ACCA Certificate in IPSAS


ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the world's most forward-thinking professional accountancy body and supports a global membership of more than 219,000 fully qualified members and 527,000 students worldwide. It is dedicated to connecting with business, governments, educational establishments and opinion formers with the goal of shaping emerging trends, legislation and legal requirements across the profession.

ACCA Certificate in International Public Sector Accounting Standards (Cert IPSAS)

The ACCA Certificate in International Public Sector Accounting Standards – known as Cert IPSAS - has been specifically developed to help you meet the challenges of implementing. Cert IPSAS will be relevant to you if your organisation is currently using or about to implement IPSAS®, or if you work with clients who use IPSAS Standards®.

It’s perfect for helping employees with a background in financial reporting to meet the challenges of implementing IPSAS, providing a practical and introductory knowledge of these standards and how they are interpreted and applied.

What are the benefits of the programme?

  • examining the fundamental requirements of accrual-based IPSAS on a standard-by-standard basis, for the benefit of preparers, auditors and users of financial statements
  • providing guidance on how to use IPSAS in practice, with the aid of cases, interactive exercises and formative questions
  • explaining the difference between the cash basis IPSAS and accrual-based IPSAS
  • providing an overview of how IPSAS are used around the world
  • explaining the workings of the IPSASB and how these are developing.

Who is it aimed at?

  • public sector employers and employees globally
  • accountants working or wishing to work in the public sector
  • learning providers
  • national and local governments
  • policy makers specialising in the public sector.

If you already have a professional accountancy qualification this qualification can be a valuable source of CPD, offering an opportunity to top up existing competencies with specific technical knowledge and skills around IPSAS Standards.

If you do not hold a professional accountancy qualification, it offers the opportunity to gain formal recognition of IPSAS knowledge and skills. It is recommended that an educational or vocational background in financial reporting is gained before starting on Cert IPSAS.

Programme details

This self-study Cert IPSAS programme includes both an online course and a test.

The online course includes all the study materials needed, although candidates will benefit from having a copy of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) 2016 Handbook of International Public Sector Accounting Pronouncements (not included in this programme). You can find the handbook at the International Federation of Accountants website

The syllabus contains the following topics:

  • The IPSASB
  • Financial statement presentation and accounting policy
  • Financial performance
  • Accounting for assets and liabilities
  • Consolidation
  • Disclosure standards
  • Cash basis IPSAS
  • First-time adoption of accrual-based IPSAS
  • Forthcoming proposals for change

Online assessment

When you complete registration, you’ll get access to the online course and assessment for six months. Typically, candidates should take 20 hours to work through the course.

The certificate is assessed by a one-hour exam with multiple-choice questions. There are 25 multiple-choice questions based on the syllabus, and the pass mark is 50%.

The fee covers three attempts to take the assessment. These must be taken within the six-month access period. If the candidate does not pass after three attempts, another registration fee is required to make further attempts.

Preparation can be done using the official ACCA online materials provided, however if you would like to complement your learning by participating in a live instructor-led IPSAS seminar, the following IASeminars courses would be helpful addition to your overall preparation:

Course 3002: IPSAS Masterclass (10 days)
Course 3011: IPSAS Fundamentals - Comprehensive Workshop (5 days)


The cost for the programme, including self-study materials and the official Assessment is GBP 235. 

Following registration, you’ll receive access to the online course and assessment for six months. Typically, candidates should take 20 hours to work through the course.

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