Guidance on training contracts for students and firms

We are currently operating in extraordinary times.  We must all endeavour to do our best to work together co-operatively in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak as the stakes have never been higher.  

As an Institute we do not wish to add additional burdens to students or firms during these already very difficult times, however, normal undertakings cannot be expected during this challenging and unprecedented time. 

We know that firms and students are working hard to ensure that they can meet the recommendations set out in the training contract to best of their ability, however, these are not normal times.  We hope that the following will offer some clarity around issues that have been raised in relation to training. 

Study leave and examinations 

As a professional body our regulators insist that our assessment must take the form of an official professional examination within an exam environment. We had limited opportunity to re-schedule the 2020 examinations while also allowing us to accommodate a repeat examination session within the academic cycle. 

We do appreciate that study leave will prove onerous for this year’s examination session and would ask that students and firms work together to find the most appropriate solution for their circumstances.   

The quantum of study leave remains the same however, we suggest the study leave is split between now and a period before the actual examination week, so for example, those completing the whole part of CAP1 (4 weeks) take 2 weeks now and 2 weeks prior to the CAP1 examinations.

To support our students with their exam preparation we will provide a revision study guide for each level and subject which will guide students on how they should approach their study and allocate their time over the full study leave period. The programme delivery teams will have each of the revision study guides available on 1 May 2020 and these will be available directly through your student portal.

Time served in the office/Training Contract term

Some firms may need to put their students on short term lay off until the Covid-19 outbreak is resolved.  The following may be of assistance: 

Both UK and Irish governments are providing schemes that aim to keep employees linked to their employers. If assistance is required in relation to trainees, firms should enquire about their eligibility for local state support. 

It may also be appropriate to have discussions regarding the possibility of trainees taking accrued annual leave. Any significant period of out of office time would normally require an extension to the training contract period, however, we will keep this under review.

Any queries relating to training contract should be by email to


Queries relating to study leave and examinations should be by email directly to:   

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