Introduction to Practical Experience Requirement of ACCA
To become a qualified chartered accountant and member of ACCA, taking and passing the exams is not enough. To become an ACCA member, a student also has to complete Practical Experience Requirement (PER) of ACCA. Accountants are not the only ones who have to gain relevant practical experience to be fully qualified for their profession. A lot of other professions also require the students to gain relevant practical experience to exhibit that they are qualified and fit for the practice. Doctors and lawyers are common examples of such professions.
To meet the practical experience requirements of the ACCA, you can gain your experience before, after or during the studies and exams.
What is PER?
PER is designed to provide a structure to the students to follow by setting a number of performance objectives that must be achieved by the students. The purpose of performance objectives is to make sure that the students gain the necessary experience to show that they have developed the abilities needed to become an ACCA member.
By completing the performance objectives, they will be able to:
- Apply in practical situations the knowledge, skills, and techniques learned though the studies for passing ACCA exams
- Observe and participate in real-world work situations that will help them to develop behavior, attitude, and skills that will be needed as a qualified accountant
- Develop their judgment and to encourage them to assess their performance and to make improvements to their performance.
The performance objectives set by the PER are closely linked to the syllabus of exams. Therefore whenever possible, the students should try to coordinate their studies with the practical experience requirement. By coordinating their studies and PER, they will be able to gain maximum benefits from both of them.
What the students are required to do?
For the achievement of PER, the students need to work in roles related to accounting, auditing, finance or similar field. The students will need:
- to work for 36 months in the relevant role(s)
- find a workplace mentor
- achieve 13 performance objectives
- record their progress using the online "My Experience" record on the ACCA website
If a student has limited opportunities in their current role to achieve their PER, they should consider switching to another role in the same organization or in another organization. However, before changing the employment, they should try to get the support of their employer to help them gain their PER. Alternative options that can help them to achieve their PER include secondment, internship, or work shadowing.
In case a student is a full time student or not currently working in a relevant role, he/she should update the record in "My Experience" to reflect the employment status. They should also consider what steps they will take in the future to complete their PER to become ACCA members.