A board within the International Federation of Accountants has proposed new guidance to help member bodies develop practical experience programs for accounting students.The International Accounting Education Standards Board, an independent standard-setting board, recently issued a statement outlining such programs, “Practical Experience Requirements - Initial Professional Development for Professional Accountants.”

"A period of practical experience is a vital part of the education of professional accountants, enabling them to develop and demonstrate the skills they need," said board chairman Henry Saville, in a statement. "It enables students to demonstrate not only that they have gained the necessary theoretical knowledge, but also that they are able to apply this knowledge in their day-to-day work as professional accountants."

The proposed statement is designed to guide member bodies in working with mentors and employers to put in place practical experience programs that assist accounting students in developing and demonstrating the competence required for qualification as a professional accountant. Specific guidance is also included on the role of the mentor, recording and assessing practical experience and working effectively with employers.

Comments on the exposure draft, which can be viewed at www.ifac.org/EDs, are due by March 31.

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