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ACA Certificate

ACA Certificate will develop your accountancy skills and technical knowledge, so you continue to add value to your company. You’ll achieve a globally-recognised qualification (CFAB), and gain a deeper understanding of accountancy and finance, and how it relates on a wider business scale.

Full level, excluding exams (all subjects):

£3,007.20 - £3,632.40

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1. Structure

This level consists of six exams that introduce the essentials of accountancy, finance, and businesses. The six exams also make up a standalone qualification: the ICAEW CFAB (ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business)

Entry requirements

If you’ve studied AAT, or a relevant degree at university (accountancy, economics, business), you can progress straight onto studying ACA. Some employers allow you to start ACA training, providing you have a 2.1 degree (or 2.2 with some businesses), in any discipline.

If you're a graduate, you can apply for up to eight subject credits so you're exempt from the following ACA (ICAEW) exams:

  • Accounting
  • Assurance
  • Business, Technology, and Finance
  • Law
  • Management Information
  • Principles of Taxation
  • Business Strategy and Technology
  • Financial Management

If you're an AAT student who has completed the Intermediate and Technician Levels, you may be able to apply for credits for the following:

  • Accounting
  • Assurance
  • Business, Technology and Finance
  • Management Information
  • Principles of Taxation

Check the ICAEW website to find out more on credits for prior learning


Accounting (AC)

You’ll learn how to use double-entry accounting to record transactions, adjust financial records, and prepare non-complex financial statements. You’ll be able to spot and correct mistakes in accounting records and financial statements, and identify each component in statements.

  • Number of lessons:
  • Classroom: 7 days
  • Live Online: 7 sessions (days)
  • OnDemand: study at your own pace

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


£850.80 - £1,134.00


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Assurance (AS)

You’ll learn about the assurance process and the principles of ethics. You’ll be able to explain the nature of internal controls, specify weaknesses, choose the appropriate methods of finding assurance evidence, and understand the importance of ethical and professional behavior.

  • Number of lessons:
  • Classroom: 3 days
  • Live Online: 3 sessions (days)
  • OnDemand: study at your own pace

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


£462.00 - £576.00


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Business, Technology & Finance (BTF)

You’ll learn how businesses operate, and how finance helps businesses accomplish their targets. You’ll be able to identify business objectives, the purpose of financial information, the role of the accountant, governance management, the impact of business on the economic environment, and key features, benefits, and risks of technologies.

  • Number of lessons:
  • Classroom: n/a
  • Live Online: n/a
  • OnDemand: study at your own pace

Subject assessment: computer-based exam




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Law (LW)

You’ll learn the principles of English law, and explain contractual agreements, the consequences of negligence, the legal ramifications of incorporation, and insolvency law. You’ll learn how to identify criminal activities found by professional accountants, and find areas where the law affects the duties of an accountant.

  • Number of lessons:
  • Classroom: n/a
  • Live Online: n/a
  • OnDemand: study at your own pace

Subject assessment: computer-based exam




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Management Information (MI)

You’ll learn how to prepare financial information related to the management of a business. You’ll be able to specify the costs associated with the production of products and provision of services to determine price, choose suitable budgeting approaches and methods, specify crucial aspects of effective performance management systems, and calculate appropriate data used in management decision making.

  • Number of lessons:
  • Classroom: 4 days
  • Live Online: 4 sessions (days)
  • OnDemand: study at your own pace

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


£462.00 - £576.00


Buy OnDemand
Principles of Taxation (PTX)

You’ll learn about taxation and how to work out income tax, National Insurance contributions, capital gains tax, corporate tax, and VAT. You’ll be able to identify ethical issues in performing tax work, and recognise how the UK tax system affects individuals and businesses.

  • Number of lessons:
  • Classroom: 4 days
  • Live Online: 4 sessions (days)
  • OnDemand: study at your own pace

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


£462.00 - £576.00


Buy OnDemand

2. Study methods

Do you prefer face-to-face learning? Online learning in your own time? Have family or work commitments? We have study methods that suit different learning styles, to fit around your life. You’ll benefit from award-winning tutors, practical learning methods, and ongoing support, even after your exams.

Study methods available for this qualification

You can be confident in your exams whatever study method you choose, as we offer hundreds of practice questions and mock exams. We provide expert support during evenings and weekends, and we have flexible study methods and course start dates.

