SAICA Accredited Programmes - 2016

Last Updated Friday, January 22, 2016 10:52:20 AM

Quality Assurance process over Academic programmes Quality assurance processes over Academic programmes leading to the qualification as a Chartered Accountant [CA(SA)]

In its role as an Education and Training Quality Assurer (ETQA) and it terms of its current recognition standing with the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) accredits certain programmes specifically designed to allow access to Part I of the Qualifying Examination (QE I).

Programmes accredited by SAICA are only offered at certain universities (listed below).

SAICA's accreditation is over and above
  • Institutional Audits performed by the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC);
  • Programme accreditation granted by the HEQC in its role as the band ETQA for Higher Education; and
  • Recognition of degrees registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which is awarded by SAQA.
Accreditation of a programme by SAICA means that (extract from the Academic Review Procedures):
  • the academic unit has put in place the appropriate resources that, if utilised effectively, should enable it to deliver the programme at the required standards and levels of quality; and
  • the programme meets SAICA's requirements in terms of the standards of learning and teaching.

Accreditation of a programme is not an assurance that the academic unit is achieving the required standard of delivery of that programme. Rather, accreditation certifies that a programme contains the requirements necessary to meet SAICA's accreditation standards."

An essential element of accreditation is quality control. Hence SAICA assesses and monitors the relevant programmes of higher education institutions / universities. The quality assurance process performed by SAICA includes:
  • The completion of an annual self-evaluation by each provider / university offering an accredited programme; and
  • A monitoring visit at least once in every five year cycle. (The second accreditation and monitoring cycle having commenced in 2011.)

Importantly, accreditation is a PROCESS and SAICA works with each of the universities below to assist them in maintaining their accreditation status (Looked at another way, SAICA see the accreditation of universities as a PARTNERSHIP).

Should a programme not meet SAICA's standards, the university would first be given an opportunity to make the necessary changes to its programmes so as to yield a more positive outcome before steps are taken to de-accredit a programme. De-accreditation too is a PROCESS which would take place over a period of time during which it would be possible for the university to take steps which could result in its accreditation status being restored. De-accreditation would NOT prejudice students already in the system (i.e. students would be allowed to continue and complete their degrees at such an institution.)

  A programme's accreditation status could therefore be as follows:  
Opinion Accreditation Status
1. Accredited Continue accreditation
2. Accredited, needs improvement Accredited with conditions that need to be met within a specified time frame for the accreditation to continue
3. Accredited, subject to meeting SAICA requirements During this time it is the responsibility of the university to take steps immediately. If appropriate action is taken this will result in a change in the accreditation status rating to 1 or 2. If appropriate action is NOT taken this could result in the accreditation process being suspended. Failure to take appropriate action would result in the programme being de-accredited by SAICA.

Going forward SAICA intends to accredit undergraduate programmes at universities where the postgraduate "CTA" is not offered, in an effort to build capacity and growth at tertiary institutions. Such accreditation will only be granted if a formal articulation agreement is in place with an institution that does offer an accredited CTA programme, and this articulation agreement meets SAICA's formal requirements.

For detailed accreditation information, please refer to the following documents issued by SAICA:

  • Accreditation criteria *
  • Academic Review Procedures *

* these documents are available on request from the Senior Executive: Professional Development (Mandi Olivier)

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