Students FAQs

Frequently asked questions about being a student

Have a question? Please see the list of questions below and if you can't find the answer you're looking for you can contact us and we'll try our best to help you.

  1. How do I apply for exemptions?

    Students embarking on the professional training programme with Chartered Accountants Ireland must clear their eligibility/exemption position in advance of enrolling on a course programme. Students can apply for exemptions anytime from 1 April to end of July each year. Further details on applying for exemptions along with a complete list of accredited programmes can be found on the exemptions page.

  2. Where are the course locations?

    In 2019/2020 the courses will be delivered in the following locations:

    • CAP1: Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Distance Programme option (Belfast, Dublin and Galway).
    • CAP2: Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford/Kilkenny and Distance Programme option (Belfast, Dublin and Galway).
    • FAE: Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford/Kilkenny and Distance Programme option (Belfast, Dublin and Galway).

    Students enrolling on CAP1 and CAP2 in the Dublin centre may choose from two groups, each with a different timetable structure. There is also a distance programme available to all students. Early enrolment is advisable to ensure you secure a place on your preferred group as classes can book out quickly.

  3. What is the distance learning programme?

    The distance learning programme for CAP1, CAP2 and FAE comprises of a blended approached of online study and classroom-based contact. The workshops will take place in Dublin and Belfast and will be actively tailored to facilitate students who are studying online. The contact days will explore topics covered in the online sessions, work through exam questions, and provide an opportunity to ask questions. Continued participation on the Distance Programme will be dependent on the students engagement with the course work required as preparation for each lecture session. The programme provides students with much greater flexibility in how they structure their studies and will particularly suit students who live outside the areas served by an education centre and to those for whom frequent attendance at lectures is not suitable.

  4. What online resources are available?

    All CAP1 and CAP2 students enrolled to either the distance programme or the classroom programme will have access to a suite of online resources. Course content will be available in c.45 minute videos, which can be viewed using a computer with either Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. There will be interactive Q&A sessions with subject lecturers and the Student Services team. Learning journals will be provided to each student to assist in planning and tracking their progress throughout the year.

  5. What are the enrolment regulations?


    • Candidates who have 2 or more full subjects outstanding in CAP1 can only enrol on the outstanding CAP1 subjects.
    • Candidates must enrol on a minimum of 2 subjects in CAP1 if they have two or more full subjects outstanding in CAP1.
    • If candidates are not exempt from Financial Accounting or Law in CAP1 they must select these subjects as part of their first enrolment options. It will not be possible to de-select these options. 


    • If candidates have 1 ½ papers or less outstanding in CAP1 they may enrol onto Module 1 of CAP2 in addition to the outstanding CAP1 papers.
    • Candidates cannot progress to Module 2 of CAP2 until they have successfully completed all of the CAP1 papers.
    • Candidates cannot enrol onto Module 2 of CAP2 prior to Module 1.


    • If a candidate has successfully met the CAP1 requirements in full either through exemption or examination success they may enrol on all 4 subjects in CAP2.
    • Candidates may elect to take CAP2 modularly. If the student has no outstanding papers in CAP1, they can enrol to any chosen two CAP2 subjects. Such candidates can enrol to the remaining two subjects in the second year regardless of the outcome of the earlier examinations. 
    • CAP2 must be successfully completed within a 3 year timeframe.


    • Candidates cannot enrol on FAE until they have successfully completed all of CAP2.
    • Candidates must enrol on FAE core and chose one of the FAE electives.
    • FAE must be taken as a complete part.
  6. What are the course enrolment fees for 2019/2020?

    Education fee includes:

    • Exemption fee
    • Registration fee
    • Student text books
    • Course fee [1st attempt only]
    • Exam fee [1st attempt only]
    Course enrolment fees Covers / cost
    CAP1 enrolment fees are:

    €420/£290 per subject

    €2100/£1450 ALL subjects (5 subjects)

    CAP2 enrolment fees are:

    €1590/£1080 per module (each module contains 2 subjects)

    €3180/£2160 ALL subjects (4 subjects)

    FAE enrolment fees are:

    €4350/£2955 total fee (core & elective subjects)

  7. What is the modular approach (CAP1 and CAP2)?

    CAP1 comprises 4 full papers and a half paper. Students who have, by exemption or CAP1 exam success, 1 ½ papers or less to complete at CAP1; may complete those outstanding CAP1 subjects in addition to Module 1 of CAP2 (Auditing & Assurance and Taxation) in the same academic year.

    Students who are successful in the outstanding CAP 1 papers may enrol onto CAP2 Module 2 in the following academic year regardless of the result achieved in their CAP2 Module 1 examination.

    The subjects in CAP2 Module 2 are Financial Reporting and Strategic Finance & Management Accounting. Students who are not successful in the CAP1 examination cannot enrol to CAP2 Module 2 until they have successfully passed all outstanding CAP 1 papers.

