CARICOM Secretariat attains ACCA Approved Employer status

Fifth from left: Her Excellency Lolita Applewhaite, CARICOM Secretary-General poses with Mr. Shane Kissoon, Manager-ACCC Southern Caribbean, and Members of Staff of the CARICOM Secretariat, following the presentation of the certificate of accreditation to the ACCA’s Approved Employer programme

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)…March 21 2010 – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat has joined a global network of 9000 employers who are accredited with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant’s (ACCA) Approved Employer status.

The endorsement came into effect from 11 December 2009 and was formally received by Her Excellency Lolita Applewhaite, CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General on Thursday March 18 at the Georgetown, Guyana headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat.

In accepting the certificate of accreditation, Ambassador Applewhaite said she was pleased with the endorsement which carries with it “recognition and prestige.”

The accreditation bestows upon the CARICOM Secretariat, the ACCA’s stamp of official approval for successfully implementing accounts development systems on par with global best practices. This means that the Secretariat has demonstrated its commitment to providing Continuing Professional Development (CDP) in the Accounting and Finance, and facilitated the training opportunities for the development of professional and trainee accountants on staff.

Ambassador Applewhaite said the Secretariat was “honoured” to have been invited by the ACCA-Global to have discussions on having it designated an Approved Employer, which carries with it a six-year stamp of approval, inclusive of an evaluation at the end of the third year. The procedure for achieving the status included interviews, the provision of Employee Appraisal Form, Post Training Evaluation Form, Development Policy and Strategic Objectives document, among others, she said.

The designation means that the CARICOM Secretariat can access a range of employer services including ACCA’s on-line knowledge library; the ACCA’s professional development matrix – is an online planning tool which enables employees to identify their learning needs, choose the most effective way they learn, and identify their future career.

Some CARICOM Secretariat’s staff members have already been awarded the ACCA, now, as members employed by an Approved Employer under the Professional Development stream, they would be automatically exempt from having to follow the ACCA’s CPD Unit Scheme route. They would only have to complete their annual CPD declaration confirming that they are covered under the Approved Employer route.

The Deputy Secretary-General said that the Secretariat recognised that this status would be monitored by the ACCA and it would therefore continue to ensure that the standards are maintained to enable the status to remain in force for the benefit of its employees.

In formally welcoming the CARICOM Secretariat to the ACCA’s Approved Employer programme, Manager-ACCA Southern Caribbean, Mr. Shane Kissoon said the accreditation was no easy feat, and it was an achievement for which the Secretariat should be proud.

He said the accreditation was indicative of the CARICOM Secretariat reaching global benchmarks in ACCA professional development. He was expectant that the CARICOM-ACCA partnership would go beyond professional development in accounting and finance to capacity building in areas including Small and Medium Size Enterprises.

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