There is a bit of tittle-tattle going on amongst the students about the recent changes in the HDA (Higher Diploma in Accounting) program. I have been stormed by students asking “we have heard there are changes in the HDA?”. My answer is always, “the changes are all good!”.
The buzz word of OBAMA’s election campaign was “CHANGE”. The Arab spring erupted on the notion of “change of system”. Almost all the political parties in Pakistan are raising the slogan of “change” these days. I don’t know whether any one of them will be able to get their slogan materialized in the near future, but HDA has certainly “changed”. With the latest partnership of BIMS with SQA, HDA has got a new look and there are lots of improvements in the rules and regulations of the program. The changes are:
- Certificate of HDA will now be awarded jointly by SQA and BIMS.
- HDA has also been accredited by ACCA for 6 exemptions (F1 to F6). Previously only HND was awarded with same exemptions.
- The registration-exam lead time has been reduced to only 1 month.
- An additional paper, H10 – Business Economics & Business Mathematics, has been added.
- Students can get the HDA by only passing 6 papers out of the total 10. Previously students needed to pass 9 papers to get HDA.
- Grading scheme changed a little bit; Distinction for MCQ’s based papers will now be awarded on 95 marks and Merit will be awarded on 75 marks.
- The course pattern of H7 – Business Law and Company Law has changed. It will follow the book of ICAEW “Law” book instead of the ACCA “F4 GBL” book. Also the paper will now be MCQ’s based instead of paper-based.
- HDA now also got two new progressions forward; i.e. exemptions of 5 papers in CIMA and exemption of 1 paper in CPA (SQA). That’s good news.
- The Initial Registration Fee increased from £175 to £295. But the good news is that there is no need to give the other £175 at the end now. So the net effect is a decrease in fee of £55.
- MCQ’s based papers will now consist of 40 MCQ’s (2.5 marks each). Previously it was 50 MCQ’s (2 marks each). Also duration of paper would be 120 minutes now.
- Paper duration changed for essay-type papers as follows:
- H4 and H9 – 180 min
- H6 and H8 – 240 min
MCQ’s based papers will be assessed through CBEs now. Monthly exam schedule changed a bit. Only 1 essay-type exam can be given in a month at 1st date of every month. Two MCQ’s based papers can be given on specified dates from 2nd to 7th date of every month.
Going through the list of changes that I have given above, one can easily figure out that the changes are all positive and HDA is making its way positively in the accountancy field in Pakistan. After the “SQA-stamp”, the certificate of HDA has got a new worth in market due to the standing of SQA in the education market of UK. And it was a pleasant feeling to see the HDA now listed for 6 exemptions on the ACCA Global website. Hats off to the BIMS team. All in all, there is optimistic advancement by HDA and the best part is that the students are loving it even more.
About Author:Irfan Ullah Khan was (at the time of publication of the article) Head of Department (Accountancy) at Institute of Professional Studies, Peshawar.Article published at: HDA Pakistan