International Compliance Training | frequently asked questions | ICT


Here's a list of our frequently asked questions, click to reveal the answers:

If you’re not yet sure which course you wish to study, hopefully this will help.

Firstly, select the topic you’re interested in (this could be a personal or professional interest).

ICA treats the topics of anti money laundering, governance risk and compliance and financial crime prevention as three separate areas of study although you’ll find there are some key themes that recur.

Compliance is arguably the widest subject stream. How does compliance work? Who does it affect? What skills do you need? And crucially, why it adds value too. You’ll find out about where regulation comes from and why it’s so important.

The AML stream covers major risk areas linked with money laundering activity. Why and how is money laundered? What are the warning signs? What are the impacts? What must you do (or not do?) It’s a huge area of international focus – and also really interesting.

Finally, financial crime prevention covers of a variety of financial crime compliance topics beyond AML. You’ll look at various fraud typologies and motivations, as well as bribery and corruption, e-crime and more. There is a focus on recognising and responding – giving you skills and understanding to put into practice.

There are also standalone Advanced Certificate qualifications in Customer Due Diligence (for KYC Analysts or those managing risk in the CDD process), Managing Fraud, Business Compliance (for compliance professionals working outside financial services) and Legal Compliance (for legal compliance professionals in England and Wales).

Then there are ICA’s Specialist Certificate courses that cover money laundering risk in niche areas such as betting and gaming and capital markets. There are also courses that cover corporate governance, sanctions risk, and conduct risk.  View a full list of qualifications here /qualifications/

We’d recommend downloading a course syllabus for the course that you’re interested in from the ICA website as part of your decision making process 

Understand the differences between the academic levels of the qualifications and check that you meet the entry criteria

Certificate courses (introductory level) are suitable for those with little or no knowledge of the subject area. They provide a strong foundation in understanding the key concepts and issues involved and are an excellent base to progress onto courses at a higher level.
Open to anyone wishing to learn more.

Advanced Certificates (intermediate level) are also suitable for those new to a discipline or in a junior role and will help expand your knowledge and skills.
Open to anyone wishing to learn more.

Diplomas (advanced level) are primarily designed for those who already hold some relevant experience and will support and enhance your role.

Open to those who meet at least ONE of the following criteria: holder of a degree; at least three years’ relevant work experience; holder of an ICA Advanced Certificate course.

Professional Postgraduate Diplomas (expert level) are designed to build on levels of experience of five years or more at a senior level. The courses will develop your skills in business strategy, critical thinking and leadership.

Open to those who hold a first degree and be a senior practitioner (i.e. hold a senior management role)  with at least three years’ experience in that role or at the equivalent level of seniority;  OR those who hold an ICA Diploma and have at least five years’ experience in a related discipline and currently work in a role that includes senior level responsibilities and regular engagement with senior practitioners; OR those who have at least ten years’ experience in a relevant senior management role.

View a list of all qualifications here /qualifications/

So, you need to consider your previous experience as well as your future aspirations.

Let’s take AML as an example subject area: If you’re already working in AML and are looking to upskill and progress your career, we would recommend that you undertake the Diploma. ICA Diploma qualifications are considered the industry standard of competence and excellence for people already working in these relevant fields (and you often see them listed as a pre-requisite on job vacancies).

If you’re looking to break into AML as a career and you already work in financial services, we’d recommend the Advanced Certificate (although, if you have a degree, the Diploma would still be an option for you if you wanted to aim higher. But you’d need to be aware of the increased amount of research and reading time you’d need to invest in order to keep up with other people on the course who are already working in this area).

If your job role touches on AML and you need to know more about it (but you have no immediate desire to move into an AML role) you may want to do the Certificate as this provides a solid foundation at introductory level. And you might find the subject so interesting that you progress onto an Advanced Certificate or Diploma!

Also, you’ll need to consider the time and cost implications of each qualification to ensure it fits in with your schedule and career aspirations. Whichever course you choose, you will find it highly pratical, interesting and rewarding.

You can view a list of all qualifications here /qualifications/ and enrol online here /enrol-online/

If you’re still not sure which course is right for you now you’ve read this, please feel free to get in touch with us at or +44(0)121 362 7501

To find out what designation you can use once you have completed your ICA qualification please click here

ICA qualifications are recognised, benchmarked qualifications used by regulators, education authorities and services as evidence of competence and ‘fitness and properness’ to undertake compliance roles.

ICA qualifications are awarded at Certificate level (assessed at level 2), Advanced Certificate level (assessed at level 4), Diploma level (assessed at level 6) and Professional Post Graduate level programmes (assessed at level 7).

The Certificate level qualifications align with benchmarks established for the UK’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The qualifications at levels 4 - 7 align with benchmarks established by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), which are mapped in accordance with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

All qualifications are quality assured through and awarded in association with Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester..


Visit for more information on accreditation and recognition including a list of regulators who recommend the qualifications.

