The institute said the decision to implement the new qualification this autumn followed extensive consultation with businesses and professional firms.
The institute has come under pressure to make changes to its syllabus following last year’s failed attempt to introduce optional papers into its syllabus.
Last month Ernst & Young became the first firm to agree to train all 250 of its new students with the Scottish institute from September.
Accountancy Age revealed last week that PricewaterhouseCoopers, the biggest provider of students to the English institute, would switch 285 of its students to the Scottish institute this year. KPMG has also said it is encouraging students to opt for the Scots institute.
The exodus has forced the English institute to speed up the introduction of its new syllabus to persuade firms that its new flexible business-friendly approach is more attractive than the Scottish institute’s offering.
Speaking today, institute secretary general John Collier said: ‘The new ACA will be both rigorous and relevant to the needs of students. 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.
‘The Institute’s ACA has long been the benchmark for finance and business professionals. In order to maintain this, we need to innovate to reflect a changing market place. We also need to maintain the high standards we have set. The new qualification meets both these objectives.’
The institute’s head of education and training, Professor Brian Chiplin, said: ‘The ACA will now consist of a Professional and an Advanced Stage, providing the breadth of learning and experience that the modern accountant and business adviser needs.
‘The Professional Stage will ensure that students continue to receive a firm grounding in those core skills integral to the ACA, the Advanced Stage will have a more vocational focus reflecting the diverse requirements of modern business.’
The new training courses will commence in September with the first exams taking place in December.English institute PwC joins exodus from English ICA moving 285 students to Scots institute
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