What are the key features of the Associate Level?
The Associate Level has 10 modules. It aims to provide students with a foundation of core technical knowledge and application skills for routine professional problems in the areas of accountancy, finance, management accounting, law and auditing to enable their progression to the Professional Level.
Why are there 10 more modules under the new QP?
While the current QP is open to degree holders, the entry requirement to the new QP is an academic qualification of higher diploma/ associate degree in any discipline pitched at the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework ("QF") Level 4 for entry into the Associate Level (which comprises 10 modules). Individuals with a relevant academic qualification such as recognized accountancy degree could be eligible for exemption of the Associate Level for entry into the Professional Level (which comprises 4 modules), subject to the assessment outcome with a charge of exemption fees.
How frequent will the modules of the Associate Level be offered under the new QP?
The Associate Modules will be offered concurrently in two sessions, with examinations held in June and December of each year, starting from June 2019.
Do I need to take the 10 modules of the Associate Level in any specific order? Can I take all 10 modules at one examination session?
Students can select and take the 10 Associate Modules in any order but they can only take a maximum of 5 modules per examination session.
What will be the examination format of the 10 modules of the Associate Level?
The examinations of the 10 modules of the Associate Level will be three-hour, closed-book examinations (except for Module 10 "Business and Company Law" where open-book examination will be used). The examinations may comprise essay and multiple choice questions which are all compulsory.
I understand students will be awarded a "Certificate of Completion" on successful completion of the Associate Level by exemption or examination or both. Can you tell me more about the Certificate?
The Certificate of Completion indicates the level of competence attained by the students. The qualification attained at the exit of the Associate Level is pitched at the Hong Kong QF Level 5. The HKICPA plans to obtain official recognition of this exit qualification through accreditation as an assessment agency in awarding professional qualifications recognized under the QF.
Can I assume that I have obtained a qualification of Hong Kong QF Level 5 upon completion of the Associate Level of the new QP?
The qualification attained at the completion of the Associate Level of the new QP has been pitched against HKQF Level 5. However, this is not yet officially validated and recognized under the QF. The HKICPA plans to obtain official recognition of this exit qualification through accreditation as an assessment agency in awarding professional qualifications recognized under the QF.
Do I need to complete all of the 10 modules of the Associate Level before entering into the Professional Level?
Yes, students must complete the Associate Level before entering into the Professional Level except for those students with degree qualification who have been granted exemption for eight or more modules in the Associate Level upon initial student registration. Cross-level examination enrollment to the Professional Level is allowed in this case.
What is cross-level examination enrolment to the Professional Level? What are the "eight or more modules in the Associate Level" mentioned in the Position Paper referring to?
Cross-level examination enrolment refers to a situation where students with degree qualification who have been granted exemption for 8 or more modules in the Associate Level upon initial student registration are allowed to take Professional Modules together with the outstanding Associate Module(s).
What are the key features of the Professional Level?
The Professional Level has four modules. It aims to equip students with the technical knowledge and practical skills in core areas necessary for a professional accountant at entry level. This requires developing an understanding of relevant concepts, principles and techniques, the ability to apply them in realistic professional settings, and the exercise of judgment in evaluating complex issues and advising on the most appropriate treatment.
How frequent will the modules of the Professional Level be offered under the new QP?
The Professional Modules will be offered concurrently in two sessions, with examinations held in June and December of each year, starting from December 2019.
Do I need to take the four modules of the Professional Level in any specific order? Can I take all four modules at one examination session?
Students can select and take the four Professional Modules in any order. A maximum of two modules can be taken in the first attempt with no restriction on the number of module enrolments for resit.
What will be the examination format of the four modules of the Professional Level?
The examinations of the four modules of the Professional Level will be three-hour, open-book examinations. The examinations may comprise a case study and essay questions which are all compulsory.
What are the key features of the Capstone?
The Capstone aims to develop students' ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills from the technical modules and from practical experience. It will also further develop the enabling competences. The focus is on the ability to deal competently with professional type situations, involving the integration and application of knowledge and skills from any part of the syllabus, across all fields of technical and enabling competence. Emphasis is also added on students' ethical training.
The Capstone is integrated and comprises a three full-day face-to-face workshops supplemented with interactive online materials and a Final Examination.
Is the completion of the Capstone workshops a pre-requisite for sitting the Final Examination?
Full attendance of the Capstone workshops is a pre-requisite for sitting the Final Examination.
How frequent will the Final Examination of the Capstone be offered?
The Final Examination will be held twice a year in June and December, starting from June 2020.
What will be the examination format of the Final Examination of the Capstone?
The Final Examination will be a 4.5-hour (including 0.5 hour reading time) open-book examination. Students are expected to integrate technical knowledge and professional skills across all areas of accounting and related fields in the analysis and solution of complex professional problems.
How can students complete the Capstone Level?
