qualifications framework

Central to professionalisation is the way in which prospective members become members of the professional body. This is almost always done through examinations or other forms of formal assessment, leading to the award of a qualification and designatory letters. A qualification is an important contributor to the overall assurance of quality that the professional body gives. Read more on the central role of qualifications in professionalisation.

The award of a qualification requires a Qualifications Framework (QF).

Drawing on IFAC’s International Accounting Education Standards, we recognise the key components of a QF as:

  • A statement of entry requirements, that determines the appropriate academic achievement to be demonstrated by prospective entrants to the profession
  • A description of how prior learning is to be recognised in the scheme of education and training
  • The learning outcomes that students will be expected to achieve, expressed in terms of knowledge, skills and competencies
  • The criteria that will be used to determine whether students have achieved the learning outcomes
  • The practical experience requirements (the Initial Professional Development Scheme in CIPFA’s terminology), and
  • The requirements that will be made of students who are successful, to maintain their knowledge, skills and competencies throughout their working lives in a changing environment (the Continuing Professional Development scheme).

More on the Qualifications Framework