What Classroom Live Online - full day Live Online - evening OnDemand
Live, tutor-led classes at set times check_circle check_circle check_circle
Re-watch your lessons
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Learning materials available - including Integrated Workbook, and question banks check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle
Access to motivating, award winning, online learning resources check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle
Marked mock exams and lots of additional practice questions check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle
Access to Academic Support 7 days a week check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle
Progression Advisors (previously Learning Coach) offering advice, guidance and support to help keep your learning on track check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle
Interact with other learners studying the same course check_circle check_circle check_circle
Classes capped at 40 learners check_circle check_circle

Study at your own pace

OnDemand chevron_right

Award winning tutor-led online course with flexibility to start anytime, anywhere.

  • Unique online resources designed to keep you motivated
  • Tutors guide you efficiently through the whole syllabus
View OnDemand 5 day free trial

Every module and topic has been through a detailed learning design process, which means we‘ve considered how to best explain each area and cement your understanding of the subject. This includes a variety of concise learning formats such as bite-sized tutor-led lectures, and activities to help link topics together. Every module is scripted and links on screen animations with graphics found within your Integrated Workbook. This provides a high quality online learning experience, which is so much more than a live recorded tutor session or even a tutor narrating highlighted text book visuals.

In addition to Academic Support, our team of Progression Advisors offer advice, guidance and support, on how to best learn and progress through your course. They use data to identify if you need extra support and will help you get back on track if you need it.

A traditional scheduled programme with face to face tutor-led classes.

The same as classroom, but with live interactive online classes at a set time.

  • Interactive live lectures delivered online by our expert tutors
  • Re-watch and replay lessons through recordings
  • Full weekday classes available
  • Access to our award winning OnDemand online learning resources

Timetables - Classroom and Live Online

date_rangeView timetables

3. Exams and sittings

Timings and working towards a sitting

The ACA qualification is made up of 15 exams, advancing your knowledge across accountancy, finance, and business. When you complete the qualification, you will be an ICAEW chartered accountant.

You can take the exams in any order, apart from the Case Study, which needs to be attempted last, in the final year of an ACA training agreement. However, we recommend starting from the Certificate Level units first, then finishing with the Advanced Level exams.

At the Certificate Level (six exams), each exam is 90 minutes, and the pass mark is 55%.

You may be eligible for credit for some exams, if you’ve studied a relevant qualification or degree. Check the ICAEW website to find out more on credits for prior learning.

How long does it take to pass?

ACA Certificate takes around one year to complete, but this depends on your preferred way of learning. The ACA qualification is made up of three levels, each of which will take six to 12 months to finish. To complete the qualification, you’ll also need to have a minimum of 450 practical work experience days. Students usually complete the qualification in three years.

ICAEW exam software

ICAEW’s exam software has been developed to ensure the ACA reflects modern accountancy practices. This includes:

  • Spreadsheet software that reflects commonly used applications. The spreadsheet contains standard functionality that allows you to make your calculations and adjust them if needed, just as you would in the workplace
  • A word processor that auto-adjusts to the size of the response that you are writing, and allows you to copy in the data from the spreadsheet as part of the report (only the word processing section will get marked)
  • Digital copies of relevant permitted texts such as the tax tables within the exam so that you can easily search for the content that you need.

4. Study materials and delivery costs

Study materials

Classroom, Live Online and OnDemand students will receive printed and online study materials.

The following materials are included in the price of every course:

  • Kaplan workbook
    Kaplan produced workbook that brings out key areas of the syllabus, integrates with online content and provides question practice.
ICAEW Materials

Purchased in addition to course price but needed for every subject.

All ACA and ICAEW CFAB learning materials are published in a digital format.

Students will access their materials through the ICAEW Bookshelf, and will be able to view, annotate and highlight passages.

ICAEW workbook

Examining body (ICAEW) workbook of all technical content that could be examined.

ICAEW question bank

Examining body past exam questions that are set in class.


Delivery costs

How much it costs to deliver your study materials and how long it takes depends on where in the world you live.

Delivery fees are as follows:

  • UK - £7.20 (£6 + VAT) for the first package, £7.20 for subsequent packages
  • Isle of Man Classroom courses - £30 (£25 + VAT) per transaction
  • EU - £35 (£29.17 + VAT) for the first package, £30 for subsequent packages
  • Rest of the World - £50 (£41.67 + VAT) for the first package, £50 for subsequent packages

Please note that due to varying interpretations of the post-Brexit EU/UK trading agreement, some EU countries are imposing import duty on the value of the goods received from the UK. It is payable by the end consumer via the delivery company and your delivery may be withheld until paid. This may vary from country to country and be up to a value of 20% of the value of the study material.

