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'After a 3 years of obtaining your designation, it's time to specialise.'

Specialist work can be offered at a higher fee, providing a much higher profit margin.


CIBA licenses are issued by a professional body that is a recognised controlling body for accounting officers, independent reviewers, business accountants performing assurance and non-assurance engagements.

Earning a license distinguishes you from general accountants and allows clients to value your specialisation. Some of our licenses are required in terms of statutory regulations.

Where you fit in

A CIBA license is suitable for experienced practitioners that have gained at least 3 years experience running their own firm and now have an opportunity to provide enhanced services to clients.

The Official CIBA CPD Platform

CIBA only recognises CPD obtained from our official CIBA CPD platform - www.saiba.academy. If you don't do your CPD with us and log your CPD hours within your membership profile your hours may not be recognised. Make sure you only do CPD at www.saiba.academy or phone CIBA to confirm if your CPD provider is accredited by CIBA.

The CIBA Academy helps you:

  • Qualify as an accountant
  • Maintain your skills as an accountant
  • Specialise as an accountant

Licenced to specialise.

The license programme was developed by industry experts to test your competence in a particular specialist area. The underlying exam is written online and candidates can write at any time. Preparation is through self-study and experience. The exam consists of multiple choice questions aligned to a detailed curriculum.

The entry requirements for the license is a BAP(SA), CBA(SA) or an equivalent designation at NQF level 7, together with a minimum of 3 years of post-designation relevant experience.

Branded, secure, and verifiable digital certificates

  • Obtain branded, secure, and verifiable digital certificates and badges.
  • Your certificates can't be duplicated or faked.
  • With a single click, you and potential clients/employers can verify the achievement is legitimate
  • We automatically optimize your certificates and badges to display perfectly on any screen size, so they always look good.

A few good reasons why you need to specialise

  • Access to Better Clients
  • As a specialist in the subject area

  • Earn more
  • Specialist work generally can be offered at a higher fee than normal accounting work providing a much higher profit margin per hour of service delivered.

  • Referrals
  • You will be able to accept referrals from other non-specialist accountants and in this way diversify your client composition to include business clients and other accountants.

  • Statutory recognition
  • Some of the licences that CIBA issue are prerequisite for obtaining statutory recognition such as for Independent Review and Business Rescue.

  • Standards of competence
  • CIBA continuously engage with legislators and administrators to ensure that CIBA licenses become the minimum standard of competence prescribed by legislation.

  • Quality and ethics
  • Obtaining a license will position you ahead of the curve. Recent scandals in the profession have placed renewed emphasis on quality control and ethical conduct.

  • Compliance
  • Regulators including the National Treasury, Department of Trade and Industry, SAQA, IRBA, and SARS have been requested by Parliament to implement new regulations to clamp down on unprofessional conduct by accountants and auditors.

The application process

  1. Application
    • Register as a CIBA member.
  2. Qualification
    • Submit proof of a membership as a designated accountant with an accredited professional body.
  3. Experience
    • Submit proof of a minimum of 3 years as a general accountant providing accounting and tax services to the public for a fee.
  4. Payment
    • You will be redirected to a secure online payment portal to pay your license fee.
  5. Course
    • Register as a student on CIBA Academy, www.saiba.academy
    • Select "Become a specialist".
    • Select an area in which you would like to earn a specialist license.
    • Select the assessment option that best fits your circumstances: Assessment only, Assessment plus Study material, Assessment plus Study material plus Tuition
    • Pay the required fee.
    • Attempt the assessment within 12 months of registering as a student and paying the assessment fee.
  6. Assessment
    • If successful you will be awarded a CIBA specialist licence and your name will be entered into the CIBA specialist referral list.
    • If unsuccessful you have 1 further opportunity to complete the assessment.

How we ensure the quality and relevance of our licenses

  • We engage with experienced and highly rated university lecturers to set the CIBA assessment for the relevant subjects.
  • Our moderators review the assessments to ensure that they are at the required University level.
  • Assessments are supported by prescribed text books supplied by LexisNexis. They are the same text books as prescribed by Universities.
  • You may study the text book on your own or combine your self-study with tuition as provided by our accredited 3rd party providers.
  • We are not registered as an Institution of Higher Learning or as a University as we are a professional body of accountants registered with SAQA. This allows us to set the criteria to award a designation. Our assessments assist you in meeting our criteria.
Independent Review Specialist Business Rescue Specialist NPO Specialist IFRS for SME Specialist Immigration Accountant Licence
R2 500 pa From R7 000 pa R2 000 pa R2 500 pa R2 500 pa
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