FAQ on Enhanced QP

 

Q1.Are there any changes to the structure of the programme under the enhanced QP?
Q2.What are the key changes under the enhanced QP?
Q3.I note that the syllabuses of the four core modules have been modified. What are the significant changes?
Q4.Do I need to take the four modules in any specific order? Can I take all four modules at one session?
Q5.What are the completion requirements of each module?
Q6.What is the purpose of the module workshops?
Q7.Tell me more about the workshops under the enhanced QP. What is the focus of the workshops?
Q8.As workshops will no longer contribute marks to module assessment under the enhanced QP, is it necessary for me to attend workshops?
Q9.Can I apply special consideration for absence from workshops under the enhanced QP if I am unable to attend my original workshop due to a valid reason such as illness or urgent business trip? 
Q10.Is the aggregate mark policy still valid under the enhanced QP?
Q11.I have passed Modules B and C. Do I need to retake them again under the enhanced QP due to the revised module competency requirements?
Q12.Is there any change to the time limit of completing the QP module examinations and final examination?
Q13.I am a QP student and I understand that I have 10 years from the date of registration to complete the QP.  However, until now I have not passed all the QP modules.  Can I ask for an extension of the time limit?
Q14.Are there any changes to the entry policy under the enhanced QP?
Q15.Can I enter the QP if I am a sub-degree holder?
Q16.Tell me more about the PBE?
Q17.What are the changes to the practical experience framework under the enhanced QP?

 


 

Q1.Are there any changes to the structure of the programme under the enhanced QP?
Ans.No. The QP continues to comprise four core modules and a final examination. The four core modules are:
Module AFinancial reporting
Module BCorporate financing (renamed)
Module CBusiness assurance (renamed)
Module DTaxation
There are still workshops and examination for each module . To better tailor to the needs of candidates, all four core modules will be offered concurrently in two sessions, with examinations held in June and December of each year.

 
Q2.What are the key changes under the enhanced QP?
Ans.Essentially, no major structural change is proposed as the current QP has gained wide acceptance locally and internationally. However, there are various areas where enhancements are desirable. These enhancements to the QP are summarized as follows:

An updated set of plain English competency requirements for pre-entry education, professional accountancy education and practical experience, that improve the consistency and linkage of the three areas, is adopted.
Renaming Module B from “Financial Management” to “Corporate Financing”, to better reflect additional learning outcomes and materials to increase the coverage of corporate finance content.
Renaming Module C from “Auditing and Information Management” to “Business Assurance” to better reflect additional learning outcomes and materials covering areas of corporate governance, internal controls and risk management.
The workshop component of the QP will comprise formative activities that develop the prescribed competencies, with no marks contribution. However, successful completion of module workshops shall be a prerequisite for taking the module examination.
The offering schedule of the QP is modified to provide more opportunities for students to study the modules. Two sessions of module examinations will be offered each year with all four modules available at each session.
 
Q3.I note that the syllabuses of the four core modules have been modified. What are the significant changes?
Ans.

The syllabuses covered in the four core modules have been re-written in more user-friendly plain English. In addition, the modules, in particular Modules B and C, contain some changes to reflect CPAs supporting Hong Kong as a major financial centre in the world, centre for business and gateway to mainland China.

For Module A (Financial reporting), there will be an updated version to reflect the need for candidates to have a detailed understanding of the principles and practices in legal and financial reporting framework, financial reporting standards and examining their knowledge of the ethical issues and current developments in financial reporting.

For Module B, there will be a reduced version of the existing management accounting with the addition of elements of corporate finance, reflecting the need for candidates to have good knowledge of financial management, treasury function, financial instruments, business valuations and corporate restructuring. To reflect the change in emphasis of the module, Module B will be renamed from “Financial management” to “Corporate financing”.

For Module C, there will be a revised version to reflect the need for candidates to have a detailed understanding of the principles of assurance such as corporate governance, internal controls and risk management. To reflect the actual coverage of topics, Module C will be renamed from “Auditing and information management” to “Business assurance”.

For Module D (Taxation), there will be an updated version to reflect the need for candidates to have a detailed understanding of the principles and practices in legal and tax framework, tax computation and tax planning, and an awareness of China tax system.

 
Q4.Do I need to take the four modules in any specific order? Can I take all four modules at one session?
Ans.No.  Candidates can select and take the four modules in any order.  However, a maximum of two modules can be taken in each session.
 
Q5.What are the completion requirements of each module?
Ans.Completion of each module requires about 120 hours of self-study using study materials provided by the Institute, satisfactory attendance at and participation in two prescribed full-day workshops and passing of a three-hour open-book module examination.
 
Q6.What is the purpose of the module workshops?
Ans.The workshops aim to develop candidates’ skills to research, solve and analyse problems; apply their technical knowledge in practical scenarios; learn from the experiences of their peers and workshop facilitators; gain a better understanding and further insight of the learning materials through discussion in workshops; and develop cognitive skills, behaviour skills, language and communication skills.
 
Q7.Tell me more about the workshops under the enhanced QP. What is the focus of the workshops?
Ans.

Each core module will have two full-day workshops over a span of 14 weeks before the module examination. A full-day format of the workshops will allow better utilization of the contact time to run more integrated group activities. The aggregate contact hours for the two workshops will be slightly increased to 14. More focus will be given to develop generic skills by involving candidates in group activities such as ethical dilemma solving, negotiation skill, enhancing presentation capability, case study problem solving and analytical skill.

