When can I gain my practical experience?
You can gain your practical experience before, during or after completion of the examinations. There is no time limit to gaining practical experience and applying for ACCA membership. However, the performance objectives are closely linked to the exam syllabus and it is recommended that you co-ordinate your study and practical experience achievement.
Can I use experience gained before I registered as an ACCA student towards the Practical Experience Requirement?
On your PER annual return you may record the total time, in months, you have spent relevant roles. If you wish to have performance objectives signed off by your previous employer, you will need to provide details of your former employer in the “Your Workplace” section including details of your workplace mentor(s). You will then be able to answer challenge questions relating to the performance objectives you believe you have achieved during this previous period and submit these for review and sign-off to your former workplace mentor. Please note that your current employer is unable to sign-off performance objectives gained with a previous employer.
Can lecturing experience count towards my practical experience requirement?
Yes, up to 12 months’ lecturing experience can count towards the practical experience requirements for membership. The lecturing experience must be at a level equivalent to Part 1 of ACCA’s professional examinations and cover basic accounting, business studies and finance-related subjects.
Is it possible for those studying full-time to use a work placement towards ACCA’s Practical Experience Requirement?
Yes. If your placement is in a relevant role then you may use this experience towards your Practical Experience Requirement provided that the work experience is of sufficient breadth and depth to contribute towards achieving performance objectives and is properly supervised.
Can I use experience gained in a part-time or temporary position towards ACCA’s Practical Experience Requirement?
Yes, provided that the work experience is of sufficient breadth and depth to contribute towards achieving performance objectives and is properly supervised. You may find that experience gained in a part-time or temporary position does not allow you to achieve many performance objectives and may not provide sufficient opportunities for career development.
Also, work experience gained on a part-time basis can only count towards the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) for membership on a pro-rata basis. Therefore, wherever possible, it is advisable to obtain full-time work experience* that is relevant, supervised and meets the PER. *As a guideline, ACCA considers full-time work experience to be 140 hours per month. 1540 hours of part-time work equates to 12 months of full-time work experience. This discounts annual leave etc.
Is it compulsory for trainees who are not working to use the TDM and submit a PER annual return?
All ACCA trainees (students and affiliates) must make a PER annual return each year. If you are not working you can indicate this when making your PER annual return. You may also wish to take a look at the TDM to familiarise yourself with the PER and start considering how you will get the relevant experience.
How do I find a workplace mentor to verify my work experience?
Your workplace mentor should be someone that you work closely with and who knows what work activities you are completing and the quality of your work. Ideally, this would be someone like your line manager. You must ensure you have a workplace mentor to support you when gaining your relevant practical experience. Your workplace mentor should be a qualified accountant. For more information go to myACCA to access Support sheet 10: How to find a workplace mentor.
Do I have to work for an organisation that has been approved by ACCA?
No. You do not need to obtain your practical experience for membership in an organisation which has been approved by ACCA. However, if you work for an ACCA Approved Employer – trainee development stream, gold or platinum level you may be able to claim exemption from completing the TDM. This exemption must be agreed with your employer.
After completion of my studies, do I have to work in every employment sector i.e. industry, government and public practice in order to gain the necessary practical work experience?
No. ACCA trainees can chose to work in any business sector or combination of sectors to gain their Practical Experience Requirement (PER), providing they work in a relevant role and are able to get the range of experience to meet the PER.
How many signed off STR elements of competence do I need to have achieved in order to claim a related performance objective?
If you have achieved one of STR elements of competence that has been mapped to a related performance objective, then you can claim that performance objective. You may only use each STR element once, so it is worth looking at the STR to performance objective mapping before using the transition tool in the Trainee development matrix.
How many times can I use one signed off STR element of competence to claim a related performance objective?
You will be able to use an STR element of competence once to claim a related performance objective. It is therefore a good idea to have a look at the STR to PER mapping, in related documents, before using the TDM.