The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has published three revised International Education Standards (IESs) dealing with the requirements for initial professional development in the areas of technical competence, professional skills and professional values, ethics and attitudes.
The three revised IESs are IES 2 (Initial Professional Development-Technical Competence), IES 3 (Initial Professional Development-Professional Skills), and IES 4 (Initial Professional Development-Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes).
The revised IES 2 replaces IES 2, Content of Professional Accounting Education Programs and prescribes the learning outcomes for technical competence (ability to apply professional knowledge to perform a role to a defined standard) that aspiring professional accountants are required to demonstrate by the end of Initial Professional Development (IPD).
IES 3, Initial Professional Development-Professional Skills, replaces IES 3, Professional Skills and General Education and prescribes the learning outcomes for professional skills (intellectual, interpersonal and communication, personal and organisational) that aspiring professional accountants are required to demonstrate by the end of IPD.
Meanwhile, IES 4, Initial Professional Development-Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes, replaces IES 4, Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes and prescribes the learning outcomes related to professional behaviour and characteristics that identify professional accountants as members of a profession.
The new pronouncements are part of an IAESB initiative to improve the clarity of IESs. In addition, these new standards ensure consistency with the IAESB's Framework for International Education Standards for Professional Accountants and revise the education requirements such as reconsidering the level and depth of knowledge required as a core competency of a professional accountant.
The finalised pronouncements respond to constituent comment on earlier exposure drafts that were issued in July and August 2012, particularly in the areas of title and scope, specific requirements and explanatory material and terminology.
The new standards are effective from 1 July 2015 and are designed to be applied by member bodies of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), as they have the primary responsibility for ensuring their Initial Professional Development programmes meet the requirements.