The CIPFA Professional Qualification is the premier qualification for professional accountants, financial managers and auditors specialising in the public services

The format of examinations and the style of questions reflect a range of subject areas, including technical and numerical topics, management, policy and strategy. Each exam includes questions that assess the candidate's knowledge, skills and application. There is progressively more emphasis on the higher level skills at the Professional Diploma and Strategic stages.

CIPFA Professional Qualification examinations are designed to be fair, transparent and consistent.

Following the delivery of CIPFA's first online examinations, we have analysed all student and employer feedback and presented findings in the review of CIPFA online examinations for June 2016.

Online exams

CIPFA exams are now online (excluding Strategic level).

  • the online exam process
  • how to get setup for online exams
  • ProctorU and how it works
  • step-by-step guides
  • webinars

Offline exams

Get your system ready if you are sitting exam using the Offline Test Manager.

  • Calibrand Test Manager system requirements
  • how to get setup for offline exams
  • step-by-step guides
  • webinars for invigilators

Practice tests

Practice is the key to exam success. At CIPFA we give our students a unique opportunity to hone your exam skills by using our LIVE exam system with practice tests of exam standard questions.

Introducing Calibrand

To deliver our online exams and practice tests, CIPFA have partnered with Calibrand.

When we create your Calibrand account you will receive an automatic email notification. To ensure you receive our emails safely, please add and to your contacts and your safe senders list (especially important for Hotmail users). Check the email is not in the spam/trash folder.

You can access your Calibrand account 24/7 using the link below. Your username is your CIPFA student number (ends in -CIP or -NF). If you don't remember your password, use the 'forgotten your password?' to create a new password.

Exam dates

Exam dates for November 2016 and for March, June, September and December 2017.

November sitting

November exam bookings will be open from 9am 08 August until 5pm 14 October 2016

Please note:

£75 late fee will apply until 21 October 2016.

£225 super late fee will apply until the exams.

If you need to book an exam for the November sitting, please contact Student Support. Exams will need to be paid at the time of booking.

2017 sittings

Sittings Exam week
March 06 - 10 Mar 2017
June 05 - 09 June 2017
September 04 - 08 Sept 2017
December 04 - 08 Dec 2017

March 2017 exam bookings open 14 January 2017.

Special arrangements

Apply for special arrangements if you are planning to sit exams but have special needs in any of the following areas:

  • learning
  • physical
  • social
  • health

Apply before the exam registration deadline.

For online exams, please use the form below:


Apply for deferral if you are unable to sit your exam.

Exams are refundable until the exam booking window closes. If you wish to apply for a deferral after this time, it will need to fall under the following:

  • medical
  • bereavement
  • extenuating circumstances

Evidence will be required to complete application.

Special considerations

Apply for special considerations if something happens to you on the day of the exam and you feel that your performance was impacted on the day. After results day, if you marginally fail, your application will be sent to exam panel for consideration.

Please complete, with relevant evidence, 10 working days after the last examination(s) sat.

Evidence will be required to complete application.

SCS pre-seen material

Pre-seen material will be available a month before the SCS exam. 

(View our Key dates page for exact dates).

Strategic public finance (SPF)

Click below to find the SPF marking scheme from the June 2016 sitting.

Strategic case study (SCS)

Click below to find past paper for the SCS exam from the June 2016 sitting.

Exam results

Sitting Results published 
March 13 April 2017
June 14 July 2017
September  13 October 2017
December 12 January 2018

If you do not wish for your results to be published, please let Student Support know.

Pass rates

Click below to see the PQ exam pass rates.

List of successful candidates

Download the PDF below to see the list of successful candidates.


You may appeal against your exam result within 10 working days of receiving your results if you believe: 

  • There is evidence of bias, prejudice or discrimination as defined by the UK Equality Act 2010. 
  • New evidence exists of extenuating circumstances which, for valid reasons, the student could not disclose to CIPFA in line with the published timetable for special considerations applications. 
  • There is evidence of a substantial procedural irregularity with respect to an aspect of the conduct of the exams and/or determination of results. 

Appeals based on any other grounds will be rejected.

How to apply

  1. Download and read CIPFA's 'assessment appeals policy'.
  2. Send an email to Head of Student Services requesting to appeal, including details of your case.
  3. Once your case has been approved by the Head of Student Services, you will be asked to download the 'Appeals application form' and;
  4. Make a payment of £75. Do this by clicking 'Appeals application payment'.

If you have any questions, please contact Student Support at

Student regulations

Find out more about the student regulations below.

Assessment regulations

Find out more about assessment regulations below.

Every year CIPFA recognises best performing students and celebrates their achievements in a formal prizewinner ceremony, followed by champagne reception held at CIPFA HQ in London.

Arthur Collins Memorial Medal 

Is awarded for achieving the highest combined marks in:

  • Strategic Financial Management (SFM) and 
  • Strategic Leadership (SL)

Richard Emmott Memorial Prize

Is awarded for achieving the highest marks in:

  • Strategic Financial Management (SFM)

Eric Gilliland Memorial Prize

Is awarded for achieving the highest marks in:

  • Strategic Leadership (SL)