Exemption from having a degree before starting the Common Professional Examination
Mature applicants may be eligible to apply to study the Common Professional Examination (CPE) without having a degree.
We define mature applicants as those who wish to be accepted onto the CPE based on their certificated learning and work-based learning1.
To gain exemption, you'll need to demonstrate:
- A sufficient standard of general education (Level 3 equivalent of the Regulated Qualifications Framework) AND;
- considerable work-based learning.
CPE providers expect you to have achieved an appropriate standard of written and spoken English or Welsh if you choose to study on the course.
If you are claiming exemption based on an award obtained outside the UK, the awarding body must be recognised by UK NARIC.
You will need to provide certified copies of your qualification or certificates. Your work based-learning must be corroborated by references from your supervisor(s).
Guidance for referees
You must ensure that your referee(s) have read this information.
- be provided for each period of experience claimed
- be written for the purposes of this application and be dated within the last 3 months
- be submitted on letterheaded paper.
- have supervised you directly as a general employment reference is not enough
- read your application, reviewed all supporting evidence before corroborating your experience and confirm that they have done so in their reference
- familiarised themselves with the requirements of this application and refer directly to these when providing their reference(s)
- include examples from their direct observation of your work.
You must redact all samples of your work to remove sensitive or identifying information. We will not accept non-redacted documents and will destroy them.
Making your application
The application fee is £35.
We aim to provide you with a decision within 90 days of receiving your application.
You must keep a copy of your application and evidence.
- 1. Certificated learning is learning which has led to a qualification or certificate. Whilst work-based learning is objectively assessed workplace experience.