The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has released the revised International Education Standard (IES) 1, Entry Requirements to Professional Accounting Education Programs. IES 1 is effective from July 1, 2014.
The revisions to IES 1 ensure that entry requirements for professional accountancy education are designed fairly for individuals considering a career as a professional accountant.
IES 1 is intended to protect the public interest by both establishing fair and proportionate entry requirements—which help those individuals considering professional accounting education make appropriate career decisions—and ensuring that requirements for entry to professional accounting education are not misrepresented.
Originally approved in 2004, IES 1 prescribes the principles to be used when setting and communicating educational requirements for entry to professional accounting education programs. Requirements relating to entry to the profession are covered by:
- IES 2, Initial Professional Development—Technical Competence;
- IES 3, Initial Professional Development—Professional Skills;
- IES 4, Initial Professional Development—Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes;
- IES 5, Initial Professional Development—Practical Experience; and
- IES 6, Initial Professional Development—Assessment of Professional Competence.
Additionally, the revised standard provides:
- Specification of entry requirements for professional accounting education;
- Explanation for the rationale behind the entry requirements;
- A requirement that excessive barriers to entry are not put in place; and
- A requirement to make relevant information publicly available so that individuals considering a career as a professional accountant can assess their chances of successful completion.
“In the IAESB’s view, the overall objective of professional accounting education is to develop a competent professional accountant,” said Peter Wolnizer, chair of the IAESB. “The IAESB respects jurisdictional and institutional differences in the provision of professional accountancy education around the world, and acknowledges that there are different processes and activities that contribute to the achievement of professional competence. The revisions to IES 1 ensure that entry requirements for professional accountancy education are designed fairly for individuals considering a career as a professional accountant.”
The IAESB has undertaken a project to redraft all eight of its IESs in accordance with the clarity drafting conventions outlined in its 2010-2013 Strategy and Work Plan.
Recently, the IAESB released its clarified IES 7, Continuing Professional Development, which identifies the requirements for continuing professional development of professional accountants, and IES 6, Initial Professional Development—Assessment of Professional Competence, which is designed to help IFAC member bodies and other professional accountancy organizations understand the learning and development requirements for assessing professional competence, and their obligations in upholding the standards.
The current timetable envisages that all IESs will have been revised and redrafted, or redrafted only, by quarter 4 of 2013.