Independent ACA Study


So after trying for a long time to secure a training contract I am still unemployed.

I exceed the academic requirements and regularly get to the second round interviews but just haven’t come out on top yet - a few times I have been told the number of people who have applied, made it to 1st int, 2nd int etc. and I have been in top 85% or higher of candidates.

I don’t really think it would be worthwhile doing a paid job I wouldn’t enjoy - so am doing voluntary work just to keep myself active and get more competency examples etc. I think my time would be better used doing ACA exams on my own. I have a few exemptions from the knowledge stage exams.

Has anyone done it independently? Can it be done for professional stage without going to classes ? (I know it technically can be done but it is realistic to do it this way)

It will be expensive especially if I go to classes for it - but hopefully it will give me a good advantage in the future

what is everyones opinion?


you cant do ACA on your own! work is a required part of the degree. However, you can study ACCA on your own.


You can start it on your own - obviously you need to get the work experience eventually too - but you can sit exams on your own

ACCA needs work experience aswell


no other replies?


Maybe phone ICAEW (I assume you mean them?) and ask? They might be able to point you in the right direction, perhaps to a third party tuition provider or something?

It definetly is 3 years of practical experience required for CA/ACA training, ACCA requires experience too but I have definetly read/met people that are studying it on their own.


You are asking a question that can only be answered by the body who awards the qualification in the first place, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Phone the ICAEW and/or look on their website.


I have contacted them

You can register as an independent student

You can do all exams except for the case study without having a training contract

Just wondering if anyone else has started it off independently whilst looking for a training contract


I don’t think it would be particularly smart to put yourself through the exams to be honest. I’m not saying it would happen, but as you need 3 years and 450 (?) days of relevant work time, if you never got a training contract you’d never get the qualification. While the exams may not be too expensive in themselves, I think you’d struggle with the application papers without going to college and that’s pretty costly. Plus, have you thought of the expenseof study materials etc?

In my opinion, it would be better just to carry on concentrating on getting a grad position and hold off until then.