ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has announced on March 13th that they will now recognise certain Moocs (massive open online courses-content often similar to university-level courses) offered by the UK-based FutureLearn who specialise in free online courses. The company will grant exemptions to learners who pass the associated examinations.

FutureLearn has gone on record, stating that ACCA was the first professional body to sponsor one of its Moocs. The first course to receive the companies ‘seal of approval’ is Discovering Business in Society, which is planned for a September launch.

Simon Nelson, Chief Executive of FutureLearn, has stated:

‘This is the first instance I have come across of a professional body collaborating on a Mooc.’

The course was developed in partnership with ACCA and the University of Exeter Business School, and aimed at anyone who’s interested in learning about business. After successfully passing an invigilated exam, it will then lead on to an exemption from paper F1 (Accountant in Business), a standard module on the ACCA qualification.

While the course itself is free, those interested in earning the qualification will have to pay for the actual examination, which will be tailored to the course they have done, as opposed to the ACCA standard module.

Moocs could be a great way to get people involved in education, from those who perhaps can’t afford higher education, to those interested in earning some qualifications, or to those who just want to try something different. There’s definite potential for growth.
Helen Brand, Chief Executive of ACCA, has stated:

‘This could be the start of professional training towards a prestigious and respected global qualification. But it doesn’t stop there – Moocs can also be used by our members to meet their needs for continuing professional development throughout their careers.’ (The Financial Times, 13 March 2014)

To see what else is involved with ACCA, check out their case study.

‘Interpreting and understanding accounts’