How can you make sure you gain the breadth of work experience needed to achieve ACCA's practical experience requirement (PER) and make it to membership?
Catherine Edwards, ACCA head of qualifications, recommends an early, proactive, and strategic approach, based on a thorough understanding of what is required.
‘If ACCA students are to benefit from the hard work required to pass ACCA exams, then they must also drive the achievement of their performance objectives,’ says Edwards.
‘This experience does not have to be gained in one three-year stretch, and can come from different jobs – paid or unpaid – at different times, even from before registering with ACCA. However, to count towards membership, any experience must link to a performance objective, and be signed off by a workplace mentor (a qualified accountant). This can be done retrospectively, if necessary, but it is obviously much easier if experience is signed off as soon as it is gained.
‘By validating any relevant experience students can start to meet performance objectives as early as possible.’
Have you considered?
- actively suggesting different methods of gaining experience to your employer
- discussing with your workplace mentor how you can gain more experience
- work experience outside of paid work
- shadowing and secondments to broaden experience
- moving departments (or even jobs) to gain the necessary variety
- volunteering to gain enough experience to get your ‘foot in the door’ to get the next job you want.
Remember to highlight to your employer the benefits for them. Gaining valuable skills and knowledge can increase productivity, highlight your own strengths and weaknesses, demonstrate commitment and ambition.