2017 prospectus

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From our students

"Before I joined the ICB in 2004 I was just another bookkeeper - but now my status has improved dramatically. I qualified as a Certified Technical Financial Accountant via the ICB in 2005. Since then my accounting and tax services business has been growing by the day. I do the… Read more »

Zolisa Soji

When I finished matric, I had to find a job so that I could further my studies and also provide for my family. I come from a very financially disadvantaged home - my mother was a domestic worker - earning only R100 a week at the time - so she… Read more »

FAQs

    General questions
How long do ICB courses last?

They range from six months to 3 years, depending on which course you are registered for. Each subject in the course should take about 48 hours of study before you write the final exam.

Can the ICB send me more information on one of the courses?

Click here to download the ICB Prospectus. It outlines the details on all our programmes.

Can I register with the ICB for a course?

No, the ICB does not run courses. These are done by our accredited training providers (colleges) who are there to give you training, course materials, textbooks, study guides and support. The ICB only provides you with your Portfolio of Evidence, which is the portfolio of ICB Assignments and Tests that you need to complete for us, before you do your final exam.

Can I study an ICB course without registering with an ICB-accredited training provider?

We do not encourage this but technically, yes you can. Studying this way though means you will have no access to tutor support from any college, the textbook publishers or the ICB.

If I’m studying an ICB course independently, can I call the ICB for help with assignments or understanding the course material?

No. If you’ve chosen this route, you’ve opted to study completely solo. You’ll have to find the answers yourself through your family, friends, colleagues or the internet.

Can the ICB send me study material, or help me solve technical questions?

The ICB doesn’t send out course materials or assist with theory/technical queries. Our accredited training providers run courses and they will send you your materials.

If you are an independent student studying privately on your own, you will need to obtain your own course material that covers the outcomes of the subject.

What is the difference between an independent / private student, a distance learning student and a classroom-based student?

Click here to learn more about the different ways that you can study an ICB programme.

Why does the annual registration fee have to be paid every year, and why is it not valid for 12 months from payment date?

These fees are used by the ICB to cover the student costs that do not relate specifically to exams – things like administration costs and student support services. The ICB recovers these expenses in the form of an annual student registration fee, rather than increasing our exam fees. This is in line with most academic institutions worldwide.

The fee is charged per academic year, as most students start their studies in the first few months of the year. It's entirely your decision to start later in the year, but the full fee for the year is still payable.

If a student enters for an exam in the following calendar year, the annual registration fee for that following year also becomes payable at the time of entry for the exam.

    Exam-related questions
What is an exam?

It is a way of checking that you know and understand all the content of the learning areas you've studied.

How will I be examined?

Click here to find out how ICB examination work.

How long does the Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) take to reach me?

We’ll send your PoE within 3-4 weeks of receiving your exam entry. If you are doing classroom-based study, we’ll send your PoE directly to your college. Distance learning students will receive their Portfolios of Evidence via courier (please make sure you have provided a physical address on the Student Portal, where we can send your PoE to so it can be signed for during office hours). Please enter for your exams as early as possible, so that you have enough time to receive your PoE and work through it as part of your learning process.

When are the exam dates?

Most colleges conduct formal exams for classroom students every month, but first check with yours when they’re doing the exams for the subjects you’re interested in. Exams for distance learning and independent students take place at the ICB-approved examination centres around southern Africa in February, May, July, September and November. Have a look at the exam timetables here.

What if there's no exam centre near where I live?

The ICB arranges examination venues throughout southern Africa and a detailed list is available here. If you live and work more than 200km from an official ICB examination centre, you can submit a Private Invigilator Application to the ICB with the prescribed fee, which will be considered on an individual basis. If a new centre opens after you’ve submitted your application, we reserve the right to allocate you to it.

Can I just show up at a final exam and write the exam?

No. To be allowed to write a final exam for a subject, you must have entered the exam for that subject, paid for it, had the ICB confirm your registration – and you must have done all the coursework for the subject too.

How do I register for an exam?

Make sure you are registered as an ICB student by submitting the Student Details Form – you must be registered in order to be examined for our programmes. Complete the Exam Entry Form and submit it along with the correct exam fee to the ICB, indicating the date you want to sit the exam. Ten days after we've received your application, we'll send you a confirmation letter and your Portfolio of Evidence will follow.

Once registered, can I postpone my entry? 

If you need to postpone your exam before your final exam date, check the Exam Timetables to see the postponement cut-off dates for each exam cycle. If you are on time, you can postpone by paying the postponement fee.

If you need to postpone your final exam because you’re ill on the day, you can apply for a free postponement (include a doctor’s certificate with your request), which may be issued at the ICB’s discretion.

You may only postpone to the next exam sitting. You cannot postpone further ahead than this, because you run the risk of the materials/curriculum being out of date. Should you wish to choose a date further in the future, you would need to re-enter for the exam from the start and receive the latest Portfolio of Evidence. Please note that the annual updated Portfolios are only available from November each year, for the following year.

Please also review Section 5 of the ICB Examination Policy for all the rules and regulations.

When must I register for exams?

You'll need to register for your exams as soon as you start your studies so that we can send you your Portfolio of Evidence, which you start compiling right away.

What is a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE)?

Once you’ve entered for an exam for an ICB subject, you will be sent a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) – a folder to which you must add the ICB Assignments and Tests which you do throughout the subject. This must be handed in with your final exam papers. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure you have the correct PoE for each of your subjects.

