ICA goes on offensive.
The English ICA is to introduce its new syllabus in September this year in an attempt to stop the exodus of students moved by their firms to train with the Scottish institute. Announcing the move on Monday, the English institute said the faster launch of its new syllabus, widely expected to be made in a year’s time, followed extensive consultation with business and professional firms. The institute has been under growing pressure to bring forward changes to its qualification after Ernst & Young announced last month it would put all its new students, around 250, through the Scots ICA. In a surprise move last week PricewaterhouseCoopers said it would increase the number of students it trains north of the border to 285. PwC indicated there were only ‘practical issues’ keeping it from training more with the Scottish institute. KPMG, where English ICA president Dame Sheila Masters is a senior partner, said it is encouraging all its students to take the Scottish route while Deloitte & Touche continues to ‘monitor’ the situation. The English institute will be hoping the introduction of its new ‘flexible, business-friendly’ syllabus this year will win over the big firms. John Collier, secretary general of the institute, said: ‘I believe that by taking the time to get this qualification right, we have produced a winning proposition and one that will position our qualification for a fast moving business world.’ But Mark Allison, director of education at the Scots ICA, said: ‘I don’t think it will have any effect on firms’ decisions.’ He added that the speed with which the new syllabus is being released is only one among many factors affecting firms’ training strategies.