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Study Zone

Spotlight on ethics

Judith Bennett outlines what ACCA’s new ethics and professional skills module entails and explains its key elements

May 2017

In April’s PQ I covered the practical ways that you can take ACCA’s F5–F9 exams through our computer-based exams (CBEs). As outlined in the article, our CBEs are closely aligned to and reflect real modern working situations.
In keeping with the need to ensure our students have the complete blend of skills, ACCA will be introducing our new Ethics and Professional Skills module on 31 October this year, an integral part of the ACCA Qualification designed to increase your employability.
It’s the first of its type in the market and exclusive to ACCA. By introducing you to the full spectrum of advanced ethical and professional skills and exposing you to realistic business situations we’re doing everything we can to ensure you shine with recruiters and are credible in the workplace.
It supplements your strategic and technical expertise by helping you develop the ethical and professional behaviours you’ll need to successfully complete your Strategic Professional exams, as well as preparing you for a successful career as a trusted and confident strategic and forward-thinking professional accountant.

Six interactive units
Comprising of six interactive units, the module covers: ethics and professionalism; personal effectiveness; innovation and scepticism; commercial awareness, analysis, evaluation and problem solving; leadership and team-working; and communication skills.
Ethics and professionalism: You’ll be introduced to the broad ethical and professional values that underpin all the other professional skills and behaviours explored in the module.
Personal effectiveness: The personal effectiveness unit will show you ways to maximise the quantity and quality of your work output and how you communicate and interact with others, as well as ensuring you make the most of the resources available to you.
Innovation and scepticism: This unit will help you understand how to encourage open mindedness and innovative thinking to create or suggest imaginative solutions to problems all within the context of suitability, feasibility and acceptability, while at the same time recognising the limitations of solutions and any problems with their implementation.
Commercial awareness, analysis, evaluation and problem solving: Commercial awareness, analysis, evaluation and problem solving will be explored to improve your ability to view situations from a commercial or business perspective, considering factors that influence the success of business and an understanding of the business processes, relationships, risks and costs.
Leadership and team-working: You’ll get to know more about different types of leadership approaches and traits that can be adopted or adapted at any level of the organisation, including how effective leadership involves inspiring, motivating and supporting teams to work effectively and efficiently, delivering value for your organisation.
Communications skills: We will help you understand about how to effectively communicate with others in a business environment, including clients, customers, colleagues and external authorities.
The module will include a comprehensive and interactive assessment, where you’ll be presented with a series of video clips and other media about a situation based on the six units. You’ll take on the role of a professional accountant and face challenges which you have to identify and explore.
The skills being developed will give those who qualify with ACCA the confidence and tools they need to navigate the complex world of commerce, staying ahead of the pack by demonstrating they understand and can apply ethical behaviour in real-world situations.
To take maximum advantage of the support provided by the module it is recommended that students complete it before attempting any exams at the new Strategic Professional level that will be introduced in September 2018, which is why we are launching the module in October of this year. The module takes approximately 20 hours to complete.

Future proofing
Our intention in making these changes is to ensure the qualification is as relevant as possible and that the next generation of ACCA members continue to be the most valued and sought-after across the globe.
As a result of the changing business landscape globally, employers are looking for their professional accountants to add value early in their career. It’s important that ACCA professional accountants are able to make an immediate impact in their workplace.
Future proofing the ACCA qualification will assist future generations of finance professionals from across the globe to rise and meet ever-evolving and changing work challenges.
As an ACCA student, your ethical and professional development starts from day one, as soon you register with us. ACCA will not only train you to be a good accountant, but to be an accountant that is good, too.
• Judith Bennett, Director of Learning (interim), ACCA

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