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Training as an independent student

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Complete all four elements of the ACA qualification to grow your skills, ethical capabilities and technical knowledge alongside hands-on experience. As an independent student you will need to secure a training agreement to be able to complete the ACA qualification.

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The 4 key elements of the ACA

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There are exams to study and pass and they are split over three levels - Certificate, Professional and Advanced. They focus on different aspects of accountancy, finance and business and complement the experience you will gain at work.

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Practical work experience

Once you have secured your training agreement, you will need to complete at least 450 days of practical work experience as part of it. This will provide you with an opportunity to put theory into practice, involving real-life work of financial, business or commercial nature.

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Ethics and professional scepticism

Develop your knowledge and behaviour and feel confident in decision making. Ethics underpins the ACA exams; you will need to complete the Ethics Learning Programme and discuss ethics scenarios as part of your six-monthly reviews once you have secured a training agreement.

Discover ethics
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Professional development

There are seven professional development ladders to complete. They will develop your communication skills as well as teamwork, decision making, problem solving and more. Record how you meet each skill and discuss them at each six-monthly review meeting once you have secured a training agreement.

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For your diary

Our handy planner contains all the key dates and deadlines for you to bookmark and regularly check.

Download the planner

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Finding a training agreement

You will need to secure a training agreement to complete the ACA qualification. Your current employer may be able to become authorised. Alternatively, search our Training Vacancies platform to find current vacancies.

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CV support

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Online training file

Your online training file is a record of your progress and development and must be updated every six months throughout your training.

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Profile of Ashwini

The soft skills are just as important as the spreadsheets.

Meet Ashwini

Ashwini has already started studying for the ACA and we are following her throughout her journey. Read her journey to date and keep an eye out for more to come.

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Student Roadmap

Use our template roadmaps to discover the key milestones on a typical student journey and chart your own progression.

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We're here to help

When it comes to student support, we're here to lend a helping hand throughout your journey with us.

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