ACCA has a time limit rule for students to complete their Strategic Professional exams which means employers can be confident that students have relevant and up-to-date knowledge to enhance their organisations
The rule means you have seven years to pass the Strategic Professional exams once you pass your first Strategic Professional exam. If you don’t pass all the Strategic Professional exams and reach affiliate status within seven years, you’ll lose any Strategic Professional passes achieved after seven years. These will need to be re-taken in order to complete the qualification.
If you passed your Advanced Financial Management exam in December 2013 it will be given an ‘expiry date’ of December 2020. If you have not completed all the Strategic Professional exams by December 2020 your Advanced Financial Management exam would expire and need to be re-taken.
The exam passes for Foundations in Accountancy, and the Applied Knowledge and Skills level from the ACCA Qualification will never expire.
We want to be fair and provide the same opportunities to all our students.
We know employers value up-to-date knowledge and they tell us that a time limit is important. Prompt completion of the exams demonstrates a commitment to becoming a professional accountant. You may also find many employers will have their own company policies for completing the exams within a certain time limit.
The seven year rule applies to everyone. However, if your first eligible exam session was December 2015 or earlier, you were also given a 10 year time limit to complete the qualification, from the date you registered as a student.
If this applies to you, you won’t lose any results before this time limit is up. After your 10 year time limit is reached, you will lose any Strategic Professionals results that are seven years old, or older, and you will need to take these exams again.
Check your myACCA account to find out when your Strategic Professional results will expire.
Do you think you won’t be finished before your given last exam session? Get in touch at email@example.com
All exam results and exemptions gained under the syllabus pre September 2018 will be converted to Strategic Professional passes and maintain their existing expiry dates.
Students who passed both P1 and P3 exams will receive a converted pass for the Strategic Business Leader exam. Converted passes will take on the expiry date of the latter of the two exams.
Take full advantage of the four sittings a year and speed your progress to membership
If you need to find a learning provider to support you – use our find a tuition provider service to locate one in your area.
Don’t forget there is a wealth of resources to help you progress through the qualification.
If difficult personal circumstances have prevented you from taking examinations, you can apply for an extension to the time limit.
We will consider each individual case carefully, but cannot guarantee that an extension to the time limit will be granted. We can only grant requests for extension under the most extenuating of circumstances such as critical illness or bereavement after long term care.
The maximum extension we can grant under any circumstances is one year (four exam sessions). We can only grant one request for extension per student.
Please be aware that expired results cannot be extended once they have expired and converted exemptions will not be extended.
It’s important to make your request during the correct extension request window, which will be dictated by the expiry date of your exam. Requests may be submitted from results release day of the session BEFORE your exam is due to expire, and all extension requests must be made by the standard entry closing date of the session your exam will expire.
My SBL exam expires in December 2020, therefore my extension window will open on the day September 2020 results are released and I must have submitted my extension request by the December 2020 standard entry closing date.
To request an extension, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure you attach any relevant supporting documents. We’ll consider your case carefully and let you know the outcome of your request.
Oxford Brookes BSc degree in Applied Accounting* must be completed within 10 years of achieving your first positive result on the ACCA Qualification otherwise your eligibility will be withdrawn.
For more information visit the Oxford Brookes BSc section
*The BSc programme is closing in 2026. Find out more.
Pass expiry dates will also apply for students studying the MSc in Professional Accountancy from University of London. All modules of this course must be completed before or at the same session as an ACCA pass expiry date, otherwise they will be required to re-take the pass or passes which have expired.
We’ve made amendments to the time limits and the exemptions policy in regard to the audit qualification in line with The Financial Reporting Council and Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority's requirements.
Students who registered prior to 1 January 2016 and who were awarded exemptions for all of the Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills exams are required to complete the Strategic Professional exams within five years if they want to apply for an ACCA practising certificate and audit qualification.
Similarly, for a UK practising certificate and audit qualification, students who first registered on or after 1 January 2010 and are eligible for exemption from all or some of the Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills exams based on a qualifications gained more than five years previously (at the date of initial registration as an ACCA student) will lose these exemptions and be required to complete the Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills exams.
Students who don’t meet this requirement won’t be able to apply for a practising certificate and audit qualification.
For all students registering from 1 January 2016 the rules are:
Students who don’t meet these requirements won’t be able to apply for a practising certificate and audit qualification.