    CAP2 Modular (excluding CAP1)

    Students who do not have any CAP1 papers outstanding and chose to enrol to CAP2 on a modular basis can select any two subjects from the CAP2 programme. 

  8. How do I get my course textbooks?

    Text books are provided to students enrolled on the full programme of study for the respective subjects/courses. Students repeating exams may purchase materials as required from the Chartered Accountants Ireland online bookstore.

    The book distribution process starts at the end of September.

    • If you are in a training contract in a small to medium size firm your books will be delivered directly to your firm.
    • If you are not in a training contract our distributor will contact you once your enrolment is complete and ask you for your preferred delivery address. 
    • If you are in the following big accounting firms in Dublin you are required to collect your books from CA House: KPMG, EY, PWC, Deloitte, Mazars and Grant Thornton.  The collection dates and times will be advised.

    Student book queries should be emailed to

    TOP TIP if you are sending an email please include your student number in the title of the email. 

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  9. Which FAE elective should I choose?

    Students enrolling on the preparatory course programme for the Final Admitting Examination are required to choose one of the following elective options:

    • Advanced Auditing & Assurance
    • Advanced Taxation
    • Advisory (previously Advanced Performance Management)
    • Financial Services Elective
    • Public Sector Elective

    For a summary of each elective, and factors that should influence each student’s decision, please see our FAE elective information page.

    NOTE: You can complete an additional elective at any stage. While candidates should be confident that they have made the correct elective choice during their FAE year it is possible to complete another elective post-qualification. This provides members with much flexibility and opens up many new career options. Any such course of study will contribute towards your CPD requirement.

  10. What happens if I want to change my FAE elective after I have submitted my enrolment?

    First attempt students

    Students who enrol on the first attempt FAE programme have until 31st October 2019 to change their elective. Students are required to submit a change of elective form before the closing date accompanied by the relevant fees. It is not possible to facilitate applications to change elective after the closing date.

    Repeat students

    Students who fail their FAE Elective and elect to take a different elective for the next examination sitting must enrol on the main class programme for their new elective option. Students enrolling on the FAE Elective course will be enrolled to attend all 10 sessions and sit their mock exam with the main class. Students changing elective are required to submit the change of elective form before the 6th December 2019 closing date accompanied by the relevant fees. Please note that in this instance it is not necessary to submit an separate examination entry form in respect of the elective re-sit.


    Members who wish to participate on an elective to contribute towards their CPD hours must enrol on our main class programme for their elective option. The closing date for such enrolment is 6th December 2019. Please contact to obtain the enrolment form. 

  11. What is the refund policy for course fees in 2019/2020?

    If you withdraw from the course programme during October 2019

    A full refund/credit less €100/£70 for administration costs will be provided should you withdraw from the course programme before 31st October 2019. You will be required to return all textbooks in a saleable condition.

    If you withdraw from the programme between November and December 2019

    A refund/credit of 50% of the course fee will be provided should you withdraw from the course programme before 31st December 2019.

    If you withdraw from the course programme after 31 December 2019

    Should you decide to withdraw from the course programme from 1st January 2020 you will not be eligible for a refund/credit.

    If you are under training contract you must submit a completed termination of training contract form when withdrawing from the course programme. If you are enrolled on the flexible option route, you must submit notice of termination of studies in writing in order to be removed from the course programme. Please note, refunds are only applicable where full course fees has been received. Any queries in this regard should be addressed to

  12. How is attendance at lectures recorded

    Chartered Accountants Ireland facilitates the recording of attendance at lectures for training organisations. The attendance requirements document details the attendance requirements of students, how attendance is logged and which students are required to log attendance.

  13. What is the recommended study leave for each level?

    Chartered Accountants Ireland recommends that authorised training firms provide leave additional to annual leave to their students under training contract to allow for preparation for and presentation at the professional examinations. The recommended study leave is intended to accommodate attendance on courses, e.g. block release, as well as private study. The following recommendations are made in relation to study leave for those preparing as first attempt candidates for the CA Proficiency 1, CA Proficiency 2 and Final Admitting Examinations.

    CAP1 [first attempts only]

    • 23 working days, to be allocated pro rata as follows:
      • 5 Days for each: Finance, Management Accounting, Financial Accounting and Taxation
      • 3 Days: Law for Accountants
    • 4 exam leave days (1 for each end-of-year exam day)

    CAP2 [first attempts only]

    • 7.5 working days per subject
    • 1 exam leave day per subject
    • Or 15 working days per module if taken on a modular basis, plus exam days

    FAE [first attempts only]

    • 35 working days (FAE Core & FAE Elective)
    • 2 exam leave days

    Pro-rata allocation does not apply as it is not permitted to split FAE Core and FAE Elective.

    Repeat / resit exams [all levels]

    • 1 exam leave day (1 for each day of exams, this excludes interim assessment resits)
  14. What are the Interim Assessments?

