09 Dec 2020 16:31 IST

CA Institute issues new ‘professional’ dress code for students

Students are taken aback by the insistence of a formal dress code while the world is dressing down for WFH

In a globalised working world, CA Institute is now going the extra mile to inculcate professionalism among its students (articled clerks and audit assistants), right from the start of their training period.

It has now come up with a Code of Conduct for its students, which among other things specifies a “formal dress code” for those pursuing the chartered accountancy course. This, it feels, will give them a professional look and help them present themselves in a confident manner.

The advisory dress code for male students is full sleeves shirts and trousers. For female students, it is sarees/salwar kurta/suit. Here’s the crucial part — while appearing before Appellate Authority, the student may also wear formals!

At a time when the world is dressing down to fit into WFH mode, students are taken aback by the insistence of a “formal dress code”. However, many seniors among the CA fraternity see a lot of utility in mandating a formal dress code during articleship (training years).


Former CA Institute president G Ramaswamy said this move is a positive to bring professionalism during student life itself. “This will better prepare the student and be useful for their future career in employment or as a practising chartered accountant or in appearing before regulatory and tax authorities,” he said.

Former CA Institute president R Bupathy felt this dress code could be a value-add for a student in the accountancy profession, which has increasingly become globalised. “Today we are going global and more international exposure is coming. Even as an articled clerk they may have to participate at international level discussions. Having a dress code could be useful as a sort of value addition. This is also going to improve the image of the profession,” he said.

Atul Kumar Gupta, President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), sought to downplay the Code of Conduct for students and asserted that a formal dress code will only help inculcate professionalism among students.

There is a perception in student circles that by bringing the code of conduct, the CA Institute is trying to send a message to those actively using social media to malign the profession to “be aware and cautious”.

The Code will be applicable to all students including those in foundation, intermediate and final courses. The Code is so elaborate that it even prescriptively requires students to maintain “decency and decorum” while attending programmes like seminars, conference and mock tests organised by the Institute or its regional councils/branches.