Initial Professional Development (IPD)

Providing details of your initial professional development (or work experience) is an important part of your journey to become a qualified accountant, and proves that you can apply your knowledge and skills in a practical work environment. 

What is IPD?

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 IPD programme is designed to help you to recognise, develop and record the professional skills and competencies you acquire through your work experience. You need to acquire three years' relevant and supervised work experience, which you can gain your before, during or after study for the exams.

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; and
  • Enhancing Information Communication Technology (ICT) competency.

How do I record my IPD?

AIA provides each student with an IPD Record which should be kept up-to-date as they progress through their work experience and log your progression. The IPD Record is designed to signpost students to obtain the required technical competency and professional skills, values and ethics. 

Further information and guidance

AIA are here to make sure you reach your goal of becoming a qualified accountant as soon as possible, with the right skills, knowledge and experience. If you have any questions, please contact the AIA Membership Services or review the guides provided on this page.

Where can I obtain IPD?

Where can I obtain IPD?

The diverse nature of accountancy work makes it possible to gain your experience in industry, commerce, public practice and the public sector. You can obtain experience in more than one sector and you may find that a variety of experience will benefit your career. The organisation in which you undertake your IPD can be any size and the type of work may vary from one employer to another; however your employer should be able to offer you a varied training environment and must facilitate access to guidance and support from a professionally qualified accountant.

When can I begin IPD?

When can I begin IPD?

IPD may be gained before, during study for, or on successful completion of, the AIA exams, or a combination of these. Whichever route you choose the IPD must be concluded within ten years of registration as an AIA student.

What counts as IPD?

What counts as IPD?

AIA accepts any work experience obtained during six months or more full-time employment as IPD. Part-time work experience may also be considered. In order for experience to count as IPD it must be certified by a professionally qualified accountant (an International Accountant, a member of an IFAC member body or a member of a statutorily recognised professional body).

Who can supervise my IPD?

Who can supervise my IPD?

Your supervisor should be a professionally qualified accountant. Where possible they should be your direct supervisor within your organisation.

When do I have to submit my IPD declaration?

When do I have to submit my IPD declaration?

All AIA students and graduates should complete and submit their IPD Declaration by 1 October each year. The declaration can be made online. 

When will I become a qualified accountant?

When will I become a qualified accountant?

Once you have completed your three years’ IPD, you are eligible to apply for Associate membership. Achieving Associate membership means that you have completed your professional accountancy qualification and are a qualified professional accountant.

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