CIPFA Futures: what it means for current students

As you may be aware, CIPFA has been working on the CIPFA Futures project to update and refresh its professional qualification syllabus. We do this on a regular basis to make sure our qualification continues to meet the needs of the public finance profession.

The project is now finished, and we are launching our updated and refreshed syllabus: the CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification, or CIPFA PAQ for short. All new students beginning their studies in March 2022 will be enrolled on the updated syllabus.

As a current student or apprentice studying the Professional Qualification (PQ) or International Public Financial Management (IPFM) qualification, you will hear us talking about the new qualification in the coming months, and you may even see it advertised. Here are the top five things you need to know:

  1. Your studies will not be disrupted. We are taking all possible steps to ensure that your studies will continue smoothly. You are not required to transition to the updated syllabus, nor will you have to complete any additional modules.
  2. You will need register in time for your final modules and exams. The PQ and IPFM programmes are being phased out over the next three years, and we have published the dates for the final PQ and final IPFM modules and exams on the website. You will need to make sure that you register in time for your remaining modules and exams.
  3. You'll be fully supported every step of the way. In addition to publishing the final dates on the website, we will contact you in advance of your final modules and exams to prompt you to register. If for any reason you are unable to register in time for the final modules or final exams, or you're unsuccessful in your final exams, you will be transitioned across to the PAQ syllabus so you can complete your qualification. The PQ or IPFM modules you have completed will be taken into account.
  4. You will get access to the new content. The PAQ syllabus features new content on emerging digital technologies, cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence, green finance, environmental reporting and climate performance measures. This new content will be made available to you as optional short courses in 2022/23, which will count towards your continuing professional development (CPD). Of course, you already have access to our ethics e-learning and resource bank – it's free to you as a current student, so register now if you haven't yet done so.
  5. You will also get access to our new e-learning and e-assessment platforms. Alongside the updated qualification syllabus, we have also taken the opportunity to review and improve how we teach our qualification. In 2022, you will get access to our new e-assessment platform and a new virtual learning environment. The new e-assessment platform will feature additional functionality, including spreadsheets, which will help you develop your technical competencies, while the new virtual learning environment has features and capabilities that will give you a much improved digital and overall learning experience. Full details will be shared with you on these in the new year.

CIPFA's qualification has always offered the best foundation for the next generation of public finance professionals and leaders, and we wish you every success in your continuing studies. Remember, the CIPFA team is here to support you every step of the way. You can find links to more information below, and please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Key links

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