Requirements for Obtaining a Professional Title / Certification
In order to obtain a professional qualification the following are usually required: a) successful completion of the worldwide exams (held in hundreds of countries world-wide and in many cases through on-line testing) undertaken by the respective professional associations or on-line testing organizations and (b) two to three years of previous work experience (depending on the qualification) in a relevant field. Qualifications are directly awarded by the professional associations and are internationally recognized in most cases. Exams are independent and are evaluated in the country of origin of the respective association.
When someone holds a professional designation, then previous work experience and success in worldwide exams are “given”. A chartered (or 'certified') accountant for example in Prague, is considered to be a 'stronger' candidate for multinationals and consulting firms than the holder of a s Master's degree in accounting. Their previous work experience is given, as well as the curriculum of the respective training institute.
The reason why the ACCA has prevailed internationally (people can take the exams in over 170 countries) is because its curriculum, as of 1997, has been based on the internationally predominant International Accounting and Auditing Standards (a requirement for listed companies in many countries globally). Small and medium enterprises are expected to follow gradually according to the EU, although the financial crisis might delay these plans for a few years.
Holders of a qualification such as the ACCA, ACA or CIMA for example are certified as to the following: successful completion of worldwide exams, relevant work experience, familiarisation with the International Accounting and Auditing Standards and very good command of the English language.