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The IRBA’s continuous efforts to

support transformation of the

profession are realising results and

it is encouraging to note that the

total number of Black candidates

(African, Coloured and Indian)

who enter the PPE has increased

steadily from 1093 in 2009 to 1493

in 2013. This is the first time in the

history of the PPE that the number

of Black candidates who attempted

the PPE represents over 50% of the


The IRBA is also delighted at

the throughput rates for Black

candidates. Of the 1493 Black

candidates that entered the 2013

PPE, 1041 passed, resulting in an

overall pass rate of 70%.

The IRBA is particularly pleased to

announce the results of the 2013

IRBA Support Programme. The IRBA

has presented a support programme

for Black repeat candidates on an

annual basis for the past 12 years.

In 2013, Fasset (the Seta for finance,

accounting, management consulting

and other financial services) once

again provided the IRBA with

funding for the Support Programme.

The candidates who attended the

Support Programme again achieved

better results on each question than

those repeat candidates who did

not attend the IRBA’s programme.

Of the 107 Black candidates

who successfully completed the

programme 64 passed, representing

a pass rate of 60%. Of the 233

Black repeat candidates who did not

attend the IRBA Support Programme

125 passed, representing a pass rate

of 54%.

The examination objective

The statutory auditor performs a

very responsible function and the

IRBA has a duty to ensure that only

those who have demonstrated an

appropriate degree of professional

competence are registered as

auditors. The examination, which

aims to assess professional

competence, takes the form of

two 2½ hour written assessments

consisting of two scenarios reflecting

the public practice environment.

Candidates must demonstrate an

ability to solve multi-disciplinary

practical problems in an integrated

manner and to do so must analyse

and interpret information and

provide viable solutions to address

specific client needs. The ability to

demonstrate logical thought and

exercise professional judgement is

an integral part of the examination.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements to the

PPE are challenging, requiring

completion of recognised academic

and education programmes. In

addition, entrants must also have

passed SAICA’s Initial Test of

Competence (ITC). Completion of

the academic component under a

full-time study programme ordinarily

takes at least four years. Given the

practical focus of the assessment,

candidates are required to have

served at least 18 months of a

registered training contract in the

service of a Registered Auditor

before being admitted to write the


The minimum total duration of a

training contract is three years,

which usually follows the four-year

period of full-time study. The period

of qualification for most students is

therefore at least seven years. The

IRBA believes that this is in keeping

with its duty to ensure that standards

at entry point are maintained and

that only those who are able to meet

prescribed competency standards

are registered as auditors. The

qualification period is similar to that

of other highly regarded professions

and internationally recognised

accounting bodies.

The end of an era

The 2013 PPE represents the closing

of a chapter for the IRBA. The PPE

in its current format was written for

the last time by first time candidates

in 2013. One more sitting of the PPE

will be hosted in 2014 for repeat

candidates. From 2014 onwards,

all first time candidates are required

to write SAICA’s Assessment of

Professional Competence (APC).

Those candidates wishing to become

RAs will be required to successfully

complete the APC, register with

the IRBA as a candidate RA and

undertake a further specialisation

period. Specialist training for

candidate RAs will take a minimum

of 18 months and candidates will

be required to demonstrate their

professional competence on the job

with the submission of a portfolio of

evidence at the end of the specialism

period. Please refer to the IRBA’s

website for further information on

the Audit Development Programme



In conclusion

The IRBA wishes to acknowledge

the significant contribution made by

the various education institutions,

training offices and SAICA towards

the success of the PPE over the

years. The examination has become

an internationally recognised

assessment of professional

competence and has continued to

uphold its standing both locally and


The IRBA also extends a special

word of gratitude to the Examination

Committee members who have

worked tirelessly over the years

to ensure that the standard of the

examination has remained consistent

and that the examination continues

to be relevant for a changing


We wish to congratulate our

successful candidates on their

outstanding achievement and wish

them every success in their future



pubic practice

examination 2013

Laine Katzin

Director: Education, Training &

Professional Development


087 940 8787


087 940 8875