ICB Courses


ICB Means Business – gain accredited business qualifications through one of South Africa’s most established Independent External Examination Bodies. Whether you want to learn and earn. Or learn, travel and earn. Or learn, be a stay at home parent and earn. 

Whatever your situation, these ICB courses can work for you.


Skills Academy Offers The Following Range of Accredited ICB Courses:


ICB Programmes

ICB Financial Accounting Courses

If you want to offer indispensable bookkeeping and accounting skills, or become an accountant someday, this is the course for you! 



ICB Entrepreneurship Courses

Entrepreneurs are pioneers, innovators, leaders and inventors. They are at the forefront of technological and social movements.

ICB Public Sector Accounting Courses

Public sector accounting is an accounting method  used in central and local governments and other  non-profit public sector entities.  

ICB Business Management Courses

Business management in all business areas and organisational activities are the acts of getting people together to accomplish desired goals.

ICB Office Administration Courses

Office administrators keep the wheels of an office turning. By learning about all the elements that contribute to a smooth-running office.  

ICB Courses

What are these courses about?

These are 100% fully accredited business qualifications you are able to gain through the highly respected and established ICB. Successful completion of one of these programmes will be your green card for consideration for employment in any suitable business career.

ICB Financial Accounting Courses


ICB Financial Accounting Programme

The ICB Financial Accounting Programme consists of 4 different levels, as follows:

  • Foundation level – National Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF Level 3).
  • Intermediate level – FET Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF level 4).
  • Upper Intermediate level – National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting (NQF level 5).
  • Advanced level – National Diploma: Financial Accounting (NQF level 6).

You can begin at the level that costs the least and develop your credentials step by step.

As you can see Financial Accounting Courses start with Bookkeeping and go up to Diplomas in Accounting. Now you might be wondering “what’s the difference?”, wonder no more potential student we have got you covered.

The difference between Bookkeeping courses and Accounting courses

Bookkeeping is basically lower level accounting, while Accounting is, well, Accounting – it’s more complex.

Here’s a more detailed look at the differences between these two professions:


  • Makes sure all financial transactions are properly recorded.
  • Transactions are recorded in a set of books or software packages like Pastel or QuickBooks.

The accurate recording of all the financial transactions are the first steps in the accounting process.


  • Accounting is the interpreting, analyzing and summarizing of financial data.
  • The Accountant supervises and makes sure that the bookkeepers accurately record all transactions.
  • The Accountant prepares, analyzes, summarises and interprets the bookkeepers recorded transactions in the form of financial statements

Can I study these courses if I don’t have Matric?

Yes, Yes and Yes!

The ICB bookkeeping courses start at NQF level 3 and go up to NQF level 6. Matric is at NQF level 4. So students who do not have matric CAN study this course. You start at an academic level below matric. And if you keep on studying, you will end up with a qualification two levels above matric.

The ICB bookkeeping courses were designed for students who must work and study at the same time. With distance learning, you can study an hour every evening. You now have five exam opportunities per year, so as soon as you are ready for an exam, you can go and write that exam. In this way, you can do your course one step at a time.

As you progress with the programme, you will get recognition after completing each level. After completing the first four subjects, you will already get your first qualification from FASSET, and your first ICB Programme Certificate.

Where can I work?

You can work in a wide variety of careers in the finance industry. It is also important to note that you have a great advantage in terms of job hunting because of the shortage of qualified people in this field in South Africa. Companies are urgently looking for people with this skill. So you won’t have a hard time finding work with a qualification in bookkeeping and accounting.


You can build your profession from Junior Bookkeeper up to Management Accountant with your ICB qualifications.

Some of the jobs you will be able to pursue, depending on the level of the course you have actually completed, are the following:

  • Junior Bookkeeper
  • Accounts Clerk
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Senior Bookkeeper
  • Junior Accountant
  • Assistant Accountant
  • Credit Controller
  • Business Analyst
  • Technical Financial Accountant
  • Financial Manager
  • Tax Technician
  • Financial Services Manager
  • Financial Accountant
  • Accounting Officer
  • Tax Practitioner
  • Management Accountant
  • Tax Consultant

How much can I earn?

These are the average salaries of bookkeeping and accounting professionals in South Africa according to payscale.com:

Senior Bookkeeper: R224,218 Per Year

Senior Accountant: R337,856 Per Year

Business Analyst: R349,014 Per Year

Financial Manager: R566,574 Per Year

Tax Consultant: R250,381 Per Year

Is this the right field for you?

To succeed in this field you have to be keen number cruncher, analytical, someone who enjoys problem-solving and who is a responsible person as you will be handling companies all-important finances.

Entry requirements?

  • The entry criteria for the entry-level courses is Grade 10 (Standard 8) or similar.
  • You need to be 16 years of age.
  •  You do not need previous knowledge or experience of accounting.


ICB Public Sector Accounting Programme

The ICB Public Sector Accounting Programme consists of three levels, as follows:

  • Foundation level – National Certificate: Public Sector Accounting.
  • Intermediate level – Diploma: Public Sector Accounting.
  • Advanced level – National Diploma: Financial Accounting.

