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CIMA's creativity, global reach and collaborative instinct are yielding hugely beneficial initiatives.

It's appropriate to start 2006 by staying focused on innovation. CIMA encourages creativity and new ideas, and there have been many examples of the innovative approach we take, both for and with our stakeholders. The institute's bedrock, the chartered management accountant qualification, continues to earn plaudits from employers in all sectors for its relevance. The new syllabus was examined for the first time last year and it will be updated regularly. We are also harnessing the latest IT to increase the use of computers in exams.

In the last quarter of 2005 we started several exciting alliances in key markets around the world. We're working in partnership with other accounting bodies in Australia and the US to support CPD among our respective memberships. In India we've joined forces with the private sector to deliver the certificate in business accounting. And our collaboration with the Shanghai National Accounting Institute is allowing us to work with local authorities to deliver the management skills that China's public and private sectors are seeking.

Our technical agenda is built on the willingness to engage in an innovative way with other parties to develop our plans, ideas and body of knowledge. One of the most significant issues we have focused on is narrative reporting. Specifically, our approach to enterprise governance and the development of the CIMA strategic scorecard have increased our status internationally, as the institute's presentations to business leaders, government representatives and other accounting bodies have been warmly received in its core markets, as well as in China, Germany, New Zealand and the US.

In the UK, our authoritative stance on narrative reporting has allowed us to achieve a significant media profile in response to the government's plan to abolish mandatory operating and financial reviews (OFRs). We believe that an OFR benefits all stakeholders in a company particularly shareholders by improving the quality of non-financial information and we'll continue to advocate that firms uphold its principles.

Last month we published a new code of ethics for professional accountants (see page 30). This is a significant advance in ethical guidance for financial managers. We have also just launched our new output-based CPD programme and developed a host of innovative tools to support members' lifelong learning. We have introduced a new employer CPD accreditation scheme to validate the professional development processes of an organisation, further reducing the time and resource demands on members and their managers.

It's important that members are helped to develop their skills continuously. To this end, we are establishing links with business schools and professional bodies worldwide to provide extra development opportunities, such as accelerated routes through high-quality MBAs and other masters' degrees. The first of these, to be launched on February 20, will be access to a fast-track, fully online MBA through Deakin University. Rated as one of the top Australian business schools, Deakin provides the world's first genuine off-campus MBA. Although it's global in reach, this programme is aimed particularly at members and students in the Asia-Pacific region. Further details will be available on from February 20.

This will be an exciting addition to our growing portfolio of CPD products, all of which represent significant benefits to members worldwide.

Ian Christison, CIMA president
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Title Annotation:IN BUSINESS
Author:Christison, Ian
Publication:Financial Management (UK)
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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