Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia have now announced new contingencies for their respective study programs, adopting online delivery methods over traditional face-to-face interactions.
These changes are part of the professional accounting bodies’ ongoing efforts to monitor and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 which includes the postponement of all member events.
The delivery of the current CA Program module has been moved online, with CA ANZ now delivering workshops for Capstone and CA Study Masterclass via webinar.
Likewise, exams for the current modules — TAX, AAA and Capstone — will be delivered online via Blackboard, with candidates to be given an extra two weeks to prepare.
“In terms of exams, CA ANZ will offer the option of online exams using technology called remote proctoring,” CA ANZ group executive, education and learning, Simon Hann said.
“These alternative exam arrangements are secure and will ensure candidates have the choice to progress their qualifications this term, preserving academic integrity and keeping everyone safe.”
Mr Hann also said candidates who do not want to take up the online option may defer their exam to the next offering scheduled for term three or withdraw their module enrolment.
CA ANZ has said candidates will face “no financial or academic disadvantage” for deferral or withdrawal.
“We understand that many candidates are dealing with a multitude of challenges within work, study, but also at home,” Mr Hann said.
“We have to respond to this period of disruption with care and consideration.”
In the wake of exam centre closures, CPA Australia has also confirmed that exams will now be delivered online for the first semester this year.
CPA Australia chief executive Andrew Hunter said CPA has been in contact with the 22,000 associates (ASAs) enrolled in the first semester.
“Our examination centres around the world are unable to conduct face-to-face exams. We’ll give our ASAs the option of either sitting their exam online, or alternatively, they’re able to defer at no cost to semester two,” Mr Hunter said.
CPA Australia has also waived the deferral fee and has extended the deferral deadline to 6 May.
While the exact method of online exam delivery has not yet been confirmed, CPA Australia has said online exams will take place between 8 May and 17 May.
It said exams can be conducted at a location of the examinee’s choosing, provided they had an internet connection and a device that meets “a minimum specification”, which will be specified “in due course”.
Foundation exams remain suspended until the end of May.
Both CA ANZ and CPA Australia have said that more information will be released in the coming weeks.