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Minimum entry requirements

To study the Professional Qualification, you must meet the minimum entry requirements below.

In this section

What do I need?

The minimum requirements for studying CIPFA's Professional Qualification are as follows: 

  • Three GCSEs, grades A–C (or grades 4 and up), and two A-Levels, grades A–C, or equivalent. Scottish, Northern and Southern Ireland equivalents also accepted. Subjects must include Maths 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 you do not meet the academic requirements, you can still study if you are 21 or over and have your employer’s support and more than three years' relevant work experience.

Case studies

Read our member case studies to learn more about different types of finance careers across the public sector. 

Find out what attracted our members to public finance, how CIPFA supports them in their careers and what CIPFA means to them.

Read our members' stories

Ruth Hudson
Strategic Business Partner
Metropolitan Police Service

 “CIPFA members are really supportive.  I have over the time had lots of support from more senior staff who I am sure are very busy doing their day job but took the time to advise and that has been a real help.”

Azia Ali

Aziz Ali
Business Accountant
London Borough of Tower Hamlets

‘The CIPFA qualification is providing me with the comprehensive accounting skills to become a successful public finance accountant’.

Neil Sartorio
Partner – Lead for England & Wales Local Public Services
EY (Ernst & Young LLP)

‘I was presented with a choice of accountancy qualifications and due to my passion for the public sector I was only interested in the CIPFA qualification that was most relevant and respected to that.’