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ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) regulations

The entry requirements, credit options and assessment regulations for ICAEW CFAB students.

ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) regulations.

Effective from 20 July 2021.



To sit the assessments for the ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB), a student:

  • is not required to have attained an educational level before commencing their ICAEW CFAB study;
  • must be registered with ICAEW as a student for the ICAEW CFAB qualification; and
  • must have paid the applicable fees set by the Committee.

Credit for prior learning

  • Students may, upon application, be awarded credit on the basis of prior learning for the following ICAEW CFAB assessments: Accounting; Assurance; Business and Finance; Law; Management Information; Principles of Taxation.
  • Students may not be awarded credit on the basis of prior learning for the Accounting assessment of ICAEW CFAB unless they are:
    • holders of a professional qualification deemed by ICAEW to be at least equivalent to the ICAEW CFAB who have passed the equivalent assessment in that qualification, excluding passes gained through claiming an exemption, to the ICAEW CFAB Accounting assessment; or
    • AAT qualified and have passed the ACA Financial Accounting top-up assessment or the ACA Financial Accounting and Reporting assessment; or
    • university graduates who have passed the ACA Financial Accounting module or the ACA Financial Accounting and Reporting module.
  • Applications for credit must be accompanied by the correct fee (details available from icaew.com).
  • Students may not apply for credit in any assessment that has already been attempted.
  • Applicants must allow 28 days for ICAEW to process any application for credit for prior learning.

Assessment attempts

  • Students may only enter ICAEW CFAB assessments for which they are eligible.
  • Students are permitted a maximum of four assessment attempts at each module that comprises the ICAEW CFAB.
  • It is the student's responsibility to enter for the correct assessment(s) at an ICAEW-approved assessment centre.
  • Attempts taken at the ICAEW CFAB assessments count towards the maximum of four assessment attempts at each Professional Stage module that comprises the ACA (i.e. in cases where existing or former ICAEW CFAB students register for the ACA).
  • An assessment attempt is defined as where a student enters for and attends an individual assessment and has sight of the content of that assessment.
  • It is not an assessment attempt when the following occurs:
    • the student enters for an assessment and is absent;
    • the student enters for an assessment and withdraws prior to the assessment;
    • where an assessment cannot be completed and/or result determined due to system failure or exceptional event beyond ICAEW's control.

ICAEW-approved assessment centres

  • Students should be seated at ICAEW-approved assessment centres 30 minutes prior to the start of the assessment in order to carry out administrative tasks.
  • Students will be assigned seating when they arrive for the assessment.
  • Students arriving late will not be admitted and will be required to re-book the assessment. This will not be counted as an attempt, but may incur a penalty fee.

Assessment conduct

  • Students may not leave the assessment centre during an assessment and return unless accompanied by an invigilator.
  • Students must at all times follow the instructions of the invigilator. Failure to do so will be considered misconduct.
  • All mobile phones, pagers or any other device capable of transmitting, storing or receiving information must be handed to the invigilator before the assessment and may not be accessed in the assessment room.
  • Students may not remove any materials provided at the assessment centre.
  • If a student is ill or suffers from any other circumstance that may affect performance during the assessment, they should report this to the assessment centre administrator.

Assessment identification

  • A student is required to show two forms of identification in the assessment centre, one of which must contain an identifying photograph.
  • The following are acceptable as photographic identification:
    • a current passport;
    • company identification card containing photograph and signature;
    • driving licence containing photograph and signature;
    • a local national identity document containing photograph and signature.
  • Signature identification may take the form of the above or other formal document or card (for example a debit/credit card).
  • A student must obtain adequate means of identification before the assessment.

Materials permitted in Assessment Centre

  • Any personal belongings such as briefcases, laptops, pagers, mobile phones, calculators, revision notes or written material of any kind must be left in an area designated by the invigilators. Mobile phones and other electronic communication devices must be switched off and may not be accessed during an assessment.
  • Assessment-specific materials are provided for each assessment at the assessment centre and no other equipment will be allowed into the assessment centre.
  • Use of any materials brought into the assessment other than those allowed will be considered misconduct (see regulation 11).
  • Students may not take their own calculators into any assessment. A scientific calculator, as well as an on-screen calculator, will be provided for use in the assessment.
  • ICAEW reserves the right to change, amend, remove or vary at any point the materials permitted in an assessment.

