CIPFA announces first public audit qualification and new professional qualification for 2015

23-10-2014

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) are set to launch a new Professional Qualification (PQ) at the beginning of 2015. The new PQ continues to focus on the skills that are central to the main roles finance professionals perform in public services organisations while adapting to the changing public sector environment to better reflect the evolving needs of public finance practitioners.

The improvements will include an increased focus on the wide range of commercial skills now needed by practitioners such as commissioning, contract negotiation, financial modelling, financial instruments, and partnership working. It will also offer even greater portability between the public and private sectors, more and better entry routes for holders of other qualifications, more emphasis on the role of the employer and greater flexibility including improved online learning options.

Significantly the PQ will include a new core module: the Public Audit Qualification (PAQ). This is the first and so far only public sector audit qualification available under the new local audit regime in the UK, following CIPFA being awarded Recognised Qualifying Body status for the PAQ by the Financial Reporting Council. This PAQ will also be available as a module for professionals from other accountancy bodies to qualify in public sector audit.

Commenting on the announcement, CIPFA’s Chief Executive Rob Whiteman said:

“Our new and improved CIPFA qualification will meet the needs of fast changing and increasingly diverse public services, and will ensure our students are in the best position to build a successful career in public finance.

“Gaining the new PQ will give finance practitioners the skills and knowledge to make a more powerful difference in public services around the world.”

CIPFA’s new PQ will:

  • Increase the focus on the wide range of commercial skills needed by practitioners such as commissioning, contract negotiation, financial modelling, financial instruments, and partnership working.
  • Provide greater portability between the public and private sectors.
  • Have more entry routes for holders from other qualifications and experienced professionals.
  • Enhance the Practical Experience Portfolio (PEP) by placing greater emphasis on the role of the employer.
  • Enable greater flexibility around blended and online learning options.
  • The Professional Qualification will take between six months to three years to complete, depending on existing qualifications and experience.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Further details of the new PQ can be found online or by emailing newPQ@cipfa.org