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An essential part of becoming an ACCA member is fulfilling the 36 months' Practical Experience Requirement (PER).

Where can I work?

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ACCA trainees can work in any sector and size of organisation. You do not have to work for an employer approved by ACCA.

What is important is to look for the opportunities to help you meet your PER and to obtain a total of 36 months' experience in a relevant role or roles. It is also important that your work is appropriately supervised and that the time you complete towards your 36 months' experience is signed off by your practical experience supervisor.

Ideally, this means that you have a job where the majority of your time is spent on activities and tasks that are accounting, finance, audit and assurance related, or in other related technical areas such as taxation, insolvency and forensics.

Experience can be gained prior to registering with ACCA, while you are studying for the exams and/or after you have completed the exams. However remember that you will still need to get this prior experience signed off by a practical experience supervisor at the employer where you gained the experience.

You can gain your PER working on a part-time basis or in a role where your job includes only some accountancy and finance work. 

When you record your employment details in My Experience you will be asked to provide details about your role, including the number of hours you work and the percentage of your time spent on accounting or finance related tasks. This will allow us to calculate the amount of time you can count towards the 36 months' requirement.

For example, if only a quarter of your working time during the year (equivalent to three months) is spent in an accounting capacity, you may only claim three months - not 12 - as relevant time. This will mean that it will take you more than three years to achieve the relevant experience. 

Changing roles

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Your experience doesn’t have to be gained in a single role or one continuous period. You can gain your experience in different roles and with different employers. It is important to ensure that your online PER record is updated and that your practical experience supervisor has signed off any performance objectives you have achieved when you change roles.

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 PER Confirmation form. This form will be available to download in My Experience once you end your Approved Employer role.

Please forward a copy of your signed-off Approved Employer PER Confirmation form to ACCA and we will update your PER record to reflect the performance objectives you have achieved. Please keep the original for your own record.

You will then need to achieve the balance of your time in a relevant role and performance objectives with a new employer.

Use the competency framework to understand how the ACCA qualification is relevant to a particular role, the sector you work in or want to work in. This tool will help you discuss your skillset with a potential employer. Access the competency framework

Last updated: 11 Apr 2017

Related documents

  • Approved Employer PER confirmation form

    PDF 27KB