AIA Professional Qualification: Accountancy

Studying to become an Accountant

AIA members operate throughout the world helping businesses, from start-ups to global operations, reach their full potential. Their knowledge and skills base comes from the AIA professional qualification, which was developed through collaboration with employers, businesses and academics to create a professional qualification that delivers world-class accountancy and business skills.

Qualification is through a combination of exams and work experience, covering all core accountancy and business subjects alongside a standalone paper on professional ethics. On completion you become a qualified accountant, ready to embark on an exciting and varied career in whatever business or finance field you choose.

Entry Requirements

You can start your journey with AIA if you have a minimum of 2 A Levels or equivalent.
If you have a degree or other professional qualifications you may be eligible for exemptions from some papers making it quicker and easier to become a qualified accountant with AIA.

What if I don't have the minimum entry requirements?

We’re working hard to ensure that there is a pathway to membership for everyone that wants a career in accountancy. For those without any relevant existing qualifications, you can take the AIA’s Certificate in Business Finance before progressing on to the AIA professional accountancy qualification.


The AIA accountancy qualification is designed to deliver the knowledge, competencies and professional conduct expected of world-class accountants.  There are 3 levels within the AIA accountancy qualification, consisting of 10 exams which are examinable in May and November each year. 

Foundation Level
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Professional Level 1
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Professional Level 2
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Getting Started

To start your journey towards becoming a qualified accountant, you will need to register as an AIA student

  1. Review the AIA's list of accountancy qualifications and decide whether you want to undertake a specialist qualification or start on the AIA professional qualification. 
  2. Review the AIA exemptions database to see if you are eligible for exemptions for prior learning.
  3. Consider whether you wish to study independently with AIA Achieve Academy or through a Study Provider
  4. Review the work experience requirements if you are choosing the AIA professional qualification.
  5. Register for AIA student membership.

Qualifying as an Accountant

Qualification as an accountant is achieved through a combination of study, exams and work experience or Initial Professional Development (IPD); to obtain Associate membership and become a qualified accountant you need to acquire three years' relevant and supervised work experience, which you can gain before, during or after study for the exams.

On qualifying, you will:

  • Become an AIA member and enjoy all our member benefits– the AIA designatory letters after your name are a mark of distinction and show employers, clients and businesses that you have undertaken a professional qualification and adhere to industry standards.
  • Have a developed understanding of professional ethics – the new AIA professional qualification has an Ethics paper in the final stage which demonstrates your commitment and understanding of the ethical behaviour expected from professional accountants.
  • Receive support and guidance throughout your career – AIA provides students with a range of study resources to support you through the exams, but on qualification you also gain access to world-class guidance and information to help you throughout your career.
  • Develop your skills – AIA offers further opportunities to learn new skills and gain many other qualifications along the way from CPD courses to degree pathways and MBAs.