APC FAQ's

Frequently asked questions about the APC Programme and the SAICA APC Exam

Questions pertaining to the SAICA APC Exam

How many SAICA Board Exams are there?

There are two SAICA board exams.


WHAT IS THE APC EXAM?

The APC is the second of SAICA, ICAN and ICAZ’s two Qualifying Examinations. The APC is the final formal assessment before a Candidate may register as a CA.

The first, the ITC (Part 1), focuses on the assessment of technical competence and is a standard setting examination after candidates complete a university programme (CTA or equivalent).

The APC is the second and final formal assessment before a Candidate may register as a CA. The APC is an assessment of professional competence and focuses on the integration of technical skills within ‘real life’ circumstances, on pervasive skills such as communication, on understanding the ‘big picture’ (the business and the environment in which the business operates) and on strategy, risk management and governance.


What does APC stand for?

The APC is an Assessment of Professional Competence and focuses on the integration of technical skills within ‘real life’ circumstances, on pervasive skills such as communication, on understanding the ‘big picture’ (the business and the environment in which the business operates) and on strategy, risk management and governance.


What is ITC exam?

The ITC is the first of the SAICA, ICAN and ICAZ’s exams. It focuses on the assessment of technical competence and is a standard setting examination after candidates complete a university programme (CTA or equivalent).


WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE APC EXAM?

Candidates:

  • Must have 20 month’s traineeship by 30 November 2021 (i.e. second year traineeship)
  • Must have passed the ITC

Our programme applies to all candidate Chartered Accountants, as there is no longer a distinction between TIPP and TOPP involving separate specialisms.


How does the APC work?

You are required to carry out specific simulated tasks typical of those performed by an entry level Chartered Accountant.

The APC requires you to analyse Case Study information prior to the Assessment. You would then identify specific issues apparent from the Case Study and prepare for those issues. In the ITC, you could bring only your handbooks.

For the APC you may bring your handbooks, but you may also summarise your preparation material and bring this material to the Assessment as long as it fits into a single standard Lever Arch file. Except for an 8cm paper thickness limit. There are no restrictions on what you may include in your file.

You receive Pre-Released Information (The initial Scenario) five days before the APC and thus get the opportunity to identify issues and prepare for them. You can work in teams with other candidates during this period. The APC is lateral and multi-disciplinary. In preparing for an issue, you would have to consider all competencies and all aspects that might be considered by a Chartered Accountant.

In the APC, you will have to analyse the requirement on the day and consider the context and to whom you are responding. You will then prepare a response (not a solution) that is appropriate in the context and for the specific audience.


How do you pass APC?

Proper preparation before the examination is critical and this is not “swotting”. It is analysis and research in the context of a specific scenario and then very specific preparation on an identified set of issues (issues resulting from the ‘triggers’ in the pre-release information).

Developing the professional skill of preparing an appropriate response is critical. This involves judgement, professional scepticism, an understanding of the technical issues and an understanding of context and audience.

Development of these skills requires you to gain experience and have regular communication with your peers and with course presenters. It is vitally important that you understand that these competencies must be developed in an environment which provides for healthy debate and different views. The APT Professional Development Programme provides these opportunities through a wide variety of activities including face-to-face classes, videos, online chatrooms, individual consultations and many more.


How long does it take to get APC results?

Results are usually released 2-3 months after the exam is written

Questions pertaining to the APT APC Programme

WHEN IS THE APT APC PROGRAMME SCHEDULED?

The APT APC Programme will run nationally from April 2021 until early December 2021.


WHAT IS THE COURSE STRUCTURE?

Our Programme incorporates a series of seven case studies.

  • These form the core of our programme and are initially used as tools for student development under our presenters’ guidance.
  • As the Programme progresses, two of our case studies are used as assessments, whilst further case studies are used for upskilling, revision and final preparation.

Candidate development through the case studies is undoubtedly our major strength. The case studies are ‘real life’ professional assignments and are used as developmental tools where you are guided through the process and provided with the opportunity to test yourselves under our guidance. You will receive continuous feedback and guidance as the programme progresses.

Further detail is set out in the APT 2021 Roadmap.

Throughout the Programme, candidates:

  • Receive online input.
  • May download video clips of all contact sessions.
  • Are required to complete various on-line assignments.
  • Have opportunities to consult with presenters
  • Can interact through our online Chat Room/Forum.

Candidates’ progress on the Programme is carefully graduated: Module 1 is essentially developmental, Modules 2 and 3 continue development but add formal assessment, and Module 4 also continues development. Modules 5 and 6 focus on formal assessment and Module 7 is revision.


IS THERE ONLINE LEARNING SUPPORT?

aptassist, our Online eLearning portal is an upgraded version of the SAKAI Student Support Software.

  • We have used aptassist for several years and the software runs on the widely used SAKAI platform.
  • The basic functionality of SAKAI enables communication with students and provides students with the facilities for downloading and uploading information through our system. Further details are provided in the Section headed “aptassist
  • Our servers and software have been upgraded to incorporate a student tracking system, multiple servers and “Fail Safe” and “Fail Over” routines.
  • Our tracking system enables individual students to monitor their progress on the programme and their competency development.
  • Consultation and query facilities are available on an ongoing basis.

ONCE I HAVE ENROLLED ONLINE, HOW DO I GO ABOUT CHANGING MY DETAILS?

Please check your details in the email you receive with your enrolment details. Please make any changes, now or in the future, on the original enrolment document, highlighting the changes before emailing this document to: [email protected] Your enrolment information will be amended. DO NOT make your changes by enrolling again at www. apcprogramme.co.za


WHERE DO I COLLECT MY INITIAL PROGRAMME MATERIAL AND HOW DO I RECEIVE THE REST OF MY MATERIAL FOR THE DURATION OF THE PROGRAMME?

