To become a member of ACCA and qualify as a professional accountant, you must pass all the exams, successfully complete the Professional Ethics module and complete the PER.
You cannot apply for membership until you have completed all three components.
There are three components to the PER:
Further information on the PER can be accessed within this section and from the 'Related links'.
Yes. You can use experience from previous job roles (before or after registering as an ACCA student) to help you claim a performance objective. There is no specific time limit.
However, the qualified person who supervised your work at that time must be able to review and sign-off the answers to your challenge questions.
Also, as the profession continually evolves, consider carefully if experience gained more than five years ago is still relevant.
Yes. Up to 12 months' lecturing experience can count towards meeting the PER. The lecturing experience must be at a minimum level equivalent to the Fundamentals level of the ACCA Qualification and cover basic accounting, business studies and finance-related subjects.
Yes. You can use experience gained at either a work placement or internship if the work experience was relevant and provided sufficient breadth and depth to contribute towards achieving performance objectives. This experience must also have been properly supervised.
Yes, provided that the work experience is of sufficient breadth and depth to contribute towards achieving performance objectives and is properly supervised.
However, 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 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. 1,540 hours of part-time work equates to 12 months of full-time work experience. This discounts annual leave etc.
As long as you are in a relevant accounting or finance role, the PER can be achieved in all sectors and sizes of organisation. Once in a relevant role, the first thing you need to do is find a workplace mentor you can work with to achieve your PER.
Yes. You could start your qualification in one country and complete it somewhere entirely different - many ACCA trainees do. PER is completely transferable - across organisations, sectors and geographical locations.
To support trainees around the world, we have a network of national offices providing support and information for trainees including, in many cases, national websites.
Ideally, you should have a job where most of your time is spent on activities and tasks related to accounting, finance, audit and assurance, or in other related technical areas such as taxation, insolvency and forensic accounting.
If your role or organisation does not offer sufficient opportunity to achieve your performance objectives you have a number of options.
You can use experience from previous roles to help you claim a performance objective, including experience gained before registering with ACCA. The qualified person who supervised your work at that time must be able to review and sign-off the answers to your challenge questions.
You may start in a junior role where your exposure to different work activities is limited but you should aim to gain more responsibility and accountability over time. Examples include when:
Other ways that you may be able to gain experience in a current role is through job rotations, secondments, project work, workshops, job shadowing, and on-the-job training. Or you may consider moving to a different organisation to allow you to take on increasing levels of responsibility and accountability.
You can also achieve performance objectives outside of your employment. For example, you may act in a voluntary capacity as treasurer to a club or society.
To make progress, you should actively plan your career, setting yourself goals which should include the types of jobs you would like to do. Take a look at our Competency Framework to help you plan, which can be accessed from the 'Related links' section of this page.
No. You do not have to obtain your practical experience in an organisation which has been approved by ACCA. Although there are advantages to achieving your PER if you do work for an ACCA Approved Employer.
Information on the Approved Employer programme can be accessed from the 'Related links' section of this page.
No. ACCA trainees can chose to work in any business sector or combination of sectors to gain their PER, providing they work in a relevant role and are able to get the range of experience required to achieve the performance objectives.
In order for work experience to count towards the PER, it must be supervised and verified by a suitably qualified person. While trainees can provide basic book-keeping and certain other services direct to the public, this cannot constitute 'approved accountancy experience' and therefore may not count towards the PER.
However, basic bookkeeping and other accountancy work undertaken under supervision (eg on a sub-contract basis) may count towards the PER.
A workplace mentor is an individual who supports your development in the workplace. A workplace mentor oversees your achievement of performance objectives and signs-off performance objectives once they have been achieved.
The workplace mentor role is central to you completing the practical experience requirement of the ACCA qualification and achieving membership.
For more information about workplace mentors, please visit our Workplace mentors section
Your workplace mentor should be someone with whom you work closely, who knows the type of work you are doing now, and who also knows the quality of your work. Ideally this will be your line manager or the person to whom you report on particular projects or activities.
Your workplace mentor should be a qualified accountant recognised by law in your country and/or a member of an International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) body.
If your workplace mentor isn’t qualified, or you work for a small organisation and are the most senior finance person in the organisation, or your organisation does not employ a professionally qualified accountant who can act as your workplace mentor, then you will need to find someone else who can be your workplace mentor or Training Supervisor.
Read the section entitled 'The Training Supervisor Role' if you think this describes you.
It is your responsibility to find a workplace mentor. Once you have identified who the most appropriate person to be your workplace mentor, in most cases this will be your line manager, the next thing to do is to thoroughly familiarise yourself with the workplace mentor role so you can have an informed conversation with them. For full information and resources, please visit our ACCA workplace mentor guidance section
If the person you approach is not an ACCA member, you will need to also explain basic information about the ACCA PER to them.