What is Public Sector Accounting about?

I could have grouped this with the above general accounting programs but did not. Why? Simply because it’s different, it’s another ballgame when we talk about Public Sector Accounting as opposed to Private Sector Accounting(the programme described before this one).

Public Sector Accounting deals with the financial documentation and well-being of governmental institutions. Audits are done way more frequently here than in the private sector because of the high level of potential for corruption. As you can see you’re working for an institution that serves cities, provinces, and countries. It involves a much higher level of responsibility than the private sector does.

Government departments and towns have a shortage of people qualified in Public Sector Accounting. You will learn the best ways to do the appropriate financial statements, carry out internal controls, do internal audits and use good accounting and financial principles. Even though the salaries of professionals in public sector accounting are more or less the same as in private accounting, you enjoy more job benefits in terms of medical benefits, advancement and job security.

Where can I work?

You will be able to go into careers like:

  • Public Accounts Administrator
  • Technical Public Accountant
  • Accounting Technician (in the public sector)
  • Public Sector Financial Accountant
  • Public Sector Accounting Officer

Naturally, the level of job you can apply for will depend upon the level of the certification you have actually completed, as well as your work experience.

Income Potential

These are the average salaries for people working in this profession in South Africa according to payscale.com:

Public Accounts Administrator: R124,646 Per Year

Public Sector Senior Financial Accountant: R475,967 Per Year

Public Sector Senior Financial Bookkeeper: R 224,218 Per Year

Public Sector Accounting Officer: R182,272 Per Year

Is this the right field for you?

You have to have similar character traits and abilities as in any accounting career except for the fact that you should have a really strong sense of ethics as you will have great responsibility handling the finances of governmental institutions.

Entry Requirements

  • You should be at least 16 years old and you have to have actually passed your Grade 11 (Standard 9) at school or comparable.
  • To begin at the Foundation Level you need no previous accounting or bookkeeping knowledge.


ICB Business Management Programme

The ICB Business Management Programme consist out of 3 various levels, as follows:

  • Foundation level – National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management.
  • Intermediate level – Higher Certificate: Office Administration.
  • Advanced level – National Diploma: Financial Accounting.

What is this programme about?

This program prepares you to manage a company and its financial resources. It is a broad programme that teaches you a wide range of business and accounting practices. You will learn about excellent accounting practices, as well as workplace and legal best practice. You will get to know Human Resources, Computer Literacy, Business Strategy and Research Methods in Business.

Entry requirements?

To begin this program you need Grade 11 (Standard 9) or similar credentials on NQF level 3.

Where can I work?


  • Business Consultant
  • Business Analyst
  • Management Consultant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Account Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Marketing Manager

Income potential

These are the average salaries of South African Business Management Professionals according to payscale.com:

Business Consultant: R224,649 Per Year

Business Analyst: R394,014 Per Year

Management Consultant: R400,413 Per Year

Financial Analyst: R313,131 Per Year

Human Resources Manager: R324,862 Per Year

Marketing Manager: R340,728 Per Year


ICB Entrepreneurship Programme

The ICB Entrepreneurship Programme consists of 3 levels, as follows:

  • Foundation level – National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management.
  • Intermediate level – Higher Certificate: Office Administration.
  • Advanced level – National Diploma: Financial Accounting.

What is this programme about?

The topics in this program are chosen to offer you the accounting and overall business abilities you need to make a success of your organization. The course also covers technique, technical abilities, and personal abilities.

Is this the right field for me?

If you are interested in numbers, but you also dream about starting, handling or establishing a little or medium sized service, then this is the best programme for you.

Where can I work?

At the lower levels of this program, you will probably be looking at beginning your own service or getting included in a start-up organization. At the higher levels, you will be qualified to be a Chief Financial Officer in an entrepreneurial environment. You could likewise be a Business Consultant or even an Accounting Officer (by means of SAIBA).

Income Potential

Chief Financial Officer: R1,026,005 Per Year

Business Consultant: R400,413 Per Year

Accounting Officer: R182,272 Per Year


ICB Office Administration Programme

The ICB Office Administration Programme consists of 3 various levels, as follows:

  • Foundation level – Certificate: Office Administration.
  • Intermediate level – Higher Certificate: Office Administration.
  • Advanced level – Diploma: Office Administration.

What is this programme about?

In this programme, you will be taught the essentials of bookkeeping, and then we go on to teach you all the workplace management abilities you will require – as much as the highest level. At the end of this programme, you will be able to make any workplace run efficiently, and assist out in any department that needs immediate help. You will be the go-to person that can make any department run smoothly.

What you learn here will make you employable in any organization. At the end of this programme, you will have the skills and self-confidence to set up and run any office environment.

Where can I work?

  • Junior Workplace Administrator
  • Receptionist
  • Workplace Assistant
  • Marketing Administrator
  • Senior Office Administrator
  • Secretary
  • General Workplace Manager
  • Administrative Manager

Income Potential

These are the average salaries of professionals in office administration in South Africa according to payscale.com and indeed.com:

Receptionist: R71,958 Per Year

Marketing Administrator: R150,012 Per Year

Senior Office Administrator: R328,619 Per Year

Secretary: R117,660 Per Year

ICB Courses

ICB Exams



ICB Courses

Registering for an Exam

Once you are registered as a student with the ICB, you can now register for your first exam. To do this you need to download the Exam Entry Form. you must fill in this form, and send it to the ICB, together with the 2017 Student Details Form.

