and in either case shall:
    • be provided to the standards set out in the Training Standards unless otherwise approved in writing by the Learning and Professional Development department and;
    • comprise of work of an appropriate professional level commensurate with the status of trainee chartered accountant.
8.

Approved training may be undertaken on a part-time basis at the discretion of the Committee and subject to an appropriate extension to the period of approved training and to such adjustment to the period of the provisional member's examination eligibility as the Committee may decide.

9. During approved training a provisional member shall be provided with a period of suitable Practical Work Experience in areas of accountancy, including practical instruction as defined from time to time by the Committee, of not less than:
  • 300 days for a provisional member required to complete less than three years of approved training; or
  • 450 days for a provisional member required to complete three or more years of approved training.
10. To satisfy the requirements of regulation 9 a provisional member shall count such approved training and Practical Work Experience as is provided:
  • by the Authorised Training Employer, provided such experience is on the business of such employer;
  • under the supervision of an Authorised Training Principal 
  • by such other organisation as the Committee in its absolute discretion, shall approve;
  • subject to sub-paragraph (c) of this regulation, secondment to such other organisation as the Qualified Person Responsible for Training or Authorised Training Principal shall approve in accordance with such conditions as the Committee shall from time-to-time decide.
11.

The provisions of regulations 9 and 10 may be waived in such circumstances as the Committee in its absolute discretion considers to be acceptable.

12. The required approved training and Practical Work Experience may be gained on secondment up to a maximum of:
  • 50% within an environment approved by ICAEW to train provisional members.
  • 33% within an environment not approved by ICAEW to train provisional members provided that any work experience gained on secondment is not relied upon in an application for the Audit Qualification.
13. Approved training shall also include, as applicable:
  • any period of study leave;
  • any period of absence for the purpose of sitting an examination prescribed by ICAEW;
  • standard statutory and non-statutory holidays of up to 35 days per annum;
  • absence due to illness not exceeding four consecutive weeks in a year;
  • up to 10 days of 'Keeping in Touch' days during a period of statutory leave, with the consent of the Authorised Training Employer or Authorised Training Principal;
  • any other period of absence not exceeding four consecutive weeks in a year.
14.

Should the minimum period of approved training required under regulation 9 not be attained, the period of approved training shall be correspondingly extended, save that the Committee may, in its absolute discretion, waive this regulation in such circumstances as it considers acceptable.

15.

Provisional members shall complete a programme of Professional Development and the Ethics and Professional Scepticism programme as specified by ICAEW.

16.

Provisional members shall maintain records of approved training including evidence of Practical Work Experience and copies of Professional Development and Ethics and Professional Scepticism records in such form as may be decided from time to time by the Committee.

17.

Members shall keep all records of approved training including evidence of Practical Work Experience and copies of Professional Development and Ethics and Professional Scepticism records for at least three years following admission to membership. These records must be made available to representatives of ICAEW when required within 15 business days of notification or as prescribed by the Committee.

18. Authorised Training Employers and Authorised Training Principals shall ensure that such records are maintained during approved training and made available to representatives of ICAEW when required.
19.

Authorised Training Employers and Authorised Training Principals shall also make available any other such evidence required for the Authorised Training Employer review and Authorised Training Principal review  including time logs and employment contract (where applicable).

20. A provisional member shall not engage in public practice unless the provisional member:
  • is a member of an accountancy body which is a member of the CCAB, or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, or is a member of an approved international accountancy body or the Chartered Institute of Taxation or the Association of Accounting Technicians; and
  • is authorised to engage in public practice by the said accountancy body; and
  • has obtained the consent of the Qualified Person Responsible for Training or and Authorised Training Principal, if applicable.

Student registration

21.

Following the execution of a provisional member's training agreement, the Authorised Training Employer or and Authorised Training Principal shall promptly apply to ICAEW to register such provisional member and shall provide such evidence of the provisional member's educational qualifications and other information as the Committee may require.

22.

Provisional members must declare to ICAEW at registration if they have a criminal conviction, bankruptcy order or IVA, have been disqualified as a company director, have failed to satisfy a judgement debt, hold an adverse finding by any professional body or regulator or have been involved in any other activity that brings into question their fitness and propriety.

23.

Independent students shall similarly apply to ICAEW to be registered and shall in addition pay annually such fees (if any) as the Committee may from time-to-time prescribe and shall provide such evidence of the educational qualifications and other information as the Committee may require.

24. The Committee may, in its absolute discretion, refuse to register or to re-register any person as a provisional member or as an independent student.
25. The registration of a provisional member shall be withdrawn, or shall be deemed to have been withdrawn:

and the provisional member shall thereafter cease to be a provisional member as defined in these regulations.

