Qualifying as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant is not just about the exams – have you planned how you will achieve the workplace requirements?
As you know, the ACA consists of four elements:
- Practical work experience,
- Professional development*,
- Ethics and professional scepticism; and
Often, the focus is on when you will study for and sit the exams, but the three other elements are equally as important and deserve some careful planning. Setting appropriate milestones helps to manage expectations and creates structure for you to work through each requirement at a sensible and digestible pace.
Demonstration of incremental development is key in developing your confidence, celebrating your strengths and identifying areas for improvement, while also satisfying ICAEW regulations and holding six-monthly reviews.
The table below provides suggested milestones that we recommend for a student completing a three-year training agreement.
|SIX-MONTHLY PERIOD||PRACTICAL WORK EXPERIENCE||PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: YOUR EXAMPLE PLUS EMPLOYER FEEDBACK||ETHICS LEARNING PROGRAMME||ETHICS IN PRACTICE SCENARIOS||EXAMS|
|1st||Record your days during this period||Step 1 from each ladder||Work through and complete modules, 1, 2, 3 including progress tests||Prepare scenarios 1, 2 and 3 for discussion, plus a real scenario||Three Certificate Level exams|
|2nd||Record your days during this period||Step 2 from each ladder||Work through and complete modules 4, 5, 6 including progress tests||Take the ethics assessment Prepare scenarios 4, 5 and 6 for discussion, plus a real scenario||Three Certificate Level exams|
|3rd||Record your days during this period||Steps 3 and 4 from each ladder||Prepare scenarios 7, 8 and 9 for discussion, plus a real scenario||Three Professional Level exams|
|4th||Record your days during this period||Steps 5 and 6 from each ladder||Prepare scenarios 10, 11 and 12 for discussion, plus a real scenario||Three Professional Level exams|
|5th||Record your days during this period||Steps 7 and 8 from each ladder||Prepare scenarios 13, 14 and 15 for discussion, plus a real scenario||Two Advanced Level exams|
|6th||Record your days during this period||Prepare scenarios 16, 17 and 18 for discussion, plus a real scenario||Advanced Level Case Study|
In addition to the above, you may want to record audit experience towards the UK Audit Qualification. You must record this experience within your training file every six months and submit it for employer feedback. Days not claimed during training will not be able to count towards the Audit Qualification at a later date. Find out more
ACA training file planner
Download the blank version of the milestone table. You may wish to complete this with your employer so that you are clear on how you will move through each requirement and what your employer will review at each six-monthly review meeting. Remember, you need to update all sections of your online training file after each six-monthly review, including your employer’s comments, and you will show reasonable progress in each area
You can also add in your exam milestones including when you plan to study, revise and take your exams.
* During your training you will follow either the ICAEW professional development skills or complete your employer’s professional development training programme.
Read the guide
Get tips on documenting your progress and setting yourself sensible milestones.Download