It’s full steam ahead for the introduction of CBE exams this September, says ACCA’s Director of Qualifications, Catherine Edwards.
In an exclusive interview with PQ magazine Edwards revealed that ACCA will be releasing specimen papers in late April for the new-look exams.
The computer-based exams have been ‘three years in the making’, and students will be expected to answer using spreadsheets and word processing with table creation functionality. In addition to specimen exams, ACCA is planning to release a blank spreadsheet and word processing sheet so students can practice with them. Again these will be released late April time.
PQ also discovered that ACCA plans to use a specialist supplier to provide its worldwide computer based centre network. The supplier is very established at running computer-based exams worldwide and will ensure dedicated centres for ACCA students to take their exams in a professional and uninterrupted manner.
Edwards stressed that ACCA will be running parallel exams – both paper and CBE exams. She said a CBE-only offering will only happen when students and tutors are ready, and will be introduced on a country-by-country basis, starting small with selected centres available in certain cities initially. UK and Ireland will be in the first set of countries to come on-line.
Edwards explained under the new CBE regime PQs will be still receive a mark for their exam and sitters will still need 50 per cent to pass. When it comes to the CBE exams themselves she explained exams won’t all be the same but ACCA has taken steps to ensure all exams are of the same standard, and as the exams are controlled across the different time zones that ACCA offers exams in, steps are also taken to ensure the exam content is protected. ACCA will be releasing details of how the model works. It comes with a lot of research and has been explained to the regulators, who are all happy.
ACCA has had to work closely with the regulators – the likes of SQA, QAA and FRC, and a number of others around the world. They too have had to be taken on the journey.