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Professional qualifications are vocational qualifications, often involving an element of practical training. Usually, they are linked with a specific industry and are designed to help you improve and develop relevant skills for a particular career path.

Professional qualifications in the United Kingdom are generally awarded by professional bodies in line with their charters. These qualifications are subject to the European directives on professional qualifications. Most, but not all, professional qualifications are 'Chartered' qualifications, and follow on from having been admitted to a degree (or having an equivalent qualification).

Some professional qualifications can be very pricey, such as the LPC, and you’ll have to work out if it will be a sensible investment. However, your employer might be able to fund or contribute towards the cost. For example, many law firms will retrospectively cover the cost of the LPC for all of the trainees that they take on.

You will also need to factor in whether or not getting a professional qualification is worth the time and effort. Will it help your career? Will it bring you extra recognition or improve your salary? Some students spend money on acquiring a professional qualification before they are even guaranteed a job.



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Professional Qualifications in the UK:

ACCA - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Founded in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification (ACCA or FCCA). As of May 2012, ACCA was one of the largest and fastest-growing global accountancy bodies with 154,000 members and 432,000 students in 170 countries. ACCA's headquarters are in London with principal administrative office in Glasgow. ACCA works through a network of 83 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide employee development.

The term 'Chartered' in ACCA qualification refers to the Royal Charter granted in 1974 by Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom.

The ACCA syllabus consists of 14 papers divided into four levels:

Knowledge - 3 papers

  •     Skills – 6 papers
  •     Essentials – 3 papers
  •     Options – 2 papers from 4


  •     F1    AB      Accountant in Business
  •     F2    MA     Management Accounting
  •     F3    FA      Financial Accounting


  •     F4    CL     Corporate and Business Law
  •     F5    PM     Performance Management
  •     F6    TX     Taxation
  •     F7    FR      Financial Reporting (UK or International)
  •     F8    AA     Audit & Assurance (UK or International)
  •     F9    FM     Financial Management


  •     P1    GR&E Governance, Risk and Ethics
  •     P2    CR    Corporate Reporting (UK or International)
  •     P3    BA    Business Analysis

Options  Choose any 2 from 4

  •     P4    AFM   Advanced Financial Management
  •     P5    APM  Advanced Performance Management
  •     P6    ATX  Advanced Taxation
  •     P7    AAA  Advanced Audit & Assurance (UK or International)


Exam Regulations

All modules must be sat in order

Maximum of four papers to be taken in one sitting

Papers within a module may be sat in any order but ACCA recommends that they should be sat in numerical order

Papers from a variety of levels may be sat at any one time. i.e. Knowledge and Skills or Skills and Essentials

The three Essentials papers do not have to be sat together

Students have 10 years to pass all the examinations

The pass mark for all examinations is 50%

In addition to the above 14 papers, students are required to study and sit an on-line module in Professional ethics. It is recommended that this is studied at the same time as P1

Practical experience required


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Want to study  Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)  course? Please contact our Education Specialists for your admission.

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CIMA - Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

How will studying CIMA help your career?

Becoming a chartered management accountant can accelerate your career and boost your salary. It is a proven path to business success.

CIMA trained people work in industry, commerce, management consultancies, banks and not for profit and public sector organisations. Many of our members work in prestigious, high paying roles.

You can work around the world with CIMA. We have 195,000 members and students in 176 countries.

Why does being a professional matter?

At CIMA we help you to develop both your technical ability and your professional capacity. Your success is important to us. That’s why we ensure employers worldwide understand the benefits you can bring to a business through your knowledge and skills as well as your ethical and professional commitment.

What will I earn with CIMA?

Chartered management accountants are highly rewarded. See our salary surveys for more.

What is management accounting?

Management accountants interpret financial information to make business decisions. Top CFOs, CEOs and management consultants are chartered management accountants.


Want to study CIMA course? Please contact our Education Specialists for your admission.

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CFA® - Chartered Financial Analyst

The CFA® qualification is the single most widely recognised credential in the field of global investment. Holding it means you can take your career global, and to new heights, at organisations such as Credit Suisse and JP Morgan.

You will cover key areas throughout the programme, such as ethical and professional standards, asset valuation, financial analysis, economics, corporate finance, quantitative methods and portfolio management. This will fully prepare you for a successful and rewarding career in investment banking.

The CFA® examination process requires that you sit and pass three consecutive levels of exam. Level I exams are held in June and December each year with levels II and III only in June.

Each of the exams is a six hour exam though the format changes from level to level.

Level I – Both of the three hour exams will cover all of the level I curriculum areas. In total there are 240 multiple choice questions, each based around the level I Learning Outcome Statements and each offering three choices.

Level II – The level II exam is in 'item-set' form, a different style of multiple choice tests. You will be given 10 'vignettes' – mini case studies – and then have to answer six questions based on that vignette.

Level III – The morning exam at level III is a constructed response test where you have to provide written answers, for example calculating an appropriate asset allocation strategy for a given portfolio and explaining your recommendation. The afternoon paper is in the same format as level II.