How AAT is addressing local needs on a global scale

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The flexibility of AAT is best illustrated by the way it is adapted in other countries. Laurie Gillow, AAT’s International Consultancy Manager, explains how working in partnership across the globe to address local needs means adapting the AAT Accounting Qualification.

Working in partnership in New Zealand

AAT has entered into a formal partnership with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) to offer the AAT Diploma in Accounting (NZICA); following a signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The AAT Diploma in Accounting (NZICA) is open to everyone, and has been designed to suit the New Zealand market with four of the units being specifically tailored for NZICA students. This vocational pathway provides NZICA students with solid and practical skills for a career in finance and accountancy and is one of three routes a student can choose to gain membership into NZICA’s College of Accounting Technicians.

AAT has also arranged flexible training, with the UK-based Home Learning College assigned as the training provider for this qualification. They will be delivering online support and tuition, making it easy for students to study around their home and work life commitments. Computer based assessments will be available to take at fixed dates and times throughout the year at approved venues in New Zealand.

Kirsten Patterson, Acting Chief Executive NZICA, said: “We are already starting to see interest building from employers, their employees, and from people who prefer a vocational style of training. We also expect this qualification to appeal to school leavers. Collaborating with AAT to provide this qualification in New Zealand for our members is exciting and will help us to continue to build standards and professionalism in the accounting profession, while partnering with the leading UK body for Accounting Technicians.”

Addressing the skills shortage in South Africa

Research by Research Focus and the Tshwane University of Technology of 739 organisations in South Africa found more than 22,000 vacancies for accountants. Of these, the research found that 16,000 were needed at middle-management and accounting technicians levels.

To address this skills shortage in local government, as well as commerce and industry, AAT was invited by The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) to build sustainable capacity through a UK-South African partnership.

Through a joint venture between AAT and SAICA, AAT(SA) was established, with a suite of qualifications tailored to suit the needs of South Africa, including specific local government and public sector accounting qualifications.

After only four years, the AAT(SA) statistics speak for themselves:

•    More than 2,100 graduates
•    5,000 students have successfully completed the programme or are currently studying it
•    23 accredited training providers

The programme has been accredited on national qualification frameworks and is delivered at work, giving people the practical competence to do their jobs properly.

AAT(SA) also offers membership services and an accessible framework for lifelong learning and development to increase opportunities for South Africans to develop the skills that the economy needs.

Members are bound by a code of professional ethics and have to keep their skills and competence up to date through AAT’s continuing professional development system.

Meeting local needs in Malawi

As with South Africa, AAT has developed specific accounting qualifications for Malawi, to meet local needs.

The initiative, to deliver a Public Sector Accounting Certificate is being driven by the Malawian government, with donor funding support, to address public sector performance excellence, compliance and best practice in the field of accounting.

The Public Sector Accounting Certificate for Malawi is based on the suite of entry-level local government and public sector finance qualifications developed through AAT(SA).  It is believed that through this project, learner opportunities, public sector finances and, ultimately service delivery will all be improved.

Further information can be found via this link.

Laurie Gillow is AAT's International Consultancy Manager.

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