Your pathway to becoming a CPFA

Rutgers Business School and CIPFA have partnered to give graduates of the Rutgers Master's in Governmental Accounting program the opportunity to qualify as a Chartered Public Finance Accountant (CPFA) by completing core elements of the CIPFA International Public Financial Management (IPFM) qualification.   

Learn more about the program

Watch our webinar


As part of the program, you will need to complete two modules from our Professional Accountancy qualification plus a strategic case study course and final exam. The course and exam are run twice a year, further information can be found on our exams page. We recommend you enroll at least two months before the course start dates – this will give you enough time to complete your modules before beginning the case study course.

Ready to get started?

If you are a graduate of the Rutgers Master’s in Governmental Accounting program, you are invited to enroll on the CIPFA program. Simply follow the steps below.

Step 1: Register on the website

This will create a profile for you and generate the login details you will use to book onto the course and to access all of the learning materials. Note that the registration page refers to a CIPFA Contact Ref Number or PNID – please ignore this.

Register on the CIPFA website

Step 2: Contact the Student and Membership Engagement Team

When you have registered on the CIPFA website, reach out to the Student and Membership Engagement Team via email at

The team will then book you onto the relevant modules and issue out your invoice and joining instructions with full details on how to access CIPFA Learning, our virtual learning environment.

Remember, as part of the program, you must complete the "Strategy and Policy Development" and the "Financial Management" modules. We strongly recommend that you also browse through the other modules – there may be subjects or areas you want to revise before beginning the strategic case study course and exam. The exam will assume you have this knowledge.

What happens next?

The CIPFA program is delivered entirely online, which means you can work through the learning materials at your own pace, wherever and whenever is convenient to you.

When you have completed the "Strategy and Policy Development" and "Financial Management" modules, plus any additional modules you wish to revise, please advise the team and we will then assign you to the next available strategic case study course and final exam. 

Your CIPFA membership

As part of the program, we will register you as a CIPFA student member and will email you to confirm when this has been done. You can find full details of your member benefits here:

Your student membership is free of charge for the first year and you will be charged annually after the first year.


The full cost of the CIPFA program is £2,000, payable by credit card (payment will be taken in GBP).

This fee includes access to all of the e-learning materials you’ll need, the final exam, student registration and your first year of CIPFA student membership.

When you successfully complete the program (and if you have the requisite three years of practical work experience in finance and/or accounting), you will be able to apply for full CIPFA membership – and obtain your CPFA designation.

If you need to re-sit the final exam, this will cost £220.

Please note: You have 14 days from the date of purchase to withdraw from the program and receive a full refund. By enrolling for this course you are confirming that you are eligible and have successfully completed the Rutgers Master’s in Governmental Accounting program. After 14 days you are committed to the program and if you do not complete the course for any reason, no refund will be available.

Withdrawal/ cancellation notice must be given in writing to:

myth vs fact

 Accountancy is a solitary role, dealing with only numbers
  You could be managing a team, working across a range of departments with external clients.
   Public service pay is low
   Starting salaries range from £18,000 to £30,000.  Two years after qualifying, you could earn between £32,000 and £65,000.  Senior level post holders can earn upwards of £80,000.
   There is a lack of career progression
 Public accountants can progress quickly and move across to the private sector.
   Jobs are insecure and hard to find
   Recruitment in public and not-for-profit sectors is buoyant, according to Hays.
   These are no bonuses or added benefits
   Public sector organisations have great benefits packages including: public services pension, bonuses, health insurance and excellent annual leave.

Neil Sartorio
Partner – Lead for England & Wales Local Public Services
EY (Ernst & Young LLP)

‘I was presented with a choice of accountancy qualifications and due to my passion for the public sector I was only interested in the CIPFA qualification that was most relevant and respected to that.’

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Ruth Hodson

Ruth Hudson
Strategic Business Partner
Metropolitan Police Service

 “CIPFA members are really supportive.  I have over the time had lots of support from more senior staff who I am sure are very busy doing their day job but took the time to advise and that has been a real help.”

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Carly Wilson

Carly Wilson
Professional Services Account Manager, CIPFA Qualified
Cheshire West and Chester Council

"The skills that you can build from the CIPFA qualification certainly focus on the strategic and operational aspects of the public sector, as well as enhancing your leadership ability."

Read more