Philippine CPA Licensure Examinations: A Story Unfolding

The present COVID 19 pandemic is an absolute game-changer. It irreversibly alters our normal way of living. And the CPA licensure examinations are surely not exceptions to this.

Those who prepared to claim their Certified Public Accountant license in the May 2020 CPALE schedule received the first wave of postponement and related recurring uncertainties. Since then, three (3) CPA licensure examinations had been cancelled and the upcoming October 2021 schedule, the 4th in a row, is again in limbo. Meanwhile, the government agencies tasked to prepare and administer the professional examinations are still short in presenting a viable remedy on how to successfully address this matter.

The cancellation of the CPALE exams links to a great and disturbing COVID 19 scare that momentarily halted global transactions until people slowly adjusted to it. While the government is searching for the right equilibrium to pivot the compelling tugs of health and economy, business and other sectors strongly lobby to exercise their freedom to make a choice. And while people are frightened on the undefined and, perhaps, noncontrollable events that would surprise them anew, our economy, dreams, and much of our legal freedom will be contained, if not restrained.

These great uncertainties demand new ways, space, and rules of doing and creating things. Technology would play a key role in this new environment ought to be strengthened by the openness and adeptness of men to survive.

From learners to working professionals

The subsequent brunt of economic limitations forces many CPALE examinees to divert their energies into gainful employment or other economic activities while waiting for things to get more predictable. It allows them to earn and save to finance their next round of preparation for the professional licensure exams. While it gives others a relief from the pressures besetting the CPALE preparation it also serves as the great hindrance to complete their task of securing the Philippine CPA license.

This transition however temporary would have indelible impact on the destiny of those affected, for better or for worse.

Online training and learning apps

The good news to working professionals is the availability of online training and review apps. It does not only save them time and energy, but accommodates their budget line as well. Also, the online training set-up naturally covers them from exposures to the potential health hazards present in the face-to-face training environment.

Though it is inconvenient at the onset, learners will get used to online training soon. Equally, the content providers will likewise develop expertise in adopting to the available learning app tools. It is at this tip that the optimal value of online learning will start to be discovered.

System-based online learning

The introduction of online learning apps dawns the realization that learners are more attuned to little, step-by-step, learnings interconnected towards a greater plenary of understanding. This bias to details opens the portal for micro learning activities. Instantly, the next thing happens, that is, learning contents, skills development, and assessments are already developed leading to various micro skills certifications and recognition.

The science of micro learning is the first big step towards a successful online learning environment. It is the precursor in learning content creation, skills formation, assessments, and certification processes towards a more developed learner. It is the core to the architectural excellence of a well-designed learning activity.

Multiple professional certifications

The proliferation of varied skills and professional certifications courtesy of the unbreakable wave towards global standards brings a menu of opportunities. People are now gearing towards developing specific skills in multiple levels and areas useful to organizations and entrepreneurial activities.

This scores to the point that CPA license is not the only professional certifications available for accountants. There is an ongoing great shift in giving more value to specific skills certifications that enable a person to do a specific technical task than to have a diploma that provides an understanding of a wide platitude of knowledge and information on tasks involving greater scale of responsibilities.

Each defined skill is certified in various fields and levels. And as a man progresses in his level and area of expertise, new certifications would be added to his cap.

The race to excel in the new environment and its systems

The future of tomorrow is highly disturbing and unpredictable. Situations would define the skills required to do a task. The trainability of a person and the quickness of his response to acquire new skills, or retool existing ones, would be the core advantages to excel in the new normal. This rigid requirement even varies from one place, or culture, to another.

On top of the innate survival power of men to adopt and dominate, it is the ultimate understanding of his environment that would bring forth new tools, techniques, and processes apt for his dispensation.

Digital professional licensure examinations

The new normal demands new models, tools, and processes applied to administering licensure examinations. New apps, systems, and platforms abound that could sufficiently accommodate the requirements of the various Professional Board of Examiners and the Professional Regulation Commission, as the examination management entity.

People involved in the examination processes cover that of the examiners, exam management office personnel, examinees, proctors, watchers, personnel from support agencies, and personnel from the facility provider. The health safety and protection protocols of these stakeholders must be taken into great considerations.

A process analysis is in order to identify the examination and administration activities that may be totally undertaken by systems and machines without compromising the accuracy, efficiency, and integrity of the whole system. Until then, the present situation persists.

But for now, the Philippine CPALE is a story unfolding.

Franklin T. Agamata, HLM IIFP, FICB, CFA, CCA, CFM, CPA, is the Founding Chairman of the Board and President of CERTS Educational Services, Inc., an entity dedicating its resources in innovating educational services thru systems and technology. You may send your comments through email,


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *