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Professional Certificate in Accountancy

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE)

The IIE Professional Certificate in Accountancy is effectively a bridging programme into the Chartered Accountancy pathway both offered at The IIE MSA. The programme is designed for students who have, for example, completed a non-SAICA-accredited degree or Advanced Diploma, or do not meet the requirements to gain direct entry into the IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDip (Accounting)) programme. The programme also focuses, to a large extent, on readiness preparation for the PGDip (Accounting) programme offered at The IIE MSA, to increase the successful student’s chances of passing the PGDip (Accounting), also offered at The IIE MSA, in as short a time possible.

The Professional Certificate in Accountancy (PCA) comprises four compulsory full-year modules and no elective modules. Successful completion of the Professional Certificate in Accountancy requires a pass mark of 50% for each of the four modules. In order to qualify for entry into the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (subject to the entry requirements of the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting), a pass mark for all four modules must be achieved in the same examination period. The four compulsory modules are:

Financial Reporting

This module focuses on the application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) at an advanced level.


This module focuses on the taxes and duties levied in terms of the Income Tax Act, the Estate Duty Act, and the Value-Added Tax Act.

Management Accounting & Finance

This module aims to provide tools that support analytical reasoning that contributes to effective management and decision-making in the context of real world scenarios. The module draws on a broad understanding of the economy, strategy and risk management.

Corporate Governance & Auditing

This module aims to provide a thorough knowledge and understanding of the external audit process, corporate governance and company-related legislation. The curriculum focuses on the audit process, computer auditing, the Code of Professional Conduct, the Auditing Professions Act, the Companies Act, corporate governance and sustainable businesses.

What is this Certificate’s accreditation status?

The Professional Certificate in Accountancy (PCA) does not lead to a programme on the NQF and is not accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) or the CHE.

On successful completion of the Professional Certificate in Accountancy, a certificate of competence will be issued which will be considered for admission into the PGDip (Accounting).

What entry requirements will I need to study this Professional Certificate in Accountancy?
To be registered you must have satisfied the admission requirements as set out in the following links:

How is this Professional Certificate in Accountancy structured at the IIE MSA?

The IIE Professional Certificate in Accountancy is a one-year certificate. The academic year runs from February to November. The modules are delivered on a part-time basis (with lectures and tutorials being scheduled online during the evening from Monday to Thursday).

Please note that in line with academic practice, The IIE’s curriculum is reviewed annually and thus changes may occur in module structure and sequence in order to ensure that the programme remains relevant. Registered students receive an updated programme curriculum on an annual basis.

What about timetables?

The IIE Professional Certificate in Accountancy can be completed in 1 year, and modules are delivered on a part-time basis. The academic year runs from February to November.

As far as possible timetabling is designed to accommodate student needs, but timetables remain subject to change throughout the year. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that timetable structures will remain the same during the course of your studies. Class attendance is compulsory.

What must I pass in order to successfully complete this certificate?

In order to be awarded this certificate, you must have achieved a minimum final year mark of fifty percent (50%) for each of the four core modules of the programme.

How long do I have to complete this programme?

Students have a maximum of 1 year to complete this programme. Students may, in exceptional circumstances, be allowed to re-register for the full programme.

Career opportunities: what career areas can I pursue once I have completed this certificate?

This professional certificate will open up an attractive range of career options. The Professional Certificate in Accountancy is a perfect steppingstone to a diverse and exciting range of career opportunities, such as:

  • Professional accountancy;
  • Consulting in Taxation, Management Accounting, IFRS, Auditing, etc.;
  • Finance functions, such as Financial Manager (FM);
  • Academia (teaching and learning, research and community-based involvement).
  • Many more.

Would it be possible to study further and obtain another postgraduate qualification once I have completed The IIE Professional Certificate in Accountancy?

The opportunity to apply for The IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy exists subject to meeting the specific programme entrance criteria.

It is important to remember that your academic results remain a key factor when applying for further studies.

Call the IIE MSA campus to discuss your career options with one of our Student Advisors. Tel: +27 11 950 4009 or email

Disclaimer: Please note that this fact sheet is accurate at the time of publication. The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) reserves the right to alter any of the content prior to commencement of registration due to changes in regulation, policy, market requirements or any other valid reason.

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British Accreditation Council

The IIE is not only accredited in South Africa but its dedication to providing quality education also led to it being accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) in 2014. The British Accreditation Council is an independent authority in the United Kingdom that accredits private providers globally, including Greece, Switzerland, Singapore, India, Mauritius and the United Arab

Emirates. In 2017 The IIE had its accreditation status confirmed by the BAC as an Independent Higher Education Institution confirming our confidence in the international comparability of our standards.

“South African students need to know, when they select a private higher education institution, that the standards offered are equivalent to those of a public University. Our students get this from our extensive local accreditation and registration. The students also benefit from knowing that we meet international standards too. The IIE is accredited as an Independent Higher Education Institution by the British Accreditation Council. Locally and internationally we have demonstrated the quality of what we offer,” said Dr Coughlan, Director, The Independent Institute of Education.

IIE MSA students can be confident that their IIE learning experience meets international best practice standards.”