Continuing Your Professional Finance Qualifications or Upskilling During Lockdown…

Whether you’ve been furloughed or you just want to make the most of this time to expand your own learning, the lockdown has given everyone time to press pause.  Life is very busy and people don’t often stop and consider where they want their career to go but the current Global crisis of Covid has assisted some people to stop and think ‘what do I want to do, do I need to upskill my professional qualifications?’…

We understand that many of our finance candidates have a range of qualifications; many are busy working their way through their professional qualifications and wondering what impact Covid may have on their study plans, learning support exams and the impact of the newly qualified finance market.

Following the government announcements on the 16th March, many of the providers for the professional finance qualifications made the decision to move to a virtual classroom delivery model. Many of these providers were already fortunate enough to have strong online learning platforms and able to deliver the courses.

There are a number of links, guidance and information via CIMA, ACCA and other professional bodies which we recommend you look through. Here are just a few questions and answers which cover some of these topics.

Q1 – I am booked onto a course that hasn’t started, what do I do?

A1 – For any courses due to start from 27th March onwards, your course provider should be in touch ahead of your course start date to confirm material delivery and details of the virtual classroom for you to attend.

Q2 -I am booked onto an On-line course, what do I do?

A2 – There should be no change for you. Where an Online course was planned for an exam sitting which has now been cancelled or postponed, most learning providers will extend access to the next exam sitting and provide additional resources to keep you updated on any changes in the syllabus from September.

Q3- I was intending to sit a Computer Based Exam (CBE) in the coming weeks, what do I do?

A3- Following the recent announcements from the government and further information from professional bodies regarding the suspension of CBEs, most learning centres have postponed exam sittings in the coming weeks.

If you are a CIMA student, CIMA have recently announced that CIMA exams can be sat remotely during this period. Visit the CIMA website to find out more.

Q4- I am a new AAT studier and due to start this year?

A4- Most learning providers are still going ahead with their learning programmes for AAT students, although AAT exams are currently on hold during this period. The recommendation is that studiers continue to attend courses booked to begin learning and to ensure that they are fully prepared to sit their AAT exams once there is a solution and exams are rescheduled.

Q5- I intended to sit ACCA exams in June, what do I do?

A5- Visit the ACCA website to find out more about ACCA courses to account for the recent exam sitting cancellations and unavailability of computer-based exams. The ACCA announced on Thursday 26 March that the June exam session is being cancelled in the UK. Their strong recommendation is that any ACCA students originally planning to sit exams in June should now sit in September. The ACCA website includes some FAQs for students on exam registrations.

Q6- What is the impact for CIMA students?

A6- CIMA has introduced remote exam sittings from May 2020 – find more information on the CIMA website.

Q7- I intended to sit ICAEW Professional Level exams in June, what do I do?

A7- The recommendation is that you complete your original tuition course (many of you will have already completed your tuition course for the June exam sitting) and sit your exams at the September sitting.

Q8- I intended to sit ICAEW Advanced Level exams in July, what do I do?

A8- ICAEW confirmed on Friday 20 March that the July Advanced Level exams will be postponed until later in August.