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Join ICB using your AAT, ACCA, CIMA, City & Guilds, IAB, or ICAEW qualifications, accounting apprenticeship, or work experience

You may be able to join ICB as a member if you have completed an Accounts/Finance Assistant Apprenticeship (Level 2), Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship (Level 3), or Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship (Level 3), or have achieved recent relevant qualifications from a recognised body (AAT, ACCA, CIMA, City & Guilds, IAB, ICAEW) or if you have recent relevant work experience. This means you wouldn't need to take ICB bookkeeping exams to become a member. You can find out what we recognise as 'recent' and 'relevant' below.

If you are middway through your bookkeeping exams with another body and wish to transfer to ICB, we may be able to fast track you. Please call us on 0203 405 4000 so we can find the best solution for you.

Your pathway to ICB membership by exemption

Exemption Pathway

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ICB Qualification Conversion Chart

This chart shows the accountancy qualifications considered relevant for ICB membership purposes. Please be aware that this chart should be used as a guide only, and is subject to change. Applications for membership by exemption based on existing qualifications and apprenticeships are assessed individually on a case by case basis taking into consideration the full extent of your relevant learning and work experience. You will usually be required to sit at least one online Membership Entrance Paper (MEP); these are available 24/7, at no extra cost, and practice mocks are available too.

If you are middway through your exams with another body and wish to transfer to ICB exams, we may be able to fast track you. Please call us on 0203 405 4000 so we can find the best solution for you. ICB qualifications are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

If your qualification is not listed in the table below, please take a look at our current qualifications and download the syllabuses for a comparison. If you think we should consider your qualifications, please get in touch with us on 0203 405 4000. 

We do not offer exemptions from our Level 4 qualifications, or to the membership grade of Fellow (FICB). ICB Level 4 qualifications are available to complete individually, 24/7, 365 days of the year and cover Self Assessment Tax, Corporation Tax, Financial Statements and Business Insight. Members (MICB) of 2 years' good standing with at least three Level 4 qualifications can apply to become Fellows.

Awarding Body

Qualifications completed within 5 years of application 

additional online ICB Membership Entrance Paper/s (MEP) required in most cases

Membership Grade
Associate Member Member
ICB  Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping  x  

Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping
with
Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts

  x
AAT - Statement of Achievement required Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping or Accounting   x  
Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping or Accounting with
Level 3 Advanced in Certificate Bookkeeping or Diploma in Accounting
  Fast Track Route*

ACCA  
Transcript required
FA1  x  
F3/FFA/FA    x
CIMA
Transcript required
Certificate in Business Accounting paper BA3 with a software qualification x  
Certificate in Business Accounting paper BA3 with a software qualification and Operational Level Paper F1    x
City & Guilds 
Transcript or Certificate required
Level 2 Award in Bookkeeping and Accounts with a software qualification x  
Level 2 Award in Bookkeeping and Accounts with Level 3 Award in Bookkeeping and Accounts and a software qualification   x
IAB 
Certificate required
Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping with a software qualification x  
Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounting with a software qualification   x
ICAEW Certificate in Finance Accounting and Business - Accounting Module   x

* If you have completed AAT Level 2 and 3 qualifications within the last five years you may be eligible for our new Fast Track route. We will support you in gaining the knowledge required to join as a full Member with the designation Certified Bookkeeper. Please email us to register your interest.

 

How long will my application take?

Applying for membership by exemption can take between one and three months from the day your application is accepted. ICB is an AML Supervisor; please let us know immediately if you are already running a bookkeeping business and need AML supervision or are already covered. AML supervision is legally required of external bookkeepers and accountants, therefore if you have been trading without it, you will be charged a late registration penalty.

What does it cost?

Application Fee
There is a one-off application fee payable upon application. This fee covers your application only and will not be refunded in the event you withdraw your application, or if your qualifications are out of date, or your reference does not match our requirements, or you fail the Membership Entrance Paper (MEP).

If your application meets our criteria, and you pass any required MEP, your application will be passed through to the final stage of processing; assessment by the Admissions Panel.  In the unlikely event that the Admissions Panel rejects your application, 50% of your application fee will be refunded. 

*Please see the application criteria

Membership Annual Subscription Fee

If your application is successful you will be offered membership at the grade of Associate or Member dependent upon the ICB qualifications you are exempt from. If accepted, the annual membership fee for the appropriate grade will be payable in addition to any licence fees for your bookkeeping business.

