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ACCA supports launch of Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions


02 Mar 2012


Euro & Finance

Mechanism receives backing from ACCA, UK Government and bodies representing over 1.2 million UK practitioners

The Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions, the first common framework to measure the progress of social mobility within the professions, has been launched today on behalf of Professions for Good.

The toolkit, researched by Spada on behalf of Professions for Good, surveyed 300 professionals and drew on the expertise of fifty representatives from universities, membership bodies, NGOs, regulators and Government departments. It provides practical recommendations for employer organisations of all sizes, professional bodies and regulators on how they can track and foster social mobility.

The 52 page toolkit examines the economic, business and moral case for social mobility; the state of social mobility in the UK and the recent policy initiatives in this area by the current Government. It also provides best-practice advice on how to collect and process data on social mobility and how organisations can diversify the socio-economic profile of their members and employees. 

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, commented:

"The Government is committed to investing in a fairer future where social mobility is unlocked and everyone with the potential can access the professions, regardless of their background. A significant proportion of new jobs that are expected to be created in our economy over the next decade are professional ones. We can't afford to let the talent of our people go un-utilised.

"I am delighted that Professions for Good have today published their guidance on how to recruit from the whole of the UK's talent pool to ensure we achieve our goal of a fairer society for everyone."

Neil Stevenson, executive director, brand at ACCA, said:

“As the global body for professional accountants, one of ACCA's core purposes is to offer opportunity to people of talent regardless of their background, and keeping track of this core purpose is important to us. Monitoring and data capture are essential to opening up the professions, and this toolkit offers advice and guidance about how this can be done. The toolkit also offers suggestions for widening access, from good careers advice to mentoring programmes. By working together, and by sharing best practice, the professions can be a force for change when it comes to social mobility.”

Louis Armstrong, Chairman of Professions for Good, added:

“The professions are a major UK success story, but more can be done to attract individuals from every strata of society.

“Over the past six months, we have conducted intensive research and consulted with professional bodies, employers, Government departments, educational institutes and charities. The toolkit is ready. It now needs to be used. We will review its uptake and report on progress regularly. Over time we will all benefit: individuals when aspirations can be fulfilled and the professions as they access the widest range of talent available.”

The toolkit has its origins in the 2009 ‘Unleashing Aspirations’ report by Alan Milburn, which highlighted the barriers to entry and social mobility within the UK professions, and the detrimental effect this has on the professions and society at large. 

In its aftermath, the Department for Business, Innovation of Skills’ Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum and Panel on Fair Access to the Professions recommended the development of a ‘Social Mobility Toolkit’ for use by the professions. In order to mobilise the professions, Professions for Good and Spada were commissioned to develop today’s toolkit.

By collecting sample indicative data every three years, the professions will be able to track their progress against the Coalition Government’s Social Mobility Strategy, and report to the relevant regulatory bodies and the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

- ENDS -

Further information:

Natalie Moorse, email: Tel: 020 7269 1430

Helen Thompson, ACCA: Tel: 020 7059 5759

Social Mobility Toolkit

The public will be able to download the Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions, from 9.30am on 2nd March 2012.  The research conducted by Spada, on behalf of Professions for Good, was funded by the Legal Services Board and the General Medical Council with additional support from the Chartered Insurance Institute and British Dental Association.

About Professions for Good

Representing 1.2 million practitioners, Professions for Good is a collaboration of the bodies responsible for the entry policy standards and qualifications across many of the UK’s largest professions. These are AAT – Association of Accounting Technicians; ACCA – the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants; The Bar Council; CIOT – Chartered Institute of Taxation; CII – Chartered Insurance Institute; CIPD – Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; CMI – Chartered Management Institute; ICAEW – Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; RAE – Royal Academy of Engineering; RIBA – Royal Institute of British Architects; RICS – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Science Council.

Professions for Good works together in the public interest to uphold:

§  Fair access and meritocracy

§  Professional standards and ethics

§  Fact- and practice-based public policy

About ACCA

1. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

2. We support our 147,000 members and 424,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

3. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. 


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