What does Part-Qualified mean?

Replies : 12

Question asked by:

Santosh - view profile

I'm new to CIMA and I would like to know what does the term Part-Qualified stand for. Does it mean anyone who is studying CIMA/cleared few papers? Is there any minimum criteria to be considered PQ?  Is this an official CIMA term or just industry-jargon?  Kindly clarify. Thanks

great question

ive been wondering this also. every job i apply for wants a "part qualified" applicant?? so if im on managerial level at the moment does that include me?? i hope so because im really struggling to get an assistant mgt accountant job so far..

Re: What does part-qualified mean?

Hi, As far as I understand it you are classed as part qualified when you have passed the Mangerial Level and receive the Diploma.


Hi This topic gets debated quite a bit and the "completion of managerial level" often gets put forward as the criteria. I've had a dig around on the CIMA website in the past on not found any official information, although I have heard there was a mention on the website in the past. Also, I have heard that some people have actually had communication from CIMA on the matter.

The term gets used quite flexibly by recruitment consultants who seem to use it to describe someone who as at least completed one or two CIMA papers by examination. Having said that though, consultants referred to me and the positions I was suited to as "part-qualified" once I had the exemptions from the CIMA certificate - go figure!

Anyone from CIMA watching who can comment...?


Hi I would previously have believed that the completion of the Managerial Level would be the critera to be classed as PQ.

However, with the introduction of the Diploma in Managment Accounting [and Advanced Diploma] in the 2010 syllabus the term PQ may become more blurred.

Maybe in 2010, recruitment agencies and advertisers will start using the above Diplomas as a means of reference when describing PQ CIMA students? It would be good to receive some clarification from a CIMA representative though.



To my understanding there is no formal definition of 'Part Qualified' from any acountancy body including CIMA Anyone who has passed just one exam can call themselves a PQ Accountant.

They are technically PQ having passed just one exam as it is not an official accountancy body term to my knowledge.

Recruitment agencies can also refer to someone who has passed just one exam as PQ and potential employers will have their own idea of what constitutes PQ.

The debate (if there is one) probably lies in the what people imagine PQ to be rather than what it is which is a non offical term anyone can use. Cima Student.



From my personal experience there is a different meaning depending if you are an employer or recruitment consultant. Your employer would largely refer to part-qualifed as being as having finished mangerial level whereas a recruitment consultant will refer to you as being pq by finishing one exam.

If jobs require part qualified and you are still in the middle of your managerial level don't let it stop you from applying for that job. I recently got a new job having 2 mangerial papers outstanding which required a part qualfied accountant. This is after i clearly pointed out in the interview what stage i am at and what papers i have left to sit.

Largely the employer and recruitment consultant will look at your range of experience to see if you are suitable for the role.

Part Qualified?

Don't forget, there are plenty of accountants who are "qualified by experience" and anyone can call themselves an accountant. Most employers want someone with ability, but paper qualifications are useful for those with little experience as they show potential ability and enthusiasm in the subject, enough to have studied it.

Incidentally, the excellent free magazine PQ is available to anyone who should like to subscribe to it.  It is aimed at AAT students, as well as those with the "big five or six" accountancy bodies.

Part Qualified

I have also wondered this and often seen different explanations put forward. In my opinion though, a PQ would be someone who has at least reached the Advanced Diploma stage (i.e. passed all managerial level papers) AND got some relevant experience (i.e. more than an Accounts Clerk (invoice processing)).

CIMA's View


Firstly, you are correct in stating that this is industry jargon. “Part Qualified” is a very subjective term used by recruitment agencies, tuition providers and some employers to describe students who are at various stages of their CIMA studies.

 It is not an official CIMA term - we do not use it at all when referring to students. Instead, we describe students in terms of the level that they are currently studying i.e. as a Managerial level, Strategic level, or TOPCIMA student.

Part Qualified can refer to students who have attained the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting. In the new CIMA 2010 Qualification, it can also refer to students who after completing the Operational level attain the Diploma in Management Accounting.

It is however quite difficult to prescribe its usage to recruiters or employers as this is not a term that CIMA uses. Ultimately, it is up to a prospective employer or recruitment consultants to offer you their own definition of part qualified since the term emanated from within this industry.

Please email if you have any specific queries on any aspect of the CIMA qualification.

Dereck Dziva

(CIMA Project Specialist - Qualification Product Development & Learning Support)

Advanced Diploma - Certificate?

Hi I don't know if this is relevant to the topic, but I was wondering if anybody else is in the same position as me? Last July, having received my final Managerial passes, I attained the Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting. I spoke to a couple of colleagues who advised that they were [automatically, it seems] sent a certificate, or some such paperwork to this effect, however, I have not yet received anything confirming my completion of this stage of the qualification, merely the results letters. Can anyone tell me if indeed I am entitled to, or should have received, a certificate please? If so, is it something I am required to apply for, or should it have arrived automatically? Many thanks

Advanced Diploma - Certificate

Hi Jeremy If you have passed all of the papers in the Managerial level you should of been sent your advanced diploma certificate. This is usually sent automatically however it does take a little longer than the confirmation of results. If you have passed in the May sitting it is possible that your Certificate has not yet been sent, if you passed in last years sittings then I would recommend you contact CIMA. Congratulations on your results Regards Andy H

Advanced Diploma

Hey Jeremy congrats.You give hope to us who are struggling to complete managerial level.Does anyone have my view of wanting to complete mangerial level before the new changes?.I would rather have the old Diploma than the one to come.