FAQs on the Ethics and Professional Skills module

EPSM service update - 25 May 2023

Our ethics and professionalism modules (FIP/EPSM/RPEM) continue to remain temporarily out of service.  Work to move these modules onto a new hosting platform is progressing well, which will allow us to offer these modules again in the near future. 

We appreciate your continued patience whilst we carry out this work and once again wish to apologise for any disruption this may have had on your ACCA journey.

We’ll provide you with a further service update before the end of June. Should you need any further information in the meantime you can view our FAQs which support both student and affiliate queries.

Access FAQs on FIP/EPSM/RPEM service issues

Why do we have the Ethics and Professional Skills module (EPSM)?

Finance professionals need to demonstrate that they understand and can apply ethical and professional behaviour in real-world work situations.  The EPSM helps you develop these practical real-world skills so you can make an impact from day one in organisations. 

What’s the structure of EPSM?

The module has 10 units, with 7 learning units and 3 assessment and support units.   For more information on the syllabus and structure read our EPSM syllabus guide.

Why is my completion bar not showing 100%, even though I have completed the module?

Just like our exams, we regularly update the module so it contains all the latest ethical, professional and digital skills needed by finance professionals today.  This means there may have been new units added to the module since you completed it and received your completion certificate. 

Should this be the case your completion bar may fall below 100%, but this does not impact impact your completion status and it is not compulsory for you to complete any new content added to the module.  However, you will be able access this new content should you wish to keep your skills up-to-date.

How long does EPSM take to complete?

The module takes approximately 15 hours to complete and you are able to access any of the module content again once completed if you wish to refresh your knowledge.



When should I complete EPSM?

The module will also support you to exam success at Strategic Professional.  We therefore recommend you complete the module towards the end of completing your Applied Skills exams and before attempting any Strategic Professional exams.

What is peer assessment?

The principal of peer assessment is that students review and objectively assess the work of other students and also have their own work reviewed and assessed using consistent criteria and associated grade descriptors.

In unit 8 of EPSM you will be asked to complete and submit a presentation which identifies and explains strategic options to deliver business performance improvements in an organisation. Your presentation will be reviewed and rated by five other students and you will be required to review and assess five presentations prepared by others.

Why is peer assessment included in EPSM?

Peer assessment improves the knowledge and skills of learners since they benefit from seeing others’ work and also get feedback on their own work. Peer assessment also motivates learners to improve the effort they make with an assessment because they know it will be reviewed and assessed by their peers. A final benefit is the fairness of the assessment in that the learner is not wholly reliant on the opinion and judgement of one assessor and can be more assured that their result will be safeguarded against inconsistent marking.

How does peer assessment work?

You will be asked to prepare and upload your presentation to the Peer Assessment Point in Unit 8, section 8. The system will then randomly allocate you five presentations that have been completed by other students. You will need to rate each submission against three assessment criteria by selecting one of five grade descriptors. Once this has been completed and your submission has been reviewed by five peers, the system will provide you with a dashboard which notifies you of your assessment result (pass or fail). You will also receive feedback on your presentation. After the peer assessment has been successfully completed you will be able to continue with the EPSM module.

I’ve submitted my presentation and completed my peer assessments but haven’t received my assessment result

In order to complete peer assessment three things need to happen:

1.       You submit your presentation

2.       You peer review and rate the presentations of five peers

3.       Five peers review and rate your presentation

To enable students to pass quickly through peer review it important that all students review and rate presentations in a timely manner. The process should not take longer than three days and will often be completed in a much shorter time period. If you have not received your result within three days of submitting your presentation and completing your review of five presentations, you should contact the Connect help desk who will individually investigate your submission.

What happens if I was not successful at my attempt at the peer assessment exercise?

If you have not been successful you will be provided with feedback and invited to resubmit your presentation. The same peer review process is then repeated with another virtual peer assessment group. The benefit of the feedback received is that you can identify where you underperformed and can work on weaker areas before resubmitting your work.

How does EPSM support me in passing Strategic Professional exams?

The module helps you to develop the professional skills you need to demonstrate in your Strategic Professional exams.  It helps focus your thinking on real world work scenarios, developing your understanding and skills on how to approach the challenges presented. This is very similar to the approach you’ll be required to take at Strategic Professional exams.

What are professional skills and why are these important?

Professional skills are specific skills that you generally acquire through work-place experience – for example team-working, communication, negotiation ability.

As a result of the changing business landscape globally, employers are looking for finance professionals to add value immediately. So to have technical knowledge, skills and abilities - combined with professional skills and qualities - will be much more in demand by employers.

Is there an exam I need to complete as part of EPSM?

There are a series of tests throughout the module and the final unit of the module is an assessment which you will need to pass.  If you don’t pass first time, then you will get feedback and you can try again until you are successful - without having to pay any additional fees. 

How much does EPSM cost?

There is a one off cost for the module, with no resit fees.  Once a student has paid for the module they will be able to do the assessment multiple times and have unlimited access to the module content.

To find out the cost of the module please visit our pricing page.

If I have completed the old Professional Ethics Module do I still need to complete the Ethics and Professional Skills module?

No, however EPSM will support your learning for Strategic Professional exams so we would still recommend that you take the EPSM if you have any of these exams yet to complete.

What do you get on completion?

  • You will receive a Certificate of achievement. And you will also be given a personalised dashboard of your performancein the end of unit assessment and a transcript showing the skills you will have demonstrated throughout the module
  • You’ll have completed one of the three key requirements towards ACCA membership (the others being exams and experience)
  • As you work through the module, you’ll be asked to complete different tasks which you would expect to see in a real-world work scenario. You’ll be able to save these outputs in your ‘My portfolio’ section of the module.  You can then use these to present to your employer - or in an interview situation - to demonstrate how you would approach and resolve these real-world scenarios. You could also share them with your PER mentor to demonstrate achievement towards your performance objectives.