Training – ACCA quits NTO scheme

ACCA has withdrawn its support for a national training organisation for accountants, despite the other CCAB bodies pledging their allegiance to the scheme.

A national training body has been in the pipeline for two years. Until this month the CCAB bodies, along with the Association of Accounting Technicians, were working on revised plans after a first proposal was scrapped by the government for being too elitist.

But last week ACCA withdrew its support saying the body did not match its strategy to concentrate on overseas students. It was feared the move would spell the end for the project which many insiders felt needed full CCAB backing if it was to succeed.

Defending her decision, ACCA chief executive Anthea Rose said: ‘ACCA’s participation in this scheme could damage its international markets and international interest. ACCA prefers to enhance its qualifications in ways which will benefit its student body directly.’

The bodies involved will provide funding for the first three years at #140,000 a year. Employers will also be asked to contribute.

The government is keen to see a convergence in standards for training accountants and a nationally recognised training body.

‘It is unfortunate that ACCA has chosen not to continue and I can understand their reasons given their strategic goals. But it would be better for the profession to present a united front on the NTO,’ said one insider.

CIPFA education and training director Ken Gill said the body would eventually have a profound effect on the professional bodies’ syllabuses and on their assessment mechanisms.

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