Qualifications in International Public Sector Accounting Standards

More and more governments around the world are now choosing to use the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in some way to shape their accounting framework.

To support national governments, state enterprises and public sector institutions around the world as they move towards implementing IPSAS, we offer the CIPFA Diploma in IPSAS (Dip IPSAS) and the CIPFA Certificate in IPSAS (Cert IPSAS).

The two qualifications are accessible anywhere through a flexible online learning and assessment programme.


Benefits to you and your organisation:

  • Leverage to promote specialist expertise in this technically demanding area.
  • Improve quality and transparency of your financial reporting.
  • Improve quality of financial data and enable alignment across governments and non-governmental organisations.
  • A reliable basis for evaluating the current financial position and past performance for decision making purposes.
  • Achieve formal recognition from CIPFA, the leading body for global public financial management.

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What the diploma covers 

The Dip IPSAS provides trainees with a comprehensive knowledge of the published standards and guidance on applying the accounting requirements of the standards.

Successful completion of the course will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the technical content of accruals based IPSASs, Cash Basis IPSAS and the ability to apply this knowledge to certain events and transactions in public service organisations.

Key learning objectives

At the end of the course, trainees will be able to:

  • describe the financial reporting context for public sector entities 
  • describe the main requirements of IPSASs 
  • apply the requirements of IPSASs to determine the appropriate treatment of events and transactions in financial statements 
  • explain the requirements of cash Basis IPSAS.

Learning and assessment

The learning materials consist of a series of online topic areas accompanied by interactive workbooks including practical examples, self-test questions and progress tests.

The Dip IPSAS prepares trainees for an end of course online assessment. Trainees must achieve a minimum of 60% to pass the examination and will receive the CIPFA Diploma in IPSAS qualification upon successful completion. Trainees may attempt the examination up to four times during the 12-month registration period.

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What the certificate covers

The Cert IPSAS introduces trainees to accounting and financial reporting in accordance with IPSAS thereby providing a solid foundation of the core published standards.

Successful completion of this course will demonstrate basic technical knowledge of IPSAS and an understanding of how certain events and transactions of public sector organisations should be treated. 

Trainees will be introduced to the Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities and gain a foundational understanding of Cash Basis IPSAS and several key accruals based IPSASs.

Key learning objectives

At the end of the course, trainees will be able to:

  • describe the financial reporting context for public sector entities 
  • understand the main requirements of core 
  • understand the requirements of the Cash Basis IPSAS.

The Cert IPSAS provides the perfect basis to progress to the Dip IPSAS.

Learning and assessment

The Cert IPSAS learning materials consists of a series of online topic areas accompanied by interactive workbooks.

There is no formal examination at the Certificate level, with understanding and knowledge evaluated through self-test questions at the end of each topic area. A Certificate of Completion is available at the end of the programme.

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