You are required to complete two elements to qualify as a professional accountant: 

  • passing the AIA exams
  • three years relevant and supervised work experience

AIA’s Initial Professional Development (IPD) programme is designed to help you to recognise, develop and record the professional skills and competencies you acquire through your work experience.

You can gain your three years’ IPD either before, during or after study for the exams.

The IPD training office is encouraged to make provision for the trainee(s) sitting AIA exams i.e. by offering two days study leave per exam (to include one day study leave and one day for exam attendance). Additional study leave is granted at the employer’s discretion.

IPD is defined as work experience, gained by performing the work of a professional accountant under qualified supervision at progressive levels of responsibility.  AIA creates world class accountants and our IPD requirements play an essential part in this process.

"The AIA's IPD programme provides a framework in which to develop professional skills and competence in the work environment."

In addition to demonstrating your academic ability and technical knowledge, you must also show your competence in the workplace by gaining and applying technical knowledge, professional knowledge, professional skills and professional ethics, values and attitudes.

IPD provides a framework in which you develop your professional skills and competence in the work environment by:

  • Working at progressive levels of responsibility
  • Enhancing awareness of the working environment, understanding of relevant organisations, of how business works and of the business environment
  • Applying technical knowledge and being able to relate accounting work to other business functions and activities
  • Developing and applying professional ethics, values and attitudes in practical, real-life situations
  • Enhancing Information Communication Technology (ICT) competency