Ethics and Professional Skepticism

During your Structured Training in Ethics (STE) and your Initial Professional Development (IPD), you will develop a range of essential skills needed in your working life. These must include the important concept of ethics and ethical behavior.


The Structured Training in Ethics programme is a web-based learning and assessment programme. It involves interactive case studies, assignments, scenarios and self-test questions and is divided into three stages. Each stage takes a couple of hours. There is no pass mark but all stages of the STE programme must be completed as part of the ACA qualification.

On completion of the three stages you will have:

  • developed your knowledge and understanding of ethical philosophies and theories;
  • understood how these philosophies and theories relate to the IC AEW Code of Ethics;
  • ested your understanding by applying ethical theories to case studies and scenarios;
  • satisfied in full the STE requirements of ACA training.


Initial Professional Development is the name given to the development of key added-value professional skills that help define an IC AEW Chartered Accountant. The strong focus of the ACA on developing these skills through IPD is a key part of what makes ACA different and it will help you become a more rounded business adviser.

IPD requires you to reflect on your skills needs and, with your employer’s support, undertake regular activity to develop your professional skills throughout your training and subsequent career.

This could include:

  • attend in-house training courses, seminars and meetings;
  • discussions with your seniors;
  • attend events or listen to online webinars;
  • on-the-job learning and/or
  • mentoring, coaching or shadowing etc.