ACCA Professional Qualification

More than ever, our fast-changing, increasingly digital world needs forward-thinking finance professionals; people who can innovate and lead positive change wherever they work; people who work to the highest professional and ethical standards, and; people who see the bigger and better picture. If this sounds like the kind of professional you want to become, then ACCA is for you. Choose to study with us and you’re choosing a future packed with opportunity.

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants and the world’s largest accountancy body

ACCA Qualification Structure

The ACCA Qualification is made up of three stages of exams (Applied Knowledge exams, Applied Skills exams, Strategic Professional exams), an Ethics & Professional Skills module and a Professional Experience Requirement. 

The ACCA Qualification will give you the most up-to-date skills you need to become a successful finance professional.

ACCA Applied Knowledge Level

At this level you will gain and should be able to exhibit a broad understanding of essential accounting techniques such as effective business operations, management accounting and financial accounting. This level or part qualification has three subject areas and exams. All exams are computer based and are offered on an ‘on demand basis’ – this means you can book and sit for an exam whenever you feel you are ready.

Completion of all these Applied Knowledge exams together with the Foundations in Professionalism ethics module, will lead students to receiving an ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business. With this qualification you will be ready to apply for roles such as: Trainee bookkeeper; Administrator; Trainee accountant; etc

ACCA Applied Skills Level

Applied Skills builds on existing knowledge and understanding and at this level you will develop and should be able to exhibit the strong, broad and practical skills that are part of the strategic finance professional’s toolkit – including taxation, financial reporting and audit.

There are six exams at this level. Completion of the Applied Skills exams, plus the Ethics and Professional Skills module, leads to the award of an Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business. The Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business is benchmarked at a UK Bachelor’s university degree.

You can also gain a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Accounting at the same time as studying for the Applied Skills exams through ACCA’s partnership with Oxford Brookes University. Students are automatically opted into the degree when they register. For more information on the BSc degree scheme visit:

Ethics and Professional Skills Module

The Ethics and Professional skills Module prepare you for the Strategic Professional exams as well as providing you with the skills needed to become a trusted finance professional in today’s digital world.

This interactive module puts you in the role of an accountant in range of practical real-world scenarios. You’ll work through 10 units, developing the critical workplace skills, such as problem-solving, communication and negotiation, that employers are looking for and on which you can build a career.

ACCA Strategic Professional Level

At this level you will develop and should be able to exhibit the technical expertise, ethics and professional skills needed to make an impact in the workplace. Every element of the Strategic Professional level has a real-world focus:

Strategic Business Leader

This innovative case study exam is designed to mirror the workplace. You’ll draw on strategy, leadership, governance and risk, innovation and sustainable performance to show you have the blend of skills employers are looking for.

Strategic Business Reporting

This exam takes reporting to a new level – helping you develop the skills to communicate the implications of transactions and reporting to different stakeholders.

Options exams

This is an opportunity to specialise in an area that’s relevant to your career goals.

Practical Experience Requirement (PER)

This is where you put your learning into practice and gain the real-world knowledge and experience employers are looking for. To qualify as an ACCA member, you need three years’ relevant professional experience – and you have to achieve a number of performance objectives. You can do all your PER in one go or in multiple blocks of time, and you can start working towards it at any stage of the ACCA Qualification.

ACCA Exemptions

If you have a recognised and relevant finance or accounting qualification, you may not have to take all of the ACCA exams on your journey to ACCA membership.  You can claim for exemptions and students can check if they are eligible for any exemptions from ACCA exams by visiting the exemptions pages:

The quickest way to become a member is to work and study at the same time. If you do, you could qualify in as little as three or four years.

ACCA Entry Requirements

There are many ways to begin your ACCA journey. Whether you’ve just left school, are studying at university, or are looking for a career change – there’s an entry point for you. Exactly where you start depends on the qualifications you already have. Students with existing qualifications which match the skills and knowledge needed for the ACCA Qualification may be eligible to claim for exemptions for some of ACCA’s exams. The diagram below summarises the various entry points and requirements.

ACCA South Africa Entry Requirements

In South Africa the minimum entry requirements are any of the following:

Senior Certificate – issued by the Matriculation Board where the following conditions are fulfilled.

  • Completion of 6 subjects
  • 5 subjects passed in one sitting
  • 3 subjects passed at Higher grade (grades A-E)
  • 2 passes in a language (one at Higher Grade)
  • Passes in English and Maths

National Senior Certificate – issued by the Matriculation Board where the following conditions were fulfilled:

  • Students must take 6 subjects
  • 2 subjects must be languages
  • 1 subject must be Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
  • 1 subject must be Life Orientation
  • Students must take 6 subjects
  • 2 subjects must be languages
  • 1 subject must be Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
  • 1 subject must be Life Orientation
  • 1 subject must be English
  • Students must achieve a grade 3 (40% ) or higher

Damelin Diploma (any subject)

Matriculation to University (Bachelor or Masters). Please remember to view the exemption enquiry database to find out if your part complete degree attracts exemptions.

Why Study ACCA

  • Through a powerful combination of exams, ethics and experience, you’ll develop the strategic skillset, technical ability and professional mindset to add immediate value to any organisation – and take your career to new heights. ACCA gives you the skills to add value in any environment.
  • When you become part of ACCA, you become part of a network of professionals and business leaders that spans the globe. ACCA will equip you with influence in Finance and Business.
  • All industries need forward-thinking finance professionals like ACCA members. When you become an ACCA member, you’ll have a skillset that organisations everywhere are looking for, now and in the future. Why? Because the ACCA Qualification is shaped around the needs of employers and the evolving challenges they face.
  • The role of the finance professional is constantly changing. ACCA is constantly adapting its qualification, staying relevant to today and anticipating the challenges for the professionals of tomorrow. ACCA regularly research the evolving needs of employers to make sure we continue to produce accountants with the knowledge and skillset to stay at the forefront of the profession – and in demand all over the world.

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