Firms/employers FAQs

  1. How can I ensure that my new students have applied for their exemptions?

    Prior to enrolment onto a Chartered Accountants Ireland course programme all students must clear their eligibility/exemptions. Students can apply for exemptions anytime from 1 April to end of July each year. Students who have completed the application process will be provided with a letter confirming their status from Chartered Accountants Ireland. You should request that your new students provide this letter to you. Find out more details on applying for exemptions and the list of accredited programmes.

  2. What terms and conditions should be agreed between the training organisation and the student in advance of registering the training contract?

    It should be noted that the training contract is not intended for use as an employment contract. The separately issued employment contract should specify the following:

    • Training allowances during the term of the contract and provision for their review
    • Payment of education expenses (see question below 3)
    • Study leave and conditions relating to the timing and format of study leave (see question 8 below)
    • Policy related to the payment and timing of increments for examination success (see question 9 below)
    • Number of examination attempts permitted by the firm to the student
    • Modular approach to examinations
    • Annual Leave
    • Overtime - policies regarding payment of same or option for time off in lieu for private study
    • Maintenance of the CA Diary and review of experience (see question 10 below)

    This is not an exhaustive list and any other items which the firm deems necessary should be dealt with in the terms and conditions of employment.

  3. What student fees are incurred by the training organisation?

    In accordance with the Training Package the training organisation is required to pay education expenses relating to first attempt students only. Chartered Accountants Ireland single education fee incorporates:

    • Exemption Fee
    • First attempt course fee
    • First attempt exam fee
    • Registration fee
    • Student text books and course materials

    The 2020/21 course enrolment fees are:

    • CAP1: €420/£290 Per Subject
    • CAP1: €2100/£1450 All Subjects
    • CAP2: €1590/ £1080 Per Module
    • CAP2: €3180/ £2160 All Subjects
    • FAE: €4350/ £2955
    Repayment of Fees

    In the event of a student transferring or terminating the training contract before the normal expiry date of said contract, the firm may, in accordance with the terms of the training contract, request the student to repay such proportion of education fees as may have been incurred by the firm on his/her behalf.

  4. What is the refund policy for course fees in 2020/2021?

    If the student withdraws from the course programme during November 2020

    A full refund less €100/£70 for administration costs will be provided should the student withdraw from the course programme before 16 November 2020. The student will be required to return all textbooks in a saleable condition.

    If the student withdraws from the programme between November and December 2020

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

    If the student withdraws from the course programme after 31 December 2020

    Should the student decide to withdraw from the course programme from 1st January 2021, the training organisation will not be eligible for a refund from Chartered Accountants Ireland. A refund may be requested from the student in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment.

    The training firm must ensure that a completed termination/transfer of training contract form is issued to Chartered Accountants Ireland when a training contract is ended prior to the normal expiry date. Any queries in this regard should be addressed to

  5. How do students receive the course textbooks?

    The book distribution process begins at the end of September each year.

    Students Training in Contract (Small to Medium Firms)

    Students who are in a small to medium size firm will have their books delivered directly to the firm address. 

    Students Training in Contract (Larger Firms)

    Students who are in training contract with one of the larger firms are required to collect the books at one of the book collection days. Several collection dates are arranged for participating firms throughout the year. These take place in the evening or on Saturday mornings. Students of participating firms will be provided with advanced notification of these dates.

    Repeat Students

    Books are not provided to repeat students on their second or later attempt at CAP 1, CAP 2 and FAE. Students who are not enrolled on the course programme but are repeating examinations can purchase the student textbooks from the Chartered Accountants Ireland online shop.

  6. Can the student change FAE Elective after enrolment?

    First Attempt Students

    While all students should do adequate research to ensure that they are enrolling on the most appropriate elective subject, we realise that from time to time students may wish to amend their enrolment. Students who enrol on the first attempt FAE programme have until 31st October 2020 to change their elective. Students are required to email any such request to Any change of elective will incur the cost of the additional course material provided. To allow for effective course planning it is not possible to facilitate applications to change elective after the closing date.

    Repeat Students

    Students who fail their FAE Elective and opt 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 2020 closing date accompanied by the relevant fees. Please note that in this instance it is not necessary to submit a separate examination entry form in respect of the elective re-sit.

    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.

  7. How do students register for examinations and interim assessments?

    First attempt examinations

    First attempt candidates who have enrolled on the course programme will be automatically entered for the first session of the examinations and interim assessments 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). 

    Repeat examinations

    Students on their second or later attempt at CAP1, CAP2 or FAE are required to register for the examination and interim assessments 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. .

  8. 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 :

    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 examination 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.

    Study leave for repeat examinations

    One examination leave day only for each day of examinations (excluding Interim Assessment resits). Further information on study leave can be accessed from the Training Package.

  9. What is the policy for paying increments?

    Firms should agree their policy on the payment of increments following examination success with the student at the time of contract registration. Suggested minimum increments are included in the Training Package for Firms. The timing of the payment of such increments should be agreed as part of the terms and conditions of employment.

  10. What happens if one of my students needs to defer an examination attempt?

    Where candidates wish to defer an examination attempt they should apply directly to the relevant examination executive with the details of the request.

    • Applications up to the issuing of “preliminary notifications” (usually circa 4 – 6 weeks before an examination): No charge attached
    • Deferrals between the response time for Preliminary Notifications and the issuing of Final Notifications (usually circa 2 weeks before an examination): An administration fee will be charged (charge available on application to Examinations’ Department)
    • Deferrals after the issuing of Final Notifications may attract a full examination fee for the revised attempt. Very exceptional or extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on a case by case basis
  11. How often should the Mentor review the CA Diary?

    On completion of a work activity/assignment trainees should reflect and be able to identify the competencies they have developed. Chartered Accountants Ireland recommends that trainees make diary entries at the end of every month. Diary entries may be extended in duration and should include all periods of leave, including study leave. 

    It is intended that the CA Diary of Professional Development will facilitate the mentor in monitoring the experience gained by a student. A Mentor is required to review a trainees CA Diary record, at a minimum, twice annually. This includes reviewing and approving (locking) CA Diary entries and recording a corresponding six-monthly mentor review. Both parties should agree a timetable of regular contact and review, in order to avoid any accumulation of experience for review. 

  12. 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 . 

  13. What happens to a trainee's CA Diary if the training contract is terminated/transferred?

    In the event of a training contract being terminated or transferred, it is imperative that all relevant experience is recorded in a trainees CA Diary and all experience is reviewed/locked by the Mentor before the trainee leaves.

  14. What are the key dates for this year?

    You can see a list of all the dates on the key dates page.

More information

For more information on course locations, enrolment, application for reasonable accommodations and other course information can be accessed from the current student section of the website.

Contact us

If you have any queries, please contact student services directly.

Tel : +353 1 523 3929

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