Training in Integrated Reporting to help businesses develop skills

It is a first step towards providing clear guidance on the skills and experience needed to be an effective practitioner in integrated reporting and is aimed at helping organizations to achieve consistency in the level of skills required.

It is the first time a global approach to training in Integrated Reporting has been proposed for use by businesses and education bodies.

The IIRC has taken a market-led approach to this project, and is seeking to encourage global offerings that can be applied in different contexts to suit local practices and requirements.

Using a principles-based approach, the matrix sets out the learning outcomes required while clearly building on the existing professional skills possessed by those already involved in reporting. The IIRC also emphasizes the close relationship between corporate governance and reporting and includes learning outcomes relating to implementing Integrated Reporting itself.

Training will be aimed at companies and other organizations who wish to adopt Integrated Reporting, including both preparers and those charged with oversight, such as members of the board.

The IIRC will not directly offer training to the market. Programmes will be offered by third party providers under licence.  The matrix is also designed to be embedded in broader relevant syllabuses offered by universities, business schools and professional bodies.

Feedback is being invited on the initial draft Competence Matrix up to September 16.

Neil Stevenson, the IIRC’s Managing Director, Global Implementation, explained: “At its heart, training in Integrated Reporting should lead to a shift in focus from financial management to value management.

“We have specifically designed this matrix to be market-led, having created it through consultation with a broad range of stakeholders across multiple disciplines and with a view to it being international, globally consistent, relevant and applicable. At the same time, it is also practical, focusing on the competences required for successful adoption and implementation of the International <IR> Framework.”

Begoña Morales Blanco-Steger from Madrid based technology company, Indra Sistemas, who is a member of the IIRC’s training advisory group, said: “In designing this Competence Matrix, we recognized that while the reporting process around implementing Integrated Reporting is important, we do not believe practitioners should focus on process alone. The links that integrated reporting requires to strategy and its scope across the organization, require a broader outlook. That is why areas of competence around change management and leadership have been included – areas which are essential in the context of ‘reporting on the whole business’, involving wide interactions within and outside an organization.”