  • An initial file of printed material.
  • Additional material is made available during the Programme through the aptassist website.
  • Videos are available through aptassist and other data efficient delivery mechanisms which can be accessed from aptassist.

Initial Programme material will either be made available for collection at major centres or handed out at contact sessions. You will be notified about your particular Programme’s collection details approximately one week before the Programme commences. Further material will be made available throughout the course through aptassist. Candidates in outlying areas will be contacted directly regarding Programme material.


IF I HAVE NOT PAID OR MY FIRM IS PAYING FOR MY APT APC PROGRAMME, CAN I STILL COLLECT MY MATERIAL?

If your firm is paying for your Programme, you can collect your initial course material as per the file collection notification. If you are paying in your personal capacity, we will require proof of payment before you collect your initial Programme material.


WHERE DO I FIND THE SCHEDULE FOR MY PROGRAMME?

You can find this information on aptassist (under the ‘Global Resources’ site). Check your Programme schedule here to ensure that you are kept up to date regarding any changes.


WHAT IS THE 75% ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT?

APT candidates are required to attend no less than 75% of sessions to pass and have access to video recordings of the classes in order to meet the attendance requirement. WHAT ARE THE PRESCRIBED BOOKS FOR THE APT APC PROGRAMME? There are no prescribed books as such. As a Professional Competence Development Programme, students are expected to consult such books as are necessary in the circumstances. Guidance is provided in the developmental Programme material and contact sessions.


I AM NOT RECEIVING ANY EMAILS FROM APT?

Sometimes our emails are diverted to your spam/junk mail folder. You should log onto your email account and check the spam/junk mail folder for our emails. You should then ensure that they are not spam by moving them from the spam/junk mail folders to your inbox.


ARE THERE FORMAL ASSESSMENTS?

In order to pass our Professional Competence Development Programme, you are required to pass a minimum of two formal Assessments.

  • Both Assessments fully simulate the SAICA APC Exam, the ICAN APC Exam and the ICAZ APC exam and are written under full examination conditions.
  • You are entitled to write our Assessments in any language approved by SAICA/ICAN/ICAZ.
  • Candidates who need improvement after an Assessment will be given further guidance and be required to write a Supplementary Assessment.

On successful completion of the Professional Competence Development Programme, you will be awarded a certificate which will entitle you to write the APC exam. The dates for Supplementary/Deferred Assessments will be advised.


WHAT MATERIAL/BOOKS ARE ALLOWED IN APT the APC EXAM?

The SAICA/ICAN/ICAZ Students Version Handbook and The SAICA/ICAN/ICAZ Legislative Handbook are allowed into the examination room. Candidates are also allowed to bring one lever arch file containing such other documents as they deem appropriate provided the documents are A4, punched and bound and the thickness of the document does not exceed 8cm. You do not need to purchase new SAICA/ICAN/ICAZ Handbooks as you may print out any amendments and include them in your file.


DO I NEED TO TAKE MY ID DOCUMENT AND APT STUDENT NUMBER TO APT APC EXAMS?

You are required to bring your ID document and write your APT student number on the top right corner of your APT Assessment Script.


HOW DO I GO ABOUT APPOINTING AN INVIGILATOR?

If the distance between the nearest APT venue and your place of residence exceeds 150km, APT is willing to allow you to propose a local invigilator for our approval. Candidates wishing to apply for this concession should email the Cape Town Administration Office ([email protected]) with the name, qualifications, work telephone, mobile number, email address and physical address as well as company name of the proposed invigilator (a physical address is mandatory).

It would be preferable if your invigilator were a Chartered Accountant, although APT is willing to accept other professionals such as Ministers of Religion and HR Managers. The invigilator cannot be a relative or friend.

APT has sole discretion in the appointment of any such person as an invigilator. Assuming this arrangement is approved, our Admin office will send the necessary Assessment paper(s) to the invigilator, per courier, in a sealed package. If candidates are aware of any other candidates in their town or city it would be helpful if


PLEASE NOTE: ALL INVIGILATOR COSTS ARE FOR THE CANDIDATE’S ACCOUNT. APT WILL ONLY PAY FOR THE COST TO COURIER THE ASSESSMENT TO THE INVIGILATOR AND COLLECT THE ASSESSMENT FROM THE INVIGILATOR.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to contact APT via email, no less than 3 weeks prior to EACH Assessment to make these arrangements. If APT does not hear from such candidates, it will be recorded that such candidates are to write in a centre where an APT venue has been provided and a 0% mark will be recorded on non-receipt of the script.

WHAT IF I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF MY APT APC EXAM?

You are required to perform a full Self-Assessment and compare your Self-Assessment to the grading guide provided to you electronically. If you are unable to reconcile the two Assessments you owe it to yourself to consult with one of the Presenters.


HOW DO I APPLY TO WRITE A DEFERRED OR SUPPLEMENTARY ASSESSMENT?

If you are unable to write an APT Assessment you should apply for a Deferred Assessment. (A candidate who has an acceptable reason for not sitting for an Assessment when scheduled, will be required to write a Deferred Assessment. Deferred Assessments are granted at the sole discretion of the presenters, who may require written evidence in support of the religious, medical or other grounds provided. Only such reasons as would generally be accepted by University Deferred Examinations Committees will be considered). You cannot apply to write a Supplementary Assessment. Supplementary Assessments are awarded at the sole discretion of APT, after careful consideration of individual results and circumstances