Third-party review ordered to investigate technical problems with accounting exam

A third-party independent review has been ordered into the events that led to more than 400 accounting students being subjected to lengthy technical delays ahead of their final examination in Edmonton earlier this month. 

The Common Final Examination, the final step to becoming a chartered professional accountant, has traditionally been offered once a year and takes place over three days.

This year, the dates were Sept. 11, 12 and 13. Candidates from coast to coast are supposed to get access at 9 a.m. local time to ensure the test remains secure.

But technical problems created a difficult 12-hour day and disrupted students’ access to necessary testing materials and left them concerned about whether or not they have passed.

“We recognize what a difficult time this has been for many and we want to reassure exam-writers we have the people and processes in place to resolve the situation as quickly and effectively as possible,” Chartered Professional Accountants Canada spokesperson Tobin Lambie said in an email Thursday. 

“We will proceed as quickly as possible, but our main priority is to provide the time necessary for a fair, accurate and equitable outcome.”

Lambie said they are working with their service providers “to do everything possible to avoid a future reoccurrence.”

The review will also be used to evaluate the “integrity and reliability” of the September exam process, he said. 

“To inform our review, we are actively gathering information from students, proctors, and others to understand what happened and how it impacted the exam-writing experience,” he said.

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