Credit for prior work experience

26. A provisional member may be awarded Credit for Prior Work Experience for relevant practical experience undertaken prior to the date that he or she becomes eligible to register their approved training provided:
27. The Credit for Prior Work Experience approved by the Committee must:
28. The Committee in exceptional circumstances may, in its absolute discretion, vary or waive the requirements in regulations 26 and 27.

Credit for prior learning

29. The Committee shall at its discretion and in response to an acceptable application award credits to provisional members and other individuals for modules within the Certificate Level and Professional Level of the ACA. Such credits shall normally be obtained through one or other or a combination of:
  • an ICAEW accredited learning programme provided by tutors, Authorised Training Employers or other suppliers;
  • prior academic or vocational study as the Committee may approve;
  • membership of an approved accountancy body.
30. Applications for Credit for Prior Learning shall:
  • be made in the format prescribed by the Committee;
  • be awarded in accordance with regulation 29;
  • be accompanied by such fee(s) as determined by the Committee.
  • not be allowed if the applicant has previously failed the module where Credit for Prior Learning is sought unless the applicant is eligible for credit of that module from an additional qualification they have gained since failing the module in question.
31. A provisional member will cease to be eligible to obtain Credit for Prior Learning at the point at which they cease to be eligible to sit ICAEW examinations, as defined under regulation 35.
32. Credit for Prior Learning will normally only be awarded within five years of the award of the academic or professional qualification against which credit is sought.
33. The Committee may vary or waive the requirements prescribed under regulation 32 where the qualification cited as the basis for credit is membership of the Association of Accounting Technicians or membership of a professional body that is a full member of the International Federation of Accountants with a CPD policy that is compliant with its International Education Standard 7.
34.

With the exception of reciprocal membership applicants, students may not be awarded Credit for Prior Learning for more than the 12 modules that comprise the Certificate Level and the Professional Level.

Professional assessment

Details are found in ACA assessment regulations.

35. To be eligible to sit ICAEW examinations a candidate must have satisfied:
36. To be eligible to apply to sit the aptitude test referred to in regulation 52(a), a candidate must:
  • be:
    • a member of an accountancy body approved by the Council pursuant to clause 12(a) of the Supplemental Charter; or
    • authorised as an accountant by an appropriate authority pursuant to clause 12(a) of the Supplemental Charter; or
    • an auditor or accountant to whom the European Union's Directive 2005/36/EC or Directive 2006/43/EC applies pursuant to clause 12(b) of the Supplemental Charter; and
  • declare if they have a criminal conviction, bankruptcy order or IVA, have been disqualified as a company director, failed to satisfy a judgement debt, hold an adverse finding by any professional body or regulator or have been involved in any other activity that brings into question their fitness and propriety; and
  • satisfy such other requirements, as the Committee shall from time to time prescribe.
37. The Committee may in exceptional circumstances vary or waive the requirements prescribed under regulation 36.
38. The Committee may reject a candidate's application to sit an examination or test, or may refuse the candidate's admission to an examination centre as the result of:
  • the candidate's ineligibility for such examination or test, including ineligibility by reason of an order by the Disciplinary Committee under Disciplinary Bye-laws 22.7 (b)(c)(d) or (e); or
  • the Committee upholding, after investigation, a complaint of the candidate's misconduct or involvement in an irregularity at a previous examination or test; or
  • any other circumstances which the Committee in its absolute discretion may decide would justify such rejection or refusal.
39. Candidates with a disability as defined under the Equality Act 2010 will be provided with reasonable adjustment to enable access to the assessments.
40. The Committee shall instruct ICAEW staff to send all candidates notice of their results in the examination or test but:
  • the Committee may withhold such notice for any of the reasons set out in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of regulation 38, save that notice may also be withheld pending the result of the investigation referred to in sub-paragraph (b) of that regulation; and
  • the Committee shall withhold such notice:
    • pending the result of the referral of a complaint against the candidate to the Investigation or Disciplinary Committees;
    • when a candidate is declared unfit for membership by the Disciplinary Committee under Disciplinary Bye-law 22.7(a).
41. Provisional member examination results shall be released to the Authorised Training Employer or Authorised Training Principal unless a written notice has been received by ICAEW prior to the examination asking for the results not to be so released.
42. The Committee shall be under no obligation to enter into correspondence with third parties regarding examination results.
43. From the point of becoming examination qualified, all students are required to observe the principles of the ICAEW’s Professional Development policy by ensuring their knowledge and skills remain up to date.

