SAICA’s Updated Competency Framework – What Does CA2025 Mean for Trainee CA(SA)s?
In 2021, SAICA approved and issued an update of its professional framework to be adopted by all training offices to prepare trainee CA(SA)s more adequately for careers in a future-forward labour market. CA2025 (which will be replacing CA2016) is so named because the new framework applies to all trainees who will have reached the end of their articles by 2025 or later.
The updated professional framework is a forward-looking one which emphasises different skill sets from past frameworks. Training offices like ours are ahead of the game in preparing trainees to thrive under the updated conditions set out by CA2025.
What if I’ve already started my articles?
Trainees who have already begun their articles and are set to complete them before 2025 do not need to switch over to CA2025. The new framework only applies to trainees who will be completing their articles in or after 2025. Why has SAICA updated their professional framework?
It is of the utmost importance to SAICA that, by the time CA(SA)s enter the workforce, their roles remain relevant to the services that their work requires of them. Thus, the SAICA competency frameworks are updated periodically to reflect the requirements of emerging workplace environments.
CA2025 is a g framework that has been developed to prepare aspiring CA(SA)s for roles that they are likely to be called to fill in the future. The nature of these roles and the structure of the updated framework have been determined by the results of a four-year-long research project led by Professor Karin Barac of the Faculty of Economic Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria.
What skills will CA2025 focus on?
SAICA’s competency frameworks outline the competencies that an entry-level CA should demonstrate at the end of their pre-qualification process (that is, following the completion of the academic programme, training programme, professional programme, and two professional assessments).
As of this year, SAICA’s updated strategic objective is to “develop responsible leaders who behave ethically and create sustainable value for a wide range of stakeholders”. To this end, the updated competency framework is placing a stronger emphasis on the development of integrated thinking skills, including the interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of financial and non-financial information.
The new competency framework is going to foreground the development of the following skills:
- Digital skills, bearing in mind the influence of emerging technologies in the role of future accountants
- Breaking out of the traditional, silo-based organisation of knowledge, and using business acumen to frame technical competencies
- The development and understanding of personal, business, and professional ethics (not just professional ethics, as in the past)
- Developing integrated thinking as a key outcome, with a wider focus on decision-making acumen
- A carefully balanced marriage between technical and non-technical skills for the development of well-rounded CAs
A more extensive comparison between CA2016 and CA2025 can be found here.
VAT IT has been preparing its trainees for the future all along
In our training office, VAT IT has constantly exposed our trainees to the professional acumen and attitudes that SAICA is currently seeking to develop in accountants of the future. Entrepreneurialism, innovation, leadership, and autonomy have always been at the heart of our mission. We encourage independence and business skills in our trainees because we believe that making people the CEOs of their own lives creates magic.
Ours has always been a project of developing leaders equipped with both technical accounting skills and an entrepreneurial spirit – an approach which will help our trainees, both present and future, to thrive under the new competency framework set out by SAICA.
Under CA2025, aspiring CA(SA)s will be required to approach their articles with a forward-thinking, business-minded view. By completing your articles with a company that understands the demands of an emerging workplace, you’re setting yourself up for a successful and fulfilling career as an indispensable asset to any organization you join in the future. See the future of accounting by reading more about our TOPP program.