Admission and award criteria

Chartered Accountants Ireland’s range of specialist qualifications are designed to meet the needs of our members and student members and therefore have an assumed level of knowledge reflecting this.
All applicants should satisfy themselves that they understand this level (FAE) and that their existing level of knowledge is equivalent by referencing the syllabus for FAE and the syllabus for the qualification in which they are interested. 
Our specialist qualifications are not listed on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). They are professional qualifications designed to build on existing knowledge of ACA level or equivalent.


While applications from members and students of Chartered Accountants Ireland will be given preference, applications will also be accepted from holders of a recognised accountancy qualification for programmes excluding Chartered Tax Consultant.
This includes all bodies prescribed by the Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory Authority (this includes members of ACCA, CIMA, CPA and ICAEW) and bodies who are members of the Global Accounting Alliance , this includes US CPAs (AICPA members).

Applications may also be accepted from those who hold a degree at Level 8 (on the NFQ) or equivalent qualification in finance, business or other relevant field. Candidates who do not meet the minimum academic requirements may be accepted on a case by case basis, where they can show significant relevant professional experience with specific relevance to the course they wish to undertake. Applicants under this heading must supply in writing evidence of their experience and a personal statement outlining how the course is relevant to their career.

For example, if applying for the Diploma in Corporate Finance under this category, you must currently be working in corporate finance, or another relevant role where corporate finance forms a substantial part of that role. You should be working at a senior management level. 

All applicants, other than members of Chartered Accountants Ireland, must submit evidence of their qualification/s with their application.


Chartered Accountants Ireland is one of only a small number of bodies recognised under Irish and UK statute and conferred with autonomous statutory awarding powers.

Members of Chartered Accountants Ireland will be awarded their qualification by Chartered Accountants Ireland under the ‘1966 ICAI Charter Amendment Act’.

All other successful participants will be awarded their qualification by our training subsidiary Chartered Accountants Ireland Executive Education.  The course work, assessment and examination will be exactly the same for member and non-member participants.

International applicants:

Applicants seeking to undertake a classroom study in Ireland or who wish to sit the exam in Ireland must be EU/ EEA passport holders, come from a country recognised under the Irish Visa Waiver programme or be legally entitled to reside in Ireland. Irish entry visas are processed in your country of residence prior to your departure and applicants from outside EU/ EAA must submit evidence of visa approval from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) with their application. 

Student visa:

All our Specialist Qualifications involve less than 15 hours of organised daytime tuition each week and so will not meet the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) student visa requirements. This means that those requiring study visas are not eligible to apply.  The INIS state that a person cannot be registered with the immigration service as a student if they are a night student, engaged in distance education or part time study. Full time study is defined as 15 hours per week for 26 weeks per year.

This however does not preclude a foreign national, who has a different immigration status, (e.g. worker, dependent, refugee etc) from engaging in any of these forms of education.

English language requirements:

English is the language of instruction at Chartered Accountants Ireland so it is essential that participants whose first language is not English can display a suitable level of competence. Applicants, whose first language is not English, should include an original or *certified true copy of one of the following:










Please note that test scores are only valid for two years.

* A Certified true copy is a photocopy of an original document that has been signed and stamped by a Garda or solicitor


Contact the Learning & Development team to apply or to confirm eligibility. 

Was this article helpful?