Prometric Awarded Contract to Launch Computerized Professional Accounting and Auditing Exam Series in Saudi Arabia

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Prometric, the leading global provider of testing and assessment services, today announced that it has been selected by the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to deliver the first computer-based series of Saudi professional accounting and auditing exams in the country. The long-term contract will facilitate widespread computerized delivery of the fellowship examinations program, which results in achievement of professional accounting and auditing credentials, across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The series of five Arabic-language fellowship exams will now be able to accommodate advanced testing models to make assessments more relevant to a candidate’s real life accountancy and auditing experience. Through delivery over Prometric’s computer based network, SOCPA will be able to service the changing market needs and measure the competence of individuals who desire to obtain the fellowship certificate. The exams will focus on five key subject areas: Accounting, Auditing, Zakat and Tax, Jurisprudence and Business Law. Subject areas for each part of the exam set out to measure skill and knowledge as it relates to accounting and auditing standards, financial practices, Islamic jurisprudence and other topics. Candidates will be tested on theoretical knowledge, their ability to apply it skillfully, and the extent of their grasp of professional responsibility and the ethical attributes that a certified public accountant should have as it pertains to the subject areas and the profession in Saudi Arabia.

As credentialing plays a significant role in the improvement of a profession’s status, advancing from paper delivery to computer delivery also enables improvement in assessment methodologies and helps to establish best practices for obtaining the fellowship certificate.

The SOCPA’s last paper based testing event is planned for May 2011 and the first Prometric-administered computer based exam window is planned for December 2011. The computerized exam will be conducted over a four day period and each section will include both a multiple choice and an essay component.

“It is our goal to promote the accounting and auditing profession and all matters that lead to development of the profession and to the improvement of its status in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Ahmad Almeghames, Secretary General, Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants. “Prometric’s experience in converting exams to computer and to growing newly computerized exams in the business environment in this region of the world serves as a good indicator of the success it can help us achieve.”

“We commend the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for the vision they have shown in creating SOCPA and the fellowship exam to help establish professional baselines for the accounting and auditing profession,” said Michael Brannick, president and chief executive officer at Prometric. “Our in depth knowledge of this region of the world, our strong on the ground presence there and our ability to implement tailored market solutions position us well to help foster growth of the profession in Saudi Arabia and of SOCPA’s program in particular.”