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Ethics must top students’ skill-set


22 Oct 2019


Euro & Finance

ACCA champions commitment to future-proof integrity training

A senior ACCA leader has told an education conference that gaining ethical skills for an increasingly digital world must be central in the training of qualified accountants.

Sharon Machado, ACCA’s portfolio head of business reporting, issued the call at the European Association of Test Publishers (eATP) conference in Madrid.

She described how ACCA has added a dedicated professional skills element to its Ethics and Professional Skills module - a central component of ACCA’s global qualification - with an interactive module which uses game-playing technology to set students in realistic workplace scenarios.

‘In today’s highly digital world of machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data, the module focuses on enhancing emotional intelligence, vision, ethics, digital skills and creativity, which ACCA refers to as the professional quotients,’ Ms Machado told delegates at the Meliá Castilla Hotel. 

‘They are needed because professionals must continue to add value to business even if digital solutions are increasingly used in decision making. Humans are ultimately responsible for the final decision.’

Every ACCA student must complete the ethics module before they can qualify as a professional accountant. ACCA has more than 219,000 members and half a million students and affiliates.

‘ACCA’s Ethics and Professional Skills module (EPSM) uses emerging technologies to develop the skills craved by employers,’ Sharon said.

‘Just as importantly, the module speaks to the needs of modern learners. We hear a lot about the different demands of millennials, of Generations X, Y and Z, and EPSM allows them to learn about the role of ethics and professional skills in the workplace in a flexible way, at their own pace, in their own environment, and in media they know and love.

‘Our module recreates in a vivid, virtual world real-life situations where students react. They are immersed in a digital real-world using gamification, not that different to the games we see our children playing. 

‘EPSM encourages learners to see the big picture and to understand the concepts of corporate responsibility, public interest and ethics - crucial in a world that is delegating key processes and decision making to machines.’ 

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About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering 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.

ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 527,000 students (including affiliates) in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 110 offices and centres and 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide, and 328 approved learning providers who provide high standards of learning and development.

Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here:




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