Components of ACCA's Practical Experience Requirements

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Print Email

Practical Experience Requirement (PER) is a compulsory component of ACCA Qualification. To become an ACCA member and a qualified accountant, you need to:

  • pass ACCA exams
  • complete professional ethics module
  • complete practical experience requirements (PER)

PER develops your professional knowledge and skills along with ethics and behaviors that are required of a professional accountant.

Components of PER

PER has three essential components:

1. Complete 36 months of work experience in accounting, auditing or finance-related role(s)

2. Achieve 13 performance objectives. 9 performance objectives are Essentials which must be completed and 4 Options performance objectives which are chosen from a range of 11 performance objectives

3. Record and report the progress towards PER in online "My Experience" on the ACCA website

In the following sections, these components are explained in detail and further guidance about these components is also provided.

Component 1: Work Experience

You need a work experience of 36 months in a relevant role under supervision. Your role must be related to accounting, auditing, or finance. You can achieve your work experience either in one role or more than one roles. You can meet work experience requirements by either working in one organization or more than one organizations.

The size and industry of the organization is not important. You can work in an organization of any size operating in any sector or industry. The important thing is your job responsibilities. Ideally, you should have a job where most of your time is spent in tasks and activities related to accounting, audit and assurance, and finance. You can also work in other relevant technical areas such as forensic accounting, taxation and insolvency.

If your job does not include purely accounting or finance-related tasks and activities and only partial time is spent on these activities, this time can also count. In a situation where you spent partial time on relevant activities, you are required to record pro rata the time you spend on such activities. For example, if you spent half of your time during a year on relevant tasks and activities, you can claim 6 months as relevant time.

You can claim the work experience you gained before, during, or after your studies and exams. The experience you gained even before registration with ACCA can also be claimed and counted towards the 36-month requirement. However, the person who supervised your work at that time should be able to review and sign off your answers to the related challenge questions.

Component 2: Performance Objectives

You are required to complete 13 performance objectives. The performance objectives are effective performance indicators designed by the ACCA. These performance objectives set the minimum standard that you have to achieve and demonstrate in the workplace. The kind of work activities that might be carried out by you and the ethics and behaviors expected from you are described by these performance objectives.

The performance objectives are of 2 types: (i) Essentials and (ii) Options.

  • Essentials: There are 9 Essentials performance objectives. They are the same for all ACCA students and every student who wants to apply for ACCA membership must complete these objectives. These performance objectives are related to professionalism, personal effectiveness, business management, ethics and governance.
  • Options: There are total 11 Options performance objectives but the students are required to complete only 4 objectives of their choice. These performance objectives are related to technical areas such as financial reporting, management accounting, taxation, financial management, audit and assurance. Each of these performance objectives is closely related to a particular ACCA exam.

For each of your 13 performance objectives, you have to answer 3 challenge questions. The challenge questions help you to analyze the quality of your work and highlight the areas of your performance where improvement can be made.

These questions are designed to:

  • help you describe your work experience in a well structured manner
  • allow you to describe the circumstances and difficulties you faced and how you handled and overcame them
  • allow you to demonstrate that you assessed and analyzed the quality of your work and reflected on ways to improve it
  • help provide evidence which your workplace mentor can review

Your answers should not exceed the limit of 500 words. It should be kept in mind that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Each answer is specific to each individual and is a reflection of individual experiences.

Component 3: Recording and Reporting

You are required to record and report your work experience in online tool "My Experience" on the official website of ACCA. You can access this tool from myACCA by entering your registration number and passcode.

"My Experience" will help you to plan your development, target your performance objectives, write the answers to your challenge questions, and review and sign off of these answers.

The process of recording and reporting PER goes through the following stages:

  • Identification of workplace mentor:

The first thing to do is to identify a workplace mentor and update their name and email contact in the My Experience.

  • Target Performance objectives:

The next thing is to identify the performance objectives you want to target, then discuss this target with your mentor and then gain experience to achieve this target. Record the work experience in My Experience.

  • Answer Challenge Questions

The next step is to answer the challenge questions related to your targeted performance objectives. Write the answers in My Experience.

  • Submit the answers for review and sign off

Ones you have completed your answers, you will have to submit them for review and sign off by your workplace mentor. If satisfied by your answers, the workplace mentor will sign off your answers.

Ones you have recorded and reported all of your answers to challenge questions related to 13 performance objectives and they are reviewed and signed off by your workplace mentor, you can apply for membership to ACCA.

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