What this means

  • Ethics are fundamental to the ACCA Qualification.
  • ACCA provides innovative training through an interactive online module allowing students and members to practise in a “safe” environment.
  • Ethics is examinable in all Strategic Professional Level exams as part of real world case studies.
  • ACCA students and members are trained to hold ethics in high regard and behave in a manner that promotes value in the public interest.

Developing the Ethics and Professionalism competency

Explore the competency statements to discover how the ACCA Qualification develops this competency through a combination of exams, experience and ethics. Browse related jobs to find relevant finance roles and opportunities.

A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.

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    A1. Demonstrates professional skills and ethical values in promoting public interest and the profession.

    A2. Complies with relevant codes, laws and regulations.

    A3. Applies the fundamental principles of integrity; objectivity; professional competence; due care; and confidentiality to make decisions in the best interest of society and the profession.

    A4. Identifies and evaluates threats to fundamental ethical principles.
    Implements appropriate safeguards against those threats by applying professional values of scepticism and judgement.

    A5. Advises on circumstances where an auditor may be considered negligent or where professional accountants may have legal liability to clients and third parties.

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Exams Syllabus section Experience Ethics
All exams All syllabus areas PO1 a, b Unit 1 - section 1, 5

B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.

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    B1. Prioritises and organises and resources effectively and responsibly, even in a fast-paced and high-pressured environment.

    B2. Applies digital technology with due consideration of cyber and information security risks.

    B3. Maintains professional competence though life-long learning by constantly keeping up-to-date with developments and trends affecting the profession and improving personal and professional knowledge and skills.

    B4. Solicits, reflects and acts upon feedback to improve professional behaviour.
    Also provides such feedback to fellow professionals.

    B5. Takes advantage of a culture of innovation and collaboration to lead initiatives to enhance performance within areas of expertise.

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Exams Syllabus section Experience Ethics
All exams All syllabus areas PO1 d, c
Unit 2 - section 1, 2

C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.

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    C1. Thinks laterally and creatively. Encourages open-mindedness to drive innovative thinking.

    C2. Encourages innovation in a bid to drive competitive advantage.

    C3. Exercises scepticism and a questioning mind, as a professional attitude.

    C4. Adopts techniques such as interviews and focus groups in the search for new and alternative perspectives.

    C5. Investigates and applies innovative and insightful approaches to data gathering, analysis and decision-making.

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Exams Syllabus section Experience Ethics
All exams All syllabus areas PO1 e
Unit 3 - section 3

D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.

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    D1. Thinks ahead, anticipates and visualises the future creating future-proof plans.

    D2. Applies professional judgement and self-awareness including whether or when to seek expert advice and support.

    D3. Maintains commercial awareness and business acumen and is continuously aware of current trends and emerging issues.

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Exams Syllabus section Experience Ethics
All exams All syllabus areas PO1 (all), PO3 (all)
Unit 3 - section 7,9

E. Communicates effectively and influences others.

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    E1. Exercises curiosity and is open to a variety of viewpoints in different contexts. As a result overcomes cultural and geographical barriers.

    E2. Adapts the way to communicate and influence others depending on the situation, the individuals involved and the objective.

    E3. Communicates clearly, logically and concisely, using suitable media and IT effectively.

    E4. Utilises digital communication apps including social media and online networking tools.

    E5. Applies interpersonal skills in advising, supporting, motivating and influencing others.

    E6. Acts as a professional role model to colleagues promoting a culture that values ethics, compliance, inclusion and collaboration.

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Exams Syllabus section Experience Ethics
All exams All syllabus areas PO2 (all)
Unit 6 - section 3

Related professional quotients

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Applies ethical and professional values to demonstrate vision for public values and promoting the profession.


Shows creativity in order to innovate in key areas such as professional scepticism.


Intelligence used in applying professional judgement and commercial acumen and to seeks specialist input when needed.

Example jobs

The Ethics and Professionalism competency is an integral part of the ACCA qualification applying broad ethical and professional values which underpin all other professional skills and job profiles.