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Examination of Experience

To demonstrate that you are qualified by experience and that you meet the appropriate criteria for membership of ICAEW, you are required to complete the Pathways Examination of Experience. This must be fully completed by all eligible applicants.

The Examination of Experience (EoE) is a rigorous assessment that requires you to demonstrate the same professional skills as those that are examined in the ACA Case Study – the final exam taken by ACA students before being invited into ICAEW membership.

In order to complete it, you are required to reflect on your experience and skills over the last five years

Examination questions

The Examination consists of a series of questions, which you complete in your own time, and submit in the required template format by the specified submission deadline. The questions will assess your:

  • past experience and achievement
  • planning and analytical skills
  • ethical awareness and professional judgement
  • quality of thought
  • awareness of current and technical issues

All examples will be treated as private and confidential. If you prefer (or are limited by a non-disclosure agreement or similar) to naming a particular company or client in your work example, then you can simply refer to them as Client AAA or Company BBB. However, if you intend to do this, you should add some context to assist the examiner. As an example, you could say: ‘Client AAA, a market-leader in the international automotive trade’ or Company BBB, a local family-run business in the retail sector’.

The document below shows the questions in detail:

How to address the questions

The Examination of Experience is ultimately based on your experience, skills and knowledge, which means that you will need to use your professional judgement to answer the questions in a way that will help you succeed.

However, examiners have put together some notes to help you respond to the questions and we strongly recommend that you read these and stay as close to the guidelines as possible.

We have also recorded a webinar, and have provided the relevant slides, that guide you through the process.

*Please note updated fee information for submissions in 2020

Format and layout

Your Examination of Experience will need to be between 3,000 and 6,000 words - which is about 500 words per example. Please refer to the Examiner guidance notes for further information.

You will need to follow the official template below:


Below you will find five examples of how the Examination of Experience could be completed.

Please bear in mind that these should only be used as "best-practice" examples and that we expect applicants to use their own experience to complete the questions.


Applicants and sponsors should be aware that applicants are not permitted to plagiarise the work of others, whether published or unpublished and in whatever format or medium. This includes ICAEW's illustrative answers to Pathways questions.

Failure to comply is considered to be misconduct. Where ICAEW believes misconduct may exist, the case will be referred to ICAEW Assessment Committee for investigation and potential disciplinary action, and referral to the candidate’s current professional body.

Complete the Examination of Experience

Once you've had a look at the information available to you, and read through the Examiner guidance notes you can start answering the questions: