Revision of International Education Standard 2

  • Revision of International Education Standard 2

    Project Status

    Active

    Staff

    David McPeak

    Task Force

    Kim Langfield-Smith (Chair)

    Jayne Freeman (Secretary)

    Laine Kitzin

    Kazuo Hiramatsu

    Yoseph Asmelash

    Keryn Chalmers

    Mubita Anakoka

    Objective(s) of project

    To improve the clarity and implementation of International Education Standard (IES) 2 by (1) applying the new IAESB drafting conventions, (2) updating the concepts and terminology to conform to the revised Framework for International Education Standards for Professional Accountants, and (3) clarifying issues resulting from changes in the environment of accounting education and the experience gained from implementation of the Standards by IFAC member bodies.

    Scope

    IES 2 shall be redrafted and revised to assist IFAC member bodies in prescribing knowledge content that aspiring professional accountants shall acquire by professional accounting education.

    Background

    IES 2 was approved for publication in 2004 and became effective January 1, 2005.

    At its November 2006 meeting, the IAESB agreed to conduct a detailed review of existing IESs and the framework underpinning the IESs, to determine areas where the clarity of standards could be improved and/or additional guidance most usefully developed. The IAESB agreed to suspend any further work on redrafting or revising the IESs until the work on the Framework project was substantially complete.

    At its October 2009 meeting the IAESB agreed the project direction to redraft and revise all eight IESs.

    In December 2009 the IAESB published the new Framework for International Education Standards for Professional Accountants, which enhances the relevancy, consistency, and applicability of its publications to IFAC members. The Framework also includes an appendix, "IAESB Drafting Conventions," which will be used to increase the clarity of its standards.

    Issues

    Issues that this project will consider include:

    IES 2 – Content Of Professional Accounting Education Programs
    (i) Review the Standard to ensure that it reflects a competence-based approach to the education and development of a professional accountant
    (ii) Clarify areas of the Standard which focus only on a knowledge-based approach to learning by ensuring that outcomes can be demonstrated and measured
    (iii) Revise the requirements of the Standard to ensure that the mix of input or output measures continue to be relevant and appropriate
    (iv) Revise the level and depth of knowledge required to ensure relevance and completeness while aiming to identify core competence of a professional accountant (future proofing e.g. sustainability)
    (v) Clarify the requirements for core competence given the various roles of the accounting profession
    (vi) Determine whether the content of the Standard should be consolidated within other Standards or remain stand alone

    Task Force progress / Board discussions to date

    IAESB Meetings:

    October 2013: The IAESB received a revised draft of IES 2, Initial Professional Development – Technical Competence and an Issues paper that identified significant issues resulting from the drafting of the revised version of IES 2. These discussions covered: technical issues pertaining to development of learning outcomes for competence areas, and editorial suggestions to improve clarity.  More specifically, the IAESB agreed with the task force’s proposals on: including a new learning outcome that addresses the interpretation of financial statements and disclosures for the competence area of financial accounting and reporting; improving clarity of the learning outcome by providing examples of reports that have non-financial data; assigning an Intermediate level of proficiency to the competence area of financial accounting and reporting; including new learning outcome to reflect the use of quantitative methods in the audit engagement for the competence area of audit and assurance; changing the activity verbs of describe and explain to apply in learning outcomes on auditing standards; assigning an Intermediate level of proficiency to the competence area of audit and assurance; assigning an Intermediate level of proficiency to the competence area of business laws and regulations; changing the activity verb of apply to explain in the learning outcome on implementing strategy for the competence area of business strategy & management; and including new learning outcomes on using business analytics to support decision making and explaining how information technology contributes to data analysis and decision making in the competence area of information technology. The IAESB agreed that the verb “assess” in the requirement on assessment activities should be reviewed and decided to replace it with “measure the achievement” which is consistent with the activities identified in IES 6, Initial Professional Development – Assessment of Professional Competence. Following a full discussion of issues resulting from the September 2013 meeting with the IAESB CAG and a page-by-page editorial review of the revised draft, the IAESB approved the final content of International Education Standard (IES) 2, Initial Professional Development – Technical Competence (Revised).

    June 2013: The IAESB received a revised draft of IES 2, Initial Professional Development – Technical Competence and an Issues paper that identified significant issues resulting from the drafting of revised version of IES 2. These discussions covered:  technical issues pertaining to the development of learning outcomes for competence areas and editorial suggestions to improve clarity.  More specifically, the IAESB agreed with the task force’s proposals on: adding learning outcomes to the competence area of Business Management so as to address an increased emphasis on business strategy; changing the title of the competence area to “Business Management and Strategy;” retaining the competence area of Information Technology (IT) while revising the learning outcomes to emphasize the use of IT by professional accountants; and including additional learning outcomes related to quantitative methods within relevant competence areas. As a result of these discussions the IAESB directed the task force to consult with the IAESB CAG at its September 2013 meeting with the aim of preparing a revised draft of IES 2 for discussion by the Board at its October 2013 meeting.

