Grant Thornton students in audit qualification first


Accountancy students at leading financial and business adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP have become the first to sign up for a unique and new Integrated Qualification (IQ) in Audit.

Grant Thornton students who have just embarked on the new qualification will enjoy greater flexibility and movement in their careers through the IQ, which draws on the respective strengths and experience of ICAS and CIPFA in corporate and public sector audit.

The students will embark on 11 ICAS CA (Chartered Accountant) modules and four CPFA (Chartered Public Finance Accountant) modules over a three-year period.

The professional study, training and practical experience will give Grant Thornton students a deeper and wider knowledge of the audit world and the IQ is also unique in enabling students to become members of both ICAS and CIPFA – greatly enhancing their career and networking opportunities.

The IQ is aimed at prospective students and existing practitioners who will be working within this expanding mixed private/public sector environment, and this is the first in a series of initiatives which ICAS and CIPFA hope to announce, heralding a new working relationship between the two institutes.

Sarah Howard, Head of Public Sector at Grant Thornton, said: "We are delighted to support this exciting new qualification which reflects the increasing collaboration between the public and private sectors as they work together to drive growth and deliver better service outcomes to local communities. We believe the new IQ provides a great opportunity to invest in equipping our public sector students and clients to deal effectively with the challenges and opportunities arising from commercialisation, new service delivery models and increased joint working between the public and private sectors."

ICAS CEO Anton Colella said: "We welcome these Grant Thornton students on to this new and pioneering qualification. The IQ offers students the best of both worlds and responds to the changing demands of modern audit, with a firm grounding in both corporate and public sector disciplines. We are very pleased to have developed this forward-thinking qualification and to be working closely with CIPFA on other ventures for the benefit of the profession."

Rob Whiteman, CEO of CIPFA, said: "We are delighted that Grant Thornton students have become the first to sign up to this new ground-breaking accountancy qualification. We are confident that the IQ - which we have developed jointly with ICAS - will fast become the gold standard for anyone who wants to pursue a career in audit. Not only will it give students and existing practitioners world-class training, but it will also enable them to work with dual specialist skills across both the public and private sectors in all areas of the economy."

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Notes to editors:

About Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. These firms help dynamic organisations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, forward-thinking advice. Proactive teams, led by approachable partners in these firms, use insights, experience and instinct to understand complex issues for privately owned, publicly listed and public sector clients and help them to find solutions. More than 38,500 Grant Thornton people, across over 120 countries, are focused on making a difference to clients, colleagues and the communities in which we live and work. The UK Grant Thornton member firm provides services to over 40,000 privately held businesses, public interest entities and individuals. It is led by more than 185 partners and employs more than 4,200 of the profession's brightest minds. Find out more at

About ICAS

ICAS is a professional body for more than 20,000 world class business men and women who work in the UK and in more than 100 countries around the world. Our members have all achieved the internationally recognised and respected CA qualification (Chartered Accountant). We are an educator, examiner, regulator, and thought leader. Almost two thirds of our working membership work in business; many leading some of the UK's and the world's great companies. The others work in accountancy practices ranging from the Big Four in the City to the small practitioner in rural areas of the country.


CIPFA represents approximately 14,000 members who are public finance leaders and officials in the United Kingdom and overseas, specialising in high quality public financial management and governance for organisations in, and providing support to, government and public services. CIPFA is the professional body for people in public finance. Its members work throughout the public sector, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other public and private sector bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications is the foundation for a career in public finance.

About the joint audit qualification

The integrated qualification reflects the radical changes made to public sector audit in the past few years with the abolition of the Audit Commission and the introduction of a new public sector audit regime.

It will lead to:

  • both public and company registration
  • the right to use both the CA and CPFA designations
  • membership of both ICAS and CIPFA.

Commencing in September 2015, the course will cost no more than current registration and training fee and CIPFA and ICAS will agree one combined administration hub for the integrated qualification, students and employers.

The qualification can be delivered in classroom across three years or as an intensive programme with 12 of the 15 modules being delivered within the first 12 months of the programme. The course will be held at more than 20 ICAS and CIPFA study centres across the UK, offering both students and employers unrivalled flexibility and convenience.

CA and CPFA members will be able to ‘fast track’ the qualification by gaining 2/3 specialist examination passes and recording the appropriate level of experience in the discipline you seek to gain.

The audit standards and processes contained within the integrated qualification relate to public and company audit as regulated in the UK. However, both the CA and CPFA designations are highly respected worldwide across all sectors, with CIPFA and ICAS members enjoying highly successful careers around the world.

Members will have access to the full member benefits of both Institutes and pay a special reduced subscription rate.