ACCA exemptions

If your trainees already have some qualifications, they may not have to take all of the exams in the ACCA Qualification or Foundations in Accountancy awards.

These are called exemptions and mean that they will start their accountancy studies at the right level for their knowledge and skill. They can also claim exemptions on the basis of practical experience if they wish to complete the CAT Qualification (part of the Foundations in Accountancy suite of awards). 

Why do we award exemptions?

By claiming exemptions trainees can avoid studying the same topics that they have studied in the past.

It helps ensure that students' prior learning matches what is required for the ACCA Qualification. So employers can be confident that ACCA members have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, wherever they started their learning journey. 

When should a trainee claim exemptions?

We would recommend claiming exemptions if a trainee studied a related qualification recently.  However, if a trainee is thinking of claiming exemptions based on qualifications they gained a number of years ago or if they have been working in a field other than accountancy for some time, it may benefit them to take the exam. 

Studying for the exam will allow the trainee to refresh their knowledge of the topic and will ensure they are sufficiently prepared for the Strategic Professional exams, which go into topics in greater depth. 

If a trainee is not sure whether to apply for an exemption, ask them to review our past exams. These are available in our study resources section.

Then, if they are not confident they could pass the exam right now, they should consider studying for the exam. 

How to claim exemptions 

Employers cannot claim exemptions on behalf of their trainees.

For details on how trainees should apply for exemptions, use our guidance tool.