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CIPFA's Professional Qualification (CIPFA PQ)

CIPFA’s Professional Qualification (PQ) has always offered the best foundation for developing the next generation of public finance professionals and leaders

In March 2022 we are introducing a refreshed syllabus, the Professional Accountancy Qualification (PAQ). The PQ will run alongside the new syllabus until all PQ students have completed their studies. If you began studying the PQ before 2022, you will find important information about this process on this page.

What does the new syllabus mean for you?

There will be minimal impact on you. You are not required to transition to the updated syllabus, nor will you be required to complete any additional modules. Your progress will not be interrupted, and you will be able to continue your current programme through to completion.

Find out more about the new syllabus

Key dates

As the PQ syllabus is being retired, you will need to make sure that you register for all of the final PQ module terms and exams – set out in the table below. If you do not register in time or are unsuccessful in a final module exam, you will be fully supported in transitioning to the updated PAQ syllabus. The PQ modules you have completed will be taken into account.

We will be communicating with you every step of the way, to ensure that you are aware of the key dates and are able to register in time.

Module name

Final term

Final exam

Management Accounting

September 2021

March 2022

Financial Accounting

September 2021

March 2022

Audit and Assurance

February 2022

September 2022

Strategy and Policy Development

February 2022

September 2022

Company Financial Reporting

September 2022

March 2023

Financial Management

February 2023

September 2023

Business and Change Management

February 2023

September 2023

Corporate Governance and Law

September 2023

March 2024

Taxation

September 2023

March 2024

Public Sector Financial Reporting

September 2023

March 2024

Strategic Public Finance

September 2023

March 2024

Strategic Case Study

September 2023

March 2024

Mapping the PQ and PAQ modules

In many cases, the updated PAQ modules map directly onto the current PQ syllabus. Where a new module has been mapped this indicates that the new module covers at least 80% of the legacy module's content. The below table also illustrates how you would transition across to the PAQ syllabus if you didn't register in time for a final module term or exam, or were unsuccessful in a final module exam.

Current PQ Module New PAQ Module
Management Accounting Management Accounting
Financial Accounting Financial Accounting
Audit and Assurance Audit and Assurance
Financial Management Business Planning and Financial Management
Company Financial Reporting Business Reporting
Governance and Risk Management
Strategy and Policy Development Developing Strategy and Data Analysis
Taxation Tax and Law
Corporate Governance and Law
Strategic Public Finance Strategic Public Financial Management
Advanced Public Audit Advanced Audit
Business and Change Management Implementing Business Change
Public Sector Financial Reporting Public Sector Financial Reporting
Strategic Case Study Strategic Case Study

Remember to submit your portfolio

To make sure you get the recognition you deserve, you must submit your portfolio after your final exams. This is a log of the practical workplace experience and evidenced skills recorded over the duration of your studies. Once you have submitted your portfolio, you will be awarded full membership to CIPFA and your Chartered Public Finance Accountant (CPFA) designation.

Find out more

For more information refer to our FAQs or contact us.