The ACA from ICAEW is internationally recognised as a premier financial business qualification in more than 160 countries around the world.
We welcome university graduates on to the ACA programme; however your degree does not necessarily need to be in the field of business or finance. It can be a recognised degree in any discipline. Individuals with other professional qualifications or experience (such as ACCA, CIMA etc) can also study for the ACA from ICAEW.
However, if you are a high achiever who is in their final year before university graduation, it may be possible to register with ICAEW earlier. Please contact our student support helpline to discuss your circumstances.
There are two ways you can study for the ACA qualification.
There are a growing number of organisations around the world that offer ACA training including accountancy practices, businesses, industry and government. Any organisation that offers ACA training opportunities will have met strict training criteria and will be authorised by ICAEW to train ACA students. This helps ensure support for our students wherever they train around the world.
Our careers site offers you support and advice on how to make the step from university to ACA training and beyond, explains your options and allows you to search for ACA training opportunities.
The full ACA programme is available in Romania. It combines four essential elements: exams, technical work experience, initial professional development and structured training in ethics. Together, these four elements give you the expertise and added-value skills that help define a chartered accountant. You must successfully complete all four elements to qualify as an ACA and become a member of ICAEW.
You will need to register with ICAEW as an ACA student. The student registration fee is £165 per year.
There are 15 ACA exam modules across two stages - the Professional Stage and the Advanced Stage. They will test you in all aspects of business and finance. Six of the Professional Stage exams are computer-based assessments, and the other six Professional Stage exams are paper-based exams. The Advanced Stage exams are paper-based exams.
Please note: At the same time as you study for your exams, you will need to undertake learning across the different levels and stages of TWE (see step 3), IPD (see step 4) and STE (see step 5). Please read the relevant sections carefully as there is advice about what stages you should have reached before you attempt certain exams.
Credit for prior learning is our term for exam exemptions. Some students with an accounting or business related degree or a professional accountancy qualification may be eligible for credit/exemption for some of the ICAEW exam modules.
Check our credit directory to see if you are eligible for any credits.
You are encouraged to apply for credits as soon as possible to allow time for ICAEW to process your application. You cannot apply for credit for an exam that you have already sat. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
As an ACA student, you must apply for each of the exams you will sit. At the Professional Stage exams, ICAEW regulations allow a maximum of four attempts at each exam. If you fail a Professional Stage exam four times you will not be allowed to progress with your ACA studies.
There are no restrictions on the number of attempts you are allowed at each of the Advanced Stage exams. We would always recommend that you are fully prepared for each exam as repeated failures may not be tolerated by your employer. Please check with your employer regarding the number of attempts they will allow you.
Exams are held in Bucharest. You can sit the Professional Stage knowledge modules computer-based assessments at any time of the year. The Professional Stage application modules exams are available in March, June, September and December. The Advanced Stage exams are available in July and November. All exams must be pre-booked.
Details of the exam venue will be sent to you approximately two weeks before the examination date.
Exam fees must be paid when you apply for your exams.
There are learning materials for each of the ACA exams. The materials usually consist of a study manual and a question bank/practise material.
If you are following classroom tuition, please check with your tuition provider first as they may have bought the learning materials on your behalf and already included the cost of these as part of their costs.
Learning materials are available to buy at www.gillards.com/icaew.
Tuition is available for the Technical Integration - Business Reporting, Technical Integration - Business Change and the Case Study exams.
A number of tuition providers offer ACA tuition in a variety of delivery methods around the world. To find out what tuition is available in your region, please go to ACA tuition providers page.
ICAEW provides ACA students with a range of exam resources to help you study for each exam module. You can access:
Once registered with ICAEW, you have access to the online student community. This allows you to share views and exchange ideas on topics that are important to you. There are regular Ask an expert and Ask a tutor sessions. The student community is reserved for students only.
Exam results for paper-based exam sessions are usually released five weeks after the exam week.
Technical work experience is an essential element of the full ACA programme. During your day-to-day ACA training, you will need to do 450 days of 'real' work of a financial, business and/or commercial nature. It should relate to at least one of the following: Accounting, Audit and Assurance, Taxation, Financial Management, Insolvency and Information Technology.
You cannot qualify as an ACA or apply for ICAEW membership without completing your technical work experience requirements.
Throughout your ACA training, you are required to develop your professional skills. These are the key skills that help set you apart as an ACA chartered accountant. Initial professional development (IPD) asks you to consider your experience in five key areas that define a chartered accountant:
We provide regular webinars, online Ask an expert sessions and written articles to support students with their professional skills development.
As professionals, ICAEW members have a duty to act ethically and in the public interest at all times and not just in isolation whilst they are working. Therefore, all students studying for the ACA qualification have to complete ICAEW’s structured training in ethics (STE) programme. Ethics is also embedded in all relevant ACA exam modules.
STE is an online training and assessment programme which involves interactive case studies, scenarios and self-test questions. There are three stages to complete during your studies which you’ll need to complete on your own during your studies.
You will be invited to apply for ICAEW membership once you have passed all of the essential elements of your ACA training. You will need to apply within 12 months of finishing your exams.
Once your ICAEW application has been successful, you will be able to use the prestigious designation 'ACA'.
As an ICAEW member, you must always adhere to ICAEW's Code of Ethics.