Opinion – Could do better.

So another new accountancy qualification appears to have crashed and burned. For the ICAEW to admit it is rethinking its advanced diploma just two years after its launch will only stir cynics into further sniping.

To u-turn on one qualification might be seen as unfortunate but – coming as it does, so soon after the institute’s withdrawal from the global cognitor scheme – to u-turn on two appears to be more than a little careless.

But to take that view would be harsh. The institute should be congratulated for looking to develop a qualification designed to consolidate accountancy’s position as the premier business qualification. If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that new qualifications need to be every bit as rigorous as the basic accountancy training. That’s why this diploma failed – it failed to offer tuition, only assessment. And potential users were rightly sceptical of its worth.

New qualifications are not doomed per se. Just ill-judged ones.

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