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CIMA members - How to register as an ACA student

If you want to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and ICAEW member, you’ll need to complete formal ACA training, by registering as an ACA student.

Steps to take

How to register as an ACA student

If you want to join ICAEW, you’ll need to complete formal ACA training, by registering as an ACA student. 

You can register in two ways: 

  1. Registering as a student in a training agreement – This applies if you have been offered an ICAEW training agreement with an ICAEW authorised training employer (ATE) at the time of registration. Students must have their training office number to complete registration. If they are not already authorised, your company can become an authorised training employer. It’s a free and straightforward process. Alternatively, if your manager or any other senior manager in your company is a qualified accountant, they may be eligible to become an authorised training principal.  
  2. Registering as an Independent student – This applies if you have not yet secured a training agreement with an ICAEW ATE. You would be unable to gain any practical work experience as an independent student until you have secured an ICAEW training agreement. Independent students are required to fund their own studies and their registration fee must be paid upon registering and must be paid on a calendar yearly basis. In order to complete your registration, you must also email copies of your qualifications to applications@icaew.com

You can register as an ACA student here. If you have an online account please ensure you are logged onto your profile at the time to avoid duplicate accounts.

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Credit for prior learning (CPL)

The ACA comprises of 15 exams split over three levels: the Certificate level, Professional level and the Advanced level. As a CIMA member you may be exempt from some of these exams by applying for Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). 

a. The number of credits you are eligible for depends on what CIMA syllabus you completed, please visit our CPL directory

b. You can apply and pay online. CIMA members are required to pay for their credits; the six Certificate level credits cost £70 each, and the Professional level credits cost £100 each.

Once you have made your CPL application you must then email a copy of your CIMA transcript and certificates to cpl@icaew.com. Applications can take up to 14 working days upon receipt of all documents.

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Practical work experience (PWE)

In addition to the exams, you must also complete practical work experience at an ICAEW authorised training employer (ATE), as well as covering Ethics and Professional Development Training.

a. As a CIMA member, you are eligible for a 24 month training agreement covering a minimum of 300 practical work experience days.  

b. If you have had previous work experience at an ICAEW ATE within the last two years, you may be entitled to claim credit for prior work experience (CPWE) for up to 8 months, potentially reducing your training requirement to 16 months. You can find more information here.

You can only apply for CPWE once you have registered into an ICAEW training agreement and submitted your application and a copy of your CIMA membership certificate via email to applications@icaew.com.

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Study costs

Registration costs The full year registration fee is £165 (+VAT) reduced to half rate for those registering after 30 June. This fee is to be paid annually. Fees for students in a training agreement are invoiced to the firm in arrears.
Certificate Level credits
£70 per credit
Professional Level credits
£100 per credit
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