What this means in practice

we develop members and students by investing in support that enables them to achieve their professional goals.

Strategic measure applied

100% of our three student progression targets of: 786,000‡ exams entered during the year; 66.9% of ACCA affiliates achieving membership in four years; 38% of students passing exams in the past year.

Why we use this measure

it gives a rounded picture of the main factors that affect progress to membership. All three element targets need to be met to achieve the Develop measure.

Of the three element targets we needed to meet, two were achieved (number of exams entered and % of students becoming members within four years) and one was not achieved (% of students passing exams in the past year).

Five-year performance
Student progression factors Prior year actuals Current year actuals Targets
2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2018-19 2019-20
# exams entered 762,347 837,192 774,911 817,058 782,253‡ 786,000‡ 782,200
% Students becoming members
within four years
68.5 68.8 66.1 66.9 67.0 66.9 67.0
% Students passing exams in
the past year
36.4 34.7 36.2 36.9 36.8 38.0 36.8

Five-year performance

2014-15 762,347 68.5 36.4 2015-16 837,192 68.8 34.7 2016-17 774,911 66.1 36.2 2017-18 817,058 66.9 36.9
2018-19 782,253‡ 67.0 36.8
2018-19 786,000‡ 66.9 38.0 2019-20 782,200 67.0 36.8

‡ Considered achieved if result is within or better than -1.5% of the target.

Exams entered

Because we moved from 14 to 13 papers overall during the year, and to reflect the risk of volatility in exam volumes due to the move to computer-based exams (CBE) and Strategic Professional exams, we included a 1.5% margin within our exam entries target this year only.

Allowing for this margin, we met the base of this target with over 782,000 exam entries for the year. Within this, our annual volume of on-demand CBEs exceeded 200,000 for the first time, surpassing our on-demand target by over 2,000. On the other component of exams – the fixed sessional exams offered four times a year – we also surpassed the base of our target by some 1,500 exams.

For the first time since 2015-16, we met our target for the percentage of affiliates achieving membership in four years

Given the significant changes introduced to our exams during the year, this provides reassurance that our qualification changes are being accepted by the marketplace.

 

% of students becoming members within four years

For the first time since 2015-16, we met our target for the percentage of affiliates achieving membership in four years. As our student mix has changed and evolved, we had needed to adjust to a slower rate of progress. Seeing this solidify this year to 67% is reflective of the concerted efforts we’ve made around actively encouraging and nurturing affiliates towards membership through targeted interventions.

 

% of students passing exams in the past year

The percentage of students passing an exam during the past year has seen a slight fall (0.1%). This is primarily due to slower progress following the introduction of Strategic Professional in September 2018, with more students choosing to defer or sit option papers first (the latter of which have lower pass rates). We are targeting improvement in 2019-20 as Strategic Professional continues to embed in the market, and the steadily improving pass rates we’ve seen over the first two sittings of the exams are a positive sign for the coming year. We’ll also continue to focus on progression in the next 12 months by continuing to deepen relationships with all our strategic partners and work with them to help better support students on their exam journey.