At ICAEW, our members are more than accountants. They are leaders, creators, and innovators. They don’t settle for average, they strive for the best. That’s why 98 of the world’s 100 global leading brands employ ICAEW Chartered Accountants.

We are a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 147,000 members worldwide. Our qualification, the ACA, opens up a world of opportunity across a diverse range of workplaces. From renowned professional service firms, to entrepreneurial start-ups and charities, there’s no end to where our qualification will take you.

To become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, you need to train for and successfully complete the four components of the ACA qualification. This is done on-the-job, so you’ll be able to earn a salary whilst studying.

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School leaver opportunities

If you’re about to leave school, you’ll be glad to know that there are multiple routes to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. You can start your training and go straight to work through our school leaver, Apprenticeship, or AAT-ACA Fast Track programmes.

If you’re considering university, there are also many opportunities to start working towards the ACA while completing your degree.

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School Leaver Programme

If you want a head-start in your career, you can start working right away with a school leaver programme.

This option allows you to begin training for the ACA qualification straight from school, so we recommend you  start looking for an employer offering ACA training during your last year of studying A-levels. We work with many different employers across a range of industries, so there’s plenty of choice available.

AAT-ACA Fast Track

This option is a collaboration between the Association of Accounting Technicians and ICAEW. It provides those studying for the AAT qualification with credit towards part of the  ACA qualification, enabling you to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant quicker than you may have been able to otherwise.

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Keen to start earning and learning? An ICAEW apprenticeship could be your first step to qualifying as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Our apprenticeships are a great choice if you’ve finished your A-levels, or similar qualifications, and are looking to dive straight into work.

During the apprenticeship you will study and complete ICAEW’s Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB)  – which consists of the first six exam modules of the ACA qualification. You’ll also  earn a salary and learn essential business skills at the same time.

At the end of your apprenticeship, you will be in a strong position to secure a training agreement to complete the remaining elements of the ACA qualification and become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

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Salary & benefits

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You don’t need to be a mathematical wizard to do the ACA. You don’t even need maths as one of your A-levels. What’s more, if you choose to go to university, our employers welcome all degrees.

What you will need from most employers is at least a B in GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent) and also above 112 UCAS points. If you choose to complete a degree, you’ll be expected to achieve at least a 2:1 by most employers.



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ICAEW Nationwide
27 Oct, 2019
Degree Apprenticeship
Are you keen to start earning and learning? An ICAEW Apprenticeship could be your first step to qualifying as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Open to anyone with A-levels or similar qualifications, as well as graduates or career-changers, this is a great route into the profession. Depending on the level of the apprenticeship you will complete either the full ACA or its certificate level modules, which make up the standalone ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) qualification. By doing an accounting apprenticeship with ICAEW, you will develop all the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers are looking for. It could also be your first step to qualifying as a chartered accountant. Whether you’ve just finished school or university, or are looking to change careers, at any age, this route into the accountancy profession is open to you. What’s involved Level 4 – Accounting Technical Apprenticeship Study for the ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB). Equivalent to the first year of a Bachelor’s degree. Typically takes 18-24 months to complete. On completion, you will have a standalone qualification. You can then complete some additional requirements to secure ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (BFP) status and progress onto the ACA. Level 7 – Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship Study for the ACA Chartered Accountant qualification. Equivalent to a Master’s degree. Typically takes 36 to 48 months to complete, depending on prior experience. Once you have completed all elements of the apprenticeship, you will need to fulfill some additional requirements of the ACA qualification in order to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. For more information on what’s involved in ICAEW Apprenticeships view our brochure by clicking on the button below. How to apply and what’s next For Level 4 there are no set entry requirements but you must have GCSEs in English and Maths (grades A-C/9-4) or equivalent by the time you sit the end-point assessment. For Level 7, the minimum requirements are the same as for the ACA. This includes two A-level passes (grades A*-E) or equivalent, plus three GCSE passes at grades A-C/9-4. Employers may also set their own criteria. Find out first hand from individuals who have chosen to go down this route: Once you’ve qualified, the sky is the limit. Some ICAEW students have ended up analysing the finances of fashion brands, advising charities on tax, shaping schools’ spending, and working on the boards of multinational consumer companies – all you have to do is take that next step in your career and apply.