Journey to the ACCA Membership

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualification is a prominent symbol of expertise, due to its relevance to each and every area of accountancy and finance. It presents you with the choice of working in many different financial roles and at senior levels within an organization.

The ACCA membership is a highly sought-after accolade in the accounting industry. Employers respect the qualification and value the skills and contribution ACCA accountants make to their organization. As an ACCA-qualified accountant, you will be in demand for having the right skills.

To become a member of ACCA, one needs to successfully clear a set of exams that can be rigorous and challenging. Currently, there are about 230,000 qualified members of ACCA across the world, and around 530,000 enroute the path to membership. With such a high demand for the qualification, candidates often seem to get confused about the various routes of entry to the ACCA at different stages of their professional careers.

This article will help you in understanding the different stages in the journey to earning the ACCA membership.

Becoming an ACCA Affiliate

High School Students

If you are a high school student looking to kickstart your preparation to enter the corporate world in a few years, then ACCA would be an excellent choice. As a school student, you can begin your ACCA journey early and build a career towards being a certified chartered accountant by the age of 20. ACCA has flexible requirements on the minimum age of the candidates, so you can start as early as you feel you are prepared to take on the challenge!

University Students

University students are the most common age group of candidates currently pursuing the ACCA qualification. A significant benefit of pursuing the ACCA in this stage is that selected universities for selected degrees across the world offer exemptions of up to 9 ACCA exams, leaving only 4 exams to be completed. This is often a critical decision-making factor for students when choosing the university and the degree after high school as it helps in helps expedite their accounting journey.

In the UAE, universities such as the Middlesex University, University of Wollongong Dubai, and Heriot-Watt University among others offer degrees that qualify for the ACCA exemptions.

Alternatively, if you are already an ACCA student, then you have the opportunity to simultaneously earn a BSc degree in Applied Accounting from the prestigious, Oxford Brookes University in the UK and an MSc in Professional Accountancy from the University of London – one of the top universities in London. Both the degrees can be studied online without having to move to the UK and are an excellent route to take when studying for ACCA.

Experienced Professionals

If you are an experienced working professional and hold a relevant, fully accredited degree from a recognized university, you can get your educational credentials evaluated by ACCA at the time of your registration. Based on the relevance of your previous education, you may be granted exemptions to complete the ACCA qualification by attempting the remaining few exams.

Professional Ethics Module

The ACCA Professional Ethics Module is an online ethics module that must be completed before, at the same time, or soon after you become eligible, having completed the previous 9 exams or received exemptions for them.

You also need to complete this online module to achieve the BSc degree awarded by Oxford Brookes University.

Work Experience Requirement

To be able to qualify for the ACCA membership, you need to have acquired 36 months or 3 years of relevant work experience that can be completed before, at the same time, or after you clear the exams.

An important thing to note here is that these 3 years of work experience can be a non-full-time role, an internship, voluntary work, or even a self-employed role spread over a span of several years. To summarize, the ACCA requires a cumulative work experience of 3 years completed regardless of the continuity.


If you are interested in joining hands with an ACCA-approved tuition provider to help make your ACCA journey easier, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to offer you the expertise of having helped students to successfully ace their ACCA exams for several years with the industry’s leading trainers. If you are looking for ACCA courses in Dubai join us as a student to kickstart your ACCA exam preparation.