Associate Chartered Accountant

The ACA qualification is recognised worldwide as the mark of quality and professionalism that leads to Chartered Accountant status. Throughout all areas of industry and private practice, the ICAEW's ACA qualification opens up diverse and rewarding careers. From forensic accounting, audit and assurance, and business recovery/insolvency, through to corporate finance, financial accounting and tax advice, ACA accountants enjoy excellent opportunities.

BPP Professional Education runs courses, with classrooms in centre and online, which prepare you for exams that are assessed and awarded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Our experienced team of tutors will support you all the way to passing.

Why Study ACA with BPP?

At BPP Professional Education, students benefit from over 35 years' ACA teaching experience, accessible study centres and the very best study materials on the market. Crucially, one of our tutor team is always available to offer personalised support and guidance.

Key details: Dates and prices | Ways to study

Key Information

  • Gain the globally recognised ACA qualification and increase your earning potential
  • Our highly experience tutor team will help you develop the exam skills you need to pass
  • Our team of Programme Advisors will provide proactive support by monitoring your progress up the BPP Achievement Ladder
  • Choose from flexible study options: In Centre, Online Classroom and Online Classroom Live options
  • Benefit from a wide range of BPP online learning activities including lectures and exam question debriefs whether you are studying in centre or online
  • You are supported with direct tutor contact outside of the classroom by email and online forums
  • Study at any of our ICAEW-approved study centres
  • Increase your chances of passing: our overall pass rates exceed the national average

Globally respected qualification

ACA training is the number one route to business leadership – developing careers by equipping accountants to make high-level strategic decisions and give professional advice. We don't just deliver the career-changing ACA qualification – we bring it to life.

Our prime objective is to offer students everything they need to secure the globally respected ACA qualification first time round – and get ahead.

Personalised support

All our ACA students have direct access to their tutor – by email, phone and face-to-face via an 'open door' policy. This means we help students get the very most from our exam-focused course design, study material, interactive resources, and Achievement Ladder progress tests and mock exams.

The Achievement Ladder describes a series of tests (which we call steps) that increase in scope and complexity. Initial steps will test core technical skills using objective testing with later steps building to exam standard scenario based questions. The Achievement Ladder is in place for each paper.

Students will progress faster toward becoming ‘exam ready’ by using feedback from each step to improve their performance.

This feedback also enables our team of Programme Advisors to provide proactive support by monitoring progress up the Achievement Ladder and keeping you on track.

Accredited syllabus

The ACA is the ICAEW’s main accounting qualification and is fully focused on the evolving needs of modern business. The ICAEW is  the largest accountancy body in Europe.

ACA-qualified accountants who are Institute members are entitled to offer their services as a 'Chartered Accountant' and to use the letters ACA or FCA (Fellow Chartered Accountant) – depending on their experience and length of membership.


To gain the ACA qualification, you need to pass fifteen papers across the Certificate, Professional and Advanced Levels.

Certificate Level

The ICAEW Certificate Level provides key practical skills and essential knowledge covering three key areas - business, finance and accounting - and are examined using Computer Based Assessment across the following six papers.

  • Accounting
  • Assurance
  • Management Information
  • Business and Finance
  • Principles of Taxation
  • Law

You may take the Certificate level e-assessments at any of our BPP training centres as well as other ICAEW accredited centres in the UK and around the world.

Duration/assessment: Each computer paper-based assessment lasts 90 minutes and each has a 55% pass mark.

ACA Professional Level

There are six Professional level papers and four sittings per year at March, June, September and December. Students will apply new technical skills in a practical context in the following subjects

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Audit and Assurance (AA)
  • Taxation Compliance (TC)
  • Business Strategy (BS)
  • Financial Management (FM)
  • Business Planning Taxation (BPT)

Duration/assessment: Each paper-based exam lasts 2.5 hours (except FAR which lasts 3 hours) and each has a 55% pass mark.

