Date posted: 12/08/2020 3 min read

Members test CA Capability+ learning tool

A new diagnostic tool creates a continuous learning plan for Chartered Accountants to future-proof their careers.

In Brief

  • A tailor-made diagnostic tool creates a future learning plan for Chartered Accountants
  • The tool enables accountants to self-assess their capabilities
  • It recommends continuous professional development courses to help them reach their career goals

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand has created a new online tool, CA Capability+, to allow members to take control of their own professional development.

The tool will allow members to assess how they measure up against the benchmark capabilities expected of accountants in different roles and stages of their careers.

About 2000 members will be invited to trial the beta version of CA Capability+ by the end of August. Depending on their feedback, it will then be released to all 130,000 members in October.

"This diagnostic tool is the first of its kind – tailor-made for accountants – with a lens that looks to the evolving future of work and its impact on accounting profession jobs."
Simon Hann, CA ANZ Group Executive Education and Learning.

“It’s different from other tools out there because it doesn’t just assess skills, it also shows people how they can use further learning to apply their skills and achieve a career goal.”

The idea grew from research in 2017 when CA ANZ started looking into the impact on accounting jobs of automation and new technology over the next five to 10 years.  “Our research identified the capabilities members need to future-proof themselves for their careers,” says Hann.

CA ANZ analysed 10 recent global accounting and leadership frameworks, surveyed 2000 members, held workshops and focus groups, as well as collaborated with academics and global partners undertaking similar research in other fields.

From this, CA ANZ developed a Capability Model which outlines four 'domains' – business (business context), leadership (people and future), personal (mindset and intellect) and technical (professional expertise). These are applied to the three different stages of an accountant's career: early career, leader and executive.

“Our next questions were: ‘How can our members actually use this model? How do we bring it to life?’” Hann says. “So, we developed this CA Capability+ diagnostic tool based on where they're at in their career and their preferences for what they'd like to develop.”

He says researchers mapped out 30 roles and integrated them into the tool so that it’s not just an assessment of strengths and weaknesses but also a recommendation for future action.

Continuous learning

As CA ANZ members are required to complete 120 hours of CPD every three years to stay registered, this tool will help target this learning.

Hann adds that CPD courses won’t develop all the skills you might need in your career.

“But the report from the diagnostic tool can be a conversation starter,” he says. “If you want to develop an adaptive mindset, for example, your manager can point you to a mentorship program, coaching, and other ways you can gain experience. You can take what we've recommended and turn it into action.”

While CA ANZ’s CPD courses focus on technical and business skills, members also get free, unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning. This online platform has courses and videos that address many professional skills, such as communication and collaboration.

The CA Capability+ tool will provide a permanent dashboard and record of a user’s capabilities and professional development that is accessible only to them, unless they choose to share it with their managers or employers.

A number of international accounting bodies have expressed interest in the CA Capability+ tool and how it could be a template for their professional organisations. “We’re already in initial discussions with the Global Accounting Alliance partners,” Hann says.

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