Institute says controversial ad is ‘one-off’

An advert that appeared in Malaysian business magazine The Edge
offered qualified accountants from other institutes the chance to gain the ACA
qualification ‘without study or formal exams’.

ACCA said the advert suggested that the ICAEW’s qualification was equivalent
to its own because the ICAEW ‘is prepared to take members [from other
institutes] without formal assessment’.

Although the ICAEW said any qualified accountants looking to join the
institute through its Pathways entry scheme had to undertake a ‘rigorous
assessment’, and that the ad had been misinterpreted, it would not run again.
‘The ad was a one-off,’ said an ICAEW spokeswoman.

Critics speculated that the Malaysian ad might have been a dummy run for ads
in the UK

‘Is Malaysia being used as a test bed for the advert, to see how strongly the
members of the ICAEW react? [And] why was the adverse reaction to the campaign
not foreseen?’ said Ken Frost, a critic of the ICAEW.

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