Tuesday, 19 June 2012
The return of the blogger
It has been a very busy few months and blogging has been far from my thoughts. Today was to be a quiet day for reflection when I got notice of the furore on OpenTuition.com about the latest ACCA P4 paper. For those who do not know I was the first examiner on the P4 syllabus. Unlike the more deliberative and consensual approach that I was used to, working with the exam team along at the ICAEW in the past the ACCA was quite different. I took the job because the syllabus looked interesting and innovative and I had a book coming out with the launch of the new paper which appeared to be a good fit. One contract for three years was sufficient - the pay was poor for what was required and to be blunt, the ACCA were very unclear about what they wanted. There was a lot of speculation at the time: was he pushed or did he jump? Neither really, both sides were very happy with my decision not to carry on and I did not feel that I wanted to be involved in another role. But what about the students? Well going by the complaints and comments on OpenTuition there is something worse than Bob Ryan. But, the problem is not the new examiner but the system that sets a paper at a level which the students are not remotely capable of doing within the 4 - 6 months many leave themselves after the F9 paper. It's also a tall order when the rest of the professional level syllabus neither sets the same standard nor provides the intellectual background which a masters student would experience. My advice to any potential ACCA P4 student who has crossed my path is don't take P4. Do the other options and reconcile yourself to the fact that if you want true masters level education in finance you will need to register for one of the more specialist qualifications or sign on for a masters degree at the best university you can afford.