New Education Standard Focuses on Professional Development

Jan 28, 2019 | New York, New York | English

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) today released the revised International Education Standard (IES) 7, Continuing Professional Development. The standard clarifies the principles and requirements on how professional accountancy organizations measure, monitor, and enforce their continuing professional development systems. IES 7 (Revised) makes clear that all professional accountants must develop and maintain professional competence to perform their role.

“The transformative impact of new and emerging technologies, changing business models, and the dynamic environment in which we operate place new demands on the global accountancy profession,” according to Anne-Marie Vitale, IAESB Chair. “Continuing professional development is fundamental to addressing and advancing the learning and development that enable professional accountants to provide high-quality services to their clients. These revisions will help enhance the consistency, quality, and relevancy of professional accountants.”

The revised IES 7 places greater emphasis on learning and development needed for professional accountants’ roles and responsibilities rather than focusing on a minimum number of hours. Significant revisions include:

  • Requiring professional accountants to record relevant continuing professional development (CPD);
  • Clarifying the output-based measurement approach, which requires professional accountants to demonstrate competence;
  • Clarifying the input-based measurement approach, which requires professional accountants to demonstrate competence by completing a specified amount of learning and development;
  • Promoting the use of a CPD framework to provide an example structure and guidance to help professional accountants identify, undertake, and record relevant development; and
  • Providing CPD measurement approaches with examples of related verifiable evidence to improve adoption.

Released concurrently alongside with the new standard are support materials that will assist professional accountancy organizations understand and apply the requirements and support all stakeholders, including educational organizations, employers, regulators, and government authorities. IES 7 (Revised) becomes effective January 1, 2020.

About the IAESB

The IAESB develops education standards, guidance, and information papers for use by IFAC member organizations 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.

IFAC and the IAESB have developed a plan for a new path forward for global accountancy education and professional development. This plan will transition the IAESB to a future model that will be designed, as part of a broader mandate, to reinforce the importance, relevance and authority of the revised International Education Standards, which will continue to be the basis for a comprehensive and integrated approach to international accountancy education.

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. IFAC is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.


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