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NEW CERTIFIED ACCOUNTING TECHNICIAN (CAT) QUALIFICATION


As part of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Professional Accountancy Organization (PAO) Capacity Building Program funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), ACCA worked with ICPAR and other key stakeholders in Rwanda to develop a competency framework and competence-based qualification for accounting technicians.

The objective of this work was for ICPAR to create and introduce a new and enhanced CAT qualification that is nationally relevant and globally recognized. The vision for ICPAR’s 2017 – 2021 Strategy is a “strong, relevant and sustainable profession” that will contribute to the Rwanda’s Vision as enshrined in 2020 and 2050. To achieve this vision, the strategy includes a specific focus on technician level, as it describes how its strategic aim to introduce “the enhanced CAT with new pathways to public financial management and credit management will create a new, practical and sought-after qualification.”


IFAC defines an accounting technician as:

- A skilled person who undertakes many of the day to day functions in the accounting environment. Accounting technicians may work alone in smaller organizations but in larger organizations usually work in support of senior accountants. Accounting technicians generally work at an operational level, making decisions appropriate to their role, with guidance from a senior accountant as appropriate. Accounting technicians work in all types of organizations, including commerce and industry, government, public services and private practice. Accounting technicians may progress to higher level jobs or qualifications once they have completed their technician level training. - IFAC 2009

Examples of accounting technician roles in Rwanda include among others:
• Billing clerk
• Accounts and control clerk
• Credit controller
• Finance clerk
• Accounts clerk
• Bookkeeper
• Accounts receivable officer
• Accounts payable officer
• Budget control officer
• Accounting assistant
• Tellers
• Cashiers
• Stock Controller


The new CAT was developed following a rigorous process to ensure that it meets the expectations of the local and international market. A competency-based approach was adopted to develop competency framework as well as its syllabus.

The new CAT is aligned with Rwanda TVET qualification framework where CAT stage 1 is equivalent to RTQF Level 4, CAT stage 2 is equivalent with RTQF level 5 and CAT stage 3 is Equivalent to RTQF level 6 with additional pathways/specializations in Credit Management and Public Finance Management (PFM).


The iCPAR Accounting Technician Competency Framework shows the abilities, knowledge and skills necessary to undertake accounting technician roles in Rwanda.
The competency framework has been based on tried and tested competency frameworks used as the basis for international qualifications such as ACCA’s Certified Accounting Technician Qualification and AAT’s Accounting Technician Qualifications.
Working with employers, technical experts, iCPAR and other stakeholders in Rwanda the international competency framework has been adapted to be not only globally recognized but also nationally relevant.

Unlike the existing CAT the new CAT has got three stages and pathways to allow a range of opportunities such as vertical progression and various career pathways.

CAT Stage 1

Code Examination Paper Title Related Units of competency – Unit Standards
S1.1 Recording Financial Transactions 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of recording and processing financial transactions
2. Process ledger transactions and extract a trial balance
3. Maintain and reconcile the cashbook
4. Maintain petty cash records
5. Maintain the journal
6. Maintain control accounts
7. Demonstrate an understanding of banking procedures
8. Prepare and record financial documentation
S1.2 Principles of Costing 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of costing
2. Provide basic cost and revenue information
S1.3 Effective Working in Accounting and Finance 1. Work effectively in accounting and finance

CAT Stage 2

Code Examination Paper Title Related Units of competency – Unit Standards
S2.1 Preparation of Basic Accounts 1. Extend the trial balance using accounting adjustments
2. Account for non-current assets
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of accounts preparation
4. Prepare accounts for partnerships
5. Prepare final accounts for sole traders
6. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of VAT
7. Prepare and complete VAT returns
S2.2 Managing costs and Cash flows 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of cash management
2. Perform Cash management
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of costing
4. Provide cost and revenue information
S2.3 Professional ethics in Accounting and Finance 1. Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethics in accounting and finance

CAT Stage 3

Code Examination Paper Title Related Units of competency – Unit Standards
S3.1 Financial Accounting 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of drafting financial statements
2. Draft financial statements
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of internal control
S3.2 Management Accounting 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of budgeting
2. Draft budgets
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of managing financial performance
4. Measure financial performance
5. Evaluate accounting systems
S3.3 Taxation 1. Demonstrate an understanding of direct taxes on income
2. Calculate tax on employment income
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of business tax
4. Calculate business tax
S3.4 Audit and Assurance 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of external audit
2. Prepare Audit financial statements

Pathways - Options

Code Examination Paper Title Related Units of competency – Unit Standards
S3.5 Credit Management 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of credit management
2. Control of debt and credit
S3.6 Public Financial Management Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of public financial management

A grace period of two examination sittings i.e June and December 2019 is allowed only for already registered students under old CAT qualification. After this period the students will move to new CAT in accordance with elaborated transition rules. Transition rules will be communicated to all students and other stakeholders via ICPAR website and students accounts ahead of time. New CAT registered students to sit for June 2019 examinations will be examined using the New CAT syllabus and learning materials.

Study Materials for the new CAT have been produced by international and recognized publisher BPP Learning media to enhance the quality of tuition/training. All registered students will have automatic access to all E-Book CAT materials without additional fees. Unique Codes and relevant links will be issued to individual students in order to access the learning materials. Tuition providers or individual Tutors will have to request codes to access E-Books with additional fees 1 GBP per subject. Original Printed Books from the publisher will be accessible at individual students or training institution cost – a printed book is at a cost of 10 GBP per subject Printed or hardcopy books will be ordered via ICPAR office or Website. E-Book access Codes will be unique and entitled to one individual who can use it for a period not exceeding three-years. If the access code is not used within a period of 18 months, it will expire and the second code will be obtained at an individual cost of 1 GBP per subject.

Examination fee structure remains unchanged and can be accessed via the following link ( http://www.icparwanda.com/students/fees-structure.html )

The registration of students is ongoing and the normal deadline is 15th March 2019 and late registration is 30th March 2019 with penalties.

These two important documents are available below and can be accessed to facilitate teaching and learning.

Click Here to Download - ICPAR CAT Competency Framework Click Here to Download - ICPAR CAT Syllabus