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In the previous blog, we spoke about Ethics in ACCA. In this blog, we will talk about the 2nd important element of your ACCA Qualification – the Practical Experience Requirement.
The mark of every profession is an extensive period where the individual gains actual experience in the workplace of the profession that applies the theoretical learning they gain during their period of study.
Accounting professionals are no different, and ACCA, as an accounting professional course, does include the need for gaining practical experience before being termed as a qualified accountant/practitioner. Afterall, you cannot claim to be an ACCA Professional without displaying ACCA and your current/future employers that not only have you learnt the course through 13 papers and the ethics and professionalism aspects but also know how to apply them in real work!
This part 1 of the blog introduces the Practical Experience Requirements of ACCA, while further details will be covered in a Part 2.
Students must demonstrate relevant skills and experience within a real work environment through ACCA’s Practical Experience Requirement (PER) to apply for membership. To achieve the PER, 36 months of supervised experience in a relevant accounting or finance role is necessary along with completion of Five Essential and Four Optional Performance Objectives. The experience is to be recorded in myExperience portal.
Unlike other professional qualifications that apply restrictions on how and when the experience has to be obtained, ACCA provides the learners a lot of flexibility and also takes a more comprehensive approach of developing the professional through its Practical Experience Supervisor programme.
A practical experience supervisor is an individual who supports development in the workplace and reviews progress and performance at work. The practical experience supervisor should guide and support by:
In most cases, the practical experience supervisor will be the line manager, or the person reported to on projects or activities. To sign off the performance objectives the practical experience supervisor should be a qualified accountant (i.e., member of an IFAC), works closely with the individual and the knows the work of the individual.
If the line manager is not qualified, they can still sign-off time in a relevant role and an additional qualified supervisor to needs to be nominated to sign-off the objectives. This additional supervisor could be another manager within the organisation, a consultant or the organisation’s external accountants or auditors who will work with the line manager to validate the experience claimed.
There may be more than one supervisor over a period who are responsible to help the individual achieve different performance objectives.
ACCA demands that a friend or relative should not be nominated as the practical experience supervisor to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Where this is not possible, the relationship must be disclosed to ACCA when applying for admission to membership.
Stay tuned for Part 2, to know more about ACCA’s PER.
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