Yvonne chats to: Mandi Olivier CA(SA) from SAICA

Mandi Olivier SAICA
Table of Contents

Why did I chat to Mandi?

Mandi Olivier CA(SA) is a Senior Executive at SAICA, involved in the pre-qualification process. Everything from university studies to the Board exams. 

I felt that students need to hear directly from the source what SAICA expects from them as they’re studying.

(If you enjoyed this, want us to chat about something else, or want more of these types of chats, please leave a comment at the bottom of the post)

Take a look at the Table of Contents above to see what we chatted about. You can go straight to the topics you’re interested in

What is Mandi's role at SAICA?

I asked Mandi to explain her role at SAICA and how it affects students and those who are in the process of qualifying.

What is CA2025?

SAICA is in the process of researching and structuring the CA(SA) qualification process. This project is called CA2025. I asked Mandi what this is all about, and why there’s a need for a change.

How different will CA2025 be?

Will a student who’s studying now recognise the process in the future? How different will it be?

We can't POSSIBLY know ALL the knowledge

SAICA refers to ‘competencies’ a lot. What’s the difference between a ‘competency’ and ‘knowledge’?

SAICA’s Competency Framework details what students need to be able to DO with their knowledge, for all your subjects.

Students underestimate the importance of non-technical skills

SAICA emphasises the importance of behaviours and skills. but these aren’t ‘examined’. We underestimate the skills that we pick up through the qualification process. 

Mandi refers specifically to stress management. Notice her comments on the APC results and research done there.

SAICA's not looking for expert technical knowledge in all areas

SAICA has removed examinable pronouncements, and doesn’t examine exceptions to Standards etc, in order to examine the basics, and students’ ability to apply their knowledge. 

They’re looking for critical thinking and problem solving skills. You are GOING to see a question you’ve never seen before. 

 

HOW do you practice questions?

The value in doing questions is NOT learning THAT answer, or building a database of solutions for as many questions as possible. 

You need to ‘simulate’ the process of using whatever knowledge you have to solve a problem you’ve never seen before. 

Why all the discussion questions?

Students are very uncomfortable with discussion-style questions. A lot of students don’t understand why these are popping up more and more, instead of more calculations, formats etc.

Do students struggle with PGDA / CTA and ITC because of their technical knowledge?

Students focus FAR more on their technical knowledge than anything else in their studying. I asked Mandi her perspective on this. When SAICA is marking the ITC, is it a lack of knowledge that’s costing them marks? Or something else?

I appreciate the time Mandi’s taken, on behalf of our students, to share this insight with us, and I look forward to more discussions with SAICA to help students better understand their qualification process and future profession.

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