ACA Advanced Level

This final stage of the ACA qualification involves 3 papers – with two sittings per year at July and November with the last sitting at July 2015. Students who are part way through there qualification may sit their Advanced Level in 2014 under the prior syllabus. The examinations are multi-disciplinary and include written assessments in the following:

  • Corporate Reporting (CR)
  • Strategic Business Management (SBM)
  • The Case Study (CS) requires you to write a business report in 4 hours and centers around a business scenario. It has a 50% pass mark and is a competency based assessment in the ICAEW professional skills

Duration/assessment: Technical papers last 3.5 hours and have a 50% pass mark.

ACA Credit for Prior Learning (exemptions)

ACA students who can show evidence of prior learning can claim exemption for some (or all) of the Certificate /Professional Stage papers.

For example, the AAT Accounting Technician qualification (depending on the options taken) may automatically exempt candidates from all of the Certificate Level papers. Having a relevant degree can also exempt you for certain papers.

Full exemptions details are available from the ICAEW

Dates 2015

London ACA and CFAB Computer Based Assessment Date

Online learning

BPP Online Classroom Retake

Additional charges

In addition to your programme fees, there may be additional charges associated with your studies, which include:

ACA - Certificate

Online classroom courses for ICAEW papers

Our online classroom courses are designed to meet your study requirements and are available for all fifteen ACA papers.

Our online classroom is a dynamic study experience that combines the flexibility of distance learning with the support of a traditional classroom. Available for all papers, it is ideal if you prefer anytime, anywhere learning or find it difficult to commit to fixed study sessions or travel to a BPP centre.

With BPP Online Classroom you can:

  • Study whenever is most convenient
  • Progress at your own pace
  • Plan and optimise your study time
  • Benefit from structured support and guidance by a dedicated tutor
  • Be part of a genuine online student community
  • Interact with your tutor and fellow students in our online forums
  • Switch between online and physical materials for optimum flexibility
  • Address your queries. A named tutor who will support you through your course and answer your queries
  • Watch lecture recordings of all of our Course Notes
  • Online walkthroughs of key past questions and answers from the ICAEW Question Bank
  • Complete assessments which are marked. This will help you assess your progress with online debriefs
  • A realistic course structure which will allow you study around your work schedule and maximise the benefit from limited study time.

View dates and prices for BPP Online Classroom courses.

Online Classroom Retake courses for ICAEW Professional and Advanced Level papers

Our online classroom courses are designed to improve your exam technique and technical knowledge to prepare you for success. As you've already been through exam preparation once, we don't think you need a full classroom course to re-sit the exam. Retake courses are available for the following papers:

Professional Stage papers

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Audit and Assurance
  • Taxation Compliance
  • Financial Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Business Planning Taxation

Advanced Stage papers

  • Corporate Reporting
  • Strategic Business Management

On booking your course, you will benefit from:

  • A named tutor who will support you through your retake course. Your tutor will provide answers to specific questions and provide guidance on your exam technique
  • Access to the "Discussion Forum" will allow you to interact with tutors and fellow retake students
  • Online walkthroughs of key past questions and answers from the ICAEW Question Bank
  • Study guidance which targets recap using the online classroom and question practice to improve your exam skills and technical knowledge. This will guide your study to the final exam.
  • Recordings of all of topics, so you can recap your areas of weakness
  • ICAEW mock exams which are marked providing you with constructive feedback on how to improve on your current performance
  • Extensive recorded debriefs of past paper questions and an ICAEW mock exam. This is an opportunity to understand how to improve your technical knowledge, interpret the question requirements, listen to advice on improving your time management and to understand what the examiner is looking for

View dates and prices for BPP Online Classroom courses.

Download our guide to Online Courses

The Online Live Programme

The BPP Online Live Programme has now launched for students commencing the ICAEW ACA qualification from September 2015.

Our Online Live Programme is aimed at students who prefer the flexibility of anytime, anywhere learning and combining it with LIVE interaction with a tutor via our award winning Online Classroom Live.