For details of the current year's fees please refer to Table 1: Annual Subscription fees and Table 3: Membership by Exemption fees on the following page:

> Fees & Subscriptions

Late Registration Penalty

If you have been trading without Anti-Money Laundering Supervision, your ICB Practice Licence will be backdated to the date on which you began trading.

Making your application

1. Submit an Online Application

You can submit an application for membership by exemption at any time throughout the year.  

When you are ready, please complete the online form and pay the application fee with a credit or debit card. Once you have completed the online application form you will have to set up an account and be given an ICB Number that you can use as a reference when contacting us.   

Submit an Online Application now

 

2. Submit the Supporting Evidence

Your application will be accepted for processing once all supporting evidence has been received. You can upload digital copies of your documents and enter referee details immediately upon making your online application, or later, either via your online account or by email. 

Required Items:

  1. Photo ID (ID Requirements)
  2. CV or covering letter detailing study and/or work experience to date •
  3. Proof of relevant qualifications and/or referee contact details (Application Criteria)

3. Complete the Membership Entrance Paper (MEP), if applicable

You may be asked to complete a Level 2 and/or Level 3 Membership Entrance Paper (MEP). This is an online skills appraisal covering elements of the corresponding ICB bookkeeping syllabus at Level 2 and 3. The MEP should take a competent bookkeeper no more than three hours to complete. Online mock papers are available and there is no charge.

Waiting for a decision

Your application will be passed to the Admissions Panel for a decision once all necessary documentation has been gathered, including your Membership Entrance Paper (MEP) results and responses to reference requests if applicable.

When an application will not be accepted

An application for membership based on qualifications from other bodies or based on experience does not guarantee an offer of membership. ICB cannot offer exemptions from any ICB assessment that you have previously attempted and failed, even if you have subsequently achieved an equivalent qualification from another awarding body.

You will be required to make a formal application for exemption, and the decision will be made by the Admissions Panel based on your application as a whole.

Application Criteria

*Using your qualifications

You can apply for exemptions from ICB if you have recent relevant qualifications. This means your qualifications should have been completed within the last five years and appear on our ICB Qualification Conversion Chart higher up on this page. If you have recent relevant work experience as well, please tell us about that as it could help your application and affect whether or not you are asked to complete an MEP.

The qualifications we accept correspond to the ICB syllabus and we may insist on a minimum grade or percentage. We do not offer exemptions based on exemptions granted by other bodies, or offer exemptions from ICB exams that you have previously attempted and failed.

Non-UK qualifications: Qualifications awarded in countries outside the UK will be taken into consideration if they correspond to our syllabus. Please contact ICB before submitting your application.

Supporting Evidence Requirement:

As part of your application please provide copies (not originals) of qualification certificates, results sheets and, for AAT, your statement of achievement from your online account. 

**Using your work experience

You can apply for exemptions from ICB if you have recent relevant work experience. This means you've been doing bookkeeping work for at least two consecutive years during the last five years (so, for example, a maternity leave break shouldn't necessarily affect your eligibility for exemptions).

Please tell us if you have recent relevant qualifications as well, as it could help your application and affect whether or not you are asked to complete an MEP.

So that we may verify your work experience, you'll need to nominate one person whom we can contact for a reference. Your nominated referee needs to have worked with you in a professional capacity and cannot be a relative, or be in a personal relationship with you. Your application should state their qualifications and relationship to you. ICB will send a detailed specification to the referee asking for confirmation on the areas of the syllabus in which they have working knowledge of your competence.

Referees are required to sign the specification and confirm their own qualifications which will be verified with the relevant professional body before the reference is processed.

Non-UK work experience: Experience gained in countries outside the UK will be taken into consideration. Please contact ICB before submitting your application.

Supporting Evidence Requirement:

As part of your application please provide the name and full contact details of the one person whom ICB can contact for a reference. The referee should be either a Chartered Accountant or Certified Bookkeeper in current valid membership of either AAT, ACCA, ATT, CIMA, CAI, CIOT & CT (SAT only), IAB, ICAEW, ICAS, ICB and IFA. If a member of a non-UK body the body must be a current member of  IFAC. 

If your online application form asks for two referees, please ignore it and if necessary add your one referee twice.

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