Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

Keeping the Professional Program at the Leading Edge

Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

Keeping the Professional Program at the Leading Edge

Article excerpt

A pan-Canadian effort involving all the Societies and the Order is a vital ingredient in keeping the CMA accreditation program relevant to the changing needs of employers.

The highlighted comments typify the reactions to the Professional Program by current new CMAs. Introduced in 1990, the program complements university-level training in business by providing post-graduate training specifically supporting the expanded role of the contemporary professional accountant in management.

The Society keeps the program at the leading edge of management and management accounting through continuous fine tuning as well as periodic major revisions. Overall responsibility for developing and updating the Professional Program lies with the CMA Accreditation Committee, a standing committee reporting to the board of directors of The Society of Management Accountants of Canada. All the affiliated Societies and the Order take part in the updating process, which involves members, candidates, program moderators, staff, and employers.

Feedback from all these groups and scanning of the management accounting environment to identify relevant trends guide the fine tuning of the program year by year. From 1990 to the present, this incremental approach has resulted in substantial revisions to existing themes, modules, structure and materials. As well, new reaching/learning techniques have been introduced, including self-evaluation exercises, mini-cases to strengthen integration of topics, and experiential learning exercises.

Supplementing the fine tuning process are periodic comprehensive overall evaluations that allow for more extensive reshaping of the accreditation program. This longer-term updating process is based on analysis of changing employer needs and also considers new developments in the management accounting territory and new delivery methods.

The first comprehensive evaluation of the current accreditation program took place in 1995. It was based on a common "template" of areas of inquiry used by individual provincial Societies and the Order in generating feedback on the relevance and effectiveness of the program. Analysis of employer needs included round-table discussions with upper and middle managers (including non-CMAs) who in most cases were the immediate superiors of either CMAs or CMA Candidates.

Based on the 1995 evaluation, the entire program was updated over several months, with completion in January of this year. …

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