ICA Certificates

90% + - Distinction
80-89% - Merit
70-79% - Pass
69% or below – Fail


Diplomas and Advanced Certificates

70% + - Distinction
60 -69% - Merit
50 -59% - Pass
49% or below – Fail

There are opportunities out there in compliance, anti money laundering and financial crime prevention at the moment but there are also an increased number of people taking an interest in this field as the profile and image of these careers has developed. Experience is undoubtedly important, so you need to keep an eye out for opportunities to develop and not to be afraid of the odd knock-back.

Qualifications will help you. If you can demonstrate your desire to enhance your subject knowledge & progress your career, this will shine through on your CV, meaning you stand out compared to other non-qualified applicants. It also means that when you get to an interview stage, you will have the understanding of the key topics and be able to talk about them lucidly which is a good way to impress. 

If you don’t have any experience, you generally need to tailor your CV to focus on transferable skills and make the most of the knowledge you have gained through your qualification – keep up to date with case studies, regulatory changes etc and then even though you can’t speak from ‘experience’ you can demonstrate you understand the environment and show you are keen to put that understanding to good use.

Other useful links:

Career in compliance

Career in AML

Career in financial crime prevention

Will an ICA qualification help me get a job?

The Diploma is a part-time course deliberately designed for people in full-time work. It is a combination of self-study at home (we recommend about 6-8 hours study per week dependant on experience) and attendance at workshops if these are available in your jurisdiction.

We recommend an average of 6-8 hours a week study time for each course depending on experience; this is assuming the study period is 3 months for Certificate courses, 6 months for Advanced Certificate courses and 9-12 months for Diplomas. This is an average and you should plan to increase the amount of study time around assignment and exam times.

Certificate and Advanced Certificate level courses are open to anyone who has an interest in the subject and who can demonstrate a good level of written English.

The entry requirements for Diploma courses are as follows:

Sound educational background, e.g. degree or

Professional qualification in an appropriate discipline or

Attainment of the ICA Certificate or Advanced Certificate

It is not necessary to study an Advanced Certificate or Certificate first and then progress to a diploma. What course you choose depends on your personal experience and which qualification you feel most comfortable studying and how many hours study you will be able to commit. The Certificate programmes provide a strong foundation understanding of the key concepts and issues involved. The Advanced Certificates and Diplomas will support practical work and also expand knowledge and skills.

If you don’t have extensive work experience in the relevant area then it is possible make up for this by committing to more hours study and wider reading but you do need to understand the level of work you are taking on. Many students do successfully study at Advanced Certificate or Diploma level without the related work experience.

For more information read Which ICA qualification is right for me?

If you are interested in one of our Professional Postgraduate Diplomas, then you will have to meet certain criteria, for more information refer to the relevant course information pages on our website:-

ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance

ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Crime Compliance

If you are still not sure which level to start studying at contact us and one of our advisors will help you.   

We do not exempt you from any part of the course based on other qualifications that you hold. However, if you can demonstrate sufficient experience then you may be approved for the 'exam only' route.  It should be noted however the assignments allow students the opportunity to achieve up to 50% of their final mark outside the exam environment, and also embed knowledge / necessitate wider reading (also helpful for the final assessment) so the decision to study by exam-only needs to be carefully considered.

In order to apply for this route you would need to send us a CV which will be passed to the relevant Course Director to approve.

Those students who have already completed one ICA Diploma are automatically eligible for the exam-only route for their second or third Diploma.

The main themes of each version of the course are broadly similar. The Diploma naturally focuses more on the laws & regulations prevalent within the UK, although these are often driven by international frameworks, so broader influences are also addressed. The emphasis is slightly reversed in the international course. Both courses are internationally recognised so if you currently work in  the UK but are planning to work overseas, the Diploma would still be relevant.

By selecting the UK Diploma, you will also attend and receive full value from the four one-day workshops offered throughout the course. The workshops are interactive sessions led by experienced practitioners, involving plenty of discussion and exercises. They provide a great opportunity to network, ask questions and develop ideas. You will also find that the assignments and exam approach are covered. The closest centres where workshops are held for the international Diploma  are in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

All course materials are delivered via our online learning platform for easier access, flexibility and to help improve our carbon footprint. You can download the materials in sections to your smart phone, tablet or laptop, or download the whole manual as a pdf to read at your leisure. You can of course print the course manual too if you wish.

It is widely recognised that one of the best methods of studying is to read a text then make your own notes, and we encourage you to use the learning platform as a tool to do this. It is also worth noting that it is not best practice to take the entire manual into our open book exams as you can waste a lot of the exam time trying to find important information. It is much better to have notes of the key points, important dates, relevant case studies etc., to act as an aid to memory and a reference point.


We are of course, happy to provide hard copy materials for a small fee. The fees are as follows:-

£100 (+ VAT if applicable) for Diplomas

£75 (+ VAT if applicable) for Advanced Certificates

£50 (+ VAT if applicable) for Certificates


If you should wish to purchase a manual, please contact


If you have enrolled and haven’t yet received logon for the learning platform, please get in touch at

We have large numbers of students from all over the world studying ICA qualifications and for many of them, English is not their first language. However for quality assurance purposes across jurisdictions we do require that the exam is written in English. We ask at application stage that you evidence a good competency of written English language.

