How to find a mentor
The practical experience requirement (PER) is a key component of the ACCA Qualification. ACCA trainees are required to complete 36 months of practical experience in a relevant role under the supervision of a workplace mentor.
Your workplace mentor will play an important role in your achievement of ACCA membership. Not only will they be responsible for signing-off the experience you have gained and recorded in the My Experience record, they should also support you in planning, achieving and recording the experience required to become an ACCA member. This support sheet contains advice on how to approach someone to be your workplace mentor and what to do if you don’t think there’s anyone who can be your workplace mentor. WHo sHould bE YouR WoRkPlACE MENToR? before approaching someone to be your workplace mentor you first need to think about the qualities required in a workplace mentor. Your workplace mentor will be responsible for assessing whether or not you have actually achieved a performance objective. Therefore, in order for them to make this judgement, it is crucial that they have knowledge of your work. It will often be your line manager who will fulfil the role of workplace mentor. However, there may be someone that works in a different team, department or location that meets the criteria to become your workplace mentor. Ideally, a workplace mentor should also be in a position to influence your access to experience. They should, wherever possible, be able to provide you with opportunities to gain relevant experience so that you can achieve your performance objectives. This may be through secondments, job swaps or project work. In order to be able to assess whether or not you have achieved a performance 2
objective, your workplace mentor will need to have an understanding of ACCA’s practical experience requirements and specifically, the requirements of each performance objective. While personal effectiveness is covered in the Essentials performance objectives, options performance objectives cover the technical areas of accounting. Therefore your workplace mentor should also be a qualified accountant. They don’t have to be qualified with ACCA, but should be qualified with an accountancy body recognised by law in the country in which you are working. In summary, your workplace mentor should: •
opportunities to gain relevant experience •
recognised by law in your country of employment. WHAT If THERE IsN’T ANYoNE WHo CAN bE YouR WoRkPlACE MENToR? In order to gain ACCA membership, you must have your performance objectives signed off by a workplace mentor. In most cases your line manager should be able to fulfil that role. However if your line manager isn’t a qualified accountant there might be another person in your organisation that is suitably qualified, either someone in another department or more senior in the organisation. It may be that your organisation’s auditor has knowledge of your work and is able to sign-off your experience. Alternatively, you may have been working with a consultant or other expert on a project or development in your workplace that fills the criteria and is willing to be your workplace mentor.
In exceptional circumstances, if your workplace mentor is not a qualified accountant but holds a qualification that is relevant to the performance objective they are reviewing then this is acceptable eg an MbA, degree or professional qualification. However, if your workplace mentor is not a qualified accountant, the My Experience record will flag your records as ACCA may require to view your experience as part of its PER audit procedures. MoRE THAN oNE MENToR? It is possible that you may have more than one workplace mentor, with different people planning, supporting and reviewing different objectives. This might be the case if your experience is gained in more than one department or...
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