Information for employers

The way that we deliver training for the CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification (CIPFA PQ) is getting better.

From the new Autumn term, our students and employer partners will benefit from a more integrated experience, providing greater flexibility and choice from the CIPFA Education and Training Centre (CETC), and improved reporting to employers, through our employer portal.

CIPFA Learning’, our brand new virtual learning environment – and a key part of our plans to improve CIPFA PQ training for employers and their trainees in the UK and internationally – launches this term.

In the UK, the Apprenticeship Levy and the forthcoming Level 7 apprenticeship in professional accountancy is driving change and creating new opportunities around the delivery and funding of accountancy training. 

Underpinning all this, our core syllabus remains unchanged – still offering the best educational foundation for developing the next generation of public finance professionals and leaders.

You can read about all these improvements and changes in our new guide for employers.

The CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification


The only professional accountancy qualification that truly delivers the wide range of technical, behavioural and commercial skills expected of a modern public finance professional

Our syllabus, case studies and practical experience portfolio (PEP) scored highest in relevance, across the board, when compared to three other leading accountancy institutes.


Bespoke learning packages built around you and your organisation

We can custom design a study and assessment plan to suit your needs, incorporating face-to-face, online and distance learning.


CIPFA creates experts who add value to your organisation from day one

Our syllabus is designed to ensure that students rapidly acquire key financial skills that can be easily applied in the context of your business – giving you an immediate return on your investment.


Talented, motivated staff that are committed to improving public services

80% of CIPFA students choose to remain in the public sector after qualifying. 72% of CIPFA members work at management level or above.


Comprehensive training with exemplary pass rates, money well spent

Your staff will gain technical accountancy, business management and strategy and leadership skills – helping to reduce the requirement for further training in these areas.

CIPFA students earn higher final level pass rates than ACCA and CIMA with 80% passing first time.*

* Source: FRC, Professional Oversights Board Key Facts and Trends 2013

New online learning option

We’ve listened to feedback from our employer partners and we’re pleased to tell you about some exciting changes.

This summer the CIPFA Education and Training Centre (CETC) is launching a new online learning experience. 

Development work is well underway to create an easy-to-use, flexible platform that provides a first-class learning experience for CIPFA students and the best value for money for you as their employers.

The new service will offer all the features expected of a contemporary online learning system including live virtual classrooms and online discussion forums. The platform is being developed with input and guidance from CIPFA’s specialist tutors, all of whom have significant experience in public finance training and in delivering the CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification (CIPFA PQ).

As part of these changes, we will also be simplifying our face-to-face, online and self-study learning packages. We’ll be making it easier to create a blended study bundle that works for you and your organisation.

We’ll be keeping our current students and employers up to date on the changes and improvements over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the changes and what these mean for you, please call us or get in touch by using the link below.

CIPFA Customer services: +44 (0)20 7543 5600 

Minimum requirements

  • Three GCSEs (grades A-C) and two A-levels (grade A-C), or the Scottish or Republic of Ireland equivalents. Subjects must include mathematics and English at either level.
  • ­BTEC and SCOTVEC national certificates are also accepted.
  • The minimum vocational requirement is NVQ/GNVQ level 3, or Scottish equivalent.
  • ­If your staff do not meet the academic requirements above, they can still become a CIPFA student if they are 21 or over and have over three years’ relevant work experience.

There are a range of alternative entry routes for AATs, fully qualified accountants and senior professionals.

Find out more >


We also offer exemptions based on previous qualifications of similar level.

Exemptions are granted on a paper-by-paper basis.

All exemption information listed is indicative, based on the modules usually studied as part of the degree in question. All exemption applications must be accompanied by full transcripts. No exemptions are guaranteed until CIPFA have reviewed transcripts to ensure sufficient syllabus coverage.

Find out more >

Other Benefits 

With CIPFA membership, your staff gain:

  • Chartered accountancy status and the globally-recognised CPFA designation
  • Global networking opportunities with public finance leaders
  • Technical help from industry experts
  • Public finance CPD support and resources
  • Outstanding member-only technical resources
  • Contact with industry peers at events
  • Conference and sector updates

Professional Certificate:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Company Financial Reporting
  • Audit and Assurance

Professional Diploma:

  • Business and Change Management
  • Corporate Governance and Law
  • Financial Management
  • Public Service Financial Reporting
  • Strategy and Policy Development
  • Taxation

Strategic stage:

  • Strategic Public Finance
  • Strategic Case Study


On completion of these levels and submitting your Practical Experience Portfolio (PEP), you gain our Professional Qualification, full membership to CIPFA and the right to use the globally respected 'Chartered Public Finance Accountant' (CPFA) designation.