Although you need a workplace mentor in order to progress through the PER, workplace mentors also benefit from their role in many ways and it will help you to have a more successful conversation with them if you can explain these benefits.
Some benefits include skills development in areas such as communication and time management, which when applied to your role can increase your effectiveness and the value you are able to bring to your team and organisation. Many mentors also report that they have learnt a lot through mentoring an ACCA trainee and find it personally meaningful.
The mentoring role may contribute to the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements of their own professional body as well.
ACCA has produced a video to explain the role and the personal and organisational benefits of being a workplace mentor. Watch our workplace mentor video
Visit our Workplace mentor section to learn more. The section contains a brief guide that trainees can download and give to potential workplace mentors, explaining the reasons for taking on the role.
In some instances another trainee accountant could act as your workplace mentor.
ACCA requires that the trainee fulfilling the workplace mentor role be in a more senior role than you. This seniority should derive from them having progressed further in their development/studies and having acquired greater experience than you.
It is not sufficient for the workplace mentor to have the same level of experience as the trainee that they support or simply more years in a similar role at the same level; they must be in a more senior position in your organisation.
ACCA manages the associated risk by classifying trainees who use another trainee as their workplace mentor as being in a higher risk category for PER audit. This risk is further mitigated by requiring a second level of sign-off for performance objectives by a suitably qualified training supervisor.
If you are unsure about whether it is appropriate to use someone as your workplace mentor, please contact ACCA using the details below.
Your workplace mentor has the ability to update their contact details through their myACCA account.
However, if you have entered their details incorrectly and they consequently have not received an email notification from us to review your performance objective, you will be required to deactivate that workplace mentor. Once you have done this, simply add them back in as an additional workplace mentor (even if this is the same individual), entering the correct details.
A trainee supervisor is a qualified accountant who countersigns achievement of performance objectives with your unqualified workplace mentor. A training supervisor may be based within your organisation or external to your organisation.
There may be a qualified accountant working for the same organisation who is able to be your training supervisor. They may not be able or willing to fulfil the role of workplace mentor as they do not work closely with you. However, they will have a general overview of your work and can confirm details of your experience with your unqualified workplace mentor and may ask to see samples of your work. This training supervisor would typically be someone senior to your line manager or a manager from another department.
There may be a consultant or external contact who is a qualified accountant and knows your work. They could act as your workplace mentor or training supervisor.
For example, your organisation may have external accountants or the organisation's auditor might be willing to fulfil this role – but make sure they do not feel there is any conflict of interest if they agree to do this. If this person is not sufficiently familiar with your work, they may be more suited to acting in the capacity of training supervisor to countersign the achievement of your performance objectives.
Your unqualified line manager could then be your workplace mentor. Your training supervisor will need to confirm details of your experience with them and may ask to see samples of your work.
If you do not have access to a qualified training supervisor to countersign the achievement of your performance objectives please contact ACCA to discuss your options.
Please visit our Contact us page
ACCA recommends that you regularly update your online My Experience record. One of the difficulties trainees can encounter when they come to apply for membership is that they find they are missing vital information, such as employer details, or they have failed to gain sign-off for performance objectives achieved with a previous employer.
A reminder pop-up screen will appear when you log into myACCA if you have not recently engaged with My Experience, as a prompt to update your record.
You should consider the following when answering challenge questions:
For more information about challenge questions, please visit our PER support page
* Important: only submit a single performance objective to your workplace mentor to begin with to enable the link to be established. Once your workplace mentor has signed off this performance objective, you will receive a confirmation email. You will then be able to submit additional performance objectives for review and sign-off.
If your workplace mentor is using the online My Experience record to review and sign-off your performance objectives, ACCA will automatically have a record of this and invite you to membership once all performance objectives are signed off.
If your workplace mentor chooses not to use the online My Experience record, you can print off the answers to your challenge questions and ask them to sign these off. Only then can you mark the relevant performance objectives as 'achieved' in your My Experience record using the 'record paper sign-off' function.
Keep the signed-off hard copies safe, because you will be asked to provide these when you apply for membership or if you are selected for a PER audit.
If your employer is an ACCA Approved Employer - trainee development stream, you may be able to claim the performance objective exemption. This is because ACCA recognises that your employer already has a strong training and development programme in place, which will equip you with the required competence.
It is up to the employer to decide if they want to allow you to claim the performance objective exemption. You will still be required to complete 36 months' experience and record this in My Experience.
If you are employed by an Approved Employer where you are claiming the performance objective exemption and you are planning on leaving, you must complete the Approved Employer Summary Form.
Please forward the signed-off copy to ACCA and we will update your My Experience record to reflect the performance objectives you have achieved. Access the 'PER support' section from the 'Related links' for the Approved Employer summary form.
Make sure you keep the original form for your own record; it may be requested during an ACCA audit.
Remember - you will need to achieve the balance of your time in a relevant role and performance objectives with a new employer.
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Last updated: 28 Nov 2014