The Building Block model

Studying ACCA APM? Can you apply the Building Block model? - Here is how!

Application and evaluation are two key skills tested in ACCA APM.

Application, in particular worries many students. So here is my attempt to apply the building block dimensions to a post from my friend and colleague @sunilbhandari made during the 2020 lockdown in the UK.

12 Positives from Lockdown - says SUNIL

The lockdown has been tough for all of us without exception. Personally, not being able to see my wife & two children has been draining, but many others have had far more difficult times.

I decided to throw myself into lots of business related & personal projects since the start of March. To make the negative into a positive experience.

1) Launched my new website.

2) Mastered (or nearly) the ACCA’s new CBE practice platform called Test Reach.

3) Created loads of new ACCA AFM & FM CBE question attempt & debrief videos for use on my online courses.

4) Re-designed my online ACCA AFM & FM revision courses.

5) Persuaded my wife 🙏🏽to record some new ACCA AFM theory pack podcasts.

6) Became a better cook.

7) Wrote & Recorded the new FREE “Maths in your Pocket” notes & video to help ACCA students.

8 ) Wrote 4 x ACCA AFM Mock Exams

9 ) Assisted 5 experienced tutors to join the FME Learn Online Platform (more are welcome).

10) Re-shaped my beard 4 times

11) Read & researched about President Richard Nixon.

12) Cut my own hair (not bad either).

Assessment of Performance

If you look at this list of my friend and colleague’s achievement it is hard not to be impressed. When it comes to assessing performance and with @SunilBhandari kind approval, it is useful, sometimes, to take a broader look and then see what we think.

The building block model provides six dimensions of performance so let’s apply that!


Resource Utilisation – Sunil has produced all these achievements on his own and clearly there’s a lot of achievements and only one resource – himself and his time. So, this sounds pretty good. We don’t know how long he spent of course and that’s a factor to assess the utilisation of a resource.


Innovation – CBE is coming for ACCA at the professional level and soon perhaps everyone will have to do the exam in that way. There will be a lot of students worried about this so to see a demonstration of how to use the CBE software so early in the game is clearly innovative. So that’s another tick!


Quality – The mere listing of output is not evidence of the standard of course, but if past material is anything to go by then this material will be great. I can’t say that I am sure about the haircut or the beard but then as is said – beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! As for the cooking, who knows. Sunil says he has become “a better cook”, but better might only mean the dog no longer turns his dishes down? “Better” simply indicates relative quality not absolute. You have to watch the wording in any performance assessment!


Flexibility – There is clearly a lot a variety on this list. Richard Nixon’s Watergate even! Another tick!


Profitability and competitiveness – Clearly good quality, innovative materials should lead to more customers. If this is efficiently produced, even by a man with a strange beard and haircut then competitiveness is assured, and consequently profits should follow. Sunil will have to wait and see on this of course and that’s often the scary bit. If a person (in this case Sunil) invests in product it can be some time before a reward realises itself.

So, what do we now think? I wouldn’t be advising him to become a cook that’s for sure. He should, in the words of Tom Peters, “Stick to the knitting” and continue to write and teach!


Footnote – The ACCA Advanced Performance Management exam, requires students to apply performance principles and models to a scenario. If you want more tips of how to do that reach out to me on LinkedIn.


https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoff-cordwell-96873316/

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