Frequently asked questions about ACA training agreement.
All answers are accurate as of November 2018, unless otherwise stated.
No. You cannot use the designatory letters ACA after your name until you are admitted to membership as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. ICAEW treats any inappropriate use of the ACA designation as a very serious offence.
It is a formal, written agreement between a student and an employer that is specific to your ACA training. It outlines the support you will receive from your employer while you study and what is expected from you in return.
Your training agreement is likely to cover;
For more information please refer to the Training Agreement: Overview
If you are based outside the UK, please go ACA training in other countries for more information.
There are four essential elements of the ACA qualification that need to be successfully completed to be eligible for ICAEW membership. These are: the 15 examinations, practical work experience (PWE), professional development ladders (PD) and ethics and professional scepticism (ELP).
In addition, students must complete a training agreement for a minimum of three years and undergo regular appraisal/progress reviews during that time with your employer. When you have completed these elements on your training file and your employer has completed the final sign off, you will be invited to ICAEW membership after your training records have been processed.
Most students must have a minimum of a three year training agreement (unless you have registered through the AAT-ACA Fast Track route or meet requirements for a reduction in the length of a training agreement). The length of a training agreement shall be determined in accordance with the ACA student regulations and by agreement between the student and authorised training employer which is to provide the approved training. The maximum period of time a student may enter into a training agreement is five years, unless the student is training under a strategic degree or other programme offered in partnership with an ICAEW Partner in Learning.
ICAEW encourages students to stay with their employer for the duration of their training agreement where possible. If you change employer part way through, they must be an ICAEW authorised training employer (ATE)for your ACA training to continue.
In addition, any new employer could ask you to complete additional practical work experience or training to demonstrate your skills and also to help them recover any training costs. A training agreement at any new employer would need to be for a minimum of three months and include at least 65 days of practical work experience.
You cannot apply for ICAEW membership until you have fully completed your ACA training agreement. ICAEW encourages students to stay with their employer for the duration of their training agreement, if this is not possible then you will be required to re-register into another training agreement to complete the remaining time. Please be advised that if this is under three months then you will be required to register for a minimum of three months and obtain at least 65 practical work experience days.
Ensure that your training file is up to date and all entries have been confirmed by your employer before they cancel the training agreement. Please be advised that your practical work experience entries need to be recorded until the date the training agreement is cancelled.
You will need to ensure that your employer has confirmed/provided feedback for all entries on your training file.
Remember your new employer cannot sign off any work experience you gained while you were working at your previous employer, so you must get everything signed before you leave. You should therefore always make sure that your records are accurate and up to date before you consider moving to a new employer.
The following things need to happen:
Your new employer can only sign off development and ethical behavior evidenced by them ie, at your new place of work. So you will need to complete all the Professional Development Ladders and the ethics learning programme requirements with your new employer. But remember, you are not losing development; you just have to demonstrate it to your new employer. If you have the skills, then you should quickly be able to demonstrate them, so it should not delay the completion.
ICAEW regulations state that the Case Study exam cannot be sat until you are in the final 12 months of a training agreement. However, students can have completed their training agreement before sitting the Case Study. So, in this case, you do not need to extend your training agreement.
If you have not completed your practical work experience (PWE) within your training agreement, you would need to extend the agreement to ensure you accumulated enough PWE to meet requirements.
If you have completed your training agreement, you will not be required to extend your agreement in order to complete the examinations. You are able to sit the remaining examinations as an independent student.
You will be unable to submit your training file for final approval until the end date of your training agreement. You are required to complete a minimum 3 year training agreement and obtain at least 450 practical work experience days.
Some individuals with previous professional qualifications (such as AAT, ACCA etc) may be eligible. For more details, please see Join us as a member of another body.
You will need to prove to ICAEW that you have successfully completed all the required components of the ACA.