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What is changing?

June 2018 will be your last chance to sit an exam under the current structure, after which:

  • The Professional Level will be renamed Strategic Professional
  • Governance Risk & Ethics (P1) and Business Analysis (P3) will be replaced with Strategic Business Leader
  • Corporate Reporting (P2) will be replaced with Strategic Business Reporting
  • The current Professional Ethics Module will be replaced with a new Ethics and Professional Skills module (available from 31st October 2017)
  • All other modules will be renamed, with subject topics replacing the use of short codes (e.g. Advanced Financial Management rather than P4)
  • The Options module will continue to consist of four papers, with students selecting to sit two of the four subjects.

What are your options?

How you should prepare for the changes will depend on how far along you currently are with your ACCA studies. We've outlined your options below.

  • Passed P1 or P3 keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    What's changing after September 2018?
    Governance Risk & Ethics (P1) and Business Analysis (P3) are being removed from the syllabus, and replaced by Strategic Business Leader.

    What should you do before then?
    You should sit the outstanding paper at the next available sitting to avoid losing your exemption. We recommend you sit in March so you have the option of resitting in June should you need to. Remember, you must have passed both P1 and P3 to be exempt from Strategic Business Leader.

    What happens if you do nothing?
    If you've only passed one of P1 or P3, come September 2018 you'll effectively lose that pass, as there is no equivalent exemption and no opportunity to sit those papers after June 2018. You'll have to sit Strategic Business Leader.

  • Not passed P2 keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    What's changing after September 2018?
    Corporate Reporting (P2) will be removed from the syllabus and replaced with Strategic Business Reporting.

    What should you do before then?
    You may want to try and pass P2 before the changes come into place to avoid delaying your qualification, but you won't lose anything by waiting. If you're able to sit in March, there is the added benefit of being able to sit P7 in June under the same accounting standards, and this gives you time for a P2 resit if things don't go your way first time.

    What happens if you do nothing?
    If you haven't passed P2 before September 2018, then you'll need to sit Strategic Business Reporting. The changes between exam formats aren't that significant, but there will be a change in focus in both the syllabus and style of questioning.

  • Not passed any of Essentials (P1, P2 or P3) keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    What's changing after September 2018?
    Governance Risk & Ethics (P1) and Business Analysis (P3) are being removed from the syllabus and replaced by Strategic Business Leader, and Corporate Reporting (P2) will be removed from the syllabus and replaced with Strategic Business Reporting.

    What should you do before then?
    Your decision will depend upon your level of exam confidence, but we would recommend that you sit two exams in the first half of 2018. You could choose to sit P1 and P3, either together in March so you have time for a resit if required, or one in March and one in June. Be aware that you could be caught out by transition arrangements if you needed to resit. Alternatively, you could sit P2 in March and an Options paper in June, then tackle Strategic Business Leader in the second half of 2018. Your final option would be to sit two Options papers, leaving Strategic Business Reporting and Strategic Business Leader for after September 2018.

    What happens if you do nothing?
    By not sitting two papers in the first half of 2018 you risk delaying your qualification.

  • Passed Essentials (P1, P2 and P3) keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    What's changing after September 2018?
    As you've passed all three papers, these changes will have no effect on you.

    What should you do before then?
    Sit your remaining papers in March or June 2018.

What is Strategic Business Leader?

Strategic Business Leader will replace P1 and P3, and consists of a 4-hour case study exam with no pre-seen information. The exam will be slightly different to those you are used to, with lots of information to assimilate on the day as you test your professional skills through the context of a case study. ACCA have more information about Strategic Business Leader here.

If you plan to wait to sit Strategic Business Leader, it’s essential that you sit ACCA’s new Ethics and Professional Skills module prior to the course. In fact, ACCA advise you attempt it prior to sitting any exams on the Strategic Professional Level. The module will introduce you to the professional skills that are required at Strategic Business Leader and will effectively increase your chances of passing. Even if you have completed the existing Professional Ethics module, you can access the new module and brush up your knowledge and develop your skills.

What is Strategic Business Reporting?

Strategic Business Reporting will replace P2, and consists of a 3 hour 15 minute exam. The exam will test your professional judgement, interpretation of financial statements and ability to communicate to various stakeholders, preparing you to confidently explain reports to a wide variety of stakeholders. ACCA have more information on their website about Strategic Business Reporting.