Thank you for signing up to receive eNews from the Education Committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).  This newsletter provides an update on new and proposed guidance issued by the Education Committee and other key IFAC groups.  All documents may be downloaded at no charge from IFAC's website (

In this Issue:
1) New Education Standards to be Released in 2003
2) Comments Invited on Proposed Standard on Content of Professional Education
3) Education Committee Updates Guidance on Competence-Based Education
4) Education Committee Moves Ahead on Assessment Methods Project
5) Next Education Committee Meeting Scheduled for August
6) All IFAC Guidance is Free Online
7) IFAC Focuses on Rebuilding Credibility in Financial Reporting

1) New Education Standards to be Released in 2003
In keeping with its mission to enhance the profession through the development of high quality standards, IFAC has undertaken initiatives to develop a series of International Education Standards for Professional Accountants. A number of proposed standards addressing pre-qualification education and training and continuing professional development were exposed for comment in July 2002.

The Education Committee has considered all comments received from academics, practitioners and others on these documents, and is currently preparing the necessary drafting changes for consideration at the committee's next meting in August 2003.  It is the intention to issue the majority of the final standards in October 2003.

As a result of comments received, several changes will be made to the proposed standard on continuing professional development.  Key changes include:
- greater recognition of 'unstructured' learning activities;
- increased attention to output or competence based approaches to CPD;
- focusing more on the concepts of learning as relevant, measurable and  verifiable; and
- incorporating much of the content included in the proposed guideline in the revised standard.

The revised standard will be re-exposed for comment by November 2003.

All of the proposed standards and guidelines may be downloaded from the Education Committee page of the IFAC website at

2) Comments Invited on Proposed Standard on Content of Professional Education Programs
The Education Committee has issued an exposure draft (ED) revising requirements in the proposed International Education Standard (IES) entitled "Content of Professional Education Programs" and is inviting comments through July 30, 2003.

An earlier ED on this topic, issued in June 2002, prescribed the primary content of professional education programs for professional accountants in three major areas: organizational and business knowledge, information technology knowledge, and accounting, finance and related knowledge. It also suggested subject matters to be included in each of these areas. The revised exposure draft includes minor modifications to these subject matters and indicates that they are, in fact, mandatory.

This new ED may be downloaded from the IFAC website by going to Comments may be submitted to or faxed to IFAC at 1-212-286-9570.

3) Education Committee Updates Guidance on Competence-Based Education
A new Education Committee paper entitled "Towards Competent Professional Accountants" provides advice to professional bodies looking to adopt a competence -based education and training program.
The paper:
- identifies the objectives of the competence-based approach;
- defines competence;
- describes different types of statements of competence;
- explains the strengths of the two traditional approaches to competence - based education; and
- encourages professional bodies and other organizations responsible for the training of accountants to link accounting curriculums more closely with workplace requirements.

4) Committee Moves Ahead on Assessment Methods Project
In 2002, the Education Committee commenced a research project regarding the range of assessment methods appropriate for education and training of professional accountants.  The objective of the project is to provide guidance which will assist and encourage IFAC member bodies to select a range of appropriate assessment methods that will better test the competences and capabilities of candidates seeking admission to the profession.  The committee will receive the final research report at its next meeting in August 2003, and will release guidance for member bodies in 2004.

5)  Next Education Committee Meeting Scheduled for August
The committee will be meeting August 17-20, 2003 in Cape Town, South Africa.
The primary focus of the meeting will be to finalize the proposed International Education Standards and agree activities to promote the standards.  Other topics to be considered in August include receiving a final report from the researchers on the Assessment Methods project, planning for the committee work program, and updating guidance on reducation and training for specialist areas.  Meeting summaries are posted on the Education Committee page of the IFAC website. For a summary of the most recent meeting, go to

6) IFAC Guidance is Free Online
All IFAC guidance, including International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and other final pronouncements issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), may be downloaded at no charge from the IFAC online bookstore at  After providing simple registration information, individuals may download the entire 2003 online handbook of auditing pronouncements or individual standards and practice statements.

7) IFAC Focuses on Rebuilding the Credibility of Financial Reporting
IFAC's Task Force on Rebuilding Credibility in Financial Reporting is finalizing a report, including recommendations, on principles of best practices in the areas of financial reporting, corporate governance, corporate disclosure, and auditor performance. The report will be issued within the next several months. Many of the documents the task force reviewed are accessible through a special database on the IFAC website. Go to http://www.ifac/org/viewpoints/.

IFAC is the worldwide organization for the accountancy profession.  Its mission is to develop and enhance the profession to enable it to provide services of consistently high quality in the public interest.  Its current membership consists of 155 professional accountancy bodies in 113 countries, representing more than two million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce.
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