Is ICB Recognised In The United Kingdom?

If you are wondering if ICB is recognised in the United Kingdom, you are in luck. This organisation is based in the UK and offers the best of both business and finance courses.

Yes, ICB is recognised in the United Kingdom (UK). The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is an organisation that was founded in the UK. They are a respected external exam body and have been offering qualifications in Southern Africa since 1931. 

Are ICB Qualifications Recognised?

Yes, ICB qualifications are recognised in South Africa, the UK and many other countries all around the world. ICB Courses are accredited and registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). There are many other bodies, both nationally and internationally that recognise these programmes. 

International Recognition

The best part about internationally recognised ICB courses, is that there are many membership bodies that are willing to welcome you with open arms once you complete your studies. They can all offer you unique opportunities to help you boost your career.  

  • IAB – International Association of Bookkeepers
  • IAAP – International Association of Accounting Professionals
  • ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


Once you graduate from your ICB course, you can apply to IAB for membership. They are extremely passionate about their anti-money laundering efforts. If this is something you are also interested in, you could be quite happy with them. When you join IAB, you will receive weekly support and a monthly live Q&A with the directors. 


IAAP prides itself on offering its members access to a wide range of international career opportunities. You also get to be part of a global community of like-minded people, which means you could reach out to them for mentorship


ACCA is an internationally recognised institution that has been around for over 110 years. You can apply to become one of their members as soon as you finish your ICB programme. ACCA also offers exemptions to ICB students who are looking to study further.


National Recognition

If you would like to start your career in South Africa while you wait for your dream opportunity abroad, you certainly can. Here are the local bodies that will recognise your ICB qualification. 

  • SAQA – South African Qualifications Authority
  • SAIT – South African Institute of Tax Professionals
  • SAIBA – Southern African Institute for Business Accountants 


SAQA exists to ensure that all courses meet NQF standards. All ICB programmes are SAQA accredited, and each course has its own special ID number. You can search ICB qualifications on the SAQA website using these numbers to ensure that they are valid. 


If you are passionate about becoming a tax professional, you could become a SAIT member. To join them, you must at least have an NQF level 4 bookkeeping qualification and five years of experience in a tax-related job. 


If you have an ICB NQF level 6 qualification, you can join SAIBA as a member. With them, you can earn a designation. This is a special title that will give you access to prestigious job opportunities. 

How Do I Get My Overseas Qualification Recognised In The United Kingdom?

If you want to work in the UK, the company you apply to might ask you to prove that your South African ICB qualifications are legit. To do so, you must get a verification letter from SAQA. You must follow the steps below to complete the process:

  1. Fill out the verification letter consent form.
  2. To the form, attach copies of your qualification and South Africa ID/passport and send it to [email protected].
  3. SAQA will then send you a quotation, reference number and a draft verification letter.
  4. Deposit the quoted amount to SAQA’s bank account.
  5. Forward proof of payment to the same email address as above. It might take them three working days to receive payment. 
  6. When payment is confirmed, you will receive your verification letter. This process could take up to 25 working days.  

What Are ICB Qualifications Equivalent To?

ICB qualifications are registered on the NQF, and each course ranges between the NQF levels 3-6. Browse the table below to see which course is registered at which level.

NQF Level 3

NQF Level 4

NQF Level 5

NQF Level 6

  • Junior Bookkeeping Course

  • Senior Bookkeeping Course

  • Technical Financial Accounting 

  • Certified Financial Accounting

  • Small Business Financial Management Certificate

  • Higher Certificate in Business Management

  • National Diploma in Business Management

  • National Certificate in Office Administration

  • National Diploma in Office Administration

  • Higher Certificate in Office Administration


Which ICB Courses Can I Study?

There are three ICB programmes to choose from. All you have to do is choose the one that suits your interests the best. 

  1. Bookkeeping And Accounting Courses
  2. Business Management Courses
  3. Office Administration Courses

Bookkeeping and Accounting Courses

Your foundation for a successful career in finance starts right here. You can start with the bookkeeping courses and work your way up to an accredited financial accounting qualification. The best part is that this programme only takes 36 months to complete.

Business Management Courses

Become the leader you were meant to be with ICB’s business management courses. Here you will learn a variety of skills to make you an asset to any industry. Gain knowledge about subjects such as business literacy, office and legal practice and much more. 

Office Administration Courses

These office administration courses take a total of 36 months to complete. You will be taught a number of admin, business, and finance skills to turn you into the all-rounder every company needs. 

