To get the most benefit from your studies you should first make sure that you read the Student Guide, the Teaching & Learning Guide and the Exam Regulations, all available to download from My AIA. If you require any clarification the Exams department will be happy to answer any questions that you have. An overview is provided below for your convenience.
AIA examines on the following standards:
- International Standards on Auditing (ISAs);
- International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs);
- International Accounting Standards (IASs); and
- International Standards on Quality Control (ISQCs).
All existing International Standards on Auditing, International Standards on Quality Control, International Financial Reporting Standards and International Accounting Standards are examinable, subject to the six months rule defined under 'New Legislation.'
A comprehensive list of all standards and in which AIA papers they are examined, is issued in the syllabus.
It is our policy not to set questions requiring detailed knowledge of new legislation, Financial Reporting Standards, or Auditing Standards and Guidelines, until six months after the legislation has passed, or the Standard or Guideline has come into effect. However, you may be asked to answer questions requiring knowledge of their principal aspects at exams held during the six month period.
AIA offers a flexible learning structure and allows you up to ten years to complete the exams.
At the Foundation Level and Professional Level 1, you must take all subjects in a module together at your first attempt and you are required to attend all of the exams. You will be credited Individual passes in the Foundation Level exams and after successfully completing Module A, you can proceed onto Module B. Individual passes in the Professional Level 1 exams will also be credited and on successful completion of Module C you can proceed to Module D.
At Professional Level 2, you must enter at least two exams out of the four available papers; these can be taken in any order, and you can choose to take more than two papers if you wish. Any passes awarded will be retained. At any subsequent exam session, you will be required to take a minimum of two papers, which can include any previously failed paper(s), unless you have only one exam paper remaining outstanding.
The exam is for a three-hour period and you will be given an additional 15 minutes reading and planning time. During the 15 minutes reading and planning time, you are permitted to read the exam question paper and to make notes next to the questions in the exam script booklet. The Chief Invigilator will announce the end of the reading and planning allowance and the start of the exam, when you are allowed to commence writing your answers in the script booklet.
IN THE EXAM HALL
For use in the exam you must bring your own pen (blue or black ink), pencil, eraser and ruler. You can use correction fluid. Calculators are also permitted, providing they are noiseless, cordless, pocket-sized, non-programmable, and without print-out or graphic/word display features.
You are not permitted to use a mobile phone in the exam hall and you are not permitted to take any printed materials, manuscript paper, books, dictionaries or notes into the exam hall.
BEFORE THE EXAM
You must produce your Exam Notification Form to gain entry to the exam, as well as proof of your identity, in the form of an identity card, passport or driving licence. You must arrive at the exam centre at least 30 minutes prior to the start time. If you arrive late, you will only be admitted within the first half hour of the exam, however no extra time will be added.
DURING THE EXAM
You must comply with all instructions issued by the Invigilator before and during the exam. AIA Invigilators may discontinue your exam if you are suspected of infringing the exam regulations and exclude you from the exam venue.
- Once the exam has started, you may not leave the exam hall, except to use the toilet or for medical reasons, and only with the permission of the Invigilator. Your exam script must remain on your desk. If you leave the room without permission, you will not be allowed to return.
- You are not allowed to possess, use/attempt to use any unauthorised materials - including any books, notes or your own blank paper - (except those specifically permitted) while the exam is in progress (whether at your desk or otherwise). If you breach this regulation and the materials are relevant to the syllabus being examined, it will be assumed that you intended to use them to gain an unfair advantage in the exam. In any subsequent AIA disciplinary proceedings you will be required to prove that you did not intend to use these materials to gain an unfair advantage.
- Electronic devices, including mobile phones, any with smart technology or any product that can capture a digital image are not permitted in the exam. You are not permitted to use a dictionary or electronic translator of any kind. You are not permitted to have on or at your desk a calculator which can store or display text. All calculators must be in line with AIA's regulations and you should consult an Invigilator if you are unsure.
- If you bring an electronic device with you to the exam venue you must declare this to the Invigilator and you will be requested to place this in a designated storage area. You must ensure that any electronic device is switched off and any alarm functions are disabled.
- Strict silence must be observed throughout the exam. Candidates must not talk to, or attempt to communicate with, other candidates during the exam under any circumstances. You must not communicate with, receive assistance from, or copy from the paper of another candidate. Infringement of this rule will result in the disqualification of both candidates. If you require information at any point, you should consult the Invigilator.
- You will receive an exam script to record your answers. You will be assigned a specific candidate number on the front of your Exam Notification Form, and this should be used on the exam script. Your name must not appear on the script or extra sheets.
- Your answers must be written legibly in blue or black ballpoint pen and you must comply with the instructions appearing at the top of each question paper.
- If you require additional sheets to complete your answers these will be provided by the Invigilator. You should write your candidate number on each sheet and insert these in the back of your exam script.
- You must stop writing at once when the Invigilator announces the end of the time allowance and wait until your paper is collected by the Invigilator at the end of the exam; you are not allowed to retain the question papers or any additional sheets.
- You will not be allowed to leave the exam until the three hour exam period has elapsed and the Invigilator has gathered in all scripts and allowed you to leave.
Failure to adhere to AIA's Exam Regulations may result in disqualification and referral to disciplinary proceedings, where you will have to prove that you did not intend to gain an unfair advantage in the exam.
AIA operates an equality and diversity policy, which impacts on all areas of our operations. We understand that we may need to make reasonable adjustments to our arrangements if you have a disability or a learning need, without compromising the validity and reliability of our exams. If you have a temporary or permanent disability, or a recognised learning need and the standard exam format is not appropriate for you, we are happy to try and accommodate your requirements. This must be organised prior to the exams and is for the duration of the exam only; it is not taken into consideration during the marking of the paper.
Any adjustments made will recognise your needs and will try to facilitate your normal way of working in as far as possible. They will not provide you with an unfair advantage or compromise the integrity of the exam. If you have special needs, please download the Special Needs form and return it to Membership Services.
We understand that you may become unwell during an exam, or find that your concentration has been significantly affected by an outside noise or disturbance; in this situation you should inform the Invigilator immediately. The Invigilator will complete a Special Consideration Form which is sent with a written report to the AIA. Candidates affected in any way must sign the form and confirm whether or not they wish to apply for special consideration. It may be the case that you:
- Continue with the exam and inform the Invigilator that there was a problem after the exam;
- Find it necessary to stop for part of the exam, but eventually feel able to continue and finish the exam; or
- Find it impossible to continue and completely withdraw from the exam.
Should you temporarily or permanently withdraw from the exam due to illness, you will need to obtain a doctor's certificate confirming your condition and send it to the AIA immediately. The certificate must be translated into English and received by us within seven days of the exam date. The certificate can be emailed, faxed or posted.
AIA takes candidate malpractice during the exams very seriously and disciplinary action will be taken. Examples of malpractice include:
- A candidate arranging for someone else to sit an exam for them.
- A candidate being in possession of materials not permitted in the exam hall. This constitutes malpractice even if the candidate does not use them.
- Copying from another candidate or allowing another candidate to copy their work.
- Damaging another candidate's work.
- Disruptive behaviour at the exam venue.
- Entering offensive or inappropriate work in the exam script.
- Use of a mobile phone during the exam.
- Communicating with another candidate during the exam.
- Continuing to write in the exam script once the Invigilator has announced the end of the exam.
Where a candidate is suspected of malpractice during an exam, the Invigilator will warn the candidate that their actions may constitute malpractice, and that the incident will be reported to the AIA. However, the candidate will be allowed to finish the exam. Before leaving the exam venue, the candidate will be asked to provide a statement explaining their conduct. The statement can be written by the candidate and signed by the Invigilator, or the candidate can provide an oral account which the Invigilator will write down; the candidate will then read this account and sign to confirm its accuracy. Candidates are not obliged to provide a statement before leaving the exam venue; if they choose not to, the Invigilator will note this in their report. The Invigilator will complete a Candidate Malpractice Report Form and submit it together with the candidate's statement to AIA.
If we consider further investigation is required, the candidate's results will be withheld until a full investigation can take place. On completion of the investigation, we will provide a report outlining the findings which is forwarded to the Qualifications Committee for review. The Committee will decide whether the incident constitutes malpractice and will advise an appropriate course of action. Possible sanctions imposed on candidates by the Qualifications Committee may include:
- Disqualification of the candidate from the exam;
- Confiscation of previously issued certificates;
- Disqualification from the AIA.
AIA ensures exam scripts are marked to the highest standard; that each question is marked, and the total marks awarded are recorded on the front cover of each exam script for review. Any scripts showing a marginal fail are automatically reviewed by the Examiner as part of the marking process, and will be re-marked by a second marker as part of our Quality Assurance Procedures.
MAKING AN INITIAL ENQUIRY
If you have received your exam results and a fail has been awarded which you would like to query; we would be pleased to provide information on the Quality Assurance Procedures conducted in the marking of your exam script(s) and to undertake an administrative check of the marks. Please contact the Exams department for details.
MAKING AN APPEAL
It is appreciated that you may wish to appeal against the marks awarded when a fail is recorded, in which event you should submit a letter of appeal. The letter of appeal must state which paper the appeal is for, outline why the appeal is felt to be appropriate, and be received by AIA within six weeks of the date on which the exam results were released. Appeals received after this period cannot be accepted. In receiving the letter of appeal, we will note the date the letter is received, not the date it is posted.
A fee of £50 per paper appealed must be paid with the letter of appeal, an appeal cannot be accepted unless the fee is paid.
On receipt of your appeal, we will confirm by email or by post that your appeal and your fee has been received. We then undertake an administrative check of the exam script prior to submitting the script for re-marking by an independent marker. You will be notified of the outcome of your appeal by letter within four weeks from the receipt of the appeal letter and fee.
The outcome of the appeal may be that the original decision is confirmed, or that the original decision is overturned; which may lead to the awarding of a pass. You will be advised if the re-marked exam script(s) are awarded a pass or a fail, with an explanation on your performance in the questions. You do not have the right to view the exam script. If you are awarded a pass then the appeal fee will be refunded.
If you are dissatisfied with the appeal process then you can request that the appeal is re-opened for independent review. This request must be received by the Exams department within two weeks of the date on your appeal results letter. Following receipt of your letter confirming that you are dissatisfied with the appeal process, the script is sent to an independent reviewer to ensure that the appeal process has been conducted appropriately. The independent review is not concerned with making judgements about candidates' work in the exam; it is directly concerned with how the appeal process has been conducted. You will be notified of outcome of this review within two weeks of the appeal being re-opened. If the independent reviewer judges that the AIA has not complied with the appeal procedure, then the appeal fee will be refunded. Consideration of an appeal by the independent reviewer concludes the AIA's appeal procedure.
Should an issue arise regarding the exam conditions, content or protocol you can make a complaint upon completion of the exam. Please refer to the Exam Complaints Procedures and complete an Exam Complaint Form. These are available on request from the Exams department.
The Exam Complaint Form must be received by AIA within five working days of the exam date. The form can be sent by post, email or fax. The form must include your candidate number, AIA registration number, the title of the exam paper, the date and time of the exam and the exam venue.
AIA conducts investigations into all complaints prior to submitting a report to the Qualifications Committee. We will endeavour to complete the investigation, including presentation to the Qualifications Committee within 12 weeks. You will be advised by email and letter of the Qualifications Committee's decision.
Should you have another grievance, please refer to the Grievance Policy.