    There will be an interim assessment component in the following papers:


    • Financial Accounting (Double Entry Bookkeeping aka DEBK)
    • Management Accounting


    • Strategic Finance & Management Accounting (SFMA)
    • Audit and Assurance
    • Financial Reporting


    • Core: Advanced Application of Financial Reporting Principles (AAFRP)
    • Elective

    Students who are exempt from a paper will also be exempt from any associated interim assessments component.

  15. How do I register for first attempt interim assessment(s)?

    First attempt candidates who have enrolled on the course programme will be automatically entered for the first session of the interim assessment(s) in that academic year.

  16. How do I register for repeat interim assessment(s)?

    Students on their second or later attempt at CAP1, CAP2 or FAE will register for the interim assessment online through their student portal. Participation in a re-sit interim assessment will incur an additional fee to the examinations. This fee is payable as part of the online registration process.

  17. How do I register for first attempt examinations?

    First attempt candidates who have enrolled on the course programme will be automatically entered for the first session of the examinations in that academic year. Such candidates will have an opportunity to amend the examination venue/session subsequent to receiving the provisional notification of examination sitting (issued circa 4-5 weeks before the actual examination). Please note, first attempt candidates are not required to submit a separate examination entry form.

  18. How do I register for repeat examinations?

    Students on their second or later attempt at CAP1, CAP2 or FAE are required to register for the examinations online through their student portal before the closing date. The examination fee is payable as part of the online registration process.

    FAE students who change elective

    Students who have changed elective and are enrolled on the main class programme for their new elective are not required to enrol for the elective exam. Students re-sitting core and/or elective must enrol online through their student portal.

    CAP1 external examination candidates

    Applicants wishing to present for our CAP1 examinations as external candidates may apply:

    1. In the year in which their degree or postgraduate programme concludes or
    2. At the May and/or September sessions immediately preceding entry into a Training Contract/Flexible Option/accredited Masters programme, where the offer of a Training Contract and the start date of the contract is certified in writing to the Institute by the training organisation.

    External students are required to register for the examinations through the external examinations enrolment page. The examination fee is payable as part of the online registration process. Please note candidates must set up an account on our website prior to enrolling on the external examinations.

    Examination regulations

    The examination regulations can be accessed on the exam information page.

  19. How do I change examination venue?

    Changes to venues can be made before the final notifications are emailed out to students. If you wish to make a venue change please log onto your student portal.  Click on “my enrolments” and then select the relevant academic cycle eg 19/20. The option to change your centre will show above your enrolled exams.

  20. Can I defer my examination sitting?

    Yes, candidates are permitted to defer their exam sitting. Deferring a sitting does not impact on the requirement to complete all required exams at each level within the maximum period allowed. Below is a list of fees applicable to defer an examination sitting:

    • Applications in advance of the provisional exam notification (provisional notifications are sent approximately six weeks before each exam session) do not attract a fee
    • Provisional notification for each exam session will include a cut-off date for acceptance of changes to exam enrolment. Applications for changes made after this date will attract a fee.

    Candidates should apply directly to the relevant examination executives to request a deferral.

  21. Can I carry forward my exam fees to the next sitting?

    In the event whereby a student, for unavoidable reasons, is unable to sit for the examinations for which they are enrolled they may apply to pay a carry forward fee when enrolling on the next diet of examinations instead of paying the full examination fees. The student must apply to the Examination Department, with appropriate evidence, to avail of the carry forward fee prior to submission of a new entry form. Please note that exam enrolment fees are non-refundable.

    Students can apply for a concessionary attempt to

  22. What if I do not pass the exams within the permitted timeframe?

    If a student has not passed the Institute’s examinations within the maximum period permitted for that level or where a candidate has exhausted the 8 year timing regulation, the student may apply for a concessionary attempt. All such applications are assessed on a case by case basis. Further information in relation to concessionary attempts can be found in the examination regulations.

    Students can apply for a concessionary attempt to

  23. How do I apply for reasonable accommodations in examinations?

    Candidates with a disability or temporary impairment may apply for reasonable accommodation in examinations and assessments. Further information in relation to the supports available and the process, please see the application for reasonable accommodation page.

  24. How to terminate/transfer the training contract?

    As both processes only arise in exceptional circumstances you should make contact with Chartered Accountants Ireland to discuss the formalities involved. You will find some initial guidelines here.

  25. What are the regulations to meet the educational requirements for the audit qualification?

    Please refer to the Audit Qualifications requirements page for details.

  26. How do non-EU students apply for/renew their Stamp1A visa?

    Non-EU students who are registered in a training contract with a recognised training firm, or appropriately employed and registered Flexible Route students,  can request us to confirm their registration details to the GNIB in advance of their Stamp1A visa appointment. Please email this request two weeks prior to your Stamp1A visa appointment to Please include your student number in all email correspondence. Further information regarding the visa process is available from the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

  27. What are the key dates for 2019/20?

    A complete list of key dates for this year is available on our key dates page.

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