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(New York, New York, January 17, 2014)

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) today published the following three International Education Standards (IESs):

These three IESs will replace the educational requirements of the three extant standards:

  • IES 2, Content of Professional Accounting Education Programs;
  • IES 3, Professional Skills and General Education; and
  • IES 4, Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes.
The content of a professional accounting education program supports the aspiring accountant in developing the appropriate professional competence. Professional competence is the integration and application of (a) technical competence, (b) professional skills, and (c) professional values, ethics, and attitudes. Each of the new IESs specifies competence areas and learning outcomes that describe the professional competence required of aspiring professional accountants.

These new standards, which are effective from July 1, 2015, aim to assist professional accountancy organizations, as well as educational organizations, employers, regulators, government authorities, and any other stakeholders who support the learning and development of professional accountants.

“These three education standards form the content of the professional accounting education program,” explained IAESB Chair Peter Wolnizer. “The learning and development that is demonstrated within a professional accounting education program by aspiring professional accountants remain one of the fundamental pillars in achieving high-quality financial reporting.”

Highlights of each new IES include:

  • IES 2 prescribes the learning outcomes for technical competence that aspiring professional accountants are required to demonstrate by the end of Initial Professional Development (IPD). Technical competence is the ability to apply professional knowledge to perform a role to a defined standard.
  • IES 3 prescribes the learning outcomes for professional skills that aspiring professional accountants are required to demonstrate by the end of IPD. Professional skills are the (a) intellectual, (b) interpersonal and communication, (c) personal, and (d) organizational skills that a professional accountant integrates with technical competence and professional values, ethics, and attitudes to demonstrate professional competence.
  • IES 4 prescribes the learning outcomes for professional values, ethics, and attitudes that aspiring professional accountants are required to demonstrate by the end of IPD. Professional values, ethics, and attitudes are defined as the behavior and characteristics that identify professional accountants as members of a profession. These include the ethical principles generally associated with, and considered essential in defining, the distinctive characteristics of professional behavior.
As part of its initiative to improve the clarity of its standards, the IAESB has redrafted and revised IESs 1-6 to prescribe the requirements for IPD. In addition, IES 7, Continuing Professional Development, has been redrafted in accordance with its new drafting conventions. IES 8, the remaining standard in the suite of eight IESs, is expected to be redrafted and revised by the fourth quarter of 2014.

About the IAESB
The IAESB develops education standards, guidance, and information papers for use by IFAC member bodies under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAESB, and the IAESB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAESB are facilitated by IFAC.

About IFAC
IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. It is comprised of 179 members and associates in 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.


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Jennifer DiClerico
Head of Communications

Prepared by IFAC's Communications Department. Contact communications@ifac.org for further information.
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