A package relates to all the materials for a specific subject, for example ACA Management Information (MI). If purchasing a course for more than one subject, the additional package charges will apply.

Delivery fees are capped at 3 × the cost, per single order. So, if you buy 5 courses for UK delivery in a single order, it will be £7.20 × 3, rather than £7.20 × 5.

Our standard delivery times for Live Online, OnDemand, Online and Distance Learning are:

  • UK – 3 to 5 working days
  • EU – 5 to 7 working days
  • Rest of the World – 7 to 10 working days subject to availability.

Our standard delivery time for UK classroom courses is one week prior to the first course date.

Delivery charges apply to all Classroom, Live Online and OnDemand courses which include printed materials.

5. MyKaplan: online learning environment

MyKaplan is an online learning portal with practical resources to help you prepare for your exams.

Online features

  • View your online materials in one place and access your content in a few clicks
  • Contact a tutor directly using live chat. You can also email or request a callback
  • Complete practice tests and get instant feedback
  • Take part in forum discussions with students and tutors and find answers to common questions
  • See instantly when your assessments have been marked

Access duration

Your chosen study method determines how long you can access your content for.

Six months from last course date.

Live Online
Six months from last course date.

12 months from enrolment date.

computer Minimum system requirements for MyKaplan

6. Tutor support

We'll support you every step of the way throughout your ACA learning experience with us. You can contact a tutor and get the help you need quickly and easily.

Provided by our Academic Support team (our dedicated team of expert tutors):

  • Live chat (instant response via online messenger system)
  • Email (we'll get back to you within 4 hrs)
  • Discussion forum (we’ll get back to you within 4 hrs)
  • Request a callback so you can speak to a tutor (we’ll arrange a call with you within 24 hours). Please note, request a callback is only available to UK based students.

Academic Support opening times

Monday - Thursday: 8am - 8pm
Friday: 8am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 9am - 1pm

7. Testing and Mocks

We have a wealth of materials to help you revise for and pass your exams. All study options come with the following:

  • Online learning modules

    MyKaplan interactive modules that guide you through each syllabus area.
  • Knowledge checks

    Multiple choice questions to help assess your understanding of a topic before you move onto the next one. 
  • Consolidation Test

    Short assessments consisting of multiple choice questions, designed to be attempted mid way through the course. Computer marked with immediate feedback provided directly to you. 
  • Tricky topic tutorials

    10-15 minute tutor debrief on challenging areas of the syllabus.
  • Mock exams

    Mock exams mimic the real exams. They are taken during the Exam Preparation phase of the course and can be found on MyKaplan. You will receive automated feedback so you can focus on areas you found difficult or could improve.

8. Pricing structure

Subject prices can differ depending on your study method and location.

Subjects are all priced individually, so you can purchase them altogether, or separately as you need them. This also helps you split the cost to make it more affordable.

Scheduled Flexible
Classroom Live Online OnDemand
from £513.60 (inc. VAT) from £462.00 (inc. VAT) from £385.20 (inc. VAT)

picture_as_pdf Download ACA Course Fee Sheet (Jan-Jul 2024)

Enrol now

To enrol, download the form, fill in your details and send it to us via post or email.

picture_as_pdf Download enrolment form

Funding options

Employer sponsored chevron_right

Your employer may fund the costs of your studies if you're already working in a related field and want to develop your learning. You'll need to speak to them to see if you're eligible.

Apprenticeships chevron_right

You may be eligible for an Apprenticeship through your employer, depending on your circumstances. For more information, contact our Student Services team.

Why study ACA Certificate with Kaplan?


We’re the UK's largest ACA training provider. Over 10,000 students study with us.

Pass rates

We are very proud of the pass rates achieved by our students as we consistently exceed the ICAEW average.


We have the most comprehensive course offering in the ACA market, and offer classroom courses at 17 centres around the country.

Academic support

All of our students are given access to expert tutors through our dedicated Academic Support team who are available 362 days a year, including Sundays and Bank Holidays.

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Recognised as an ICAEW Partner in Learning, working with ICAEW in the professional development of learners.