Revision of International Education Standard 6

  • Revision of International Education Standard 6

    Project Status



    David McPeak

    Task Force

    Kim Langfield-Smith (Chair)

    Mandi Olivier (Secretary)

    Karen Pincus

    Sylvia Meljem

    Jose Echenique

    Clare Minchington

    Objective(s) of project

    To improve the clarity and implementation of IES 6 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.


    IES 6 shall be revised and redrafted to assist IFAC member bodies in prescribing the requirements for the assessment of professional competence over the career of a professional accountant, that is, during Initial Professional Development (IPD) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).


    IES 6 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 that this project will consider include:

    IES 6 - Assessment of Professional Capabilities and Competence
    (i) Clarify the standard’s scope to focus only on principles of assessment.
    (ii) Consider whether the standard should apply to assessment over IPD, including practical experience and CPD.
    (iii) Determine whether the content of the standard should and can be consolidated within other standards or remain a stand-alone standard;
    (iv) Broaden the standard to apply to all members of IFAC member bodies (professional accountants);
    (v) Clarify the standard to eliminate repetition and duplication by transferring content to guidance to ensure that the standard is easily understood by its target audience.

    Task Force progress / Board discussions to date

    IAESB Meetings:

    June 2012 The IAESB reviewed a revised draft of IES 1 and discussed task force’s proposals on drafting issues relating to the revised draft. The IAESB agreed with the task force’s proposals on (1) clarifying the definition of initial professional development to ensure consistency with the definition used in IES 7; (2) identifying the coverage of assessment requirements in IESs 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8; (3) amending the wording of the examples on assessment principles to focus on the design of assessment activities that have high levels of reliability, validity, equity, transparency, and sufficiency within professional accounting education programs; (4) including in the Explanatory Material section the definition of professional competence, an explanation of what professional competence is, and its link to learning outcomes; and (5) including a new paragraph in the Explanatory Material section to explain the content and purpose of professional accounting education programs. After a page-by-page review of the revised draft the IAESB approved the content of the final version of IES 6 with an effective date of July 1, 2015. In addition the IAESB voted not to re-expose the revised version of the exposed IES 6, Initial Professional Development – Assessment of Professional Competence. The IAESB also voted to approve the removal of the extant IES 6 on July 1, 2015.

    March 2012: The IAESB reviewed a revised draft of IES 6 and discussed task force’s proposals on content issues relating to the revised draft. The IAESB agreed with the task force’s proposals on (1) limiting the scope to assessment during IPD; (2) linking assessment during IPD to assessment during CPD; (3) clarifying terminology such as assessment and sufficiency; (4) focusing examples on ways to increase each of the 5 principles of assessment; (5) including a new paragraph that provides examples of ways to increase sufficiency and (6) deleting paragraphs that inadvertently provide “convenient reasons” to not comply with the requirements of IES 6. In addition the IAESB directed the task force to make the following editorial changes to improve clarity: amend the title of IES 6; review terminology to ensure consistency with other IESs and the Framework (2009) document; remove any instances of implied requirements within the Explanatory Material section; and review the tone of sentences to improve readability. As a result the IAESB instructed the task force to prepare a revised draft that included these suggestions for discussion at its June meeting.

    October 2011: The IAESB received an Analysis of Respondents Comments on the Exposure Draft of IES 6, a revised draft of IES 6 showing the task force’s proposals, and an Issues paper that identified the significant issues as a result of comments from respondents. The IAESB deliberated on issues relating to: (1) the appropriateness of the proposed change in scope of the standard to assessment across Initial Professional Development and Continuing Professional Development; (2) including a requirement for a final assessment; (3) reordering the principles of assessment to place more emphasis on the principle of sufficiency; (4) clarifying the objective statement; and (5) clarifying terminology and definitional issues in the Explanatory Materials section and the Glossary of terms. The IAESB instructed the task force to; consult with the CAG on issues raised by the comments from the IAESB discussion and ED respondents; and to develop a revised draft that included the suggestions of the IAESB and CAG.

    March 2011: The IAESB approved the release of an exposure draft of IES 6, Assessment of Professional Competence, for public comment until July 28th, 2011. A copy of the exposure draft can be obtained at the following link: Exposure Draft IES 6

    November 2010: The IAESB reviewed and provided comments on the 1st draft with the aim of developing a revised draft of IES 6. The IAESB approved the 5 Assessment principles proposed in the revised Standard and decided to accept the use of a comprehensive evaluation at the end of IPD to provide flexibility to member bodies.

    May 2010: The IAESB received an oral report on the progress of the task force's work to develop a first draft of the revised Standard.

    February 2010: The IAESB identified key issues and questions for targeted consultation on the revision of IES 6.

    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

    IES 6 (Revised) was released on November 16, 2012 and can be freely downloaded at:  International Education Standard (IES) 6, Initial Professional Development – Assessment of Professional Competence (Revised)


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