Following the development of nationally-agreed threshold learning standards for accounting graduates, in 2011 ABDC initiated a follow-on project, Achievement Matters: External Peer Review of Accounting Learning Standards.
This project aims to establish consensus on education standards among government, industry and academic stakeholders; and enhance the credibility and standing of accounting as a professional discipline today and in the future.
The Achievement Matters project also aims to develop a model for assuring stakeholders that accounting graduates meet the new nationally-agreed learning standards by relying on peer review of assessment design and student work. The model differs from standardised testing, using anonymous, calibrated external peer review of student learning outcomes. This promotes diversity among institutions and courses, incorporates practitioner and academic views, supports professional development, and reduces employer expectation gaps. Importantly, it also minimises the potential consequences of standardised tests—such as teaching to the test—and places greater emphasis on the development of soft skills.
ABDC, CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) and the Australian Government's Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) are jointly funding this project. The participating universities in the initial pilot include Curtin University, Deakin University, Griffith University, Monash University, RMIT University, Southern Cross University, University of Adelaide, University of Southern Queensland, University of Western Australia, University of Western Sydney.