Members in practice have been trained to international high standards and best practice and the expectation is that they will maintain those standards in providing services to the public. Global quality assurance (GQA) is designed to underpin the work of ACCA’s practitioners by reassuring the public and other regulators that the highest standards and best practice are being encouraged and, where appropriate, enforced.
ACCA practising members outside UK and Ireland are also supervised by the national regulator of the countries in which they provide public practice services. ACCA’s approach to its GQA programme is, therefore, to collaborate with the national regulators so that if they have a programme of regulation and monitoring in place, ACCA will not duplicate the work undertaken by them but only carry out work not covered in the national regulator’s programme.
Furthermore, ACCA also recognises that different countries can have different business practices and markets and therefore applies a flexible approach to monitoring members’ compliance with certain of its rules and regulations.
ACCA can collaborate either by providing assistance to national regulators to set up regulation and monitoring systems and, in exchange, for the national regulator to provide regulatory information on ACCA members or by offering to provide monitoring services to them.
For instance, in Tanzania ACCA trained the reviewers of the national regulator on how to undertake monitoring visits and, in exchange, the national regulator provides regulatory information on ACCA members it monitors. In Cyprus, ACCA carries out monitoring on behalf of the national regulator and is therefore able to obtain regulatory information on its practising members in that country.
ACCA will only directly monitor its members in countries where there is no regulation or there is no intention to set up a system of regulation or monitoring. This aspect of the programme has not yet started but ACCA will adapt its tried and tested monitoring methodology which it uses in the UK and Ireland, for this purpose.