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Study Zone

ACCA puts ethics at the forefront

PQ’s Graham Hambly went to ACCA HQ to take a look at the new Ethics & Professional Skills module

November 2017

As you are all aware, the ACCA is introducing a new Ethics & Professional Skills module (if you read PQ magazine on a regular basis you would be!). D-Day is 31 October, so earlier this month editor Graham Hambly went to ACCA HQ to take a look at what students will be asked to perform.
Head of ACCA Qualification Sharon Machado was on hand to talk us through the six interactive units. She stressed that the new module’s key aim is to make ACCA students even more employable. And after spending over an hour with her we have to agree – it looks really good.
It is a comprehensive offering, which the ACCA claims will help “develop the full spectrum of advanced ethical and professional skills, exposing you to realistic business situations”.
The Ethics & Professional Skills module springs from the in-depth research the ACCA has undertaking, which culminated in the report Professional accountants – the future: Drivers of change and future skills.
Machado hopes the new module will open the eyes of the learner and help them think about what they need to do to pass professional exams and, perhaps more importantly, how to build a career in accountancy, showing them the sort of skills employers expect.
There has been a lot of talk about how long the module might take to complete, and a figure of 20 hours is often bandied about. This is a just a reasonable guide for able students, confirmed Machado.
What all ACCA PQs should note is that they can start the module as soon as they are eligible for F4. There are six interactive units that need to be completed, although everyone has to start with Unit 1. Ethics and professionalism.
Once you have completed all six units you will then have to complete a final synoptic assessment, and you will be deemed ‘competent’ or ‘not competent’. If you are ‘not competent’ you have to resit until you are (there’s no extra cost). And you get a certificate when you do.
A lot of work has gone into this module and to be honest it is much more sophisticated than we thought it would be, in a good way.
One of the units is Commercial Awareness, which looks at spreadsheet manipulation and data analytics. There’s also some PESTEL analysis in there, too.
Our editor also took the leadership test in the Leadership and Team Work module. He managed to avoid ‘middle of the road’ and make it into the ‘team leader’ box!
In the Communication and Interpersonal Skills module students will get help in delivering presentations and see the importance of getting feedback.
PQ magazine thinks the ACCA has done a great job in providing a module that combines ethics and professional skills. In fact, we were so engrossed in the module that we overran our time, and the ACCA Executive Director Alan Hatfield and Associate Director of Skills and Assessment Catherine Edwards had to break up the meeting as editor Graham Hambly was supposed to be talking to them!

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