Diploma in IPSAS

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

The CIPFA Diploma in IPSAS qualification provides trainees with a thorough knowledge of the published IPSAS and related documents. It also provides comprehensive guidance on applying the accounting requirements of the Standards.

On successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the technical content of accruals based IPSAS, Cash Basis IPSAS, and the ability to apply this knowledge within public service organisations.

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Who is the course aimed at?

The Diploma in IPSAS is suitable for:

  • accountants
  • senior finance staff
  • IPSAS implementation and maintenance teams
  • external auditors
  • consultants dealing with financial reporting
  • trainers wishing to refresh their knowledge of the standards
  • senior budget holders
  • policy makers.

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 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.

Course content

The e-learning features ten interactive workbooks, covering:

  • The financial reporting context for public sector entities
  • Accruals basis financial statements – advanced level
  • Accounting for tangible and intangible assets – advanced level
  • Accounting for impairments – advanced level
  • Accounting for revenue and provisions – advanced level
  • Accounting for inventories, accounting policies and events – advanced level
  • Consolidation
  • The cash flow statement – advanced level
  • Reporting and disclosing financial performance and position
  • IPSAS financial reporting under the cash basis of accounting – advanced level


The course takes approximately 100 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 Diploma in IPSAS upon successful completion. Trainees may attempt the examination up to three times during the 12-month registration period.

CIPFA Affiliate membership

On successful completion of the Diploma in IPSAS, you can apply for CIPFA Affiliate membership. If you’re not already a CIPFA member, this is a great way to access a wealth of resources and networking opportunities.

These include a weekly e-learning service CPD Bites, access to publications, technical advice and expert commentary on the international public finance arena. Plus use of the designation CIPFA Affil to signal your expertise and association with CIPFA.

Learn more about the benefits of CIPFA membership


The cost of the Diploma in IPSAS is £550.

Discounts are available for training providers and group registrations.

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