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Warning over international education standards

It has become apparent that firms, and specifically their Responsible Individuals (RI), are maybe not fully considering the requirements of International Education Standard 8 (IS8), warns Julia Penny.

Julia Penny

February 2018

IES 8 sets out the competencies expected of anyone in the position of RI. The learning outcomes that competence must be demonstrated against are set out in Table A of the standard.

See also:

Summary of Table A competencies 

Technical competencies

  • Audit
  • Financial reporting
  • Governance and risk management
  • Business environment
  • Taxation
  • Information technology
  • Business laws and regulations
  • Finance and financial management

Professional skills

  • Intellectual
  • Interpersonal and communication
  • Personal
  • Organisational

Professional values, ethics and attitude

  • Commitment to the public interest
  • Professional scepticism and professional judgement
  • Ethical principles

The requirements of IES 8 are implemented for ICAEW members within the CPD requirements. This requires a member to consider these stages:

  • Reflect
  • Act
  • Impact
  • Declare

This means that if you are an RI (or planning your firm’s training for RIs) then you need to check that all of the competencies have been considered in the “reflect” part of the above stages. It isn’t just keeping up to date with changes in auditing and accounting requirements, but a much broader selection of skills. A brief example covering key elements is set out below.

An example

An RI might identify that they need regular updating on changes to accounting, auditing and legal issues and that they plan to achieve this through attendance at Mercia courses.

With respect to keeping up to date with tax or issues such as IT, they might attend periodic meetings with the relevant internal department.

For professional skills, they may maintain these competencies through experience at work. However, appraisals might identify areas for improvement and these could be worked on by mentoring or soft skills courses.

Professional values and ethics might be dealt with by facilitated group discussions of areas that threaten ethical behaviour, by using video resources such as the ICAEW False Assurance and Without Question films.

In short you need to demonstrate that the CPD planned and undertaken ensures compliance with IES 8.

Julia Penny is Technical Director at SWAT UK, and London member of ICAEW Council. You can follow her on twitter @JSPenny

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