Certificate in IPSAS

An interactive e-learning course offering foundation knowledge of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

The CIPFA Certificate in IPSAS qualification introduces trainees to accounting and financial reporting in accordance with IPSAS, providing a solid foundational knowledge of the core published standards.

On successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to demonstrate basic technical knowledge of IPSAS, and will understand how certain events and transactions in public sector organisations should be treated.

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

The Certificate provides the perfect basis to progress to the Diploma in IPSAS.

Buy the Certificate in IPSAS

Who is the course aimed at?

The Certificate in IPSAS is suitable for:

  • those with knowledge of double entry book-keeping or basic accounting knowledge
  • finance staff
  • trainers
  • external auditors
  • consultants who need a basic knowledge of IPSAS
  • staff with significant financial responsibilities.

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 the core accrual basis IPSAS and the more limited requirements of the Cash Basis IPSAS.

Course content

The e-learning features eight interactive workbooks, covering:

  • Introduction to IPSAS accruals accounting
  • Accruals basis financial statements – an introduction
  • Accounting for tangible and intangible assets
  • Accounting for impairments
  • Accounting for revenue and provisions
  • Accounting for inventories, accounting policies and events
  • The cash flow statement – an introduction
  • IPSAS Financial Reporting Under the Cash Basis of Accounting – an introduction


The course takes approximately 80 hours to complete, and trainees can study at their own pace using CIPFA's virtual learning environment.

Learning and assessment

The course consists of interactive e-learning modules, self-assessment quizzes and progress tests, plus supporting workbooks – all accessed via CIPFA's virtual learning environment.

There is a timed end-of-course multiple-choice exam. Trainees must achieve a minimum of 60% to pass the examination and will receive the CIPFA Certificate in IPSAS upon successful completion. Trainees may attempt the examination up to three times during the 12-month registration period.

CPD hours

This course carries 80 CPD hours.

All CIPFA training counts towards your continuing professional development (CPD). If you are a CIPFA Chartered Member, you are required to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of relevant CPD activity each year as part of maintaining your professional competence and to develop skills and knowledge.

Find out more about CPD requirements


The cost of the Certificate in IPSAS is £220.

Discounts are available for training providers and group registrations.

Buy the Certificate in IPSAS e-learning