External students/candidates

There is a facility for students to take our CA Proficiency 1 examinations under the "external candidate" route.  This allows students to present for all or any combination of subjects in our CAP 1 examination without having completed the relevant course programme.  The onus lies with the student to ensure that they are familiar with the course syllabus in order to make a reasonable attempt at the examination.

The criteria for sitting as an external candidate is detailed below:

  • External candidates may sit the examination in the year in which their degree or postgraduate programme concludes OR
  • External candidates may sit the examination at the May and/or September sessions immediately preceding entry into a training contract 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 OR
  • External candidates may sit the examination at the May and/or September sessions immediately preceding entry into the flexible option route where this is confirmed in writing to the Institute by the candidate, having cleared eligibility to become a prospective student.

Please note external candidates can only sit examinations in any one year,  i.e. if they sit examinations in May or September, they cannot sit exams the following year as an external candidate.

Students sitting exams in the Summer must first set up an account with Chartered Accountants Ireland (if not already registered) and then apply for their exemptions online. 

Upon registering as an external student you can apply online to sit the relevant exam, giving you access to the past examination papers that are available on-line.  Please note that you are not enrolled on a programme and therefore will not be given access to course materials.

If you are successful in these examinations you will carry the pass to your formal registration with Chartered Accountants Ireland in the same way you would carry an exemption.   If you are unsuccessful in the examination it will not impact on the number of attempts you have at the examinations when you formally register with Chartered Accountants Ireland.  Your formal registration with Chartered Accountants Ireland cannot pre-date the date of the external examination sitting.

Please click on the "apply online" button below  to complete your external student application


To apply as an external student or to apply for exemptions requires you to login. If you don't have an account already, you can create one on the login page to proceed.


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