What is accreditation?

The concept of 'accreditation' involves a particular degree scheme being recognised by a particular professional accountancy body as including sufficient material taught to a specified level such that the body will exempt students completing that degree from its own examinations on that material.

In broad terms, two levels of accreditation exist:

Foundation level (sometimes known as 'Fundamentals' or 'Stage 1') 

This level of accreditation means that graduates are exempted from the initial set of examinations set by the professional body that they would otherwise have to take. All our accredited degrees lead to some exemptions at foundation level with all professional accounting bodies listed below.

Professional level

This is an additional level of accreditation that some of the professional accountancy bodies may be prepared to grant. Normally this will result in specific paper exemptions from some of the next stage of examinations that would have to be taken.

A word of caution for students choosing final-year subjects:

A Lancaster Accounting and Finance degree has a great deal of flexibility, with scope for a number of modules in other subject areas to be taken. Obtaining an accredited degree involves giving up some of this flexibility. If Foundation level accreditation is sought, the sacrifice of flexibility is fairly small. For Professional level accreditation, the sacrifice of choice would be much greater, possibly leading to the content of your degree being almost totally pre-determined.

It is thus vitally important that you realise that it is not compulsory for you to seek a degree giving the most exemptions from professional examinations. The Department's recommendation is NOT to allow accreditation considerations alone to determine your choice of degree and not to let them dominate your choice of courses. You must remember that you are far more likely to do well in your degree if you take the courses that interest you, rather than those you feel you have to. Never forget that a good degree result is vital in obtaining a job. Without a job, any exemptions to which you may be entitled are worthless. 

And, finally, the professional bodies frequently change their syllabus requirements, so the listed exemptions are subject to change from year to year.

Which degree schemes are involved?

Exemption is usually only available to students enrolled for the following degrees and is subject to certain units being taken and passed. The accredited status of these degrees is subject to periodic review by the accreditation board of the accounting bodies.

Accreditation: the professional accounting bodies

These pages summarise the exemption situation in respect of the examinations of the following professional accounting bodies:

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Note: Please be aware, we are currently in the process of re-accrediting our degree schemes and exemptions for 2013 and subsequent graduates will be updated in due course.