No texts in assessment centre


There are no permitted texts for ICAEW CFAB assessments. Any necessary information will be provided on screen at the assessment venue.

Alternative assessment arrangements

  • ICAEW complies with the Equality Act 2010 for assessment provision. Students should notify ICAEW immediately upon registration so that their needs may be considered.
  • ICAEW provides the facility for candidates to request alternative assessment arrangements due to short-term or long-term indispositions.
  • Applications for alternative assessment arrangements must be made to ICAEW at least 90 days prior to the student's planned assessment date.



ICAEW will not be liable for any loss, theft or personal damage to any items brought in to or left outside an assessment centre.


  • Engaging in any activity likely to give an advantage to any student will be considered misconduct. Examples of this may include (but are not limited to):
    • cheating, i.e. failing to comply with the rules governing assessments;
    • colluding, i.e. assisting another candidate to gain an advantage by any means, facilitating or receiving such assistance;
    • fabricating, i.e. misleading or attempting to mislead the examiners by presenting work for assessment in a way which intentionally or recklessly suggests that factual information has been collected which has not in fact been collected, or falsifies factual information; and
    • personating, i.e. acting, appearing, or producing work on behalf of another candidate in order to deceive the examiners, or soliciting another individual to act, appear or produce work on your own behalf.
  • Disruptive conduct in the assessment venue will be treated as misconduct.
  • Chief invigilators and administrators at assessment centres will report to ICAEW all cases of irregularity or misconduct in connection with an assessment. They are empowered to stop the assessment of students who conduct themselves improperly.
  • ICAEW will investigate any student suspected of involvement in any irregularity or misconduct. Where a case for misconduct is to be considered, the student will be notified and given opportunity to write to explain the circumstances of the case.
  • Where ICAEW believes a case of misconduct may exist this will be referred to the ICAEW Assessment Committee for investigation and potential disciplinary action.
  • ICAEW reserves the right to withhold publication of the results of an assessment, and prevent further assessment attempts, of students suspected of having been involved in any irregularity or misconduct in connection with an assessment, pending the completion of investigations into the alleged irregularity or misconduct.
  • Any misconduct reported to ICAEW will remain on the student's record.

Details of ICAEW appeals procedures are available on the ICAEW website at icaew.com/students


12. A student may apply for a concession on the grounds that circumstances beyond their control prevent them from completing the assessments according to the regulations.
  • The Committee may, in exceptional circumstances, vary or waive the normal conditions of eligibility for the ICAEW CFAB assessments.

    All applications for concessions must be made in writing to ICAEW and must be supported by medical or other appropriate evidence.

Award of the ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB)

13. To be awarded the ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) students must:
  • sit and pass, or have credit for prior learning for, all 6 ICAEW CFAB modules (Accounting; Assurance; Business and Finance; Law; Management Information; Principles of Taxation); and
  • have paid any applicable fees set by the Committee.

Registration and assessment fees are listed on our website at icaew.com/students

Refunds may be subject to an administrative charge.

Public description of holding ICAEW CFAB

  • ICAEW will issue a certificate to a holder of the ICAEW CFAB;
  • designatory letters do not attach to the award of the ICAEW CFAB;
  • an individual may not refer to their practice of accountancy being certified or regulated by ICAEW on the basis of holding the ICAEW CFAB.

Work experience towards the ACA

  • Work experience gained as an ICAEW CFAB student may only be counted against the practical training requirements for the ACA from the time that the student was employed at an ICAEW Authorised Training Employer and had achieved university entrance level education as required by the Companies Act 2006.
  • In circumstances where a former ICAEW CFAB student is claiming Credit for Prior Work Experience against the ACA's practical training requirements, the normal ACA limitation rules about such claims would be in force.

Powers of variation


Subject where relevant to compliance with the Companies Act 2006 and appropriate consultation with the Professional Oversight Board, the Committee shall have the power to vary or waive the above regulations.


This document defines the regulations for ICAEW assessments leading to the ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB).

This document should be read in conjunction with the relevant pages on ICAEW's student website icaew.com/students, where further information and guidance may be found.

ICAEW CFAB comprises six exam modules. These are the same as the first level of the ACA.

Exam modules

Business and Finance
Management Information
Principles of Taxation

The modules are examined through computer-based assessments (e-assessments) - assessments are available throughout the year and are held at ICAEW-approved centres in the UK and internationally.