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.

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

What are remote exams?

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

Students sit their exams at home or their place of work and are invigilated by ProctorU.

What are local exams?

Local exams are taken on the student's computer and are sat at the student's place of work. These are invigilated a member of staff at the student's place of work.

How do I practice for my exam?

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.

CIPFA does not publish past exam papers.

September and December 2018 exam bookings

September exam bookings will be open from 13 July until 5pm on 31 July 2018

December exam bookings will be open from 8 August until 5pm on 19 October 2018

Please note:

Late exam entries accepted by telephone only.

£75 late fee will apply from 1-7 August and 20-27 October 2018

£225 extended late fee will apply thereafter.

2018 exam sessions

Sittings Exam week
September 03 September - 07 September 2018
December 03 December - 07 December 2018

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

Evidence will be required to complete application.

Special considerations

Apply for special considerations if you experienced difficulties on the day of the exam and you feel that your performance was impacted as a result. Your application will be presented to CIPFA's exam panel for consideration when awarding your final result.

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

Evidence will be required to complete application.

SCS Advance material

Advance material will be available a month before the SCS exam. 

(View our Key dates page for exact dates).

Strategic case study (SCS)

Click below to view the past papers for the recent SCS exams.


SCS June 2016

SCS June 2016 examiner report

SCS November 2016

SCS June 2017

SCS December 2017

SCS June 2018

Exam results

Sitting Results published 
June 2018
13 July 2018
September 2018
12 October 2018
December 2018
11 January 2019
March 2019
12 April 2019

If you do not wish for your results to be published, please email

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)