Rules and standards for students

Being an ACCA student brings lots of benefits but also some important obligations.

Students must comply with ACCA’s rules and standards. These are set out in the Rulebook.

ACCA Rulebook

The ACCA Rulebook includes the Bye-laws, regulations and Code of Ethics and Conduct, which students and members must abide by. These sections contain essential information about membership, practising arrangements and CPD, and regulatory and disciplinary matters.

You should ensure you know:

·        which regulations are relevant to you
·        where to look if you need more information.

We’ve included some of the key rules below. The Rulebook is updated regularly so please make sure you keep up to date with the main changes.

Key rules

Membership Regulation 8(2)

This regulation sets out the activities you can undertake as an ACCA student. More information is provided in the Am I in Public Practice? factsheet. Please read this carefully, as you could face disciplinary action if you do not comply. If you think you might be carrying on public practice work, please contact us for advice.

Bye-law 8

Bye-law 8 sets out the circumstances which may result in disciplinary action being brought against you.

These include:

  • professional misconduct
  • misconduct in exams
  • criminal convictions and breaches of regulations, including any actions likely to bring discredit to you, ACCA, or the accountancy profession.

If any matters listed in bye-law 8 apply to you (for example, if you have received a conviction or caution or been disciplined by another professional or regulatory body), you must declare them in your application to register as a student.

ACCA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct

The Code contains the ethical standards of conduct for professional accountants. In particular, you should be familiar with the five Fundamental Principles:

  • integrity
  • objectivity
  • professional competence and due care
  • confidentiality
  • professional behaviour.

If you don’t observe the standards of behaviour we expect of you in your professional life, you will be liable to disciplinary action.

Membership Regulation 8(6)

This regulation states that you must inform us of any changes of address. You can do this on your myACCA account. Keeping your contact and employment details up to date also allows us to contact you and tailor our communications to your needs.

Membership Regulation 3(g)

This regulation sets out the exam time limits that apply to all students completing the ACCA Qualification. You have seven years to pass all the Strategic Professional exams. If you don’t meet this time limit, you’ll have to re-take any Strategic Professional exams achieved more than seven years ago.  This rule means employers can be confident that your knowledge is relevant and up-to-date. Please read the exam time limits guidance to see how the rule will affect you.

Student disciplinary procedures

ACCA has public interest responsibilities and we ensure our students and members act with integrity and to the highest standards. The most common complaints against students are cheating in exams and carrying on public practice. We may withhold examination results while a complaint against you is under consideration. And if the case is proved, the consequences can be serious. You might be:

  • excluded from ACCA (which is the guideline sanction for cheating in an exam)
  • disqualified from any exam for which the results have not yet been issued; or
  • barred from sitting exams for a specified period.

ACCA’s disciplinary procedures apply to all member and students. You can find out more about the complaints process on our website.