Aspiring chartered accountants [CA(SA)] achieved an 86% pass rate for the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) Examination written in November 2014, the last formal assessment before being able to register as a CA(SA). This has resulted in a further 1 773 candidates being one step closer to completing their CA(SA) – a professional designation recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
The APC replaces the two previous Part II exams which were in separate disciplines (Auditing and Financial Management). In order to ensure future CAs(SA) remain relevant to the employment market the APC was introduced after significant research and benchmarking and includes many features that are different to a traditional examination.
Some of these features include a competence-based, multi-disciplinary case study, where candidates receive some of the information ahead of the exam in order to undertake relevant research in a specific industry.
Candidates are assessed as being competent (pass) or not competent (fail) overall (there are no marks awarded as in traditional exams), but SAICA continues to recognise candidates who perform particularly well through identification of candidates who are named on the Honours Roll.
The 2014 Honours Roll represents candidates who have performed exceptionally and who have shown insight in their case study responses. The number of candidates who are nominated to this list each year is not restricted to a particular number. The APC Exam Committee, with input from the examiners, determined the profile of Honours Roll candidates.
Congratulating Honours Roll candidates Mandi Olivier, Senior Executive: Professional Development at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) said, “This is an immensely impressive achievement requiring talent, hard work and great commitment and we are delighted to have candidates of such high calibre entering the profession.” Olivier went on to praise the candidates on the Honours Roll for their hard work and commitment to excellence.
“With this being a completely new assessment, we are very pleased at the overall number of passes which resulted in 1 773 of the 2 050 candidates passing the first APC. It is great to see so many candidates reaching this goal, having worked tirelessly to get here through their academic studies, professional examinations and their training programme. Upon completion of their training contract they are eligible to register with SAICA to call themselves CAs(SA).”
Olivier expressed satisfaction over the results posted by African candidates stating that: “This is again a positive manifestation that our many transformation programmes are gaining momentum as more successful African candidates emerge.”
Black candidates make up 50% of the exam writing population and achieved a pass rate of 82% against the overall pass rate of 86%. “We are also particularly pleased that half of the candidates on our Honours Roll are Black.”
Olivier, while congratulating all aspiring chartered accountants who passed the APC, stressed that there was no let-up in the high standards demanded of prospective CAs(SA).
“We know that maintenance of the high standards among CAs(SA) is what makes the designation so sought after across the globe. The new examination involves a rigorous process of setting, assessment and moderation involving many internal and external stakeholders.”