The International Accounting Education Standards Board has released a proposed revision of the standards for continuing professional development for accountants for the first time in six years.

International Education Standard 7, “Continuing Professional Development: A Program of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Development of Professional Competence,” was originally drafted in 2004. IES 7 introduces the concepts of continuing professional development—learning that develops and maintains competence to enable professional accountants to perform their roles effectively—as relevant, verifiable and measurable learning activities and outcomes.

The proposed redrafting aims to assist the ongoing worldwide development of continuing professional development systems and compliance mechanisms. The IAESB, which operates under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants, expects to increase the opportunity for mobility of labor, and in so doing to contribute to the global economy through these revision efforts.

“The IAESB would like to encourage a more innovative approach to meeting CPD needs,” said IAESB chairman Mark Allison. “We believe we can achieve this by confirming the existing requirements of the standard and the recommended measurements for appropriate CPD activity, and emphasizing the range of available approaches to CPD systems.”

This exposure draft is the first in a series of planned revisions over the coming year. The IAESB plans to clarify the obligations of CPD through the revision of IES 7, and to draw international attention to prequalification education for accounting professionals and the competencies of an auditor through revisions of additional standards.

The IAESB invites comments on its proposals. To access the exposure draft and submit a comment, visit the IAESB’s Web site at www.ifac.org/Education/ExposureDrafts.php. Comments on the exposure draft are due March 8, 2011.

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