Become a qualified expert

Throughout your time on the scheme, you will be studying for The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy’s Professional Accountancy Qualification (CIPFA PQ), which is the key qualification for anyone pursuing a career in public finance management.


The qualification covers a broad range of expertise, from strategic planning, procurement and commissioning, to dealing with integrating services and the implementation of new delivery models. Training is delivered by qualified experts with years of public finance experience, and involves a combination of online and offline learning. This includes face-to-face sessions, which will be held at the CIPFA’s Mansell Street office in London.

What’s involved

The CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification consists of 12 papers spread across three different levels. On completing all three levels, you will gain the CIPFA qualification, full membership to CIPFA and Chartered Public Finance Accountant (CPFA) designation.

Professional Certificate

Financial Accounting
Management Accounting
Company Financial Reporting
Audit and Assurance

Professional Diploma

Business and Change Management
Corporate Governance and Law
Financial Management
Public Service Financial Reporting
Strategy and Policy Development

Strategic stage

Strategic Public Finance
Strategic Case Study

Upon completion of the CIPFA Professional Qualification you will be eligible to apply for full CIPFA membership and to use the letters CPFA after your name. Alongside your studies you also have to complete your work experience portfolio, this shows that you’ve not only completed the required modules but also have utilised experienced gained to become a well-rounded expert in public finance.

To help you prepare for exam success, you have various different options, attending face to face taught courses (at our head office in E1) or by accessing live online web classes. This gives you the flexibility to learn and study with how you feel comfortable. (To note, during COVID-19 all face-to face class have moved to live online sessions only). As a CIPFA student you will have access to all the learning materials, mock exams and progress tests required via your MYCIPFA account.

The CIPFA Professional Qualification takes three years to complete, with exams held in June and December.



The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy is the professional body for people in public finance. Its 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed.

Ready to be the future of public finance ?

We are now closed for applications to our 2021 graduate opportunities.