Our new relationship with ICAEW

Dedicated, talented and well-rounded finance professionals have never been so crucial. Across both the public and private sectors, they will be at the front line of global issues. Climate change, the cost of living crisis and political and socio-economic instability are all challenges that finance professionals will be grappling with, both now and into the future.

At CIPFA, we pride ourselves on educating, supporting and training the next generation of public finance professionals who have the knowledge, skill and passion to take on society’s big challenges.

The CPFA designation is the gold standard in public sector accounting and our reputation extends around the world. Our strength comes from the professionalism, diversity and expertise of all members and our mission is to sustain and grow the profession in a world of increasingly complex global challenges. Finance professionals will meet these challenges across both the public and private sectors, which is why I was pleased to announce yesterday a strategic alignment with ICAEW.

We want to keep on improving and be ready for whatever the future holds. Central to this ambition is making sure our students and members have the very best career options possible. The first major outcome of this strategic alignment is a new accelerated route, launching in early 2024, that will enable newly qualified CPFA members to take an additional module and submit a statement of intent to qualify for ICAEW membership and ACA designation. Similarly, ICAEW members will be able to join CIPFA through a mirrored process.

This accelerated route to gain CPFA and ACA designation and qualify for dual membership will give CIPFA students and newly qualified CPFA accountants a much wider range of career opportunities by allowing them to easily switch between the public and private sectors, if they so wish.

I also hope it will entice more ACA students and qualified accountants to consider a career in the public sector and experience all the rewarding benefits it has to offer that the private sector cannot. The accelerated route to gain CPFA and ACA designation and dual membership will also make candidates more attractive to employers, as it shows a wider range of abilities and commitment to the accountancy profession as a whole.

CIPFA and ICAEW will also be pooling their online resources to better support students and members in all aspects of their studies and careers, as well as aligning our disciplinary processes to make it easier to understand. Additionally, all the facilities at Chartered Accountants’ Hall (ICAEW’s head office in London) will be opened up to CIPFA members and students.

Both institutes have committed to an ever-closer strategic relationship underpinned by our common commitment to serve the public interest. We have signed a joint declaration which sets out many of the possibilities and opportunities that we will explore, discuss and implement over the coming months and years. Whatever happens in the future we are clear on one thing, and that’s CIPFA will retain its brand, identity and absolute commitment to the public sector.

By working together and offering an accelerated route to gain CPFA and ACA designation and qualify for dual membership, we’ll be able to deliver better outcomes for our members and students, while strengthening the accountancy profession as a whole, both here in the UK and on the international stage. And that’s good for everyone.

If you are interested in the new module or would like further information, please visit our website.

“CIPFA is the best brand in public sector accountancy, while ICAEW is the best brand in the private sector. By pooling our resources and online support for students and members, we are confident that together we can deliver better outcomes for them and the accountancy profession as a whole.”

Rob Whiteman CBE, CIPFA CEO