ACCA delivers exams despite Covid-19 restrictions and turbulence

Despite Covid-19, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has successfully run exams in locations and regions where it was safe to do so and accelerated the introduction of remote invigilation as a contingency measure to cover the places where centre-based exams could not be held.

ACCA duly issued exam results on the 1 August to those students who were able to sit exams in July 2020, recognising 1,170 students as new affiliates.

Due to the global pandemic, ACCA undertook a global logistical exercise to cancel sittings in some locations where it was not safe to hold centre-based exams, reorganise June sittings to take place in July, and accelerate existing plans for remote invigilation.

Alan Hatfield, executive director - strategy and development, explains: ‘For our centre-based exam sittings, Covid-19 presented us with hard but necessary choices to protect the health and safety of our future members and staff.

‘Each quarter, we normally publish our global exam results. But due to Covid-19 we have decided not to do so as the figures do not present a truly global picture with around one-quarter of the normal volume of students taking exams with a non-normal distribution of countries. But of course, the students who could sit exams have received their results on time, on the 1 August allowing them time to consider their choices for the forthcoming September exam session’.

Speaking of the success of remote invigilation, Alan Hatfield adds: ‘We recognise the disruption and frustration the pandemic and resulting exam cancellations caused for our students and their plans to progress. We introduced remote invigilation in a targeted way in June for our on- demand exams, and in July some students were able to take the opportunity to sit for the Applied Skills exams and two of the Strategic Professional exams.  

‘Remote invigilation has worked as a trusted contingency measure. So far, in excess of 2,000 students have taken on-demand exams, with the number growing daily and 1,648 students have sat exams remotely in the July session. In all, students from 73 countries have been able to make use of this method of delivery.’  

To help impacted students, ACCA has kept its future members up to date on developments,  through its Covid-19 Hub. ACCA has also offered a wide range of support and guidance including:

  • tailored and effective support towards July exam dates
  • live and on-demand webinars focusing on key topics such as the Ethics and Professional Skills Module
  • additional study and planning resources such as an interactive study planner and diagnostic tests for Applied Skills & Strategic Professional levels
  • updates to the Student Learning Community, creating a simple and responsive community platform to ensure students are connected.

Alan Hatfield concludes: ‘We thank our future members, learning providers and employers for their immense patience and understanding during this turbulent time. In many parts of the world, we’re planning for our centre-based September exams to go ahead and we’re working closely with local government bodies to follow guidelines and advice to enable this.  We have recently updated students about plans for remote invigilation in a number of countries which at this time are impacted by the pandemic – and our ongoing commitment is to keep our future members informed of developments.’

Background

ACCA has an online information and advice hub for students and members, with a section on wellbeing to help people manage the impact of the global pandemic.

As the pandemic spread, ACCA announced June exam sitting cancellations in the UK, Western Europe and Americas. This was followed by further cancellations in numerous locations across Africa. ACCA was able to run exams in other locations where it was safe to do so, under social distancing rules.

Currently, remote invigilation is available for September exams in the following locations in which it is still anticipated that exams in centres will not be possible in September:

Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kuwait, Pakistan, South Africa, USA, Uganda.

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About ACCA: ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 future members based in 176 countries and regions that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.

We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.

Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.

Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us for tomorrow. Find out more about us at accaglobal.com

"We recognise the disruption and frustration the pandemic and resulting exam cancellations caused for our students and their plans to progress. We introduced remote invigilation in a targeted way in June for our on- demand exams, and in July some students were able to take the opportunity to sit for the Applied Skills exams and two of the Strategic Professional exams."

Alan Hatfield, executive director - strategy and development - ACCA