Social mobility - take cue from accounting body

In my 22 years of being an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants member, I have seen how it has grown by embracing social mobility. Today, it has wide recognition among employers globally, with more than 700,000 members and students worldwide.

I attribute its success to the upholding of consistent and rigorous standards to produce quality accountants in any part of the world - including Singapore.

The training of a professional accountant takes time and commitment, and it results in the acquisition of deep skills, applicable to many job roles and industries.

Equally important is the emphasis to promote social mobility by deliberately widening entry points and allowing everyone an opportunity to prove themselves.

As a result, the qualifying process builds self-reliance and resilience in the individuals.

In Singapore, I regularly meet members who have fruitful and accomplished careers, regardless of their social or academic backgrounds. Many of the successful members I know combine expert professional skills with an ethos of lifelong learning to upgrade their skills and stay relevant - a positive consequence of their professional training to remain resilient and self-reliant.

James Lee Boon Yew

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2018, with the headline 'Social mobility - take cue from accounting body'. Print Edition | Subscribe