Re-entry

44. Students barred from completing the ACA under ACA assessment regulation 4 may be considered by the Committee for re-entry for the ACA if:
  • they can provide evidence they have gained an additional relevant qualification or Professional Development since the cancellation of their prior ICAEW registration;
  • they continue to meet the student registration requirements within these regulations.
45. An applicant wishing to re-enter under regulation 44 must:
  • register as a new student (see regulations 21 - 25);
  • re-take any examination(s) previously passed which is not eligible for Credit for Prior Learning under regulation 46;
  • undertake a further period of approved training which meets the requirements for newly registered students (see regulations 3 - 20);
  • pay such fee(s) as required under regulation 45(a).
46. Students registering under regulation 44 will not be eligible for any Credit for Prior Learning or Credit for Prior Work Experience based on qualifications or experience gained before they registered for the qualification or Professional Development cited in regulation 44(a).
47. Students registering under regulation 45(a) will be eligible for a further four attempts at each Certificate Level and Professional Level ACA assessment. There is no restriction on the number of attempts at the Advanced Level ACA assessment.

Admission to membership

48. An applicant for membership pursuant to clause 5 of the Supplemental Charter is entitled to be admitted as an Associate of ICAEW only if the Council is satisfied that the applicant:
  • has successfully completed a course in preparation for and has passed or obtained credit for the Certificate Level and Professional Level ACA examinations and has passed the Advanced Level ACA examinations;
  • has successfully completed or been credited with a period of approved training in accordance with regulations 3 and 9;
  • has completed appropriate Professional Development and associated declarations;
  • has completed the appropriate Ethics and Professional Scepticism programme and associated declarations and, if applicable, the online based Ethics Learning Programme test
  • has appropriately recorded evidence of Practical Work Experience in the format prescribed by the Committee;
  • is fit for membership. Provisional members are required to declare if they have a criminal conviction, bankruptcy order or IVA, have failed to satisfy a judgement debt, hold an adverse finding by any professional body or regulator or have been involved in any other activity that brings into question their fitness and propriety;
  • has paid the requisite admission fee(s) and subscription;
  • has submitted to ICAEW all of the required documentation set out in sub-paragraphs (a) to (g) of this regulation, signed and authorised by the QPRT or Deputy QPRT.
49. An application under regulation 45 shall be made not more than 12 months after the date upon which the provisional member became eligible for membership.
50. The Committee may, in its absolute discretion, extend the said period of 12 months within the provisions of regulation 49 in respect of any applicant:
  • if the Committee considers that the circumstances justify such an extension; and
  • on payment by the applicant of such delayed admission surcharge (if any) as the Committee may in its absolute discretion decide in such case.
51. An applicant for membership pursuant to clause 12 of the Supplemental Charter shall be entitled to be admitted an Associate of ICAEW only if the Council is satisfied that the applicant:
  • is a qualified member of one of the following accountancy bodies:
    • the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia;
    • the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants;
    • the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand;
    • the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants;
    • the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe;
    • the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants; or
  • holds a diploma in accountancy or audit to which Directive 2005/36/EC or Directive 2006/43/EC applies;
52.

An applicant for membership under regulation 51 must:

  • successfully complete an aptitude test if relevant;
  • provide evidence which satisfies the Committee that the applicant is fit for membership;
  • maintain home body membership;
  • pay the requisite admission fee and subscription.
53.

An application for admission to membership shall be made in such form as the Committee may from time to time prescribe.

54. An application made under regulation 48 shall include the following certificates provided by the Qualified Person Responsible for Training, or an ICAEW approved Deputy QPRT who satisfies the requirements of regulation 2 of the Authorised Training Employer regulations or the Authorised Training Principal:
  • in respect of the practical training and the range and depth of work experience provided by the Authorised Training Employer or under the supervision of an Authorised Training Principal, that the applicant is qualified for admission; and
  • that the applicant is fit for membership.
55. An application made under regulation 48 shall be accompanied by such evidence from or on behalf of the Qualified Person Responsible for Training or the Authorised Training Principal as the Committee may require in support of the certificate given in regulation
54(a).
56. A Qualified Person Responsible for Training or ICAEW approved Deputy QPRT or Authorised Training Principal who feels unable to provide either or both of the certificates required under regulation 54 of these regulations shall inform the Committee of the reasons for withholding such certificate or certificates.
57. Admission to membership may take effect on any day of the month, following acceptance of an application by the Committee.

Powers of variation

58. Subject where relevant to compliance with the Companies Act 2006 and appropriate consultation with the Financial Reporting Council, the Committee shall have the power to vary or waive the above regulations.