The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has granted equivalence to ACCA qualification to a Masters level degree. A circular issued by HEC states that ‘HEC recognizes the membership of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) after completion of professional qualification and other requisites including training and required professional experience as equivalent to MComm. degree awarded by Pakistan universities on the following terms and conditions:

i) There will be no exemption awarded to incomplete qualification of ACCA.

ii) Initial admission in ACCA programme must be after having 12 years of education (intermediate level, A-level or equivalent certification from IBCC Pakistan.’

ACCA members, students, learning partners and stakeholders have hailed HEC decision calling it a major milestone in Pakistan’s professional accounting education pursuit of international recognition and excellence. Arif Masud Mirza, head of ACCA Pakistan commenting on the recognition said, ‘This is bold step by the HEC and shows that HEC is very much in touch with the changing demands of the highly skilled labour market, the mobility needs of our young members and their education aspirations generally. This is a rational step purely based on the academic merits of the ACCA qualification, I believe it will go a long way in promoting young professionals from Pakistan, increasing their employability and in the long run contributing to the social and economic development goals of Pakistan.’

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Dr Afra Sajjad, Head of Education and Policy Development, stated: ‘ACCA Pakistan is dedicated to the growth of the accounting profession in the country. Essential to this is the provision of high quality tuition. In partnership with our Approved Learning Partners, through engagements, capacity building and awareness raising, ACCA aspires to bring professional accounting education in line with international benchmarks. Setting regional standards of excellence and this recognition from the HEC will add as an incentive to achieve this aim. Both ACCA and HEC share values such as integrity, opportunity, accountability, innovation and diversity, values which are very much needed if we are to rely upon our well trained young professionals to play a leading role in business and economic growth.’

The Chief Executive of ACCA, Helen Brand, offered a congratulatory message to the ACCA Pakistan community and added that: ‘This HEC recognition is evidence of the quality, rigour and integrity of the ACCA Qualification and the international standards to which it is set. This recognition will inspire ACCA members to play a greater role in both the economic and business growth of Pakistan.’