K.R. Srivats | New Delhi, June 6 | Updated on: Jun 06, 2022

New scheme to reduce practical training to 2 years from 3 years earlier

The CA Institute proposes to overhaul its education and training scheme, seeking to introduce a new scheme so as to mint “global-ready” professionals with enhanced professional competence to cope with the demands of modern day industry and commerce.

On the anvil is a new scheme — which has received the ‘in-principle’ approval of the Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) and has been exposed for public comments — that, among other things, seeks to reduce the pre-qualification articleship training period to 2 years from 3 years.

A notable proposed change in the new scheme is that the practical training period will be an examination-free period of 2 years, wherein a student can focus on practical training, sources in CA Institute said. 

Further, after qualification, if somebody wishes to apply for a Certificate for Practice, then he has to undergo a year of work-experience under a fellow practising Chartered Accountant, they added.

Practical and Industrial training

“Under the proposed scheme, the practical training would start only after passing both groups of intermediate examinations, and the student will be eligible to appear for the final examination six months after completion of practical training,” sources said. 

As for industrial training, a student may opt for industrial training (nationally or internationally) for a period of 9 to 12 months in the last leg of practical training of two years, they added.

Presently, a student can start practical training after passing either group of intermediate examinations, and the student is eligible to appear for the final examination during the last 6 months of practical training. Due to this, a student was appearing for an examination along with practical training, which resulted in interruptions or breaks in the training.

“The proposed scheme reduces the training period to 2 years from the earlier 3 years. But it is important to also understand the other changes related to the practical training period, which effectively take care of changes in the period, “sources added.

The CA Institute would wait for public comments on the draft new scheme, after which the Council of ICAI would consider the same, and the finalised scheme will be sent to the MCA for its final approval.

The proposed changes in the curriculum and training system will also take into account the increasing expectations from corporates and stakeholders for transparency and governance.

The new scheme has been formulated taking into account the best practices of international accountancy bodies, the significant aspects of the National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP, 2020) and the requirements under International Education Standards (IESs) of IFAC, sources added. The previous occasion when the CA education and training scheme was modified was in the year 2017. 

Under the new scheme, there will be technology-enabled learning through self-paced online modules, that provide necessary industry orientation. There will also be a mandatory paper on multi-disciplinary case study (with strategic management) at the final level to assess the integrated application of professional knowledge in different subject areas combined with the skills acquired during practical training.

Open book assesment

It is also proposed to follow an open book/restricted open book pattern of assessment at the final level to assess the higher-order skills of aspiring chartered accountants, sources said.

In the proposed scheme of education and training, the present three-tier structure, namely, foundation, intermediate and final level, would continue. In addition, there will be four self-paced online modules which a student has to complete and pass separately to be eligible to appear in the final examination.

Thus, in place of 4+8+8 papers at the three levels in the existing scheme, there will be 4+6+6+4 papers in the proposed scheme, i.e., 4, 6, and 6 papers each at the Foundation, Intermediate, and Final levels, respectively, and in addition thereto, 4 self-paced online modules. In effect, the total number of papers, i.e., 20, for which a candidate has to qualify would remain the same.

Published on June 06, 2022