Updating your training file while working from home: top tips
Last updated: 8 April 2020
Many of us are now working remotely in response to the coronavirus pandemic and we recognise this is a challenge, particularly when students are balancing work commitments and the ACA qualification.
We fully support students and employers conducting six monthly review meetings without having to be in the office together.
In fact, working through difficult periods and having to respond to change develops and tests a number of professional development skills such as resilience and flexibility. It is also likely to require making sound ethical decisions.
Here are some top tips for students to make remote six monthly review meetings as effective as possible and to keep their ACA training file on track:
- Contact your training counsellor, QPRT or principal and tell them that you intend to do your review remotely.
- Use video conferencing where possible. If your organisation does not have this function, you may want to look at free options online such as Skype or Google Hangout. Always be mindful of your employer's IT policy.
- Try to use headsets or your computer audio, rather than holding a phone. This can be a great way to make it feel more like a face-to-face conversation.
- Preparation is key. Send a PDF of your training file in advance of your meeting and agree a clear agenda.
- Share your screen. Many facilities allow you to share your screen so that you and your employer are looking at the same thing. This should enable you to look at your training file together, as well as the Ethics Learning Programme.
- If preferred, you can conduct the review meetings in smaller segments. You may find it more effective for concentration if you go through practical work experience and professional development skills in one meeting before returning to ethics (and audit if applicable) after a break. If you take this approach, make sure the second meeting is firmly booked in to your calendars to prevent these sections from being missed.
- You can still conduct a basic review over the phone. Make it as transparent and easy to follow as possible by sending documents in advance.
- If you are unable to obtain your time sheet to calculate practical work experience, use diary records where possible. Put a reminder in your calendar to reconcile your calculation once you have access again.
- After you have added your employers comments to your file, download it as a PDF and send back to your employer for completeness.
We hope this helps. Share this guidance, plan ahead, and manage expectations.