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The ACA has 15 exam modules split across two stages: the Professional Stage and Advanced Stage.

 Elements of the ACA Exams Technical work experience Initial professional development Structured training in ethics

The Professional Stage has 12 modules. Core learning is introduced at an early stage in the six knowledge modules to allow your students to become highly productive from the start of their training. The knowledge modules are computer-based e-assessments (each 1.5 hours long) available on demand throughout the year. They are Business and Finance, Management Information, Accounting, Law, Assurance and Principles of Taxation.

The remaining six modules of the Professional Stage are application papers. They are paper-based exams (each 2.5 hours long) - Business Strategy, Financial Management, Audit and Assurance, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Taxation.

The Advanced Stage has two technical papers, each of which is 3.5 hours long and an integrated Case Study paper which is 4 hours long.

Tuition and learning materials

Exam regulations

As an employer there are several key ACA examination regulations that you need to be aware of:

  • ICAEW regulations allow a maximum of four attempts allowed per Professional Stage exam module. If a student fails the same Professional Stage module four times, that student must be excluded from continuing as an ACA student
  • there is no limit on the number of attempts allowed on any of the Advanced Stage exams
  • the Advanced Stage Case Study must be the last examination attempted and cannot be sat until the student is in the final year of their period of approved  training
  • there is no time bar.

Exam applications, dates and deadlines

It is your students’ responsibility to apply for exams before the closing deadlines. Students must be registered with ICAEW to apply for exams. We send deadline reminders to students and employers.

Credit for prior learning/exemption

Credit for prior learning (CPL) is our term for exam exemptions. Students with accounting/business related degrees or professional accountancy qualifications may be eligible for exemptions against some of the Professional Stage exams. There are up to eight credits for prior learning (CPL) available at the Professional Stage exams.

Exam support for your students

Students can access past papers, examiners feedback and useful articles in the exam resources area (restricted area) of the student website.

ACA students can discuss topics of interest and network with each other on the students' forum or blog. We regularly provide 'Ask a Tutor' sessions.

We produce monthly webinars on a variety of professional skills and technical topics. These sessions are recorded and posted onto the main student website so students can listen at a later date.

Exam results

As an employer there are a number of things that you should find helpful to know regarding your students exam results:

  • Pass and credit lists are posted on ICAEW website at 5pm on the date of release at icaew.com/examresults
  • All students receive written confirmation of their results and can also choose to have their results sent to them by email and/or text message, by accessing the exam section of the ACA students’ web area.
  • Your qualified person responsible for training (QPRT) will receive written confirmation of the results of your students.
  • You can view archived exam results

Once a student has received their exam results, if they have failed an exam paper and believe that the result is not correct, or would like more information about their marks, they can request either a marks review or a marks feedback.

Please note

Information contained on this page is for your students following the ACA post-July 2013.