The Online Live Programme provides a pathway through to qualification offering:

  • The BPP Online Classroom providing recorded lectures by our tutors covering all syllabus learning outcomes, online assessments, key advice on exam technique and debriefs of key questions
  • 40 Days of Online Classroom Live across the qualification delivered by our tutors at key stages of learning
  • BPP Learning Media course materials which supplement the ICAEW study text and question bank
  • The opportunity for feedback from marked assessments
  • Tutor support by email and online Forum
  • Proactive support from our Programme Advisor Team helping support your learning

Download our 2015 guide which includes information about dates and prices.

Retake courses for Business Change and Business Reporting

Our classroom course will focus on developing your exam skills so you are more able to confidently address a series of technical integration topics in a limited timeframe. You will also have access to our online classroom with self study guidance to bring your to refresh your technical skills in readiness for skills based classroom work.

Retake courses for Case Study

Our Classroom Case Study retake course is aimed at improving your exam performance across the four areas of professional skills in each of the three Case Study requirements. The course will also spend time on improving your response to the ethical issue and bringing it all together in the executive summary. On booking your course, you will benefit from:

  • Marked feedback on your completion of four past Case Studies with the option of completing a fifth Case Study
  • Two days preparing you for the new Advanced Information. We will provide you with new material which includes 2 exam simulations based on the new Advanced Information
  • The opportunity to talk through your own performance with the course tutor as the course progresses. Your tutor will provide answers to specific questions and provide guidance on your exam technique
  • Access to the “Case Forum” will allow you to interact with tutors and fellow retake students. You will also see answers to other student queries

View 2015 Dates and Prices

Find out more about our Online Courses

Government Funding

Government funding may be available to you when studying the CFAB qualification with BPP. The funding is accessed through the Skills Funding Agency Apprenticeship scheme. To be eligible for the funding you must meet the following requirements:

  • 16 years old or above
  • Not in full-time education 
  • For the last 3 years been a UK resident living in England 
  • Work at least 30 hours a week in an audit related role
  • Not currently receiving government funding 
  • Not a degree holder and not achieved a qualification at Level 4 or above (first year of a degree).  (Level 3 is A-Level and Level 2 GCSE A-C)

If you meet the above criteria, contact our Admissions team to discuss next steps: 
Tel:  03331 224 045

Higher Apprenticeship in Professional Services

This Apprenticeship will be available from August 2012.

This Higher Apprenticeship is suitable for those working in audit/assurance and is an exciting route into the accountancy profession.

It is closely aligned with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Certificate in Finance and Business (CFAB) qualification, which means the apprentice will achieve a professional award as part of the apprenticeship.

What is included in the Apprenticeship?

This Apprenticeship has been designed by employers to reflect the range of technical, business and soft skills employers need. As well as the CFAB qualification, it includes a blend of broader business skills and competence required in professional services, including project management and managing relationships.

Who is the Apprenticeship suitable for?

An external/internal audit trainee, assistant or junior who carry out tasks such as; assisting in the conduct of external/internal audits, carrying out sections of an audit such as checking financial records, reviewing assets, stock counts, collating company information and testing controls, assisting in drafting clear and concise reports

How are the Apprenticeships delivered?

The Apprenticeship will be delivered through a blend of classroom/e-learning and work based visits.  The students will be assessed by external examinations for CFAB and work based evidence for the competence qualifications.

Funding is available for this Apprenticeship. 100% funded for 16-18 year olds and partially funded for other age groups.

View the fact sheet for further information or contact our Admissions team to discuss next steps:

Tel: 03331 224 045

Ways to study

Our prime objective is to offer students everything they need to secure the globally respected ACA qualification first time round – and get ahead. Flexible learning

Choice and flexibility are at the heart of all our ACA courses.

  • Classroom courses - There's the option to take our TAUGHT, RECAP and REVISION classroom courses at twelve UK and Channel Island locations
  • Online Classroom courses - provide anytime, anywhere learning using a bank of online lectures, exam advice, question and exam debriefs recorded by our subject specialists. Our Online Classroom also provides a retake option. See the Online Classroom
  • The Online Live Programme – A blend of Online Classroom and Online Classroom Live delivered by our subject specialists for those who prefer the flexibility of anytime, anywhere learning with the additional benefit of live interaction with a tutor a key touch points.

