What makes a good Professional Programme?
A good professional programme must have outstanding Academics with technical knowledge, industry experience and an understanding of real-world business issues. Some of our Academics are sitting on the board of directors of listed companies and are intricately involved in the decision-making that SAICA will be testing.
The programme should allow for the revisiting of technical knowledge to ensure a well-rounded understanding of all disciplines combined with a focus on developing professional skills.
A good professional programme must have a sound case study methodology that will provide you with a framework with which to approach the reading, preparation for and writing of the case study exam.
What is the structure of our Professional Programme?
Our Professional Programme is delivered in blended format comprising online learning and face-to-face contact sessions. The programme includes the following components:
- Contact lecture sessions;
- Video topics and transcripts;
- Downloadable PDF study material;
- Online discussion forums;
- Case studies;
- and Assessments under exam conditions.
These components are supported by a comprehensive repository of technical content and a Resource Bank of industry-specific analyses.
When does registration close?
Registration closes on 18 March 2021, and the programme commences on 19 March 2021.
What is expected of Candidates participating in this Programme?
Be ready to work hard. This is not the kind of programme where it is enough to turn up and sign the register. You will be submitting regular assignments right from the beginning, and you need to be committed to keeping yourself on track.
We try to keep our workload balanced and reasonable throughout the programme, but we will expect a lot from you. Hopefully you expect a lot from yourself too.
What language is the Programme presented in?
The programme is presented in English. You may answer assessments in either English or Afrikaans.
What are the objectives of the programme?
To grow your ability to apply the strategic and managerial aspects of the broader accountancy discipline;To develop your professional competence;To challenge you to apply the pervasive skills;To teach you how to integrate and apply technical knowledge and professional skills; and To prepare you for the specific format of the APC.What is the duration of the programme?
Our programme starts on 24 March 2021 and finishes in November 2021. This early start allows us enough time to revisit technical content as well as a period during which to hone your business communication skills.
What is the APC Professional Programme schedule?
Our programme uses a phased approach, please click here to see the layout and dates.
The programme culminates in a final written exam on 1 September 2021. Should you need to write a supplementary exam, this will be at the discretion of the Academic team and will be written on 16 October 2021. The APC is provisionally scheduled for 1 December 2021.
What is covered during the Programme?
The APC is a single integrated assessment that will be written by all trainees, irrespective of their training specialisation. The assessment will integrate all six of the subjects contained within the SAICA Competency Framework: Strategy, Risk Management & Governance; Financial Reporting; Financial Management; Audit; Management Decision Making & Control; and Tax. These subjects are the focus of the ITC and of your undergraduate and CTA/PGDA studies (although they may have been named and grouped differently at your university).
The focus of the APC is on the demonstration of professional competence and pervasive skills rather than the recall of technical knowledge. The APC is a case study assessment, and looks very different to the ITC. This format will require candidates to apply the technical knowledge already mastered in addressing real-life business problems – researching issues, completing tasks, evaluating alternatives and recommending appropriate actions in various contexts.
What are the contact sessions about?
Our goal is to give you the highest possible return on your investment of time at each contact session. The sessions are positioned at key moments in the programme to allow us to lay the foundations for what is to come, to introduce and develop key ideas, and to inspire you to continue to pursue your full potential through the programme.
Contact sessions are hosted at central venues in major cities across the country as well as via live MS Team events. Please enquire as to which venue is closest to you. Alternatively, you can watch the recorded sessions online.
Can I attend another venue’s contact session if I am out of town?
Yes, you can attend contact sessions at any venue, or you can watch the recorded sessions online.
How much study leave will I need?
This is for your Firm to decide, but we recommend the following:
- For the June case study exam written on 19 June 2021, the pre-release period (during which students have the case scenario but no required section) will be 5 days. We do suggest that employers consider granting leave for this time.
- For the final assessment exam to be written 1 September 2021, participants should be granted leave from the pre-release period commencing Friday 27 August 2021, in line with the SAICA APC assessment format. Dates are subject to change.
- We grant a slightly longer pre-release period for the supplementary exam on 16 October, in case those required to write have used up their leave allocation. Ideally you should aim to dedicate the equivalent of five full days to your preparation for the case study.
- For the SAICA APC on 1 December 2021, we suggest that leave be granted from the commencement of the pre-release period.
It is important to note that the format of our APC Professional Programme is no less demanding than any other. It may offer a greater degree of flexibility, but it is no less demanding on participants’ time than any other programme.
Will I have access to academic support right up to the SAICA APC?
No, unfortunately SAICA does not allow us to provide academic support once the pre-release period has commenced. You will however, still have access to all videos, material, notes and the resource bank on the online learning platform. You can also make use of the forums to prepare in your groups or discuss and debate the pre-release information amongst your peers to benefit from the varied experience of other students.
What if I have an academic query?
You will receive academic support from a team of UCT experts. All academic queries will be addressed via the online discussion forum, which means you will always be able to address your query to the best person for the job, and you will receive a speedy response. It also means that you will be able to view and benefit from the academic queries of your peers and participate in debate or discussions.