Finding a great supervisor

Who will guide you along the journey?

A practical experience supervisor is an individual who supports your development in the workplace and reviews your progress and achievement at work.

Your practical experience supervisor should guide and support you by:

  • helping you identify which performance objectives you should aim to achieve
  • setting performance targets and timescales  
  • providing access to appropriate work experience and supporting your development, for example arranging job rotations, project work or other opportunities for you to gain relevant experience
  • evaluating and reviewing your progress on a regular basis
  • signing off the performance objectives you've achieved
  • signing off the time in a relevant role you're claiming towards the 36 months requirement.

It is important that your supervisor has the knowledge and experience to support you. They will be assessing whether you have met performance objectives so it's essential they have the expertise to do this.

"My supervisor was able to identify and delegate specific job responsibilities that helped me achieve many of my performance objectives."

Cherisse Charles-Bradshaw - Accountant II, International Game Technology (Trinidad)

Choosing the right supervisor

Your practical experience supervisor has to decide when you’ve achieved your performance objectives. Therefore, it must be someone who:

  • is a qualified accountant*
  • works closely with you
  • knows your work.

* A qualified accountant is a member of an IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) member body and/or recognised by law in your country.

In most cases, your practical experience supervisor will be your line manager or someone you report to on particular projects or activities.

Decide in advance how often you’ll need to meet your supervisor and how much time you’ll require, so you can choose one who’ll be able to provide sufficient input and give you the support you need.

Line manager not qualified

If your supervisor is not qualified they can sign-off the time you've completed in a relevant role, and you can choose a second, qualified supervisor who can work with your manager to sign-off your performance objectives. They must have a business connection to your employer or organisation and could be:

  • another manager in your organisation
  • a consultant
  • one of your organisation's external accountants or auditors.

Multiple practical experience supervisors

You may have more than one supervisor - or several different supervisors over a period of time - who are responsible for helping you to achieve different performance objectives.

Friends and family

Where possible you should not have a friend or relative as your practical experience supervisor to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Where this is not possible, you should disclose the relationship to ACCA when you are applying for admission to membership. 

No qualified supervisor available?

If you are an ACCA affiliate who is currently employed in a relevant accounting or finance role and you do not have a qualified supervisor either employed by, or linked to, your organisation, you may be eligible for a remote supervisor. Please find more information in our dedicated 'Remote Practical Experience Supervisor' area