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Five long years and still going

Over 170,000 accountancy trainees are still studying five years after they first signed up to their professional accountancy body.

October 2018

Over 170,000 accountancy trainees are still studying five years after they first signed up to their professional accountancy body, according to the latest figures from the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). That’s 29% of the 584,581 students worldwide, and means some of the bodies need to look seriously at the
level of support they offer students struggling long-term to get qualified. The worry is the five-year figure is drifting up – over 10,000 students were added to the total year-onyear.
Last year, PQ magazine reported the total was just over 160,000 (or 27% of the total).
The ACCA again has the most students and the highest total of those still on the PQ list five years after starting their journey. There are 133,742 in this pool, some 32% of all students. CIMA PQs are not far behind, with 27% still a trainee after five years. That is 34,261 trainees in all.
The FRC points out that a high percentage of ICAEW, CAI and ICAS students complete their training in four years or less, with 10%, 17% and 9% of students respectively (as at 31 December 2017) being registered for more than four years. That said, the number of students becoming members with these bodies just keeps growing.
The ACCA helped 15,533 affiliates become members, which is up 5.1% year-on year. And CIMA turned 5,147 PQs into NQs.

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