New landmark integrated qualification in audit launched by ICAS and CIPFA


The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and ICAS (the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) have today announced that they intend to work together to produce a ground-breaking new joint qualification in both public and corporate sector audit. 

The qualification will combine the unrivalled expertise and standing of both institutes to meet the needs of both the public and corporate sectors. This will also lead to dual designations from both ICAS and CIPFA for the students who train for this innovative new qualification. 

The move responds to the growing need for accountants to be able to audit all entities in all sectors due to the mixed economy within which organisation now operate. The increasing fluidity between public and private sectors means many employers now require staff to have a registered audit status in both public and company audit.

Given this environment this unique qualification will offer significant benefits to any audit professional, allowing them to practise across all sectors of the UK economy, affording greater portability and movement in their careers. 

The qualification will be aimed at prospective students and existing practitioners who will be working within this expanding mixed public/private sector environment. 

Speaking on the launch of the new qualification Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of CIPFA, said:

"CIPFA are delighted to be able to collaborate with ICAS in this way and will draw on the centuries of experience in professional accounting that our two institutes hold to ensure that this qualification is the new gold standard for audit.

"The qualification is good news for all those working in both public and private sectors and we believe it reflects the real needs of the mixed economy in this country.

"With the public sector making up around a third of UK GDP and increasing amounts of public spending carried out through the private sector, a joint qualification for auditors delivered by CIPFA and ICAS makes absolute sense for students and employers."

Anton Colella, Chief Executive of ICAS, commented on the announcement:

“This announcement signals an important strategic alliance between ICAS and CIPFA which we believe will add value to both Institutes.  It is a marker of the ambition which our Institute has to grow the scale and breadth of our education offering in a way that enhances our reputation and maintains the quality of the CA.

“This is an important step for ICAS in bringing together the best of both audit worlds into a new gold standard qualification. 

“This qualification is tailor made for a select group of audit professionals who are seeking competitive advantage in their careers in the future.

“It seeks to build on the opportunities in the modern reality of audit in the UK. That reality means practitioners will need a wider and deeper understanding to work across public and private sector audits.” 


CIPFA Press office
Office: +44 20 7543 5600

Contact: Isabelle Bell
ICAS Editorial team
Office: +44 0131 347 0320/ 07719 528 738

Notes to editors:

About the integrated qualification in audit:

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 audit registration 
  • the right to use both the CA and CPFA designations
  • membership of both ICAS and CIPFA

The training in the qualification aims to start in autumn 2015 and can be delivered in a classroom across three years or as a blended learning model.

You can find more information on the new integrated qualification in audit on this area of CIPFA’s website.

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. 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.