Each workshop will continue to be led by two facilitators running a class size of no more than 25 candidates. Each workshop will last for 8 hours with a one-hour break. Workshops will generally be conducted during weekends.

Workshops will no longer contribute marks as part of the overall module assessment. The focus of the workshops will be directed from assessment to more formative development of skills. This should help to groom the candidates, by moving away from an assessment to enhancing the class dynamics for the intended learning experience.

 
Q8.As workshops will no longer contribute marks to module assessment under the enhanced QP, is it necessary for me to attend workshops?
Ans.Yes. Candidates are required to demonstrate their successful accomplishment of the workshop objectives, via active participation, as a prerequisite to sit the relevant module examination. Candidates will receive a notification of their workshop results by email or they can view them on-line. Those candidates who fail the workshop component are not eligible to take the module examination.
 
Q9.Can I apply special consideration for absence from workshops under the enhanced QP if I am unable to attend my original workshop due to a valid reason such as illness or urgent business trip?
Ans.

For candidates who are absent from a full-day workshop without a valid reason, they will be graded as “absent”.  The candidates will be required to retake the whole module (workshops + examination) again in the next session, similar to existing practice. 

 

For candidates who are prevented from attending a full-day workshop with a valid reason, they may appeal for special consideration to the Director of Education & Training within two days from the date of absence.  Provided that the absence from the workshop is justified with valid reason and proof, such as medical certificate or employer’s letter, as in the current practice, the candidates will be allowed to attend any remaining workshop and to sit the relevant module examination.  However, the candidates will be required to re-take the workshop component in the next session and must obtain a “satisfactory score” before being graded a “pass” in a module.

Q10.Is the aggregate mark policy still valid under the enhanced QP?
Ans.No. There will be no aggregated mark since the workshop assessment will comprise a simple “pass” or “fail” under the enhanced QP.
 
Q11.I have passed Modules B and C. Do I need to retake them again under the enhanced QP due to the revised module competency requirements?
Ans.No. The passes candidates have obtained for module(s) under the current QP will be deemed to be a pass for the corresponding module(s) under the enhanced QP. In other words, they need only to attempt the remaining modules and final examination under the enhanced QP. Candidates who have passed all four modules and final examination under the old framework will be awarded full credit with a QP graduate certificate. The same applies to those who complete some modules under the current scheme and the remaining modules and final examination under the enhanced QP.
 
Q12.Is there any change to the time limit of completing the QP module examinations and final examination?
Ans

The policy on completion requirements, that candidates need to pass an individual module within four attempts or within five years and a pass in the final examination within four attempts or within three years, has been removed.

However, the overall time limit to complete QP remains the same. That is, the four modules and final examination must be completed within 10 years from the date of registration as a student with the Institute.

 
Q13.I am a QP student and I understand that I have 10 years from the date of registration to complete the QP.  However, until now I have not passed all the QP modules.  Can I ask for an extension of the time limit?
Ans.

In accordance with the By-law 39(1)(b) of the Professional Accountants Ordinance, the Registrar shall remove from the register the name of any registered student who has not passed the final section of the examinations of the Institute within 10 years from the date of his registration as a registered student.  However, under the By-law 39(2), Council may extend the period of time specified in any particular case.

 

The Institute's Qualification and Examinations Board stipulates that the 10-year rule must be administered rigorously and only students with exceptional circumstances could be granted extension under the By-law 39(2).  That is, for those who have expired the 10-year time limit, the passes obtained in the QP modules previously taken will lapse and the students will be required to start afresh. Only those students with special consideration granted under exceptional circumstances, under the By-law 39(2), Council may extend the period of time specified in any particular case. This granting of extension shall be one-off, and there will be no more extension irrespective of any circumstances.

Q14.Are there any changes to the entry policy under the enhanced QP?
AnsNo. The current graduate entry policy has gained wide acceptance and will stay. That is, those holders of an accredited or recognized accountancy degree, and recognized non-accountancy degree holders with successful completion of a conversion programme, are eligible to study the QP. The competency requirements for accountancy degrees and conversion programmes have been enhanced. The competency set consists of two parts: technical competencies and generic qualities. It defines the knowledge, values and skills that candidates should possess at the point of admission into the QP.
 
Q15.Can I enter the QP if I am a sub-degree holder?
AnsYes, you can join the QP upon successful completion of the professional bridging examination (PBE). The Hong Kong AAT qualification will continue to be used as a benchmark for admission to the PBE. Apart from HKIAAT members, graduates of AAT examination who have not attained HKIAAT membership may also attempt the PBE.
 
Q16.Tell me more about the PBE?
AnsThe competency requirements for the PBE will be assessed in the form of four three-hour close-book examinations. These are:

Paper IPBE Financial accounting
Paper IIPBE Management accounting and finance
Paper IIIPBE Auditing and information systems
Paper IVPBE Business law and taxation

The syllabuses have been enhanced as part of the New Qualification Framework for the Hong Kong AATs in 2007/08 and further refined, under the enhanced QP, for consistency with the graduate competency standards for QP admission.

 
Q17.What are the changes to the practical experience framework under the enhanced QP?
AnsA QP registered student will still be required to obtain the appropriate type and level of practical experience under an Authorized Employer or Authorized Supervisor accredited by the Institute. The period of required practical experience remains unchanged; however, both technical and broader generic competencies have been more precisely defined in plain English.