Training to become a Chartered Accountant (CA)

Training to become a Chartered Accountant (CA) with ICAS

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

To become a CA, you start by applying for a training contract with an organisation that ICAS has authorised to train CA students. You'll find an exciting and diverse range of organisations to work with - from public practice to business and industry. From multinationals to smaller companies and firms. Take your time and choose carefully as it's a big commitment for all involved.

Training with an accountancy firm

Many CA students will train in public practice, and the first three years you spend working will be devoted to achieving your qualification. You'll be given plenty of responsibility from the outset – supervising junior staff, working with clients and involved in many interesting and challenging projects. This all helps your development as a successful business professional.

Training in industry and commerce

Our TOPP (Training Outside Public Practice) scheme is designed specifically to meet the needs of industry and commerce. We train students to the same high standards and follow the same syllabus as those training within accountancy firms. Rather than waiting to employ newly qualified CAs from audit firms, many industry employers now choose ICAS to train CAs directly to meet their specific needs from the outset.

Training in the public sector

Government and public sector organisations face challenging financial times. As a result, there is a steady demand for Chartered Accountants to help ensure they are managed effectively and efficiently, and this is reflected in a range of opportunities for students to train within the public sector.

Training in the Channel Islands

The Channel Islands are widely recognised as a key financial services centre and place where demand will always exist for well-trained Chartered Accountants. All CA students are taught face-to-face in Jersey by ICAS lecturers, who are themselves qualified CAs. And due to the intensive nature of the course students can be technically qualified within 12 months, quicker than any other professional accountancy body on the island. In addition we are the only accountancy body on the island to design, examine and deliver our qualification from start to finish.

Training locations

Depending on where your employer is based, you will attend classes in one of the following locations: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Luton or Reading. We also offer training opportunities in the Channel Islands.

No matter where you are based, we teach the same material in a consistent format which is why we are so well recognised for our consistency and high standards.

Apply for a training contract

Once you have chosen the type of organisation you want to train with, search and apply for a training contract.


  • Become a Chartered Accountant
  • School leavers route
  • University route
  • Professional Entry Route

Previous page