The International Accounting Education Standards Board has proposed a revision of the entry requirement standards for a professional accounting education.

The revised education standard is intended to protect the public interest by establishing fair and proportionate entry requirements—which help those individuals considering a professional accounting education make appropriate career decisions—and ensuring that requirements for entry to professional accounting education are not misrepresented.

IES 1, originally approved in 2004, currently prescribes the principles to be used by professional accountancy organizations, including member bodies of the International Federation of Accountants, when setting entry requirements for professional accounting education and practical experience. The IAESB operates under the auspices of the IFAC. IFAC member bodies include the American Institute of CPAs.

The revised standard proposes specification of entry requirements for professional accounting education; explanation of the rationale behind  the entry requirements; a requirement that excessive barriers to entry are not put in place; and a requirement to make relevant information publicly available so that candidates can assess their chances of successful completion.

“The proposed revisions reflect the IAESB’s view that the overall objective of accounting education is to develop a competent professional accountant,” said IAESB chairman Mark Allison in a statement. “Further, the IAESB acknowledges that there are different processes and activities that contribute to achieving such competence. These revisions to IES 1 are intended to ensure that entry requirements for professional accountancy education are designed fairly for aspiring professional accountants.” 

The IAESB has undertaken a project to redraft all eight of its International Education Standards in accordance with its new clarity drafting conventions, as outlined in its 2010-2012 Strategy and Work Plan.

This project began in December 2010 with the proposed revision of IES 7, Continuing Professional Development: A Program of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Development of Professional Competence. Proposed revisions of IES 4, Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes, and IES 6, Assessment of Professional Competence, were released for exposure in April 2011, and the comment period is still open. The current timetable envisages that all IESs will have been revised and redrafted, or redrafted only, by the first quarter of 2013.

The IAESB is inviting all stakeholders to comment 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 requested by Sept. 21, 2011.

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