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ACCA EPSM Module: Your Essential Guide

ACCA EPSM Module: Your Essential Guide

The Ethics and Professional Skills module (EPSM) is a crucial component of the ACCA qualification. It equips you with essential skills that enhance your employability and effectiveness in the workplace. Here are the key details about EPSM:

Module Overview:

The EPSM comprises ten units and typically takes around 15 hours to complete.

  • It focuses on a range of advanced ethical and professional skills, grounded in real-world business scenarios.
  • Topics covered include communications, commercial awareness, innovation, analysis, and evaluation skills.


  • Completing the EPSM is an important step toward ACCA membership.
  • It provides a competitive edge when applying to discerning employers.
  • Clients increasingly demand accountants who are well-versed in the latest ethics of accounting practice.

Units Covered:

  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Innovation and Scepticism
  • Data Analytics
  • Integrated Case Study
  • Strategic Professional Support

The main use of the Professional Ethics module in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is to provide guidance and training on ethical behaviour and professional conduct for accountants.

How do you complete a Professional Ethics module on ACCA?

Here’s a handy tip: skip through most of the videos and text, and try to directly give the assessment at the end of the module to save time.

Professional ethics and legal compliance are related concepts but have distinct differences

Professional Ethics:

Professional ethics emphasizes the ethical responsibilities and obligations that professionals have towards their clients, colleagues, employers, and society as a whole. Professional ethics go beyond legal requirements and establish higher standards of behavior and integrity. They are typically developed and enforced by professional bodies or organizations within a specific profession.

Key features of professional ethics include:

  • Voluntary adherence: professionals voluntarily commit to upholding ethical standards that are specific to their field.
  • Ethical principles: Professional ethics are based on fundamental principles such as integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, and professional competence.
  • Self-regulation: Professional bodies often establish codes of conduct and ethical guidelines that their members must follow. They may also have mechanisms for investigating and disciplining members who breach ethical standards.

Legal Compliance:
Legal compliance refers to the act of conforming to the laws, regulations, and legal requirements that govern a particular jurisdiction or industry. It involves ensuring that an individual or organization operates within the boundaries set by the law and fulfils all legal obligations. Non-compliance with legal requirements can result in penalties, fines, legal actions, or other regulatory consequences.

Key features of legal compliance include:

  • Mandatory adherence: Compliance with laws and regulations is compulsory.
  • Prescribed rules: Legal compliance is defined by statutes, regulations, rules, and guidelines set by legislative bodies, government agencies, and regulatory authorities.
  • External enforcement: Compliance is monitored and enforced by governmental bodies, regulatory agencies, or law enforcement authorities. Violations may result in legal action.

The Professional Ethics module in ACCA plays a crucial role in preparing students for the real world by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate ethical challenges they may encounter in their professional careers.

Here are a few ways in which the module helps ACCA students:

  • Ethical Awareness: The module raises students’ awareness of ethical issues and dilemmas that can arise in the accounting profession. It helps them recognize the potential ethical implications of their decisions and actions.
  • Ethical Decision-Making: The module provides a framework for ethical decision-making, enabling students to analyze complex situations, consider various stakeholders’ interests, and make sound ethical choices.
  • Professional Conduct: Students learn about the importance of maintaining professional conduct and adhering to ethical standards. They understand the significance of acting with integrity, objectivity, professional competence, and due care in their interactions with clients, colleagues, and the public.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The module familiarizes students with relevant professional codes of conduct, regulations, and legal requirements. This knowledge helps them understand the obligations and responsibilities they have as professional accountants and the consequences of non-compliance.
  • Ethical Dilemma Resolution: The module equips students with problem-solving skills to address ethical dilemmas effectively. They learn to assess the ethical implications, evaluate alternative courses of action, and make ethical decisions that align with professional standards.

6. Reputation and Trust:

The module emphasizes the importance of maintaining a strong reputation and building trust with clients, employers, and the wider public. Students learn that ethical behavior and the demonstration of professional values are essential for establishing and preserving trust in the accounting profession.

Understanding the Module Structure: The EPSM consists of various components designed to enhance your professional skills and ethical awareness. These components may include workshops, online learning modules, and assessments.

Ethics and Professionalism: A significant portion of the EPSM is dedicated to understanding ethical principles and their application in the accounting and finance professions. This involves exploring real-world ethical dilemmas and learning how to make ethical decisions.

Communication Skills:

Effective communication is vital for accounting professionals. The EPSM helps you develop written and verbal communication skills essential for interacting with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders.

Teamwork and Collaboration: As an accountant, you’ll often work as part of a team. The EPSM provides opportunities to develop teamwork and collaboration skills, including working effectively in diverse teams and resolving conflicts.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking: Accounting and finance professionals need strong problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. The EPSM helps you develop these skills by presenting complex scenarios and challenging you to analyze, evaluate, and propose solutions.

Professional Values and Behaviors: Upholding professional values and behaviours is crucial in the accounting profession. The EPSM emphasizes the importance of integrity, objectivity, and confidentiality, among other values, and guides you on how to apply these principles in your work.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD): The EPSM encourages lifelong learning and professional development. As you progress through the module, you’ll be encouraged to reflect on your learning experiences and identify areas for further development.

Assessment and Evaluation: Assessment methods in the EPSM may include written exams, case studies, presentations, and reflective reports. These assessments are designed to evaluate your understanding of ethical principles and professional skills.

Resources and Support: ACCA provides a range of resources and support materials to help you succeed in the EPSM. This may include online learning resources, study guides, and access to tutors or mentors.


The ACCA EPSM Module serves as an indispensable resource for individuals seeking to deepen their understanding of essential principles in strategic management. Throughout this guide, we have explored the comprehensive framework provided by the EPSM module, delving into key concepts, methodologies, and case studies that illuminate the complexities of strategic decision-making in today’s dynamic business environment. By actively engaging with the EPSM and embracing its principles, you’ll not only enhance your professional skills but also demonstrate your commitment to ethical conduct and excellence in the accounting and finance profession.

In essence, the ACCA EPSM Module stands as a beacon of excellence in the realm of strategic management education, offering a comprehensive roadmap for aspiring professionals and seasoned executives alike. As we embrace the challenges and opportunities of an ever-evolving business landscape, let us harness the knowledge and insights garnered from this guide to navigate the complexities of strategic decision-making with clarity, conviction, and foresight.

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