ACCOUNTANCY AGE EXCLUSIVE: English ICA ready to introduce new syllabus in September to keep firms onside

The institute has still to finalise its revised syllabus, whose business-friendly but unified approach was backed by council a fortnight ago. But English ICA education director Brian Chiplin has signalled his willingness to introduce the changes from this September – if that is what the market wants.

Talks with the Companies division of the DTI are also expected to continue as the ICA bids to prevent any further Big Five firms withdrawing students from its training scheme – following last week’s hammer blow from E&Y.

The firm said it would put all its students through the Scottish institute from the autumn.

The row stems from last summer’s crucial vote by institute members to reject introducing optional papers into the institute’s syllabus. The Big Five had threatened to pull out of the institute’s training scheme unless electives were introduced.

Chiplin said it was essential changes to the syllabus were right and admitted they had taken on an even greater importance following the defection of E&Y which had accounted for 7% of the institute’s annual student intake.

‘The council have backed our proposals for a more relevant, flexible and business-friendly syllabus and as a result we are now in implementation mode,’ he said.

‘We expect the new syllabus to be launched in September 2001 at the latest, however it is still a possibility it may be launched this September if the market wants it.’

‘However it is important to get the changes right as we don’t want to be making further changes three months down the line.’

As well as visiting the remaining four Big Five firms over the next two weeks, the institute will also be writing to mid-tier firms and UK 200 companies inviting them to a number of London-based seminars.

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