What Are The Entry Requirements For ICB Courses?

The good news about ICB courses is that there are no strict entry requirements:

Bookkeeping Courses – You must have completed grade 10 and be at least 16 years old.

Accounting Courses – Successful completion of the ICB Bookkeeping course

Business Management Courses  – Grade 11

Office Administration Courses – Grade 12

Which Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Bookkeeper?

You should study the ICB’s bookkeeping programme in order to become a bookkeeper. These are junior and senior certificate courses which will provide you with the skills you need to join a prestigious company or start a freelance bookkeeping business

How Do I Become A Bookkeeper In The United Kingdom?

The best way to become a bookkeeper in the UK is to study a bookkeeping course. You do not need to have a university degree. A certificate course is more than enough and takes less time to complete than a degree programme. But keep in mind that when you decide to work abroad, many factors come into play. This includes needing a work visa, doing tests to prove that you have good English skills, a valid passport and verified qualifications. You might also need to secure the job before you move, so you can attach proof of employment and salary to your visa application.   

Do You Need A Licence to Do Bookkeeping in The UK?

If you want to start a bookkeeping business from home, you must have a licence. This shows clients that you are trustworthy, but also ensures that you stick to the law. There are different types of licences you might need, the two most important ones are the:

  • Anti Money Laundering (AML) Licence
  • ICB Practice Licence

What Is A Bookkeeper’s Salary In The UK?

According to Indeed, the average salary for a bookkeeper in the UK is £26 109 a year. But this can change, depending on the city you work in. 

Is There A Demand For Bookkeepers In The UK?

Yes, there is a demand for bookkeepers in the UK. All businesses need someone to help them manage their finances. In 2023, it is expected that the bookkeeping industry will grow by 1.2%. This may seem like a small amount, but this means that there is a market for more job opportunities. 

What Is The Hourly Rate For Bookkeepers In South Africa?

According to Payscale, bookkeepers in South Africa earn around R83,60 per hour. This amount depends on many things, including

  • The city you work in
  • Years of experience
  • The current economy 

What Can I Do With An ICB Certificate?

There are many opportunities available to you once you have an ICB certificate. You can start a successful career doing jobs such as:

  • Financial Accountant
  • Taxation Clerk
  • Accounting Technician
  • Business Manager
  • Receptionist
  • Office Administrator 

But if you enjoyed your course so much that you are not ready to leave the books behind, you could study further with ICB. 

Is A Bookkeeping Certificate Worth It In The UK?

Getting a bookkeeping certificate is worth it if you have a genuine passion for numbers and want to enter the world of finance with no previous experience.  

Can You Get Hired With Just A Certificate?

Yes you can get hired with just a certificate. A certificate is a valid qualification that shows off the skills you gained while studying. Just make sure that your qualifications match when you apply for a job.

Why Should I Study ICB Courses?

ICB is a well-known, respected organisation. Their courses give you the necessary knowledge to complete your daily duties at the job of your dreams. More reasons to study with them include:

  • Flexible study options
  • Easy entry requirements
  • Gain relevant skills

Flexible Study Options 

You can study ICB courses from anywhere in South Africa. There are over 500 accredited training providers. You can choose from:

  • Part-time colleges
  • Full-time colleges
  • Distance learning colleges

Easy Entry Requirements

You can enrol in an ICB NQF level 3 course with just grade 10 and a good understanding of English. There are no strict entry requirements. 

Gain Relevant Skills

ICB updates their syllabus every year. This ensures that you only earn the latest skills in your field. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

ICB is not a college, so they do not charge course fees. They only charge exam and registration fees. To study with them, you must enrol with an accredited training provider, and each college has its own set prices for ICB course fees. For pricing, it is best to make contact with the college you want to study with.

Yes it is a good career because bookkeepers are in-demand in South Africa. This means you stand a better chance of becoming employed.

Yes accountants are in demand in the UK. Some of the most popular accounting jobs are:

  • Chartered Accountants
  • Financial Accountants
  • Auditors
  • Tax Accountants
  • Financial Analysts

UNISA can recognise your ICB qualifications through their RPL process. It is not an automatic process, you have to apply and then wait to see if you are accepted. If you are accepted, you could qualify for exemptions.

You can study ICB Courses via distance learning at:

  • Skills Academy
  • Matric College
  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
Last Updated: 20 April 2023



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