A two-day workshop on November 28-29 convened participants from six “STAREP Program” countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) for the tenth Education Community of Practice (EDUCOP) workshop. The second day of the workshop was held jointly with members of the PULSAR EDUCOP (Public Sector). In addition, participants from the Kyrgyz Republic and Serbia participated as guests at the event as part of the KAREP and STAR-CFR projects respectively.

The theme of the workshop was “Implementing Competency-Based Accounting Education and Training: Strategies and Tools”. The opening remarks for the workshop were delivered by Mercy Miyang Tembon, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus since 2015 who highlighted the importance of developing an accounting profession with relevant technical skills, as well as professional values and ethics to support corporate financial reporting reforms and ensure their sustainability. The second day was opened by Ed Olowo-Okere, World Bank Governance Global Practice Director for Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and Europe and Central Asia Regions. Ed welcomed participants to the workshop, and also highlighted his own experience as a professor and advocate for developing the capacity of the accounting profession throughout his career.

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STAREP EduCoP Workshop

During the workshop, representatives of universities and Professional Accountancy Organizations (PAOs) involved with education received a copy and became familiar with the contents of the “Competency-Based Accounting Education, Training and Certification Implementation Guide” which was developed by the World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR) over a 2-year period and launched at the event. The Guide will provide invaluable assistance to PAOs and universities, as well as regulators and other stakeholders who are committed to improving the professional development of accountants and auditors in their jurisdiction.

Several high-level speakers were invited to the workshop, including Sylvia Barrett, the Executive Director of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) who spoke of the evolving competencies required by professional accountants and auditors amidst technological and cultural changes in the 21st Century.

Eva Eberhartinger, Full Professor and Chair at the Department of Finance, Accounting, and Statistics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and Zoltán Novotny-Farkas, Full Professor of International Accounting at the same Faculty outlined the history, scope and content of the accounting programs offered at their Faculty. The content and structure of both undergraduate and postgraduate programs were shared, along with the areas of focus, teaching methods, and student engagement. A question and answer session allowed participants to clarify several aspects of the program and express an interest in further engaging with Vienna University of Economics and Business at future events.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for STAREP EDUCOP representatives from all six countries to share with each other some of the recent initiatives and best practices adopted since the inception of the STAREP Program which included launching new individual courses, programs, professional qualifications, as well as incorporating new technologies into their programs, either as the subject of new courses, or to support new teaching methods, by providing new “on-line” learning platforms. Another important theme of the presentations was developing cooperation between universities and PAOs, as well as developing international cooperation and accreditation of programs.

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