The Achievement Ladder is a series of assessments that increase in complexity throughout the educational process – initially testing core technical skills using multiple choice questions and then building to exam standard scenario based assessments, to prepare you for the final exam.

All our ACA courses have at their core the concept of assessment led learning. Assessment led learning is the concept of providing early and more frequent assessment and feedback to students to allow them to adapt, modify and focus their learning.

Learning is assessment led through a series of tests that increase in scope and complexity. Initially we will test core technical skills using objective testing later building to exam standard, scenario based questions to prepare you for the final exam.

Our Classroom courses

Our ACA classroom courses are exam focused, to ensure that you are fully prepared for your final exam.

Every classroom course is supported by access to the Online Classroom recorded lectures and question debriefs. You can recap your learning – anytime/anywhere – or cover any content that you miss.

Certificate Level courses

Our Certificate Level courses integrate tuition, revision and Achievement Ladder e-assessments. They're available throughout the year, offer fast progression and include full tutor support. Our Certificate Level courses are designed so you are ready to sit your CBA soon after you complete the course.

Professional/Advanced Level courses

Our courses comprise of three components – TAUGHT, RECAP and REVISION

  • Our TAUGHT courses teach you key syllabus topics and show you how to apply knowledge and exam technique using activities based on past exam questions.
  • Our RECAP courses review key syllabus elements and focus on applying exam technique. The RECAP course provides an opportunity to sit a mock exam under timed, exam conditions.
  • Our REVISION courses use past exam questions across the syllabus to develop your exam technique and provide an opportunity to sit another Mock Exam.

We strongly recommend that you book all three elements - TAUGHT, RECAP and REVISION for ICAEW Professional and Advanced Stage Courses.

Advanced Level courses

Our TAUGHT courses offer two routes – 'Link' and 'Split Intensive'.

  • The 'Link’ approach divides the taught phase into several blocks, allowing students time to get to grips with new concepts and ideas. This is popular with students who are self-disciplined and like to organise their study time.
  • The 'Split Intensive' approach is in just two blocks and encourages a clear focus on study minimising distractions.

Case Study

Our Case Study courses develop your business analysis and communication skills by using a series of past exam case studies. In addition,

  • We will help you unravel the new Advanced Information and provide you with mock exams centred round the business scenario set out in the new Advanced Information.
  • Your tutor will be advising you every step of way to improve your exam focus, business analysis and report writing skills.
  • The online classroom provides you with additional cases to work through together with recorded tutorials helping you understand the critical success factors required to pass each Case Study.
  • The Case Study Forum enables students to exchange ideas on the scenario for the real Case Study exam via the online classroom.

Our Online Classroom course

Our online classroom offers all the structure of a BPP classroom course with study guidance for each stage of learning but with the flexibility of anytime, anywhere distance learning. Our subject specialist has recorded lectures covering all chapters of the syllabus and sessions on exam skills and question debriefs.

It appeals to many employers as it reduces time spent out of the office. It appeals to students who can fit their studies around a busy work or social life – at a pace that suits them best.

We offer online Retake courses for all Professional Stage papers and Advanced Stage Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management.

The Online LIVE Programme

Our Online LIVE Programme supplements the Online Classroom with 40 days of scheduled Online Classroom Live tuition across the qualification. The tutor will cover key topic areas at key points, will focus on exam skills and will continue to support you as you progress toward the final exam.

How to apply

There are many different routes into this qualification. Your application will be considered whether you are a graduate, a mature student, an AAT student or a professional, and the entry requirements are different for each. To find out the details for your route, visit the ICAEW website.

Study locations

Study for the ACA where and when it suits you.

You can train for the ACA face-to-face at one of our UK study centres below. Each centre offers state-of-the-art facilities and comfortable, high-quality classroom environments. But remember, if you prefer to study from home or overseas, we also offer distance learning options.

Book by phone:

  • 03331 224 045