The AIA annual conference took place on 18 January 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne with the focus predominately on the development of the new AIA Professional Qualification, changes to the UK’s Corporate Governance Code and changes to the IFAC International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.

Speaking during the event, AIA Chief Executive, Philip Turnbull, said: “The AIA, accounting industry and the economy as a whole is experiencing unprecedented change. Only last month I welcomed the publication of the independent review of the Financial Reporting Council led by Sir John Kingman, which sets out a bold vision of regulation with a statutory underpinning. And in the coming months we all must deal with the uncertainty from the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

“It was therefore a pleasure to welcome over 40 delegates, including AIA Council Members, Bank of England representative, Moderators, Examiners and E-Tutors to the AIA annual Education Conference to discuss the eagerly anticipated test design for the new AIA professional qualification.

“The proposed new Professional Qualification places ethical behaviour at its heart. Public trust in the Profession has been eroded by widely publicised collapses in such companies as Carillon and our new examinations will aim to counteract this perception.”

Professor Stuart Turley, AIA’s Chief Academic Co-Ordinator who has been working on the test design for the new AIA professional qualification, commented: “The design of the new qualification is moving from choices concerning the syllabus and structure of examinations to the development of the materials needed to launch its implementation. The conference has provided a timely opportunity to discuss best practice relating to setting the assessments for candidates, particularly regarding objective testing, which is a new feature for the Foundation level examination for the Association.”

In addition, the event welcomed guest speaker, Mauricio Armellini, the Bank of England’s Agent for the North East. Mauricio provided delegates with a fascinating insight into Brexit, with discussions focusing on the state of the economy from both a national and regional perspective with Brexit looming on the horizon.

David Potts, AIA Director of Operations, commented: “Thank you to the Bank of England for providing delegates with an insightful pre-Brexit economic update.

“Over the coming months AIA will endeavour to provide members with regular updates and guidance to assist clients through the transitional period."