If you’re working already, or have completed some courses in the past, there are some options for you regarding learnerships and RPL (recognition of prior learning).


Learnerships – Theory + on-the-job experience

If you’re working already, and your employer is an ICB-accredited workplace training provider, you can get an ICB qualification via a learnership.

You’d do the qualification via the ICB’s usual exams but the practical part would be done while you’re working on the job.  You would also need to complete an ICB Workplace Portfolio of Evidence (PoE), which would be reviewed by an ICB examiner.

Learnerships are great for employees, as you can earn while you learn.  Some students even get their studies subsidised by their employers, as learnerships also offer incentives to companies.

  • National Certificate Bookkeeping: NQF 3
  • FETC Bookkeeping: NQF 4
  • National Diploma Technical Financial Accounting: NQF 5
  • National Certificate Small Business Financial Management: NQF 4
  • Certificate Office Administration: NQF 5
  • Higher Certificate Office Administration: NQF 5
  • National Certificate Public Sector Accounting: NQF 4
  • Diploma Public Sector Accounting: NQF 5
Learnerships are available
  • From your current employer, if they are registered as a workplace training provider with the ICB.
  • If you are not employed, you may be able to apply for a learnership at a company that is registered as a workplace training provider with the ICB. In order to register for a learnership this way, you will need to sign an employment contract with them.
For more information read through the ICB’s learnership policy.

Recognising Prior Learning

Recognising Prior Learning and Workplace Experience

Perhaps you’ve picked up some qualifications or courses in the past that include subjects that are similar to the ICB’s.

If you have studied similar courses previously, or have relevant work experience, you can apply for exemptions (recognition of prior learning.) Applications must be based on NQF registered qualifications/part qualifications and need to be submitted with the following documentation:

  • proof of provider accreditation (some examples are: DHET, Seta’s QAP, Umalusi, CHE)
  • NQF level
  • SAQA qualification registration number.

For all exemptions applied for, qualifications must have been obtained within the last 5 years i.e. “current” per SAQA requirements or if qualifications are older than 5 years, they must still be NQF registered together with current relevant work experience.

  • Register and update your contact details on the ICB student portal and quote the ICB number on the RPL guideline.
  • Pay the RPL application fee of R470 to the ICB.
  • Email the following documents (in PDF format) to the ICB and tick each to show that all documents are attached.
    • Registered on the ICB student portal and provide ICB number
    • Copy of your payment deposit slip / proof of payment
    • A copy of this letter, with the acceptance section below signed
    • Official copies of your previous course results (transcript of results), obtained from a registered/accredited training provider
      Note: Foreign qualifications need a SAQA “Certificate of Evaluation” included.
    • A detailed CV explaining your work experience and including references from relevant jobs
    • A copy of your ID book
    • A letter from your Manager confirming work experience (if applicable)

Once the ICB’s Exemptions Review Board has reviewed your application, which can take up to 6 weeks, they will write to you with their decision. You could receive specific subject exemptions or even a full qualification exemption. Feedback will be given by learning area (subject) and could be:

  • Full Exemption granted

If the ICB recognises your previous studies and grants you credit for equivalent subjects, you will need to pay an exemption fee of R390 per subject granted.

  • Exemption not granted

If the ICB does not feel that your previous qualification(s) or work experience match part or all of the learning outcomes of the subjects you are applying for.

  • Conditional exemption granted

This means you don’t qualify for the full exemption but can submit more evidence without having to write an exam. You will however, be required to complete a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) assessment provided by the ICB to prove your competency in a particular subject. You will need to pay a RPL fee of R945 for each subject.

Once we have received your proof of payment, we will send you an email to access the RPL PoE . The PoE is be available for you to complete via the MACCI digital portal for each subject granted and submit it by the “Due Date.” You must do all the assessments in the Portfolios and then upload them back to the ICB via the MACCI portal for final assessment. We will review them and let you know the outcome 7-8 weeks after the due date stated on the PoE label. The completion of an RPL PoE is regarded as an assessment entry and all the policies and procedures with regards to ICB assessments apply.

If you are assessed as ‘exempt’, you will get full exemption for that particular learning area. If you are ‘unsuccessful’, you’ll need to register in order to study the learning areas and enter for the assessments/exams.

In order to accept any exemptions granted, you will need to be a registered learner of the ICB. If you are not yet an ICB learner, you will need to pay the annual student registration fee of R360. Thereafter, if you continue as a learner, the registration fee will be payable each calendar year.


  • The above fees and exemption opportunities are valid for six (6) months from date of this letter. If you have not accepted and paid for these exemptions within six (6) months, you will need to contact us. Please note: if the fees change within the six (6) month period, learners will be liable to pay the balance of the new fees.
  • Qualification Certificates are only issued once a full qualification is obtained.
  • No certificates are issued for exempted learning areas/subjects.
  • No refunds for Exemption Fees will be given under any circumstances. It is the student’s responsibility to fully understand the process and implications before accepting these exemptions.
  • Please ensure that you submit all your documentation upfront because the ICB Board will base their decision on this alone. Any additional documentation submitted after the initial application, will require the process to start from the beginning and another application fee will be due.
  • Payment of annual student registration fee is for STUDENT REGISTRATION (no certificate issued.) Membership may be applied and paid for, via the ICBA.

For queries, please contact: support@icb.org.za and put ‘Exemptions’ in the subject line.

For more information read through the Guidelines for Recognition of Prior Learning.

Have a look at our RPL webinar we hosted at the end of last year, where discussed the following;

  • What Recognition for Prior Learning is
  • How it works
  • What will be looked at when your experience and knowledge is assessed
  • And most importantly – How it can work for you

Watch it now by following this link.

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