How to become a Chartered Accountant (CA) by the professional entry route
Follow the professional entry route to becoming an ICAS Chartered Accountant if you’re an experienced finance professional or graduate seeking to boost your career.
Our professional entry route is a pathway to the CA qualification that's suitable for accountancy and finance professionals with:
- a university degree or an international degree formally recognised as a UK equivalent (check now); or
- five years' experience in a financial environment.
Flexible study options
This is a flexible route, with opportunities to help fit the study around your current circumstances. You can even complete the first level of the syllabus, Test of Competence (TC), online through our learning management system (LMS).
Classes are delivered UK-wide, in the following locations:
You can enrol with ICAS at any time, begin your training plan and take your exams at different times. However, classes for Test of Competence generally commence in September to October of each year.
If you wish to apply for entry through this route, you will be required to provide us with the following information:
- Details of your employment (including the name, address and phone number of your UK-based employer).
- An individual in your company who is qualified and willing to act as your counselling member – to sign off your Relevant Practical Experience.
- Your job role and a description of your responsibilities and work particulars.
- A detailed training plan which describes how you will meet the demands of work and study, and how you will be able to work across a broad range of activities with depth and application.
- Complete the application form and declaration for professional entry.
Please note that all professional-entry students are required to fund their own studies and that you will be liable for all associated fees before you take any classes or exams.
How to apply
Once you have gathered all the relevant information specified by our entry criteria, please contact us by email and we will send you:
- An application form.
- Our fee schedule.
Your application form must be completed and returned to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line of ‘Professional Entry Enrolment’.
Why should I become a Chartered Accountant?
By training to become an ICAS Chartered Accountant (or CA for short), you’ll be on the fast track to unlock some of the most powerful and rewarding positions in business, accounting and industry, in the UK and internationally.
- Qualify for more than accountancy
- Wear the CA badge of prestige
- Unlock international opportunities
- Enjoy competitive salaries and job security
- Join a global business community
- Access ICAS’ unrivalled professional support
How is the ICAS CA qualification structured?
The ICAS CA is widely viewed as one of the most prestigious accounting qualifications in the world.
The advanced syllabus delivers technical expertise in accounting and finance whilst instilling wider business acumen and an overall commercial awareness. It consists of three levels:
- Test of Competence
- Test of Professional Skills
- Test of Professional Expertise and Business Ethics
Assessment is by examination (UK only) and, in addition, candidates must complete, and have validated, 450-750 days of relevant practical experience.
The qualification is credit rated at Level 11 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and is recognised nationally and internationally as sitting at the level of a Masters degree.
Do I qualify for any exemptions to the CA qualification?
Exemptions may be available from all six papers of the Test of Competence (TC) level, depending on your qualifications and memberships.
Who may be eligible for an exemption?
- graduates with an ICAS-accredited degree
- graduates with some non-ICAS-accredited degrees
- members of AAT & ICAEW
What are the other routes to becoming a Chartered Accountant?
There are various ways to become an ICAS Chartered Accountant (CA), with options for school leavers, graduates, professionals and apprentices: