Assessment of Professional Competence – November 2019
Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) is the second part of the qualifying examination, which assesses professional competence. To be eligible candidates must have passed ITC, completed 20 months of a SAICA registered training contract and successfully completed a professional programme.
Further queries, not addressed below, can be directed to APC@saica.co.za
How to register
Registration for APC November 2019 will open 2 September 2019
Familiarise yourself with the Dates and fees for the APC - November 2019
Please note the SAICA Examination/Assessment fee Policy (including refund policy) (221Kb PDF)
Follow the link for Online exam registration.
Please consult the Step by step guide on how to register (2Mb PDF)
Please note that SAICA reserves the right to change the examination venue address subsequent to it being published on the SAICA website or in the online application form.
Important information in preparation for the exam
APC Candidate Guidelines
This is an important document and should be read carefully
Competencies of a CA(SA) at the point of the Assessment of Professional Competence
Special Concession and alternative assessment arrangements
A non-refundable application fee of R517.50 (VAT inclusive) is payable with each application. When submitting an application, the applicant must submit proof of payment of the application fee.
Closing date for applications is 20 September 2019.
No applications for existing conditions will be considered after this date.
Special Concession application procedures and policy
The candidate’s application is considered based on the information submitted. It is the candidate’s responsibility to read and ensure that a full comprehension of the SAICA’s special concessions policy. An application will be declined if it contains insufficient information.
Past exam papers
Prior year assessments and examiner comments, along with specimen examples of each level of competence in a task is made available, to assist candidates in preparation for the exam.
Past exam papers
Copy of exam scripts (Access to Information) – unsuccessful candidates
Candidates who are unsuccessful in a SAICA examination may request a copy of their exam scripts in terms of S51 PAI Act (Access to Information). Candidates have 150 days (five (5) months) from the date the exam results are released to request a copy. The exam scripts are destroyed after this time in line with our policy.
Application procedure and information
The following is available in terms of Access to Information for APC
- Level One (I) – cost R230 (including VAT), you will access a copy of your exam script, plus level of competence by task
- Level Two (II) – cost R2875 (including VAT), you will access a comprehensive report on individual script by task
No Level II access requests shall be considered unless candidates have applied for, received and reviewed their Level I access to information.
ICPAK member’s application to sit for APC
ICPAK members who comply with the reciprocal arrangement between SAICA and CPA(K) and wish to apply to sit for the APC should:
- Complete and submit an online application selecting the dedicated examination venue called pathways candidates for this purpose before closing date; and
- Provide proof of the following to firstname.lastname@example.org 1. degree equivalent from SAQA; and 2. ICPAK membership indicating years of experience after becoming an ICPAK member.
SAICA will, on receipt of the APC application, evaluate the documentation and confirm eligibility to sit for the APC, with the candidate.
ICPAK members will be registered as manual writers BUT should he/she wish to write electronically, communication should be made immediately at email@example.com in order to obtain the E-writing licence as well as further information on the processes of, inter alia, downloading of software.
For more information, go to ICPAK (CPA (Kenya) recognition
The APC is written electronically, using the E-writing tool – Securexam. In preparing for the assessment, all candidates are required to use E-writing software. However, any candidate may apply for an exemption/concession to write the assessment manually.
For more information and the application form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. (This concession application does not form part of the special concession policy.)
APC Setting, Marking and Adjudication
The SAICA policy regarding the setting, marking and adjudication of the APC exam
For how long is the professional programme valid for?
Three consecutive years - The successful completion of the professional programme remains valid for a period of three consecutive years starting the year in which the professional programme was successfully completed. This means that the Assessment of Professional Competence must be passed within three consecutive calendar years of having successfully completed the professional programme.  If this period has lapsed without the candidate having successfully completed the Assessment of Professional Competence, the candidate shall have to complete a relevant professional programme again before being eligible for entry into the Assessment of Professional Competence again. 
This means that candidates have a period of three years within which to pass the Assessment of Professional Competence, irrespective of how many times they actually write or enter for the assessment.
In other words a candidate shall, in these circumstances, redo a professional programme either at his previous accredited provider or at another accredited provider.
If I fail APC, do I need to repeat the professional programme?
Upon successful completion of a Professional Programme with either APT or UCT, it is valid for 3 years. In other words if the professional programme was passed in 2014, the candidate is eligible to write APC in November 2014, 2015 and 2016. Should a candidate opt to redo the professional programme, SAICA takes into consideration the last successful result for calculation of the 3 years.
Where can I find details relating to the professional programme?
- APC Programme
- UCT Board course
What do I do, if I am waiting for my ITC June results?
|Professional Programmes for APC, registration window is generally before the ITC June results. It is therefore recommended that should you be waiting for June results, to register within this window period and start the programme. Upon receiving your ITC June results in August, you can decide to either continue or stop the programme should the result be a fail. For more information read Section 6 ,: click here.|
Does SAICA provide a repeaters programme for those who failed APC?
No, SAICA does not offer a repeaters programme, however each of the professional programme providers do offer repeaters programmes, please refer to the following for more information:
- APC Programme
- UCT Board course
Can my script be remarked?
Due to the rigour of the marking and adjudication process, The IPD Committee's adjudication shall be final and under no circumstances shall the adjudication be reopened or any answer be re-marked.
How did markers determine my level of competence?
The marking of the APC is a significant change from the traditional marking approach that has been used by SAICA, as candidates will be ‘evaluated’ (as opposed to being given specific marks) based on their overall submission.The primary objective of the assessment process (which includes writing, evaluation - marking and adjudication) is to identify candidates who have not yet achieved sufficient professional competence for entry into the profession as a CA (SA).This assessment will be the same for all candidates and will not be adapted to the elective selected by candidates in their training contracts. This approach is fully consistent with the Competency Framework which identifies the competencies that all CAs (SA) should possess on entry to the profession.The requirement for passing the APC will be that candidates should have demonstrated competence at the overall level with regard to the case study. The overall marking process consists of:
- The development of a consistent application of what a competent answer looks like for each of the requireds in the case study and at overall level, amongst markers before marking begins; (Subsequently SAICA publishes examples of each level of competence – Limited Competence, Competent and Highly Competent for each of the requireds in the case study, for candidates reference)
- Each script is then evaluated twice, individually by two different markers. Thereafter they meet to discuss the paper and reach consensus (reconciliation process).
- Markers are monitored on daily basis by team leaders and umpires, via an electronic marking tool, in addition to having them mark a “consistency” script, for which the levels of competence have been pre-determined by senior markers, to evaluate continued consistency amongst markers.
- Moderation of scripts are conducted by the Team Leader (TL) and Umpire throughout the main evaluation process.
- Regular meetings during the evaluation process are conducted to also ensure consistency.
Will I be able to apply for a special concession of additional time in this exam, having been granted this type of special concession for my ITC exam?
For more information on how to apply for special concession and deadline dates, click here.
- Any candidate with a disability who would like a special concession must apply to SAICA on the required form by the required date in order for the panel to assess whether it is appropriate to consider the special concession requested by the candidate making the application.
- This is however an exam which assesses professional competence so we would view application of the special concession in a different light to ITC. Additional time is already built in, therefore unlikely that additional time will be awarded.
Are there any circumstances under which my special concession application fee is refundable?
Due to the use of a panel, consisting of medical experts, the fee is non-refundable.
Is there a supplementary exam for APC?
No supplementary exams for APC, should a candidate fail, they would need to write again in November of the following year.
What do I do if the venue where I want to write is fully booked?
Booking of venues are unfortunately on first come, first serve basis. Select the venue which represent your second choice and send an email to email@example.com, indicating that you wish to be placed on waitlist for your first choice. The waitlist is unfortunately no guarantee that you will get your first choice.
Please provide clarification on 20-month regulation
The 20 months is calculated from the effective start date of the training contract and includes the probationary period as defined in the employment contract (if applicable), provided that after expiry of the probation period the trainee enters into a training contract with the training office where the probation period was served, as well as the remission for prior learning in respect of previous relevant experience not gained under a SAICA registered training contract if formally recognised and approved by the training officer (and recorded on TCMS). The 20 months also includes (by way of deducting) any periods of suspension exceeding two months taken in terms of the training regulations and recorded on TCMS. The 20 months will be calculated up to the day before the actual assessment is written. Refer to section 15, 20 and 4.3 of the training regulation for further clarity on probation, suspension and remission.
What is my exam number?
Once payment is received and the examinations department have confirmed that all eligibility requirements have been met, you will be sent an email with your admission letter, which will reflect your exam number (also referred to as your assessment number). This is an SAICA issued number and only confirmed on your admission letter. A printed copy of your admission letter should accompany you to the examination/assessment to allow you to write the exam.
Further queries in this regard can be directed to APC@saica.co.za