The CA qualification and qualification structure

Become a CA 5

Training to become a Chartered Accountant (CA)

There's never been a better time to train to become a CA. The services of a CA are always in demand and you can look forward to an interesting and varied career.

Steps to becoming a CA

1.Confirm you meet ICAS entry requirements
2.Enter into a training contract with an ICAS authorised employer or a sponsor agreement
3.Gain relevant practical experience to achieve key competencies
4.Study and pass three stages of exams
5.Complete a course in Business Ethics
CA Congratulations, you are now eligible to apply for membership to ICAS and become a CA. Once you've been admitted to membership, you can use those all-important letters 'CA' after your name

The CA qualification

The CA qualification is exceptional. It’s a prestigious and internationally respected qualification that will provide you with the knowledge, skills and values to become a highly regarded and sought-after business professional.

The CA qualification is comprised of 3 levels, with relevant, practical experience and business ethics gained throughout.

The CA Qualification

Test of Competence (TC)

In this first level, we'll teach you the basics and technical skills in the following subjects:

  • Business Law
  • Business Management
  • Finance
  • Financial Accounting
  • Principles of Auditing and Reporting
  • Principles of Tax

Exemptions are available from some or all of the five out of six papers of the Test of Competence

View Exemptions

Test of Professional Skills (TPS)

The second level is about applying your technical knowledge, communication skills and working with your clients.

We'll teach you how to respond to specific client needs, how to prioritise issues and communicate effective solutions in a concise and professional manner. The TPS subjects are:

  • Advanced Finance
  • Assurance and Business Systems
  • Financial Reporting
  • Taxation

Test of Professional Expertise (TPE)

Combining your knowledge and skills from the previous levels, you will work on a multi-disciplinary case study, providing business advice to people in real life situations. By this point, you will have gained the confidence and expertise to exercise your own professional judgement.

Business Ethics (BE)

Business Ethics forms a key part of the CA qualification. In addition to including ethics within TC, TPE and TPS, Business Ethics forms a stand-alone subject and includes its own assessment.

Relevant Practical Experience (RPE)

As well as sitting and passing exams, gaining relevant practical work experience is a vital part of training to become a CA. There are two different routes available to gain this work experience: working with an ICAS Authorised Training Office (ATO) or through the Professional Entry route.

To qualify as a CA, you must obtain a minimum of 450 days of relevant practical experience. This excludes time spent at classes, in-house training and study leave and represents purely practical work experience. You must additionally complete an Achievement Log to record achieved competencies and skills, which will be signed off by your supervisor.

Find out more about the CA qualification structure, classes and learning outcomes in the CA qualification course syllabus

View Syllabus

Find a CA training vacancy that's right for you

You can study the CA qualification by securing a training contract with any of our partner employers across the UK. From the Big 4 accountancy firms to public practices and opportunities across wider industries and sectors, there’s a CA training vacancy to fit your career aspirations.

Our dedicated Become a CA website advertises the latest training contract opportunities. You’ll find opportunities to train in public practice with top accountancy firms, or you might choose to work in the public sector, with a multinational or a smaller start-up business.

Find a CA training vacancy that's right for you

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Training to be a CA

Not sure what type of firm you'd like to train with? Find out more about training to be a chartered accountant.


  • Become a Chartered Accountant

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