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ACCA and CISI collaborate to improve accountants’ ethical AI skills

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and ACCA are collaborating to enhance the accountancy profession’s understanding of ethical issues when deploying AI. Through this new partnership, ACCA’s members, numbering close to a million, will have the chance to study for CISI’s Certificate in Ethical AI. The AI experts at ACCA contributed to the certificate, which will be available on ACCA Learning, a dedicated continuing education platform for finance professionals.

The CISI is an educational charity and professional body with over 53,000 members in more than 100 countries, offering qualifications and lifelong e-learning opportunities for those in the capital markets, financial planning, and wealth management professions. The CISI launched its Certificate in Ethical Artificial Intelligence last November as part of its campaign to promote ethics and transparency in AI usage.

The certificate was introduced as part of Lord Mayor Michael Mainelli’s ethical AI initiative, with key input from the project’s steering group. Michael is a Chartered Honorary Fellow of the CISI, and also a Fellow of ACCA and BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT, which developed a parallel qualification focusing on the technical aspects of AI. Since its launch, over 3,500 professionals, seven financial services regulators, and four central banks across more than 50 countries have registered for the CISI Certificate in Ethical AI.

According to a recent report by the Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC), Machine Learning/AI is a priority future skill for the UK financial services sector. The CISI notes that every one of the FSSC’s 13 future skills is being addressed by its digital CPD modules.

Helen Brand OBE, ACCA Chief Executive, said: “AI offers vast opportunities across various financial and business areas, from planning and audit to compliance, data analytics, and sustainability. But it also brings risks such as poor transparency and bias. It’s crucial that AI is adopted responsibly, and accountants, with their strong commitment to ethics, are key to this. We’re delighted to collaborate with CISI to enhance skills in this area.”

Tracy Vegro OBE, CISI Chief Executive Officer, added: “We are excited about this partnership with ACCA, as our objectives align in developing high ethical standards for global practitioners. Technology and trust must go hand in hand, and ethical frameworks are essential for AI development, supported by industry-wide skills and training. Responsible deployment of these technologies is central to the agenda.”

Lord Mayor Mainelli commented: “The UK is leading in the development and adoption of AI, leveraging the significant growth opportunities it offers. However, we face two challenges – a growing skills gap and unprecedented ethical concerns in AI deployment. I am pleased that ACCA, BCS, and CISI have combined their strengths to address these issues.”

This collaboration between ACCA and CISI aims to equip finance professionals with the knowledge and skills to responsibly navigate the ethical landscape of AI, ensuring that technology and trust advance together in the financial sector.

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