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Ethics and professional scepticism

Ethics is more than just knowing the rules around integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour. It's about identifying ethical dilemmas, understanding the implications, making judgements and behaving appropriately, as well as using professional scepticism to build business trust. To develop your ethical capabilities, ethics is integrated throughout the ACA.

 

Important

The ethics and professional scepticism programme you will follow depends on the date you registered with us as a student – this page is designed for students who registered from 1 July 2020. If you registered up to and including 30 June 2020, read the information that applies to you.

How you will develop your ethical capabilities

If you are a student in a training agreement or following the Level 7 apprenticeship programme, the information on this page is for you. Throughout your training, you will develop your ethical capabilities through the ACA in two stages - both stages are a mandatory requirement and you are required to complete both stages before your employer completes the final sign-off at the end of your training agreement.

If you are an ACA independent student / ACA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) top-up / reciprocal membership student who has registered or re-registered since 01 July 2020 – please go here for your information.

Stage 1

In the first 12 months of your training agreement, you are required to:

  • study and complete all six modules of the Ethics Learning Programme; see the full syllabus.
  • take the full ethics assessment and achieve a minimum of 70% - you are allowed multiple attempts at the full assessment with each attempt being recorded in your training file. Note: some employers will limit the number of attempts so check this with your employer before you start the programme;
  • review the Ethics in Practice scenarios 1-6. Each scenario corresponds with a module within the Ethics Learning Programme;
  • hold two six-monthly review meetings with your Qualified Person Responsible for Training (QPRT), counsellor, training manager or principal in the first 12 months of your training. In these meetings you will discuss your ethics development and have two ethical discussions (one focusing on one or more Ethics in Practice scenarios you have reviewed and one on a real-life situation in the workplace). Each six-monthly review must be recorded within your training file and is a requirements of your qualification. The review will document your progress with the programme, scenarios and assessment and will also confirm your two ethical discussions; and
  • apply the ethical skills and principles that you have learnt in practice. This can be done within your daily practical work experience, within the ethical elements included in some of the professional development steps and within the exams.

Please note: you will have access to the Ethics Learning Programme for 12 months from the day you first logged in to the programme, so it’s important to complete the programme and achieve the required 70% mark at the full assessment within this time. Access to the programme will stop 12 months after you first accessed it. If you log in today as the first time, you will have access until 12 months today. If your training agreement is cancelled, your access to the Ethics Learning Programme will be removed.

Stage 2

From month 13 of your training agreement, until your training agreement ends, you are required to:

  • review Ethics in Practice scenarios 7-18;
  • hold a six-monthly review meeting with your Qualified Person Responsible for Training (QPRT), counsellor, training manager or principal every six months. You are required to hold a review every six months throughout the duration of your training agreement. In these meetings you will discuss your ethics development and have two ethical discussions (one focusing on one or more Ethics is Practice scenarios and one on a real-life situation in the workplace). Each six-monthly review throughout your training must be recorded within your training file to show how you are developing your ethical know-how; and
  • apply the ethical skills and principles that you have learnt in practice. This can be done within your daily practical work experience, within the ethical elements included in some of the professional development steps and within the exams.

Re-registration students – after 01 July 2020

  • For students in a training agreement or following the Level 7 apprenticeship, who have already achieved 70% in the final assessment of the previous Ethics Learning programme, then you will not have access to the new Ethics Learning Programme.
  • Some employers may require students who have re-registered to achieve 70% in the new Ethics Learning Programme regardless of performance in the old learning programme.
  • Re-registered students who did not achieve 70% in the old version of the Ethics Learning Programme must complete our new programme and achieve 70% or more in the full assessment – you will need to do this in the first 12 months of your studies.
  • You will have multiple attempts at gaining the 70% in the full assessment, however some employers may limit the number of attempts so check this with your employer before you start the programme.
  • If your training agreement is cancelled, access to the Ethics Learning Programme will be removed.