Institutes – Part-qualified certificate plan

The English ICA has unveiled plans for a new qualification, the Professional Accountancy Certificate, for people who make it halfway through its membership exams.

Under proposals to be put to members in June, the qualification will be awarded to students who pass the first stage of a new two-part exam structure the institute is hoping to introduce in Autumn 2000.

Students seeking the PAC will not be required to enter a training contract or undertake work experience – both compulsory components of institute membership.

Officials have denied suggestions that the PAC will compete with the Association of Accounting Technicians qualification, which is sponsored by the institute.

‘PAC is very different from the AAT qualification, whose emphasis is on technical skills,’ said Phil Armitage, the institute’s director of education and training. ‘Those who chose the PAC as a qualification in its own right are likely to either need or wish to acquire a knowledge of the concepts or principles of accountancy, but whose intended careers do not require them to develop the technical expertise of a chartered accountant.’

AAT education and training director Jeanette Purcell said she had raised initial concerns about the PAC, but now supported its introduction. The institute is understood to be hoping the PAC will be particularly successful overseas.

The English ICA aims to slash its joining fee by #150 to around #300 to appear ‘more welcoming’.

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