EU’s accountancy bodies to unify qualifications

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The proposals, released in a consultation paper in Brussels today (Tuesday), were developed by a steering group of representatives of participating institutes in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK.

If approved, the proposals would take the ground-breaking step of harmonising the entry-level qualifications of the eight Institutes and creating a core of common content in each of their national qualifications.

At the launch of the consultation, Peter Wyman, Chairman of the Common Content Steering Group, said: ‘This historic move to unify some of Europe’s premier accountancy qualifications will benefit accountants who qualify in the future, users of their services and those who train and employ them.

‘If these proposals are adopted, the result will be a new generation of European accountants whose international knowledge and professional experience have been assessed using a common high-quality syllabus. Qualifying accountants will enjoy improved cross-border career opportunities.’

The following countries and their institutes are participating in the project: France, Ordre des Experts-Comptables (OEC); Germany, Institut der Wirtschaftsprfer (IDW) and Wirtschaftsprferkammer (WPK); Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI); Italy, Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti (CNDC); The Netherlands, Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut van Registeraccountants (NIVRA); United Kingdom, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

The timetable for obtaining final approval of the common content materials and learning outcomes is scheduled for 2006. National implementation is expected over the following two years, with the timescales varying from country to country, depending on when national government or regulatory approval is obtained.

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