The Open University (OU) and ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) have joined forces to provide web-based learning opportunities for ACCA members.
The first module in the series is Influencing Strategic Thinking, for finance professionals. It has been designed to enable finance professionals to contribute more effectively to strategic decisions in the organisations they work for or with.
The course explains why a strategic approach is necessary for organisations and will enable participants to play a more significant role in strategic thinking within their organisation. The course is designed so that participants can work at their own pace with a variety of activities that examine strategic thinking, strategic analysis, strategic options and strategic decision making.
Speaking about the development, Charles Edwards, Director of the Centre for Continuing Professional Development at the OU, said: “Accountants and other finance professionals play a vital role in all organisations, but the days when they did the sums for others’ decisions are long past. With their knowledge and expertise, they need to be central to debating and making the big strategic decisions. This course is the first in a partnership with ACCA which will develop the professional skills of finance professionals over and above their accounting role. Completing this short 30-hour course provides members, their employers and ACCA with evidence of the quality, relevance and application of their CPD activity. What’s more, they can start, study and finish this course when it suits them, not the training provider.”
Clare Minchington, Managing Director – Education, Learning and Development at ACCA, said: “It is central to our role to know and respond to the constantly changing skill needs of our members. This online course from the OU offers our members an alternative way of meeting some of their Continuing Professional Development needs. They can take it anywhere in the world and work when it fits with their lives. Above all, application to practice is built into course design and completion.”
Expert support and feedback online are available from the course learning advisors, such as Open University lecturer Kathy Knowles, who says: “These courses are designed for CPD rather than as part of a formal academic qualification, although completers do receive an OU Certificate of Completion . This means we can focus on development rather than assessment. So when the learner sends in their Personal Development Progress Report, our role is to give them individual development feedback, not a numerical mark.”
Additionally, if following the unit route, successful completion of this course will count towards members’ full CPD requirement for the year. The module also gives members the opportunity to learn with the UK’s largest university.