The ACCA Qualification

The ACCA Qualification gives students the most up-to-date skills they need to become a finance professional. But it gives you a much deeper and more rounded approach than the purely technical.

Threaded through the whole journey are the ethics and values students need to make a difference. And because you can only qualify after completing at least 36 months of hands-on professional experience, members become exceptionally valuable to employers wherever they're based in the world.

The ACCA Qualification 

There are three stages of exams, plus an Ethics and Professional Skills module and a Professional Experience Requirement.  


Applied Knowledge exams

An exceptional introduction to the world of finance and accounting, these exams provide students with a broad understanding of essential accounting techniques.

Find out more about the Applied Knowledge exams.

Applied Skills exams

Building on your existing knowledge and understanding, Applied Skills develops strong, broad and practical finance required of future strategic professional accountant in any sector or industry.

Find out more about the Applied Skills exams.

Strategic Professional

These exams provide students with the unique blend of skills, real-world focus and specialisation options which will super-charge careers and develop strategic, forward-thinking professional accountants. Strategic Professional exams are comprised of both Essentials and Options exams.


Students will take both these exams which provide them with the skills they need to make an immediate impact with employers.


These exams offer the unique opportunity to specialise in areas of greatest relevance to a chosen sector or career path.

Find out more about the Strategic Professional exams.

Practical experience

Exams are important. But part of what makes the ACCA Qualification so valuable is that it gives you real-world experience.

As well as completing exams and the ethics module, you need three years’ practical experience in a relevant role to qualify. Learn more about the Practical Experience Requirement.

Ethics and Professional Skills

The Ethics and Professional Skills module is designed to develop the complete range of skills that employers told us they need. By introducing students to the full spectrum of advanced ethical and professional skills and exposing them to realistic business situations, we’re doing everything we can to make our students shine with recruiters and be really credible in the workplace. 

Students should complete the module ahead of taking the Strategic Professional exams. Find out more about the Ethics and Professional Skills Module.

How long does it take to qualify?

This depends on what qualifications student have before they register with us. We're passionate about giving as many people as possible the opportunity to gain our world-renowned qualification - so you start at the level that's right for you. 

Students with existing qualifications which match the skills and knowledge needed for the ACCA Qualification may be eligible to claim for exemptions for some of our exams.

Students can check if they are eligible for any exemptions from our exams by visiting our exemptions pages.  

The quickest way to become a member is to work and study at the same time. If you do, you could qualify in as little as three or four years.

Is there a time limit?

There’s no limit on how long students can spend on the Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills exams. Once students pass their first Strategic Professional exam, they have seven years to pass their remaining exams.