ICB Information

Who Is The ICB?

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is an independent external examinations body. This means that they work alongside the government to qualify students through accredited distance learning colleges that are registered with DHET (the Department of Higher Education and Training). 

The qualifications offered by the ICB focus on business. The qualifications are: 

  • Business Management 
  • Financial Accounting 
  • Office Administration 

Each qualification is divided into three or four levels that take a year each to complete, but you can begin working once you have completed just the first year. Once you have completed your first year of study, you can also apply to become a member of the ICBA (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants).

About ICB Courses

These qualifications are designed to give you the necessary skills to work in a business or run your own. Each course is broken down into subjects, which you will complete over the course of three to four years. 

The ICB does not provide support or study material to its students because they are an independent external examinations body. All support and study material is distributed through the accredited colleges that offer ICB courses.

About ICB Exams

ICB exams take place several times in the year. This means that you have plenty of opportunities to decide when you want to write your exams so that you have enough time to study. You must complete your PoE (portfolio of evidence) to submit before the exam. 


Your PoE consists of three assessments and two tests that will be done throughout your studying. If you do not submit your PoE, or if it is incomplete, you will not be allowed to take the exam.

Are ICB Exams Online?

Yes, you can choose whether to take paper-based exams or to take your exams online. Paper-based exams take place in the mornings from 9:00 – 12:30. Online exams take place in the afternoons from 13:00 – 16:30.

How Do I Register For ICB Exams?

You can register for your exams through the ICB Student Portal. You will need your name and surname and ICB student number.

How Do I Find My ICB Exam Results?

You will be able to access your results through the ICB Student Portal once they are released. If you fail your exam, you can write one re-assessment, which must be done within 12 months of your first exam. If you fail your re-assessment, you will have to redo the subject to retake the exam.

Are ICB Qualifications Recognised?

Yes, ICB qualifications are internationally recognised. This means that if you study for and achieve an ICB qualification, you will be qualified to work all around the world.

Is ICB A Degree?

No, the ICB courses go up to the Diploma level. The educational level of a course or qualification is determined by the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) level. 


The Financial Accounting course begins at NQF level 3, which is grade 11 equivalent. This means that you only need your Grade 10 certificate/report to apply. 


The Business Management course begins at NQF level 4, which is a Matric Equivalent qualification. This means you only need to have your Grade 11 certificate/report to apply. 


The Office Administration course begins at NQF level 5. This means that in order to apply, you must have your Matric Certificate or equivalent.

Which Is The Bookkeeping Qualification?

The bookkeeping courses are the first two years of the Financial Accounting course. The first year is the Junior Bookkeeping course, and the second year is the Senior Bookkeeping course.

What Is The Difference Between ICB And CIMA?

ICB offers courses up to the Diploma level. CIMA works alongside ICB to get your accounting qualification to a degree level. This improves your job opportunities as well as your prospects.

What Have We Learned?

The ICB is an independent external examinations body. ICB courses are taught through accredited colleges. You may choose to write your exam online or as a paper-based exam. You can register for your exams through the student portal, and also access your results through the student portal once they have been released. 


ICB qualifications are internationally recognised, and go up to the Diploma level. ICB and CIMA work together so that you can continue your studies to a degree level with CIMA.

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Amy Venter
Date Published: May 16, 2022

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