Practical experience | ACCA Qualification | Students | ACCA Global
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Becoming an ACCA-qualified accountant does not just involve passing your exams and the professional ethics module, you also need to complete our Practical Experience Requirement (PER). It is not just accountants who must gain relevant practical experience, many other professions, such as doctors and lawyers, also have to gain experience to show that they are fit to practise.

You can gain your practical experience before, during or after you complete the exams.

What is PER?

PER provides a structure for you to follow by setting you a range of performance objectives. The performance objectives ensure you gain the experience to demonstrate that you have the abilities required to become a member.

Completing the performance objectives will allow you to:

  • apply in practice the knowledge and techniques gained through your studies towards the ACCA exams
  • observe and be involved in real-life work situations that help you to develop the skills, attitudes and behaviours you will need as a qualified accountant 
  • develop your judgement, encouraging you to reflect on the quality of your work and how you may improve your work performance in the future.

The performance objectives are closely linked to the exam syllabus and we recommend that you co-ordinate your study and achieving our practical experience requirement to gain the most from both.

What do I have to do?

To begin achieving your PER, you need to be working in an accounting or finance-related role. You will need to:

  • complete 36 months’ employment in an accounting or finance-related role(s)
  • find a workplace mentor
  • achieve 13 performance objectives
  • record your progress using the online My Experience record

Click on the links on the right to find out more about achieving your PER.

If you think the opportunities to achieve your PER in your current role are limited, consider other options available to you before you choose to find alternative employment. Aim to get your employer's support to help you gain your PER; consider work shadowing, secondment or an internship; and work closely with your workplace mentor.

What if I am a full time student?

If you are a full-time student or you are not working in a relevant role, please let us know this by updating your My Experience record to reflect your employment status. You should also start thinking about what steps you will need to take in the future to gain the practical experience you need in order to become a member.

For more information on the Practical Experience Requirement, read our PER guide, available from the Related Documents section below. This guide explains all you need to know about the Practical Experience Requirements in detail.

What if I work full time?

If you work full-time and your employer is committed to providing learning and development opportunities for their ACCA trainees, then they might be eligible to join ACCA’s Approved Employer programme. The Approved Employer programme – trainee development, formally recognises employers’ high standards of staff training and development by awarding them with Approved Employer status.

Gaining Approved Employer status has several benefits for your employer such as enhancing their reputation as an employer of choice and helping bring talented people into the organisation.

It also has benefits for you. As an ACCA trainee you can take advantage of the performance objective exemption and fast-track through ACCA’s Practical Experience Requirement (PER).

For more information on the Approved Employer programme, click on the link under the Related Links section.

Last updated: 6 Jun 2014

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