The Uniform Evaluation (commonly abbreviated as UFE since it is also called the Uniform Final Evaluation) is the last examination chartered accountancy students take in pursuit of the Chartered Accountant (CA) designation in the countries of Canada and Bermuda. The UFE is also reputed to be among the world's most challenging professional exams where students are required to use an integrative business thinking model to obtain the designation.
Administered nationally by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and conducted regionally by the provincial/regional orders, the UFE is written over the course of three sequential days and is the culmination of years of study in accounting, finance, economics and other business-related university courses. Writing the UFE requires successful completion of preliminary work or exams, which vary based upon the preparatory system of the provincial institute/ordre where the CA student is registered.
The exam currently consists of case based simulations: one 5-hour "comprehensive" written on the first day, and a six multi-subject questions split between the remaining 2 days. Each multi-subject day is 4 hours, and consists of questions with suggested time limits ranging between 60 and 90 minutes.
Students answer questions which are presented in the form of business cases that include a combination of both explicit and implicit requirements for each case's "users", followed by a list of exhibits that provide case facts from which observations, suggestions and conclusions are derived. Common scenarios include providing advice on how to conduct an audit, advising a client on the pros and cons of investing funds in a given business venture, and providing support to an organization as an internal accountant or auditor.
Since 2003, the exam is marked according to a "competency map". In addition to scoring a total number of marks, candidates must score a minimum level of competency 'points' in each area to pass.
Previous versions of the UFE used a more traditional marking scheme. Older versions of the UFE lasted four days and some included multiple choice questions. The current version consists exclusively of full 'case style' questions, and no multiple choice questions.
The exam is administered once per year during September and approximately 4,000 students attempt the exam each year. National pass rates for 2003 to 2008 have been 65.5%, 74.5%, 74.0%, 79.3%, 74.6%, and 71.7% respectively. Exam results are released in late November following each September sitting of the UFE.
Beginning with the September 2009 UFE, the Board of Evaluators no longer releases statistics on pass rates.
Core competency areas
- Governance, Strategy, & Risk Management
- Performance Measurement and Reporting
- Management Decision-Making
- Pervasive Qualities (Including both business and professional ethics and other overarching considerations such as fraud awareness)
Exam entry method
Since 2005, students have been able to type in their responses on laptop computers secured with Securexam (CA) lockdown software in all regions of Canada. Use of computer is no longer voluntary. It became a requirement to use a computer starting with the 2009 UFE.
Qualification requirements in addition to the UFE
In addition to passing the UFE, CA candidates must complete a minimum of 28 to 36 months of practical experience with a public accounting firm or an approved CA Training office. The new qualification requirements require a record of CA qualifying experience and is focused on at least 1 depth (Assurance or Performance Measurement and Reporting) and 2 breadth specific competency areas (Taxation Governance, Strategy and Risk Management, Management Decision-Making, and Finance). Students Entering the program prior to September 2009 were under the old qualification system where specific compentancies were not tracked and reported by the students CA Training Office (CATO) to their provincial institute.
Pervasive Qualities and Skills are also assessed in the following areas with a focus on the competencies and proficiency levels CA Students are expected to demonstrate at the point of writing the UFE. These same competencies of ethical behavior and professionalism, personal attributes and professional skills are expected to be demonstrated and developed in the workplace. This assessment should be based on all your Pervasive Qualities and Skills developed over the total period of your practical experience. By the end of your term of practical experience, you are expected to have acquired and to demonstrate ALL the Pervasive Qualities and Skills.
I Ethical Behavior and Professionalism
I-1 Protects the public interest
I-2 Acts competently with honesty and integrity
I-3 Carries out work with a desire to exercise due care
I-4 Maintains objectivity and independence
I-5 Avoids conflict of interest
I-6 Protects the confidentiality of information
I-7 Maintains and enhances the profession’s reputation
I-8 Adheres to the rules of professional conduct
II Personal Attributes
II-2 Demonstrates leadership and initiative
II-3 Maintains and demonstrates competence and recognizes limits
II-4 Strives to add value in an innovative manner
II-5 Manages change
II-6 Treats others in a professional manner
III Professional Skills
III-1 Obtains information
III-2 Examines and interprets information and ideas critically
III-3 Solves problems and makes decisions
III-4 Communicates effectively and efficiently
III-5 Manages and supervises
III-6 Understands how IT impacts a CA’s daily functions and routines
III-7 Considers basic legal concepts
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Canada and Bermuda: "Uniform Evaluation Report 2003", page 12. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2004.
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Canada and Bermuda: "Uniform Evaluation Report 2004", page 12. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2005.
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Canada and Bermuda: "Uniform Evaluation Report 2005", page 12. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2006.
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Canada and Bermuda: "Uniform Evaluation Report 2006", page 12. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2007.
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Canada and Bermuda: "Uniform Evaluation Report 2007", page 12. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2008.
- "CA School of Business UFE Statistics". Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- "Computers in the UFE". Retrieved 2008-12-25.
* Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.Preparing for the 2009 UFE