Questions raised as to the integrity of CPA English Skills Assessment Regime

In what is if ongoing concern to overseas students and foreign professionals studying and practicing in Australia, the CPA (Certified Professional Accountants) has recognised IELTS as its preferred and accepted English Language Test.

In recent correspondence to the CPA we received a reply that indicated that whilst the CPA is considering accepting TOEFL as an alternative skills assessment they are only prepared to do so where IELTS testing is not available. This would appear to be discrimination and anti competitive giving IELTS an unfair advantage in the market place .

On what basis the CPA can argue that TOEFL is acceptable under some circumstances and not all is difficult to understand to support. Maybe the CPA has a sponsorship arrangement with IELTS and Seek Australia who owns IETLS in Australia, maybe there is some unknown or undisclosed reason why they seek to lock TOEFL out of the market?

The Federal Government has rightly acted to ensure that there is competition in the English Language Testing market. Both IELTS and TOELF are recognised by the Federal Government as acceptable tests for English competence in immigration why not skill assessment?

If it’s good enough for one its good enough for all.

Clearly, in the absence of the CPA’s ability to self regulate, the Government will have to act to ensure that all registered skills assessing authorities recognise and accept of all accredited English testing systems.

There could even be a case for class action in the various Appeals Tribunals or even the High Court to try and force the CPA into accepting TOEFL accreditation.

Anyone concerned about this should contact us to discuss further action.

Dear Anthony

Currently, the IELTS test is considered as one of the standard English tests recognised in Australia. CPA Australia together with the other two assessing authorities made the decision to require the IELTS Test Report from applicants to prove their English proficiency. However, we may in future consider other English tests, e.g. TOEFL for applicants who reside in areas the IELTS test is not available.

Kind regards,

Tracey Huynh | Qualifications Advisor | Qualifications Assessment Unit

Member Advisory & Information Services | CPA Australia