Professional entry route to becoming a Chartered Accountant
The CA qualification is suitable for accountancy and finance professionals with:
- a university degree or international degree formally recognised as a UK equivalent; or
- five years' experience in a financial environment.
Training as a Chartered Accountant (CA) could put you on the fast track to some of the most powerful positions in business, offering you the opportunity to explore many different areas of the accountancy profession, business and industry.
The CA qualification is widely recognised as one of the most prestigious accounting qualifications in the world, and consists of four levels:
- Test of Competence
- Test of Professional Skills
- Test of Professional Expertise
- Business Ethics
Assessment is by examination with the exception of Business Ethics which is assessed by a home-based essay. 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)with the qualification sitting at the same level of a Masters degree, and it is recognised nationally and internationally at this level.
If you're looking to fast track your career, becoming a CA can unlock the door to some of the most powerful positions in business in the UK and abroad.
Classes are delivered in the following locations:
From April 2015 onwards, we are additionally offering CA training through a combination of weekend and online learning.
Find out more
Register your details to receive more information about the CA qualification and upcoming information sessions via our Register your interest form.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a CA via the professional entry route?
You must currently work in a finance or accounting role and be able to work under the mentorship of a Chartered Accountant within your organisation. You will need to complete between 450 to 750 days' work experience and be able to attend taught classes.
What experience do I need?
You must either hold a recognised university degree or an international degree formally recognised as a UK equivalent, or have 5 years' experience in a financial role.
I am self-employed/a sole-trader - can I apply?
No, you must work under the mentorship of a Chartered Accountant within your organisation who is an Approved Counselling Member or member of a reciprocal body. Currently this means the route is not applicable to sole traders or those who are self-employed.
What is the duration of the programme?
There are a variety of routes available and it takes 3-5 years on average to complete the CA qualification including all examinations. During this time you will be required to attend taught classes (around 57 days' classroom time), complete a minimum of 50 days' compulsory study and demonstrate 450 to 750 days of work experience.
Do you offer part time/distance learning?
To provide you with a more flexible option to study, the option to study through a combination of weekend and online learning is now offered. Weekend classes take place in Edinburgh while the self-directed online learning is supported via the online CABLE platform.
All other classes are delivered in the UK at one of our training locations:
When does the programme start?
You can enrol at any time and begin your training plan with ICAS, providing the flexibility to undertake education and examinations at different times. Test of Competence classes generally commence in September/October of each year.
Is the CA qualification a recognised qualification by the business community?
The qualification is credit rated at SCQF Level 11 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), and recognised globally at this level.
How much does it cost?
Costs can vary depending upon exemptions and location of classes, but are in the range of £5,750 - £13,900. The cost of training is considerably less than many MBAs and other accountancy qualifications.