Following the withdrawal of ACCA ahead of the body’s launch last year, the funding group comprised the Scottish, English and Irish chartered bodies, as well as CIMA, CIPFA and the Association of Accounting Technicians.
The body was designed to act as an independent authority to oversee accountants’ education and training, as well as marketing vocational qualifications within the profession. It was not designed to offer training but to offer comprehensive guidance on how to acquire the skills and qualifications sought by employers, practical ways to develop skills as well as key information on each industry and career opportunities.
ICAS blamed its withdrawal on ‘significant concerns over the activities and organisation’ of the body including ‘the weak organisational structure and lack of governance over activities; the lack of quality in the output of publicly funded projects by the ANTO; a lack of any significant financial or practical involvement in the activities of the ANTO by employers; and refusal by the ANTO to work alongside the professional bodies’.
ICAS said it had raised the concerns repeatedly with the body and its funders in recent months.
Chief executive David Brew said: ‘Having been involved for several years in the bidding process to create the ANTO, and in funding its initial start up phase, we are bitterly disappointed with many aspects of the ANTO organisation and activity.
‘The ANTO has failed to engage with the professional bodies or with employers at UK level; and has had no impact in Scotland. Our attempts to bring about structural change have been rebuffed. Our lack of confidence is now such that withdrawal is the only responsible course for us to take.’
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