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Record intake boosts ICAEW
The ICAEW just can’t stop growing! New figures show that the number of students signing up to an ACA training agreement rose by over 10% in 2015.
The ICAEW student intake last year was a record high, with 8,256 new students studying its chartered accountancy qualification. Add students studying the ICAEW CFAB qualification and the institute signed up almost 14,000 students in 2015.
That means that the ICAEW now has over 24,000 to nurture. At the recent Tutors’ Conference, Director of Qualifications Shaun Robertson stressed that the institute had a responsibility to these new students to ensure they have the best chance of qualifying. And he added that the institute has to ensure these training chartered accountants achieve the standard of the current 146,000 members.
The ICAEW also announced that the planned introduction of CBE exams will now take place in March 2017, a year later than originally hoped. With partners BTL and RM in place, the ICAEW has the CBE ‘ready to go’. It now needs to
re-tender for a partner to provide the actual exam delivery – the computer exam centres. It had chosen learndirect, only for Pearson Vue to come in with an offer to take them over, putting implementation on hold.
Tax Compliance will be the first to go CBE and there was even talk at the conference of a possible pilot this September.
The ICAEW is also continuing to evolve the syllabus, to ensure students qualify ‘fit for purpose’. In January, it introduced scenario-based questions to the Management Information and Principle of Taxation exams.
With students specialising at an earlier stage in their career the ICAEW has decided to offer alternative modules. From June, Business Planning students can choose between taxation and the newly introduced banking and insurance alternative modules.
Roberston was keen to stress, however, that they were not trying to create specialists and PQs will still have to sit and pass 15 exams. From March 2017, students will be able to choose between UK GAAP and IFRS when sitting the Financial Accounting and Reporting exam. The same choice will be offered in Corporate Reporting at the Advanced Level (in 2018).
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