Frequently asked questions about credit for prior learning, also known as exemptions.
All answers accurate as of November 2018.
First, you should check the online credit for prior learning directory. This gives you an instant view of which academic and professional qualifications are eligible for which credits. If your qualification is listed on the directory please ensure you meet all the criteria listed.
The CPL directory is not an exhaustive list. If you cannot find your qualification on the directory, or if you do not meet the criteria on the directory but still want to apply, please consider this carefully because if you choose to apply for CPL and your application is not awarded, you will not get your application fees refunded. You will need to complete an application form to apply for credits if your degree is not listed.
It is your responsibility to apply for any credit to which you believe you are entitled. Early application is essential – we recommend that you apply for each or all credits before you start your studies. If you have sat an exam module, you will not be able to apply for CPL for that module. Applications take up to 14 days (from receipt of your completed application) to be assessed and processed.
The date shown on the certificate and transcript for your academic qualification must have a year-end within 5 years of the year of your CPL application e.g. if you are applying in 2018 the transcript and certificate must be dated either 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 or 2018.
Please review the learning outcomes for these modules in the Application for Credit for Prior Learning – Graduates. You should ensure that the syllabus from the academic course you have studied covers a substantial proportion of the learning outcomes before you apply.
We also require the courses used to support your CPL application to have equivalent assessment. The ACA professional level modules are assessed by 2.5 hour written exam with an emphasis on using knowledge in a case study-type scenario. Essay style questions or multiple choice tests will not be deemed equivalent. For CPL purposes the exam element of the assessment for courses relevant to the ACA modules should be at least 50% of the total marks available. You must submit sample exam papers to support your CPL application.
The Business, Technology and Finance module is a wide ranging syllabus, often CPL is awarded based on completion of the whole degree. Essentially what we are looking to identify is whether the degree programme has covered each of these key areas:
For full details and guidance on the full CPL application process, go to icaew.com/cpl.
For all questions relating to the AAT-ACA Fast Track, see AAT-ACA Fast Track FAQs.
Yes, you will need to register as a student before you can apply for CPL.
No, once you have sat that exam, you cannot then apply for credit of that module.
Yes. Remember though, that it takes a minimum of 14 days from the date at which ICAEW receives all required information for your application to be assessed and awarded.
For the relevant costs for credit for prior learning:
No. Application fees for CPL are non-refundable.
How: Most students can apply for credit for prior learning (CPL) online, for details and guidance on the CPL application process visit icaew.com/cpl.
When: Once you have registered as an ACA student. You can apply for CPL at any time, however when you have sat an ACA module, you are unable to apply for CPL against this module. Applications take up to 14 days (from receipt of your completed application and supporting documentation) to be assessed and processed.
We will assess and respond to your application (including all your supporting documents and evidence) within 14 days of receipt. If we need you to send in additional information, your application could take another 14 days from receipt of all required information on top of the original time to be fully assessed.
You cannot claim credit for an exam that you have already attempted.
Yes. You can check the progress of your application at CPL application.
|They can help with||They are unable to help|
|Talk through the CPL procedure||Tell you which credits you will get if your qualification does not appear on the CPL directory|
|Tell you costs||Tell you if you supporting information was received if it was only posted within the previous five days|
|Talk you through the credit for prior learning form|
|Talk you through the credit for prior learning directory|
|Talk you through the procedures for applying|
Yes. If more than one module is listed you must have passed all modules listed with the required pass mark. Sometimes there may be alternatives listed, this is to take into account changes made to the accredited programme, therefore the relevant information will depend upon which year you studied e.g.:
Please call student support for assistance if you are unsure before you apply for CPL.
ICAEW policy is that we cannot award CPL based upon exemptions awarded by other professional bodies.
We may, however, award CPL based upon the qualification that gave rise to the exemptions. For example If your ACCA transcript shows that you were exempt from some modules, if the exemptions were awarded for a relevant degree, we may award CPL based on the degree. You will be required to produce additional supporting documents in such instances and CPL fees may apply.
Please do not send original documents to us, we cannot guarantee that they will be returned.
If you are applying for CPL that is listed on the CPL Directory, we need evidence that shows you have completed the accredited programme and achieved the required pass mark in the listed modules. Please send scanned copies of your certificate and official transcript.
In support of a CPL application where the qualification is not listed on the CPL Directory please provide scanned copies of the following documents:
Documents should be uploaded as part of the online CPL application process, alternatively you may email us email@example.com please quote your student number in all correspondence.