If you are an online learner the exam can be taken online at any time during the three months that you have access to the materials.

If a workshop is available in your jurisdiction, the workshop is a refresher day to give you a chance to learn in a different format than reading from the workbook, and to answer any questions that may have arisen during your study. The workshop will be held about half way through your course. You will then have until your enrolment expiry date in which to sit your exam.

Your enrolment expiry will be displayed on the right hand side of your learning platform. 

Certificate courses are online qualifications and you can take the timed exam on a computer anywhere that is convenient.

If you are studying an Advanced Certificate or Diploma qualification and are not based in one of the Jurisdictions where we hold workshops then we will arrange a venue for your exam which will be relatively local to where you live. Wherever possible this will be the nearest British Council.

This route (where a student does not attend workshops or submit assignments) is only offered on ICA Diploma courses for experienced practitioners who hold appropriate qualifications. ICA Advanced Certificate courses are aimed at junior to mid-level staff who will benefit from the full programme in order to have the best possible learning experience.

All ICA qualifications can be studied by online learning wherever you are in the world. The Certificate courses are delivered fully online anyway. For Advanced Certificate and Diploma courses, you will be provided with additional online materials including recorded webinars and a workbook which contains useful exercises and relevant case study examples.  You will also benefit from interactive virtual classrooms covering some of the key workshop content.

We recommend three month's study time for each assignment and for your exam –  effectively making the Advanced Certificate course about 6 months long and a Diploma course 9 months long. As assignment due dates and exam dates are only on set dates of the year, the duration of your course may vary slightly from this 6/9 months timescale.

We will arrange a venue for your exam which will be relatively local to where you live. Wherever possible this will be the nearest British Council or a local centre of learning such as a university.

Payment can be made by credit card, bankers draft/cheque or via a wire transfer (bank details available on request). We are happy to take credit card details over the phone if for security reasons you would prefer not to send them electronically or in the post.

In order to study any ICA qualification you need to be a member of the ICA, joining their international professional community of thousands of like-minded individuals.  The fee for ICA Affiliate Membership includes your assessment and access to invaluable knowledge resources that will help with your course as well as many other member benefits and services (view the list of membership services and benefits that you’ll receive here).

Become an Affiliate Member 

The enrolment fee for your course will cover your course materials, support materials and workshops or virtual classrooms where applicable. To find out how much your course will cost please go to our qualifications page.


Additional administration charges may apply in certain circumstances. 

VAT is charged on ICA Courses as follows:-

UK - Company or Individual VAT charged at standard rate

Member of the EU - Company/individual that can provide a VAT number, no VAT charged.

Member of the EU - Company/individual that has no VAT number, VAT charged at a standard rate.

Rest of the World - Company/individual, no VAT charged.     

Don't panic! You will be offered the opportunity to resit and you will also receive useful feedback from the examiner about how you can improve as well as generic feedback in the Chief Examiner's report. Just get in touch and we will tell you what your next steps are.

The login details for the learning platform are case sensitive so make sure you enter the details exactly as they have been received. The best way to make sure you are entering the password correctly is to copy and paste it from your welcome email.

You can change your password on the learning platform in the settings but for the ICA and ICT websites you will need to click on the ‘forgotten password’ link next to the login box for a reminder of your password.

If you are studying a Diploma or Advanced Certificate qualification, you will have access to the learning platform and the ICA website (which contains the knowledge hub) for three weeks after you have received your results (unless you have to resit). After three weeks your access will be removed. If you have completed a Diploma, you can regain access to the ICA website including the knowledge hub by becoming an ICA Professional Member. More information can be found here-  Membership Information

If you have completed an ICA Certification or Qualification after July 2016 you will be automatically renewed at the relevant level of membership on successful completion of your studies, or when your affiliate membership expires (whichever is applicable according to your qualification level and enrolment date).  You will receive notifications about the renewal and the cost in the lead up to your renewal date.


If you completed an ICA Certification or Qualification prior to July 2016 you will need to apply for membership.  Details on the different levels of membership can be found here

Depending on whether you want to specialise in another area, you can enrol onto another ICA Diploma. Students are automatically eligible for the ‘exam only’ route for their second Diploma which means that you do not attend workshops (if they are available in your jurisdiction), do not complete assignments and are assessed purely on the results from the examination. This is not compulsory however if you still wish to take the full route with the added benefit of workshops and aided learning from completing assignments.

If you hold sufficient experience you may also wish to consider the ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Governance, Risk & Compliance

Finally if you’d like to explore financial crime/AML  risk in niche industry areas eg betting and gaming or trade finance, or explore corporate governance in more detail you might be interested in the Specialist Certificate series (short online qualifications)

If you are an ICA professional member you will get a 10% discount on all qualifications.

 If you are a Fellow you will get 15% discount on all qualifications 

You need to be a member of the ICA throughout the duration of your course in order to take the assessment and access their member resources and other benefits.


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