IAESB revamps international standard for professional development

The International Accounting Education Standards Board has released a revised version of International Education Standard 7, Continuing Professional Development.

The revised standard clarifies the principles and requirements for how accounting organizations should measure, monitor and enforce their continuing professional development systems. IES 7 (Revised) states that all accountants need to develop and maintain professional competence to perform their role.

Accounting organizations around the world struggle with professional development requirements, typically mandating the use of continuing professional education courses. The IAESB is affiliated with the International Federation of Accountants, whose member organizations include the American Institute of CPAs and the Institute of Management Accountants.

“The transformative impact of new and emerging technologies, changing business models, and the dynamic environment in which we operate place new demands on the global accountancy profession,” said IAESB Chair Anne-Marie Vitale in a statement Monday. “Continuing professional development is fundamental to addressing and advancing the learning and development that enable professional accountants to provide high-quality services to their clients. These revisions will help enhance the consistency, quality, and relevancy of professional accountants.”

The revised standard puts more emphasis on the kind of learning and development necessary for the roles and responsibilities of accountants, as opposed to focusing on a minimum number of hours. Some of the main revisions include requiring accountants to keep a record of their continuing professional development (CPD) efforts; clarifying an output-based measurement approach that requires accountants to demonstrate their competence; clarifying the input-based measurement approach, which requires accountants to demonstrate competence by completing a specified amount of learning and development; promoting the use of a CPD framework to offer examples of the types of structure and guidance needed to help accountants identify, undertake, and record their professional; development; and offering CPD measurement approaches with some examples of related verifiable evidence to improve adoption.

Along with the new standard, the IAESB released some supporting materials that to help accounting organizations understand and apply the new requirements and support all their stakeholders, including educational organizations, employers, regulators, and government authorities. IES 7 (Revised) takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

IFAC offices
IFAC offices

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