English ICA faces revolt over training

The English ICA is facing a revolt over plans to reform its education and training scheme when members vote on the proposals in June.

A growing number of institute members have indicated they will support sole practitioner John Cook, who is to propose a motion opposing the introduction of ‘elective’ examination papers, where trainees chose from a list of options, at the institute’s agm on 8 June.

The action will put him on a collision course with the Big Five, who have issued veiled threats that they will stop training chartered accountants if the institute’s training system is not modernised to reflect increased specialisation in the profession.

Cook argues that electives would cause trainees to specialise too early and would therefore detract from the roundedness of the standard general training that accountants currently receive.

The English ICA Ginger Group, representing members campaigning for greater democracy at the institute, has pledged to support Cook.

Ginger Group founder Jeff Wooller said: ‘While we can sympathise with the dilemma of the Big Five, we believe it is quite wrong that the institute chooses to introduce electives when the membership in 1996 made it quite clear that it does not welcome such a move.’

The institute is proposing a three-stage qualification, with elective papers at the second stage, which it has set out in a white paper, ‘Creating the added-value business adviser’.

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