    March 2013 : The IAESB received an Analysis of Respondents Comments document on the Exposure Draft of IES 2 and an Issues paper that identified the substantial issues as a result of comments from respondents. The IAESB agreed with task force proposals on: (1) adding learning outcomes to the competence area of Business Management so as to address an increased emphasis on business strategy; (2) keeping the competence area of Information Technology (IT) should be retained while revising the learning outcomes to emphasize the use of IT by professional accountants; and (3) adding learning outcomes related to quantitative methods should be included within relevant competence areas. In addition, the IAESB requested that the mastery level be removed from Appendix 1 of IES 2 and the formulation of the Objective paragraph be amended to describe the objective in terms of the IES and to recognize the obligation of the aspiring professional accountant. As a result the IAESB instructed the task force to consult with the CAG on these issues and then to develop a revised draft that included the suggestions of the IAESB and CAG.  

    June 2012: The IAESB reviewed a revised draft of IES 2 and discussed task force’s proposals on content issues relating to the revised draft. The IAESB agreed with the task force’s proposals to (1) include proficiency levels for each competence area, and (2) delete the requirements on the achievement of learning outcomes and the criteria for the duration of an accounting education program, but retain the requirement on regularly reviewing the professional accounting education program. The IAESB also agreed with the task force’s proposal on editorial amendments to the Explanatory Material section. After a page-by-page review of the revised draft the IAESB approved the content of the Exposure Draft of IES 2 for a 90-day public exposure period ending on November 1st, 2012. A copy of the exposure draft can be obtained at the following link: IES 2, Initial Professional Development-Technical Competence   

    March 2012: The IAESB reviewed the first draft of IES 2 and discussed task force’s proposals on content issues relating to the revised draft. The IAESB agreed with the task force’s proposals to (1) include a requirement on assessment to assess the achievement of technical competence of the aspiring professional accountant, and (2) replace the term, professional knowledge with technical competence. The IAESB requested the task force to (1) review whether the requirements on accounting education programs were needed and (2) provide proficiency levels for the competence areas and further clarification on learning outcomes and professional accounting education programs in the Explanatory Material section. In addition IAESB members suggested minor editorial amendments to the revised draft. As a result the IAESB instructed the task force to consult with the CAG on these issues and then to develop a revised draft that included the suggestions of the IAESB and CAG.

    October 2011: The IAESB received a paper that requested the Board’s advice on: (1) the appropriateness of names of clusters and their related knowledge areas; (2) the appropriateness of assumptions and principles in developing competence requirements and the detail at which the competences and taxonomy should be presented; and (3) the wording of the Requirements and the coverage of the Explanatory Materiel sections. As a result of the IAESB discussion the Board instructed the task force to develop a 1st draft for discussion at the next meeting.

    May 2011: The IAESB received an Issues paper that presented the Standards proposed requirements including, the areas of knowledge for professional accounting education and a proposed clustering of these areas. As a result of the IAESBs discussion the Board instructed the task force to develop a proposed requirement that includes a presentation of competences to be associated with the specified knowledge areas for professional accounting education for discussion at the next meeting.

    March 2011: The IAESB received a more detailed presentation of the areas of knowledge for professional accounting education with the aim of developing 1st draft of IES 2. The IAESB instructed the task force develop a fuller presentation of the depth and breadth of competences that are required for professional accounting education before developing the 1st draft of IES 2.

    November 2010: The IAESB discussed content issues with the aim of developing 1st draft of IES 2. The IAESB supported the initiative to use the proposed taxonomy of verbs to develop a learning outcome approach rather than listing subject/topic areas subject to a more complete presentation of areas of competence as well as the breadth and depth of the proposed taxonomy.

    May 2010: The IAESB reviewed findings from the targeted consultations and discussed the implications of the findings on the revision of the Standards' content.

    February 2010: The IAESB identified key issues and questions for targeted consultation on the revision
    of IESs 1-5.

    October 2009: The IAESB considered the project proposal and agreed a project direction for revising the eight International Education Standards.

    June 2009: The IAESB identified key issues that should be covered in the project's proposal.

    Next Steps

    The release of IES 2, subject to the PIOB’s approval of due process activities, is expected in quarter 1 of 2014.


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