In a significant development for the accounting education landscape in Uganda, the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) is set to take on the role of assessing the Accounting Technicians Diploma (ATD). Previously, this responsibility was held by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU).
Dr. Derick Nkajja, CEO of ICPAU, made this announcement, confirming that the change is scheduled to be implemented starting on January 1, 2024. Following this date, ICPAU will cease to accept new student registrations for ATD. However, students already enrolled with ICPAU will be able to continue their studies with the institute.
This significant shift in responsibility was revealed during the release of the July/August UBTEB examination results at an event hosted at the Uganda National Institute of ICT and Communication Technology in Nakawa.
ICPAU has been overseeing the assessment of ATD for several years, which is offered at various levels in different institutions and universities. However, changes in the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector necessitated the transfer of this responsibility to UBTEB.
Prior to this change, both institutions had entered into a memorandum of understanding in 2018 to enhance the competitiveness and smooth career progression of accounting-related programs examined and accredited by UBTEB.
Dr. Nkajja stressed that, through their collaboration, UBTEB would standardize and harmonize the content of business and accounting programs at the diploma level, aligning with the Uganda Accountancy Qualifications Framework.
Furthermore, this partnership between UBTEB and ICPAU is aligned with the government’s goal of producing competent and productive labor. It is expected to help students save both time and money on their journey to becoming Certified Public Accountants.
Onesmus Oyesigye, the Executive Secretary of UBTEB, underlined that under this new arrangement, UBTEB, in partnership with ICPAU, will provide accreditation to tertiary institutions, including universities, interested in offering ATD programs.
Oyesigye also mentioned that UBTEB and ICPAU would collaborate to jointly develop curriculum and assessment guides, conduct research, and implement capacity-building programs to offer TVET graduates opportunities for access, progression, and continued learning in accountancy and related fields.
John Chrysostom Muyingo, the State Minister in charge of higher education, praised this transition, emphasizing the importance of standardization and regulation in the assessment and certification of various TVET programs. Muyingo further encouraged other government bodies, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, to expedite their transition to collaborating with UBTEB in assessing TVET programs.
In the recently released examination results by UBTEB, it was revealed that out of the 2,615 candidates who participated in the exams, an impressive 81% of them, or 2,106 candidates, successfully demonstrated the required competencies in their respective trades.
Oyesigye highlighted the outstanding performance of candidates in Physical and Biological Sciences Diploma Programs, with an average of 97% of candidates achieving full competence. However, these candidates underperformed in areas such as Elementary Design of Structures, Estimating and Tendering, Measurement of Civil and Building Works, as well as Engineering Mathematics I and III. These performance issues partially account for the decline in the overall pass rate.
It’s essential to note that these results were released for cohorts that were not presented in the April-May 2023 examination series due to the staggered academic calendar in tertiary institutions caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.