At this point, you will have to pay your exam fee. The exam fee is R620 per subject.

As a distance learning student, you can also register for an exam online via the student portal.

When you submit the Exam Entry Form, use this checklist first:

  1. Make sure you are using the correct version of the Exam Entry Form – at the time of writing this article, it is the 2017 Exam Entry Form
  2. Have you selected an ICB Exam Venue that is close to you?
  3. Include proof of payment with your 2017 Exam Entry Form. The fee is R620 per subject.
  4. Have you double checked the exam dates? Do you need to apply for leave from your employer for these dates?
  5. When you submit this form, you MUST ALSO submit a 2017 Student Details Form

Important: When the ICB receives your 2017 Exam Entry Form, the process of sending you your Portfolio of Evidence (POE) is started. It can take 3 to 4 weeks for you to receive your POE. The ICB will courier your PEO to you. So it is important that you give them an address where you can receive the POE from the courier. Usually, a courier will phone you before delivering, so you need to make sure you give them a cell number that the courier can use. And you must make sure to answer your phone! If the courier calls you and you do not answer the phone, they will not deliver your parcel.

When is the best time to Register?

In 2017, the ICB offers five exam sessions. So if you miss an exam, if you don’t feel you are properly prepared, then there will be another and another chance to write that exam. If you know you might miss an exam that you have already registered for, then you can apply for a postponement. A postponement will cost your R220 per subject.

Part of your final mark is determined by the mark you get for your Portfolio of Evidence (POE). It counts 30% of your final mark. It only gets sent to you when you register for an exam. You must do a POE for each of your subjects. So to have the most time to work on your POE, you should register early for an exam. You POE only gets sent to you after you have registered for an exam.

Pro tip: Aim for one or two subjects per exam sitting. Plan your study calendar, and then register for all the 2017 exams you plan to write. Registering for the exam shows your commitment to do the work, complete the POE and pass your exam! You have to fully commit to your studies, and registering for your exams is how you show your commitment to yourself.

ICB Course Fees

When you prepare to study an ICB course, then it is important that you take note of the following expenses:

  • Study charges with your college or course supplier
  • If your course provider includes all the books and notes in their course cost.
  • You are required to check the expense of textbooks
  • Examination costs (the payments you have to make to the ICB for each test – there is a cost per subject that you write)
  • ICBA Membership costs (you can become a Student Member of the ICBA, and there are special trainee fees for this)
  • Shipment expenses for home study trainees (are your courier fees included in your course fees?)

ICB courses at Unisa

Unisa used to offer the ICB courses. They stopped support for the ICB courses a while back. And they no longer take new students on ICB courses. However, the ICB courses are still offered by a number of accredited distance learning providers.  For students who cannot register at Unisa, the ICB courses offer an opportunity to achieve an accredited Diploma at NQF level 6. That is two levels above matric. Some of the popular ICB Diploma courses that students do as alternatives to a Unisa qualification are:

  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting (NQF 6)
  • National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting (NQF 5)
  • Diploma: Public Sector Accounting (NQF 5)
  • Diploma: Office Administration (NQF 6)

You can also study Higher Certificates with the ICB, which gives you a recognized qualification at NQF level 5. As alternatives to Unisa studies, these courses will get you qualified and employed much faster. With five exam session per year, you get many chances to finish your course with the ICB.   The ICB programmes offer a very real way to improve your qualifications with skills that are in demand in the workplace. Most of the ICB qualifications are in areas where there is a recognized shortage of skills.



NQF Levels

This is a system that shows the academic level of a course. We refer to a matric qualification as an NQF4 qualification.

You can still see the academic level of that qualification if you do a certification that is not a school certification.

In the ICB courses, you will see that most of them start at NQF level 3. That means you do not require a matric certificate to acquire entry to these programs. You will also see the courses go up to NQF level 6. So that is two levels above Matric level.

Meaning it is at Diploma level, or one year short of a Degree level course.

SAQA – South African Certifications Authority

SAQA is the South African Qualifications Authority. A course or a college cannot be “accredited” or “registered” with SAQA.

All accredited programs are registered on the NQF, with SAQA. That is why all accredited certifications have SAQA ID Numbers. You can look up that ID number on the SAQA website, to make sure that the certification actually exists.

All the ICB courses and qualifications have correct SAQA ID Numbers. If a course does not have a SAQA ID Number, then it cannot be recognized.

Accreditation, nevertheless, is not done by SAQA. It is done by a SETA, or by Umalusi, or by the CHE (Council of Higher Education).

SAQA is the body that certifies the various SETAs. It recognizes the bodies that accredit your course or your college.


When can I get started?

You can get started right away!

Simply fill in the form on this page and a friendly course expert will be in contact with you to make sure that this is the right course for you.


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