Your PoE folder also contains the ICB Portfolio Administration Guide, which tells you how to complete your PoE. It contains important forms which you must fill in and you must add your completed Portfolio Administration Guide to your PoE and hand everything in at your final assessment. Read through the Portfolio Administration Guide and the Examination Policy in it very carefully, and follow the instructions. Start working through your PoE right away – use it to guide your learning.

I submitted my PoE but didn't include all my ICB Assignments/Tests. Can I submit these later?

No, you need to make 100% sure that everything is included in your PoE before you submit it. The ICB cannot accept any additional materials for marking after you’ve handed it in.

If I submit my Exam Entry Form without filling in my exam date or my venue, which date or venue will I be given?

You will be allocated to the next available date at a venue that is closest to you. Unfortunately due to the high number of exam entries that we receive throughout the year, we cannot contact each person who has left out the date or venue on their entry form. Please click here for a list of venues, and check out the Exam Timetables for dates.

How many exams are there per subject?

Each subject requires a Portfolio of Evidence, which consists of two types of assessments:

  • ICB Assignments and Tests
    These are standardised assignments and tests you do during your studies that help you prepare for your final exam.
  • Final Exam
    Your final exam is also set by the ICB and is conducted formally at an accredited examination centre.
Do I return my ICB Assignments and Tests to the ICB once done?

No, you need to add these to your Portfolio of Evidence and hand everything in together with your final exam papers on the day of your final exam.

Can I get past exam papers to practice for my final exam?

Nope, sorry. Past papers are not available because if outcomes change, past papers will be outdated - and we need to protect the credibility of the papers. Your course materials (which do contain sample questions) and the ICB Assignments and Tests that go into your PoE will prepare you for the questions in your final exam. Please speak to your training provider if you feel you need extra help.

I'm not happy with the result of the last paper I wrote. Can I get it re-marked?

Yes, you have one month after your results are released within which to apply for a re-mark. Download, complete and submit the Application Form for Re-mark and pay the 'exam re-mark and examiners report' fee. An assessor and a moderator will review your entire Portfolio of Evidence and compile a detailed Re-mark Report for you.

Please refer to Section 6 of our Examination Policy so that you are familiar with the process before you request the re-mark.

Why do the exam results take so long to be released?

The ICB result release dates are about 7 weeks after the final exam date. These are listed on the Exam Timetables. The marking process consists of quite a number of steps – from couriering, preparation, seperation and sending to Moderators, to marking and reviewing. This is a very intensive process and we have very strict quality assurance measures. And in some exam cycles we may have more than 10,000 Portfolios of Evidence to get through!

Why is the ICB's Business Literacy learning area (subject) split into three levels, and what must I do if my result is 'not yet competent' in any of the levels?

The ICB examines NQF Level 3, 4 and 5 in one learning area (subject) – one Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) and one final exam. We've bundled the three levels into one subject, so that the PoE content and the final exam covers all the levels sufficiently. The benefit is that you only have to enter and pay for one subject, but get accredited at all three levels. This saves you having to complete three separate subjects.

All three levels are assessed in the one exam. However, you will get a result for each level. If you fail one of the levels (you are 'not yet competent') and would like to rewrite the subject, you will need to complete all three levels again in order to pass the subject (you are  'competent').

Why have I not yet received my exam results from my provider?

We might still be waiting for certain compliance issues to be dealt with by your training provider, before we are able to release your results to them. If this is the case, the ICB is likely to be in communication with your college, and working with them to get the outstanding issues resolved as soon as possible. Please stay in contact with your provider for updates on their progress.

    Questions about Recognition of Prior Learning
I've studied similar subjects to the ICB's elsewhere and done a bit of bookkeeping in my work. Can I get credit for these if I want to study ICB courses?

Yes, this may be possible. For more information, click here.

What is Recognition of Prior Learning or Accredited Prior Learning?

This is the new terminology for the granting of exemptions or credits for previous studies at an accredited institution or relevant past work experience.

How do I apply for Recognition of Prior Learning credits?

If you have studied through an accredited training provider already, you'll need to send certified copies of your results to the ICB for evaluation. If you have work experience, you may apply for credits based on this. You'll be asked to complete a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE), which we will supply to you. Once you have completed the PoE, you'll have to send it back to the ICB where we will evaluate it and then let you know whether your application for RPL credits has been approved or not. You'll need to send us your recognition of Prior Learning form and Exemption Review Fee for each application.

How long does an application for Recognition of Prior Learning take?

The ICB's Prior Learning Evaluation Committee meets twice a month. After their decision, our administration team has to compile documents for you to complete. The whole process should take no more than six weeks once we've received your application.

    Questions about Learnerships
Do I have to be employed to be able to study via a learnership?

Yes, you must be employed. Your employer must be accredited by the ICB as a Workplace Training Provider to offer our learnerships.

Do you have a list of companies that offer learnerships?

No, you will need to approach companies yourself.

Can the ICB give me a learnership?

Unfortunately not. We are not a training provider. The ICB’s role in learnerships is to assess your theoretical work, and your practical experience (your Workplace PoE).

    Questions about Bursaries
What are the criteria for awarding bursaries?

ICB bursaries are awarded according to academic performance, financial need and any special circumstances.

Do you award the bursaries in cash?

No. Bursaries are paid directly to an ICB-accredited institution and/or other relevant ICB accredited service providers.

 

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