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ACA training agreement

To qualify as a chartered accountant all students must complete an ACA training agreement for a period of approved training with an ICAEW authorised training employer or principal.

The training agreement is a formal signed document between your organisation and each of your students. It relates solely to the ACA.

You will need to agree a period of approved training which allows your students to complete the required 450 days of practical work experience:

  • A graduate would typically be able to achieve the required practical work experience days within a three-year training period.
  • A school leaver (with A levels or equivalent) may require a longer five-year period of training.
  • Individuals who hold a professional qualification may be entitled to a two-year training agreement and 300 days of practical work experience, for example, those who hold the AAT Qualification.

You can control the length of approved training your students undertake. The period must be a minimum of two years (if appropriate as above) or up to a maximum of five years (unless the student is training under a strategic degree or other programme offered in partnership with an ICAEW Partner in Learning).

Sample training agreement

We have created an ICAEW training agreement pro forma. It provides the flexibility to insert your policy on assessment attempts, resit costs and study leave. 

The training agreement received an update in November 2017, so please do use this version of the training agreement for any of your new recruits. It is available for your ACA, Level 4 or Level 7 apprenticeship students.

The training agreement has been updated to ensure that it conforms to government rules on apprenticeships, is more user-friendly and principles-based that reflects the current approaches of many of our authorised employers. The updated document is for authorised training employers and authorised training principals to use.  

Why is the training agreement important?

The training agreement is a key part of ACA training as it ensures that all ACA students receive the highest quality and standard of training possible.

It also provides structure to the training process and provides a defined beginning and end point – so you know when a student will complete their training. This two-way agreement between you and your students outlines the support you will provide (for example, paid tuition, study leave and mentoring) and what you expect from them.

It is important that you encourage and monitor your students’ development throughout the training agreement, not only to ensure that your students receive the training required to qualify as a chartered accountant, but to encourage your student to remain with your organisation once qualified.

Registering the training agreement

You will need to register the training agreement at the office where the student is based.

Employment contract

In most countries, employment law requires your organisation to provide your employees with an employment contract. This is a different document and separate to the ACA training agreement. Please refer to your human resource specialist or your employment law solicitor for guidance on producing an employment contract. You can also access general information for the UK on the ACAS website.

Updating a training agreement

Information on an ACA training agreement must be accurate at all times. If you have a student whose circumstances change (for example, change of name, changes to a training agreement length or situations of redundancy, suspension, cancellation) or change to office location, then you will need to update the agreement and advise us accordingly.