By Clare Minchington, executive director – strategy & development, ACCA
More than 450 education providers from around the world joined ACCA live at an online conference recently – Access ACCA – to find out more about the developments that we’re making to our qualifications to introduce added flexibility and relevance into our exams. My team shared detailed information about the changes we’re making, the timeframes we’re working towards, the potential impact and highlighted key resources to support our global education providers so they can continue to deliver high quality tuition through this transition.
It was really encouraging to see the level of support our education providers have for the future of our qualification and our vision as an organisation to be number one in developing professional accountants. Everyone agreed that the increased rigour and choice that we’re introducing into our qualifications are necessary to develop the next generation of finance professionals and meet the demand of businesses around the world.
We know that the changes we’re making will have a big impact on our partners. That’s why we’re taking a phased approach to each development instead of making any big bang changes. It’s important to use events like Access ACCA to inform and engage with our stakeholders and bring them on this journey with us.
During the conference there were a lot of questions about the introduction of four exam sessions, particularly about the impact this will have on students and education providers. With all of our developments, the overriding objective is to offer our customers more choice. Education providers can choose how to utilise the introduction of four sessions to maximise their business models. This could include introducing resit courses or developing courses that meet employer needs. Interestingly education providers told us during the conference that they will use the added flexibility to look at their tuition models to understand how they can restructure them to maximise the benefits.
Our aim is to introduce four sessions in 2016 following a pilot exercise the previous year. It’s important that we trial our changes and make sure that they work in the market place before rolling them out to everyone. This ensures that both students and education providers have the best exam experience possible.
We are also looking to add more choice and relevance into our assessments through the introduction of computer based exams (CBEs) for papers F5-F9, which we’re targeting for 2016. As I’ve said we want to transition any changes over time to ensure that students and education providers have the time to adapt and adopt with minimum disruption.
During the conference we were able to reassure our education providers that we will maintain the rigour and the relevance of the qualification. ACCA is committed to delivering a qualification that helps build the complete finance professional. Tutors were impressed to learn about our exam trialling activities that we’ve undertaken as part of our exam development process, undertaken for the new formats being introduced for F4-F9 later in 2014. We are confident that the work we do to ensure the ACCA Qualification remains rigorous and relevant will ensure that it is as respected globally in the future, as it is today.
The event is still online and can be dipped into for those interested in finding out more.