Standard on Assessment of Professional Competence Revised

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has released the revised International Education Standard (IES) 6, Initial Professional Development—Assessment of Professional Competence.


The revised education standard will 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 revised standard addresses elements that are essential to assessing professional competence of an aspiring professional accountant. Specifically, it prescribes a principles-based approach, which specifies the requirements for the assessment of professional competence by the end of Initial Professional Development (IPD) of an aspiring professional accountant.


The revision also bares principles for individual assessment activities used by member bodies to assess professional competence—applied by the end of IPD—that shall be reliable, valid, equitable, transparent, and sufficient.


The revised standard also requires IFAC member bodies to formally assess the achievement of competence of aspiring professional accountants prior to their admission to the profession.


“Assessing professional competence of aspiring professional accountants by the end of initial professional development is essential in sustaining public trust,” said Peter Wolnizer, chair of the IAESB. “The revised standard on assessment demonstrates the board’s desire to move to a more principles-based approach in standard setting.


“The revised standard will be more useful to IFAC member bodies, other professional accountancy organizations, educational institutions, regulators, and other interested parties in assessing professional competence than the current approach to assessment,” Wolnizer added.


The IAESB has undertaken a project to redraft all eight of its IESs in accordance with its new clarity drafting conventions, as 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.


Also related to the revision project is the proposed revision of IES 8, Competence Requirements for Audit Professionals, which has a deadline for comments of December 11, 2012.


The current timetable envisages that all IESs will have been revised and redrafted, or redrafted only by the end of 2013.


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