The International Accounting Education Standards Board has drafted a proposed revision of its standards for the professional development of audit engagement partners.

The revised International Education Standard 8, Professional Development for Engagement Partners Responsible for Audits of Financial Statements, proposes the professional development requirements for both aspiring and current engagement partners on audits of financial statements. The IAESB operates under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants.

IES 8 is primarily aimed at IFAC member bodies such as the American Institute of CPAs, but will be of interest to employers, regulators, government authorities, educational organizations and any others who support the learning and development of professional accountants.

The IAESB said Thursday that it recognizes the quality of an aspiring engagement partner’s performance is dependent on professional development. Accordingly, the IAESB is proposing learning outcomes that demonstrate the professional competence required to become an engagement partner in areas relating to technical competence, professional skills, and professional values, ethics, and attitudes.

IES 8 also recognizes the professional development needed to foster and maintain professional competence for those currently serving as engagement partners, especially for those serving on audits involving more complex industries, operations, or reporting requirements.

“A primary way the accountancy profession protects the public interest is by requiring that engagement partners have the necessary skills and training to perform their roles effectively,” said IAESB chair Peter Wolnizer in a statement. “The public has a right to expect that engagement partners are properly trained and can be relied upon to competently perform audits of financial statements throughout their careers.”

As part of its initiative to improve the clarity of its standards, the IAESB is redrafting all eight of its IESs in accordance with its new drafting conventions. Also related to the revision project on IES 8 are the proposed revisions of: 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, Practical Experience Requirements for Aspiring Professional Accountants; and IES 6, Assessment of Professional Competence.

Under the current timetable, the IAESB anticipates that all of the IESs will have been revised and redrafted, or redrafted only, by the third quarter of 2013.

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