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Compete at BASE

ICAEW’s annual business and accounting competition (BASE) is an excellent opportunity for you to learn what it’s really like to work as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant while competing for a cash prize. Pit your wits against other students from across the UK, meet potential future employers, strengthen your CV and sharpen your business skills.

Why take part?

  • Be in with a chance to win a UK competition and a cash prize of £500.
  • Learn what its really like to be a chartered accountant.
  • Test your business acumen, as well as your problem-solving, communication, decision making and team working skills.
  • Compete against thousands of students from schools and colleges all over the UK.
  • Make contact with potential employers .
  • BASE is a great addition to any CV or UCAS personal statement.

What happens at BASE?

In teams of six you will compete against students from other schools and colleges at one of the BASE heats held across the UK.

You will take on the role of ICAEW Chartered Accountants for the day and be presented with an information pack outlining a business scenario and a set of challenges.

Your team need to analyse the information and come up with innovative recommendations to the business. You will then present your advice to a panel of judges.

Your team will be supported by a mentor who will either be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant or an ACA student

Your team mentor will use their knowledge from working within the accountancy sector to help you understand the scenario and apply your business know-how.  

Throughout the day you will be observed on how well you work as a team, how effectively you communicate and how you manage your time under tight deadlines.

These observations will be considered alongside your presentation and the judges will then decide the winning and runner-up teams from the heat.

The heat winners receive a trophy and secure a place at the BASE National Final (see below).


The National Final

All of the heat winners compete against each other using a new business challenge to win the title of BASE National Champions.

After the day-long event, all attending students and teachers join an exciting celebration dinner which is provided by ICAEW alongside a free overnight stay at the venue.

An official awards ceremony takes place during dinner, with prizes awarded, including: ‘Highly Commended’ and ’Most Considered Ethics’, as well as the announcements of the National Champions and Runners-up.


The BASE National Runners-up receive £100 per student and a half day professional employability skills session for their school or college.

The BASE National Champions receive £500 per student, a professional employability skills session for their school or college and a dedicated Champions' Day at Chartered Accountants' Hall in London, including the chance to interview ICAEW's Chief Executive.

How to enter BASE

  1. Find your local heat
  2. Talk to your teacher or adviser about entering a team.
  3. Your teacher or adviser will need to complete the BASE registration form.
  4. Once your BASE entry has been confirmed, a team of six will need to be formed to represent your school or college. 
Simon Langton Grammar School

Stay in touch after BASE

Each year around 3,000 students from all over the UK take part in the BASE competition, alongside hundreds of experienced accountancy professionals.

It is a great way to meet people like you, with similar interests and who are considering – or have already started – a career in finance.

We would love for you to keep in touch with us and update us on what you are doing after school or college, whether it be university, an apprenticeship, a career or anything else.

Please let us know what you are up to by emailing base@icaew.com.