Revision of International Education Standard 3

  • Revision of International Education Standard 3

    Project Status

    Active

    Staff

    David McPeak

    Task Force

    Clare Minchington (Chair)

    Clare Morley (Secretary)

    Denny Reigle

    Saleem Kharwa

    Laine Kitzin

    Chris Austin

    Nambayo Kalauka 

    Objective(s) of project

    To improve the clarity and implementation of International Education Standard (IES) 3 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 3 shall be redrafted and revised to assist IFAC member bodies in prescribing the mix of professional skills that aspiring professional accountants shall acquire by education and practical experience.

    Background

    IES 3 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 3 – Professional Skills And General Education
    (i) Determine whether the content requirements of, and approach to, general education should continue to exist in IES 3 or whether it is still appropriate for specification within any IES
    (ii) Clarify the level of core competence required of a professional accountant (to include various roles and future proofing) to ensure consistency within the Standard
    (iii) 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 3, Initial Professional Development – Professional Skills, and an Issues paper that identified significant issues resulting from the drafting of the revised version of IES 3. 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 following task force’s proposals in the competence area on Intellectual:  including a learning outcome to recognize the need to consult with specialists to solve problems and reach conclusions and changing critical thinking to critical analysis and re-ordered the learning outcome to say reasoning, critical analysis and innovative thinking to present a more logical sequence. 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) 3, Initial Professional Development – Professional Skills (Revised).

    June 2013: The IAESB received a revised draft of IES 3, Initial Professional Development – Professional Skills and an Issues paper that identified significant issues resulting from the drafting of revised version of IES 3. 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: removing the requirement for general education in IES 3, but including an explanation of general education in terms of its importance in contributing to the acquisition of professional skills in the scope section of the Explanatory Material; including an explanation of what constitutes general education within an Information paper and the Framework for International Education Standards for Professional Accountants (2009); retaining the learning outcome approach for IES 3 and including support for its implementation in a common paragraph within the Explanatory Material section; keeping the proficiency level of Intermediate the same for Interpersonal and Communications skills, as well as for Intellectual skills; including a learning outcome to recognize when an expert’s assistance is required; ensuring consistency of learning outcomes for professional judgment and professional skepticism with those of IES 4; including new learning outcomes to support the skills required to demonstrate professional judgment and professional skepticism; and prescribing that the learning outcomes of IES 3 are assessable. 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 3 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 3 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) removing the requirement for general education in IES 3, but to include an explanation of general education in terms of its importance in contributing to the acquisition of professional skills in the scope section of the Explanatory Material; (2) retaining the learning outcome approach should be retained for IES 3 and that support for its implementation should be included in a common paragraph within the Explanatory Material section; (3) keeping the proficiency level of Intermediate should be the same for Interpersonal and Communications skills, as well as for Intellectual skills; and (4) adding a learning outcome to recognize when an expert’s assistance is required and to support the skills required for demonstrating professional judgment and professional skepticism. In addition, the IAESB agreed with the CAG’s view that the learning outcomes of IES 3 are assessable.The IAESB also requested that the mastery level be removed from Appendix 1 of IES 3 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 3 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, (2) remove the discussion on general education because it is captured in the Framework for International Education Standards for professional Accountants, and (3) to 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 3 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 3, Initial Professional Development- Professional Skills

    March 2012: The IAESB reviewed the first draft of IES 3 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 professional skills of the aspiring professional accountant, and (2) remove skills related to professional values, ethics, and attitudes in IES 3 and position these skills in IES 4. The IAESB requested the task force to (1) continue to include intellectual skills in IES 3 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 the proposed taxonomy of the outcomes-based approach for IES 3; (2) the appropriateness of the approach in eliminating the overlap of the subject coverage among IESs 2, 3, and 4; (3) the sufficiency of the list of professional skills in IES 3; and (4) the coverage of proposed requirements, including a requirement on a final assessment. 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 proposals to revise the following areas of the Standard: an outcomes-based approach; creation of a new sub-category of skills; updating the skills coverage; and a revised definition for professional skills. As a result of the IAESB’s discussion the Board instructed the task force to develop a proposed requirement that includes a presentation of the outcomes to be associated with the professional skills required of a professional accountant for discussion at the next meeting.

    March 2011: The IAESB continued their discussion on content issues with the aim of developing a 1st draft of IES 3. The IAESB decided to adopt an outcome approach to presenting professional skills, but would not require IFAC member bodies to document how professional skills are developed within initial professional development of an aspiring professional accountant.

    November 2010: The IAESB discussed content issues with the aim of developing a 1st draft of IES 3. The IAESB decided that the requirements for General Education should be removed, but that general education be discussed as an approach to develop professional skills.

    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 3, subject to the PIOB’s approval of due process activities, is expected in quarter 1 of 2014.

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