How to Pass your RAP RAP .

How to Pass your RAP
A presentation for students taking the OBUBS
Please note : the best advice is to read and
follow carefully guidance on the RAP
provided on the ACCA website. The following
slides provide further useful information.
China: 2012
Key features of the RAP
RAP consists of 2 parts:
1. A Research Report (RR)based on a topic chosen by the
student from an approved list of topics based on the
curriculum covered in Papers F1-F9.
6500 word maximum length,and a recommended structure
and content: graded A,B,C (Pass)or F(Fail)
2. A Skills and Learning Statement(SLS) 2000 word max.
length -pass or fail.
Both parts must be passed: they are designed to enable
students to demonstrate the required personal
/transferable skills.
BSc (Hons)in Applied
Key features of the RAP
Transferable skills on successful completion of RAP:
• problem solving/analysis/evaluation
• effective written /oral communication
• self managed learning
• completing an independent research project
• information gathering/referencing
• using information technology
NB all the above primarily evaluated in research report
Evaluated in skills and learning statement.
• Reflecting on learning
• Effects on future professional development & employment roles
Key features of the RAP
A set of processes measuring the outcome of students’ learning in terms
of knowledge acquired, understanding developed and skills gained.
• RAP assessed by a team of OBU markers/ moderators
• ALL failed /marginal papers are moderated, plus a sample of all pass
grades(A,B,C grades)
• An external examiner reviews ALL moderated projects.
• OBU BSc.Examination Board approves RAP results and awards
Mentors :
• not involved in the assessment process
• provide valuable feedback to students after presentation of RR (before
the final document including SLS is submitted to OBU).
Key features of the RAP:
Assessment of the Research Report:
4 Technical & Professional Skills:
• Understanding of accountancy /business models
• Application of accountancy /business models
• Evaluation of information ,analysis/ conclusions
• Presentation of project findings
3 Graduate Skills
• communication
• information gathering and referencing
• use of information technology
Research Report : Graded A,B,C (PASS) or F (FAIL)
Key features of the RAP
Assessment of the Skills and Learning Statement:
1. Self reflection : answers to 4 specific questions
2. Communication Skills - including presentation to mentor.
SLS is pass / fail;
Overall assessment
Grade attained for RR is awarded
If student passes RR but fails SLS, then on successful resubmission
of SLS only, original grade for RR is awarded.
Student failing RR but passing SLS must resubmit RR only (either the
original topic or new topic).
Student failing both resubmits both
3 attempts only are permitted.
Successful RESITS OF RR are capped at C grade.
Skills and Learning Statement
Self Reflection: the 4 questions:
1. What did you learn from meetings with your mentor, including
presentation you gave?
2. How well do you think you have answered your research questions?
3. How have you demonstrated your interpersonal & communication
skills during project work?
4. How has undertaking RAP helped you in your accountancy studies
and / or current job?
Subject to 2000 word maximum: 350-650 words per question
BSc(Hons)in Applied
Key features of the RAP
RAP : a “ guided enquiry”
• Student chooses topic from “approved list”
• Student benefits from guidance on ACCA website, articles
in Student Accountant, published texts on the RAP, plus
meetings with their mentor;
• Student actively reflects on the experience of undertaking
the RAP and knowledge /skills/ behaviours developed as a
result- “learning from experience”;
• Mentor encourages /supports student initiative and
reinforces student’s responsibility for learning.
Key features of RAP
Research :
to investigate, to inquire ,to explore, to find out, to
review, to look into :
The topic area is defined by the approved RAP
topic list;
The student chooses topic and organisation,
defines specific objectives related to the
organisation chosen, and judges what type of
information is required and how it will be
obtained to meet research report objectives
and the assessment criteria.
Key Features of the RAP
Research Report is a form of Applied Business Research :
This implies a systematic investigation/ enquiry into a
problem or issue:a systematic approach to data collection;
interpretation, analysis and evaluation of information
gathered to provide either increased understanding of, or
answers to the original problem /issue studied.
Where possible,it should lead to recommendations of
practical benefit /value to manager/s of the organisation
Key features of RAP:
1.Information Gathering
Nature and type of information required will be
determined by choice of project topic and
research report objectives set.
Primary data : original data collected by
researcher to answer a specific question. If
primary data is required from staff within your
chosen organisation ,then permission from a
senior member of staff in that organisation
MUST be obtained before you commence-as
early as possible!!
2.Information gathering
If you need to collect primary data, the design of your
research instruments (e.g. questionnaires, interviews) must
be supported by relevant academic literature based on
methods of research and the topic area. You also need to
comment on:
• data collection methods –e.g. focus groups, interviews,
• sample size & outline of sampling strategy
• response rates and any problems arising eg nonresponses and their implications
• you MUST discuss ethical issues in data collection and
how you resolved them
3. Information Gathering
Secondary data :data which is available and has
been collected by others, which may be
relevant to you in answering your research
questions; e.g. books, journal articles, press
articles , company annual reports.
You MUST use relevant academic sources
• both to understand issues in the organisation
studied, AND
• to support analysis /evaluation of information
and ensure that research report objectives
have been met.
4. Information gathering :
You MUST reference information sources in your Research
Report : this is an important graduate skill
• acknowledges the work of others
• allows the reader to check your sources and evaluate your
use of them
• avoids plagiarism (representing others’ work as your own)
• demonstrates the breadth /depth of your
reading/understanding in the topic area.
Use the Harvard Referencing System -see Information Pack
for guidance.
5.Information gathering:
analysis and evaluation
Information gathered from the various
sources used must be thoroughly analysed
and evaluated, using relevant accounting
/business concepts, theories, models etc in
order to enable you to judge how well the
objectives of your research report have
been met.
Qualities of Excellent
Research Reports
Specific and achievable report objectives
Logical structure underpinned / guided by a clearly explained
appropriate overall research approach
Systematic approach to information gathering, relevant to the
topic ,issues in the organisation studied and report
Analytical / evaluative approach, applying relevant
concepts/theories /models etc from accounting /business
literature both in the design of the overall research
approach AND in an overall evaluation which meets the
stated report objectives.
Accurate and complete referencing of all information sourcesboth in the text and a list of references.
Research Report:
Overall Research Approach
The structure /framework guiding your research
• the overall research approach links what you
are attempting to find out
• the methods you are using to gather the
required information
• the analysis and evaluation carried out to
answer your research questions
• conclusions / recommendations which ensure
that your research report objectives have been
Overall Research Approachlinks to:
Original problem /issue - topic /organisation chosen
Specific research questions /report objectives
Relevant literature from accounting/ business concepts
/theories /models
Methods of information gathering used /limitations /ethical
Analysis /evaluation based on accounting /business
concepts/theories /models to answer research questions
/meet report objectives
Conclusions /relevant recommendations
Planning the Research
Take full account of RR constraints: 6500 words, single
organisation focus, approved topic list, assessment criteria
Follow recommended structure and content for RR
Set realistic ,achievable research questions /report objectives
Read ,understand and apply relevant academic literatureboth in designing overall research approach, and in
analysing /evaluating information gathered to meet report
Reference your work fully and accurately.
RAP: role of the mentor
Why do students fail RAP?
Poor planning & preparation: poor knowledge/ understanding of guidancesee ACCA website!!
Problems with primary research/choice of topic : difficult to get access to
information required;
Poor /inadequate information sources poor / inadequate referencing;
Research Report is descriptive rather than analytical;
Skills and Learning statements do not address the 4 specific questions /
describe events rather than reflect / evaluate on what they did /their
own strengths and weaknesses/what they have learned from doing
their RAP.
How might this knowledge of the main causes of failure help you to pass?