Practice

Innovation needed in accountancy education, ACCA says

ACCA’s latest report, ‘Developing the skills of the sustainable business and finance professional’, highlighted the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and gamification in learning and development 

Global analysis from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has found  that educators are “not fully meeting the needs” of learners or employers within the accountancy profession.

It said that more “innovation” is needed in this area, adding that a good learning and development programme needs to “put learners’ characteristics and needs central to its design”. 

Its research found that while educators recognised the importance of this, they struggled to reflect them in their programmes, with 39% saying the characteristics of their learners are too diverse for common principles to be included.

ACCA’s latest report, ‘Developing the skills of the sustainable business and finance professional’, highlighted the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and gamification in learning and development (L&D). 

Both learners and educators across all age ranges gave a low positive response rate to these as a way to develop a broad range of capabilities. ACCA said this will partly be due to a lack of understanding of what gamification and AI are, and what they can achieve; as well as a fear among tutors that the technology will be complex or that it will make the tutor role redundant.

Sharon Machado, head of business reporting at ACCA and the report’s author, said: “The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2030, 90% of jobs will demand digital skills. So educators need to make data and digital central to their L&D programmes. Alongside this, Pearson has estimated that the total market for professional education is expected to grow to £7trn by 2030, again reflecting that demand will increase.

“Opportunities therefore abound and that’s why we provide a six-point L&D model to help educators flourish and work with professional bodies to create the professionals of the future.”

The six-point model includes the following themes:

  • Relevance: meeting learner and stakeholder needs
  • Reliability: delivering learning outcomes that are trusted irrespective of different learning approaches for a given capability or learner
  • Motivation: driving the achievement of the learning purpose and supporting lifelong learning
  • Person and people: placing learners and their tutors at the heart of learning and the learning approach, at an individual, cohort and community level
  • Digital and data: supporting the development of L&D strategy and its implementation across content, production, delivery and monitoring
  • Sustainability: business models employ an integrated approach to environmental, social and financial matters

Machado added: “Learners should be seeking these six features and qualities in their L&D, and equally educators should be applying them too in developing, implementing, and monitoring their strategies. If educators do, they’ll be well placed to realise the economic opportunities associated with a growing education market and to respond to the vast amounts of regulation that applies to them and the accountancy profession.”

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