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Future professional: the journey

For the past couple of years, the foresight initiatives developed by AuditFutures have sought to rethink important aspects of the accountancy profession in an exponentially changing world. By asking uncomfortable questions and thinking proactively ahead, our action-research work has shown to disrupt the status quo in order to develop progressive ideas in the areas of professional education, innovative and responsive practice, and wider organisational change.

In order to develop cross-disciplinary collaboration and to mobilise people to tackle issues together, AuditFutures has developed a unique platform to empower leading scholars and practitioners in discussing, planning and designing ideas together.

In the past few years, we have turned to the importance of education, as a foundation of the wider professional ethos and as a formative power to disrupt and also foster the capacities of critical judgment and moral sensitivity in aspiring professionals.

With this publication, AuditFutures hopes to prompt uncomfortable discussions and to catalyse proactive ideas about the role of education in fostering the future professional. It aims to bring to the fore critical practices, powerful techniques and ideas that have the power to change current perceptions within practice and society. The aim of the education initiatives and this report, is to create a more powerful narrative for the future of education; in addition, it aims to engage progressive educators in sharing their work and supporting them to take more radical steps in improving pedagogy, curriculum and education policy.

In efforts to engage motivated scholars and think proactively together, we have actively engaged with a number of leading universities and professional services firms, where we have facilitated CPD workshops, curriculum design planning, student seminar sessions and student projects. Our projects have taken a particular interest in the aims and framework of liberal learning, and the ability of liberal education practices to broaden accounting education and training – as to support the development of future capacities and attitudes for lifelong learning.

In support of these efforts and in order to respond to issues regarding motivation and capacities, we have looked up to research in the learning sciences and philosophy of education. This has helped us to articulate an argument for:

  • a broader professional curriculum that contextualises technical content within its broader social purpose, and
  • to further bring attention to the importance of reflective and dialectic thinking in developing more reflective and adaptive professionals.

We take the opportunity to support and advance the notion of holistic education experience, which does not concern the development of mere technical expertise, but puts emphasis on the development of professional identity, emotional sensitivity and moral motivation in learners and aspiring professionals.

You can read the full report here.

This article was originally published by ICAEW.