What this means in practice

developing the ACCA Qualification so that it continues to provide the skills and professionalism demanded by employers globally in every sector and promoting ACCA through a vibrant and forward-looking brand.

Strategic measure applied

number of students and affiliates (those who have completed ACCA’s exams but are yet to become members).

Why we use this measure

it shows our success in extending the appeal of our qualification to the next generation and the strength of our membership pipeline.

Five-year performance Prior year actuals Current year actuals Targets
2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2018-19 2019-20
# of students and affiliates 455,788 480,813 486,514 503,262 527,331 521,200 551,600
Year-on-year growth rate (%) 4.6 5.5 1.2 3.4 4.8 4.6

Five-year performance

2014-15 455,788 4.6 2015-16 480,813 5.5 2016-17 486,514 1.2 2017-18 503,262 3.4
2018-19 527,331 4.8
2018-19 521,200 2019-20 551,600 4.6

For the first time under our Strategy to 2020 we’ve exceeded our overall growth target for students and affiliates by 1.2%, with an increase of 4.8% globally.

For the first time under our Strategy to 2020 we’ve exceeded our overall growth target for students and affiliates by 1.2%, with an increase of 4.8% globally.

We’ve seen the retention picture improve for the second year in succession, ending the year at 85.5% (0.8% ahead of expectation). The focus we’ve had on sustainable recruitment, more active nurturing and increased study interventions has helped drive this performance.

During the year, we recruited 111,947 students globally, with the largest intakes coming from China, India and the UK. Overall, we ended the year nearly 2,000 new students behind expectation, with lower than anticipated registrations in China and India being the main contributing factor. However, recruitment overall still increased by 5.6% year-on-year (an increase of 3.2% on prior year).

Registrations are targeted to grow in 2019-20, again led by strong demand in China and India and with the majority of other markets expected to increase slightly or hold steady. We also expect to see retention levels stabilise at this new level, helping create a more sustainable pipeline to membership.