Big Five stand-off

The Big Five firms have told the English ICA that they will stop. training chartered accountants unless the institute modernises its education and training scheme.

Peter Wyman, chairman of the institute’s education and training directorate, said that if the threat was carried out, it would cause the English ICA to ‘implode’.

He added: ‘The message is clear – if we do not reform, the institute dies.’

Wyman was speaking as the institute council met on Wednesday to approve a White Paper setting out the final plans for reform of the E&T scheme.

Based on the controversial green paper ‘Creating the added-value business adviser’, published earlier this year, the white paper proposes a three-stage E&T scheme. The initial professional stage will focus on accounting principles. Wyman hopes universities may include its elements in accounting degree courses, allowing students to graduate as part-qualified accountants.

The advanced stage includes a business section and two other ‘elective’ subjects, which can be those in which students have gained expertise during their training contract. The final examination is retained.

Among the elective options proposed are general practice, two composite papers which cover a range of subjects, and a suggested on-the-job assessment to replace exams.


Professional stage

Comparable to the existing Technical Core 1 stage, with two papers taken as an early ‘hurdle’, and the remainder individually, to accumulate credits in accounting, financial reporting, audit and assurance, business finance, business management and taxation.

Advanced stage

Comparable to the existing TC 2 stage. All papers taken together except advanced business management, which may be taken at the previous stage.

Exact format to be decided. Includes advanced business management and two other advanced subjects to be chosen from an approved list and reflecting candidates’ work experience.

Final Admitting Examination

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