Our Client and Service Director, Hazel Rogers, kicked things off with an update from FI:
- In 2021 iCount training in Manchester merged with FI Ltd adding another location to the FI network.
- We were absolutely delighted to share that we achieved an Outstanding grade in our OFSTED inspection in December 2021.
- We’re enjoying welcoming our students back to our centres for classroom courses, and continue to offer flexibility for the remainder of the year.
- With increasing interest in leadership and impact skills within our client base, we’ll be reigniting plans to deliver Leadership and Management courses in 2022 and beyond.
Key points for ICAEW in 2021
Alex looked back at the key points for the ICAEW in 2021. In 2021, the ICAEW saw record student numbers signed up last year, as a result of pent-up demand from employers. These numbers look set to carry through into 2022 recruitment. Increasingly, the quality of training offered is being used as an attraction tool in recruitment, as well as a key part of succession planning within businesses.
Looking forward, the ICAEW are evolving in line with the ever-changing needs of the industry:
- Ethics – new Ethics Learning Programme (2020)
- New exam platform (March 2021)
- Data Analytics Software (March 2021)
- Changing format of exam questions (Ongoing)
- Digital learning materials (2021)
- Technical knowledge – (2021 and ongoing)
- Spreadsheet functionality (2022)
Introduction of spreadsheets to the ACA qualification
This has been driven by a need for the ACA to replicate the workplace and to drive work in data analytics. This focusses on two key areas;
- Data analytics (AA / CR)
- Spreadsheet functionality (FM/BST/SBM 2022)
Assessing these within the ACA qualification will help to develop students’ skills in professional scepticism, data analysis, problem-solving, and managerial decision making.
To support the rollout of the new spreadsheet functionality, the ICAEW will be providing lots of support and guidance through recorded videos and practice software. More information can be found here.
Further ICAEW Updates
Alex talked us through further updates to the ICAEWs activity including a refresh of their website to make it more user friendly. ICAEW has also relaunched the training vacancies and employer jobs board, a valuable recruitment tool used by many employers on the call. A 2022 events calendar and ongoing work within their D&I community, which is open to anyone working within the sector, also featured in the work planned for 2022.
The forum attendees then heard from Ginny, on updates to FI’s education delivery in 2022.
Employer Forum: Updates to FI’s delivery of ICAEW Professional Level courses
Ginny talked through the main changes to FI’s delivery of the ICAEW Professional Level courses;
- Additional day added to BST tuition to allow for additional sessions on data and statistics
- All Professional Level tuition courses now include a course exam on the final day to increase submission rates
- Additional assessment available for learners to attempt and self-review prior to revision phase
Our focus in 2022 remains on assessment completion, with ongoing analysis to monitor assessment completion rates and the link to exam success. The statistics continue to prove that higher submission in mock exams, leads to higher success in the real exams. We saw that the completion of 1 additional assessment increased the pass rate for learners by 7 percentage points at the advanced stage in the November sitting. Additionally, at the December sitting for Professional stage, those who attempted 3 assessments had a pass rate of 5 percentage points more than those who attempted 2. We are keen to have employers support as to the importance of attempting all assessments and to reassure learners that this is the best way to prepare.
ICAEW Results 2021
Our first-time pass rates continue to exceed global pass rates across all three levels of the ICAEW qualification, and we continue to see a trend in our overall results, linking assessment submissions with exam success.
Whilst pass rates exceed those of the ICAEW, at Advanced Level, we are now also seeing a clear uplift for those studying under an apprenticeship programme as the programme builds to a conclusion. This a really interesting piece of data, that underlines the value in a programme that requires continued focus on knowledge, skills and behaviours rather than the qualification alone. This is achieved through increased line manager engagement, dedicated support of the FI Skills and Development Coach and the formal review process whilst on the apprenticeship.
Our next Employer Forum session
This was a really insightful session and was well received by our attendees. We’ll be running more employer forum events this year that aim to cover hot topics and insights relevant to you and your trainees.
Our next session will be taking place on 16th June 14.00-15.00 focussing on School leaver engagement and programmes. We will have insights from the ACCA on Gen Z as well as Felix Mitchell from Instant Impact, providing insight on attracting Gen Z to your business and finally insights from Martin Taylor, FI Ltd Chairman on the value of school leaver programmes.
If you would like to attend, please get in touch with our Client Support team on ClientSupport@firstintuition.co.uk, to register your interest.
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