The AIA exams are maintained at the highest standard, through annual internal review and ongoing external academic moderation. They comprise sixteen topics spread over two modules at each of the three stages: Foundation, Professional 1 and Professional 2.  As our exams test accumulative knowledge, it is essential that you are familiar with the syllabus and you should review it regularly as part of your study.


The Foundation Level ensures that you have a practical understanding of the techniques, principles and knowledge that form the basis for further accounting study.


Significant technical development of professional knowledge and skills are acquired at this stage, which this is now set within an analytical and critical framework. Exam questions are case study or scenario based.


Professional ability is the key to this level. Current professional issues and an ability to deal with complex and demanding situations are developed. This is set within a framework testing application and evaluation skills.


AIA examines the following standards, and a full list is available in the syllabus:

  • International Standards on Auditing (ISAs)
  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs)
  • International Accounting Standards (IASs), and
  • International Standards on Quality Control (ISQCs)

Each level requires a different depth of knowledge of the standards:

  • Foundation – you should be aware of the standard and be familiar with the basic concepts involved.
  • Professional 1 – you should be aware of all major requirements of the standard and be able to apply it to straight forward situations. You should be able to recognise some of the pitfalls and issues associated with the standard.
  • Professional 2 – you must be fully cognisant of the standard and know how to apply it to specialised situations. You must also be fully aware of the important issues, contemporary thinking and criticisms related to the standard.

If you are following the RPQ (Audit) route, the relevant UK standards are Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) and Statement of Standard Accounting Practice (SSAP) and all current Auditing Standards (ISAs (UK and Ireland)) issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).