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  • Writer's pictureCPAA

CPAA set to launch new Level 5 qualification

Set to launch soon, the CPAA is pleased to announce the next step in its education offering: a new Level 5 qualification. A step up in the complexity of accountancy credentials offered by the CPAA, this new qualification is being meticulously designed to enhance expertise and raise professional standards.


The new Level 5 is being designed to equip students with the skills to meet the evolving demands of the profession with confidence and competence. We are in the final stages of developing the Level 5 qualification, a new certification tailored to those running accountancy practices or working at a senior level within micro to small accountancy practices.


By introducing this higher level qualification, the CPPA is continuing to champion the development of accountants that are technically proficient, and equipped to lead in an ever-changing financial landscape. It follows the successful launch of our Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications, which are designed for bookkeepers and junior accountants, respectively. The Level 5 qualification forms the final stage of the CPAA’s suite of professional qualification, which enables learners begin their qualification journey and then build on their existing knowledge at each stage.


For existing practitioners, the qualification will provide external verification of their knowledge and skills, and support them in assessing the capabilities of potential employees or other accounting professionals. And for aspiring practitioners who are new to the field, the qualification will offer a clear benchmark of their knowledge and skills, helping them identify any gaps they need to address before entering into practice.


Recent data indicates a concerning trend in the field of accounting education. Recent data found that over the past couple of years, the total number of students in the UK and ROI declined by 3.5% and worldwide decreased by 2%. Of these numbers, 77% of all students from the seven major accountancy bodies in 2022-23 were under the age of 35, proving that there needs to be robust educational frameworks to support young professionals entering the field to help nurture the next generation of accountants.


We are not only committed to promoting high standards within the profession, but also to removing barriers that can stop talented individuals from getting ahead, while ensuring they have robust professional knowledge. Currently, applicants who are Qualified By Experience (QBE) can join the CPPA with five years’ professional experience. To ensure they also possess strong knowledge and skills, the Level 5 qualification will become a requirement for most of those currently entering via the QBE route.


The new Level 5 qualification will be assessed through a combination of a written reflective piece on the candidate's professional experiences and a rigorous three-hour exam. The qualification is divided into three core domains:

1. Financial Reporting and Analysis

2. Advanced Taxation for Accountancy Practitioners

3. Advanced Ethics and Compliance for Accountancy Practitioners


The finishing touches are currently being made to the syllabus for the Level 5 qualification and it is expected to be set live in 2025. Enrolment for Level 5 will open soon, and we invite all aspiring and current accountants to take this significant step towards enhancing their professional standing. For more information on the programme and how to get involved, please contact us for more detail.


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