PRO-TEM SINGAPORE ACCOUNTANCY COUNCIL ISSUES DISCUSSION PAPER ON THE SINGAPORE QUALIFICATION PROGRAMME
Singapore, 18 May 2012 (Friday) – The Pro-Tem Singapore Accountancy Council (the “Pro-Tem SAC”) has issued the Singapore Qualification Programme (the “SQP”) Discussion Paper today. This Discussion Paper sets out the pathway to becoming a Singapore professional accountant, and the Pro-Tem SAC would like to invite all stakeholders and interested parties to contribute feedback towards the shaping and design of the SQP.
2. The Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector (CDAS) had recommended the “development of a globally-recognised, Singapore-branded, post-university professional accountancy qualification programme” – the SQP. The SQP “should be relevant for training audit professionals and commercial accountants. It should have a unique value proposition with the following characteristics:
(a) Global recognition; (b) International portability; and (c) an Asian market value factor”.
3. The SQP framework should have the following key elements:
(a) robust admission criteria; (b) mandatory structured practical experience; (c) tests of professional competence; (d) pathway to facilitate entry of degree-holders from non-accountancy disciplines; and (e) pathway to facilitate re-entry of former professional accountants.
Singapore Qualification Programme Maximises Opportunities and positions Singapore as a Global Centre for Professional Accountancy Development
4. The SQP seeks to position Singapore as a global centre for professional accountancy development by:
- providing a pathway for professional accountancy qualification and recognition for individuals who aspire to be business professionals in leading the shaping and performance of organisations; - expanding the talent base for the sector through attracting graduates with accountancy degrees and other disciplines as well as graduates from the region; and - augmenting the rich diversity of leading international professional accountancy qualifications being offered in Singapore, which is recognised as an important element in the attraction and professional development of talent in the sector.
5. The SQP framework that is proposed in this Discussion Paper is designed to maximise the opportunities for seeking global recognition and international portability. This is through ensuring that the components constituting the SQP framework are:
- comparable to professional accountancy qualifications offered by leading professional accountancy bodies in significant capital markets, including Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom; and
- compliant with the International Education Standards issued by the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
Purpose and Scope of Discussion Paper
6. The Pro-Tem SAC has conducted broad-based consultations with potential employers from the public accountancy profession, business corporates, multinational companies and public sector agencies, as well as the accountancy faculties of the three local autonomous universities, in the design of the SQP. This Discussion Paper has been developed in tandem with the invaluable contributions and feedback of these stakeholders.
7. The purpose of issuing this Discussion Paper is twofold:
- to assist stakeholders and the general public to understand the development process of the SQP; and - to invite feedback and submissions about the specific components underpinning the SQP.
8. This Discussion Paper outlines each specific component underpinning the SQP Framework and highlights particular areas (including Academic Base, Professional Programme and Practical Experience) that stakeholders and in