European institutes excel at
professional development

The majority of professional accountancy bodies in the EU
maintain a system of continuing professional development (CPD),
according to a study by the European Federation of Accountants
(Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens – FEE).

The practices of 39 accountancy bodies in 30 European countries
were surveyed for the study.

The findings reveal that all the professional bodies surveyed
invest significantly in lifelong learning. Thirty-seven maintain a
CPD education system and two are in the process of establishing one
with a view to making it mandatory.

FEE president Jacques Potdevin said: “At a time when business,
technology and regulation change so swiftly, continuous
professional education is a priority for every professional
accountant who aims at delivering high quality to clients,
employers and the broader stakeholders community. It is first and
foremost an individual discipline that is legitimately expected
from anyone holding a professional title that stands as a reference
for expertise and independence.”

FEE said a large majority of the bodies already comply with the new
EU Directive on Statutory Audit, to be implemented by member states
before June 2008, and with the International Standards on Education
No 7, issued by the International Federation of Accountants.

However, the study acknowledges that there is room for improvement
in the monitoring of compliance with CPD requirements. FEE
recommends developing appropriate and practical methods to
demonstrate how relevant competence is enhanced and

FEE chief executive Olivier Boutellis-Taft said lifelong learning
is an area where the accountancy profession leads by example. “The
benefits resulting from the profession’s investment in this field
are widely spread across society; it is a tangible contribution to
Europe’s ambition to become the most competitive knowledge
economy,” he said.