Completion of the Capstone Level requires meeting the overall assessment of the three full-day workshops and the Final Examination. Students who fail to pass the overall assessment will be required to retake the Capstone.
Do I need to complete all of the modules of the Associate and Professional Levels before entering into the Capstone Level?
Yes, students must complete both Associate and Professional Levels before advancement to the Capstone Level.
Will there be limit on the number of attempts to complete the modules of the Associate and Professional Levels?
Yes, students must complete each module of the Associate and Professional Levels within four attempts. An attempt is recorded when a student physically attended or was absent for the examination.
Will failed attempts at AAT Examination, Professional Bridging Examination ("PBE") and current QP be counted towards the number of attempts for modules under the new QP?
No, failed attempts at AAT Examination, PBE and current QP will not be counted towards the number of attempts for modules under the new QP.
Will absence from the examination be counted as one attempt under the new QP?
Yes, absence from the examination will be counted as one attempt in the number of allowable attempts for Associate and Professional Modules.
What is the consequence of not completing a particular module at the Associate or Professional Level after four attempts?
Students who cannot complete a particular module after four attempts at the Associate or Professional Level are required to retake all the modules in the respective level again as any previous examination pass results at that level will be removed. Retake of passed workshops at the Professional Level is not required. However, the module exemption status and the cross-credit arrangement will remain status quo.
I have a degree qualification and have obtained exemption from Modules 1-9 in the Associate Level. What if I passed all Professional Modules but failed Module 10 for four attempts?
The four-attempt examination rule applies to a particular level; therefore examinations passed at the Professional Level will not be affected. In this case, students are only required to retake Module 10 while the module exemption status for Modules 1-9 will remain valid.
Will there be a limit on the number of attempts to complete the Capstone?
No, there will not be any restriction on the number of attempts to complete the Capstone.
Is there any time limit of completing the new QP? What is the consequence of not completing the new QP within the time limit?
Yes, students must complete the Capstone within 10 years from the date of first registration as a QP student. Those who fail to do so will be removed from the student register, and all previous examination pass results will be permanently removed. For the module exemptions previously granted, they can only be retained provided that the students register again as a QP student within two years from the date of removal.
What are the transitional arrangements in place for the current QP students partway through their studies?
Under the cross-credit arrangements, the pass that students have obtained for a module under the current QP will be deemed to be a pass for the corresponding module of the new QP. The following situation applies:
(a) QP students who have remaining module(s) of the current QP to complete will be required to take the corresponding
Professional Module(s) of the new QP. There is no need to attend the introductory workshop. However, they will need to
attend the workshop and pass the examination of the remaining module(s) in order to complete the Professional Level.
(b) QP students who have passed the technical workshops but not the examination of the remaining module(s) of the current QP
will not be required to attend the workshop of the corresponding Professional Module(s) of the new QP.
(c) QP students who have completed all the modules but not yet passed the Final Examination of the current QP will be required
to take the Capstone of the new QP.
QP graduates who have passed all four modules and the Final Examination of the current QP will be given full credit with a QP graduate status under the new QP.
Past registered students of the HKICPA who are no longer on the student register and have yet to complete the current QP will be entitled to the same cross-credit arrangements as currently registered QP students.
Will examinations and workshops be conducted in Mainland China or overseas?
QP is currently offered in Mainland China. The HKICPA has no plan at this stage to offer QP in places other than Hong Kong and Mainland China.
I am a student sitting the Practising Certificate ("PC") Examinations, are the syllabuses of Modules 13 and 14 applicable to the PC-Business Assurance and PC-Taxation examinations?
Yes, same as the current arrangement, the syllabuses and examinations for QP Module 13 (Business Assurance) and Modules 14 (Taxation) are equivalent to corresponding PC-Business Assurance and PC-Taxation.
Will certificate be awarded upon completion of the new QP?
Certificate of Completion will be awarded upon successful completion of the entire new QP, but not at individual levels except for the Associate Level.
New requirement on Continuing Professional Development ("CPD") has been introduced to long-time QP graduates for membership admission under the new framework. Can you tell me more about the rationale and the requirement?
There is a need to address the "knowledge gap" issue of students who have completed the QP but only apply for membership many years later. To uphold the quality of entrants to membership, it is essential for QP graduates to keep themselves up to date on professional knowledge and skills by the time they apply for membership. Long-time QP graduates who have completed the professional programme for more than three years will be required to complete CPD activities in line with the CPD requirements applicable to members of the HKICPA for annual renewal before such graduates can be admitted to membership.
To implement the new requirement, the HKICPA will need to amend the Professional Accountants Ordinance to include the additional membership admission criteria. Students registered before the effective date of this amendment to the Professional Accountants Ordinance will be grandfathered, i.e. the new CPD requirement will only apply to students registered after the effective date. The HKICPA will announce the effective date in due course.