While the ACA qualification is intended to be gained at a single employer, we understand that sometimes there may be reasons you need to change employment during your training. For example, your training agreement may be terminated by your employer because of exam results, or you may need to relocate and change your employment as a result.
If you need to change employment during training, you must complete the following steps:
Before you leave your employer
- Check your employment contract and speak with your HR representative to ensure you understand any potential implications for repayment of tuition fees.
- Ensure your practical work experience days are fully up to date in your online training file, to the last day of your employment.
- If you are gaining audit experience ensure this has also been recorded in the Audit Qualification tab of your online training file, up to the last day of your employment and your employer has provided feedback. You need to submit the Audit Qualification tab for final approval by your employer and ensure this is actioned. Once your employer has actioned this, your audit entries should show as 'Approved'. This will ensure that any audit days you gained as an ACA student can be counted towards the Audit Qualification requirements.
- Ensure your QPRT has cancelled your training agreement online. If this does not happen, you will not be able to re-register with your new employer and your experience may be lost.
- Ensure that your new employer is already an ICAEW Authorised Training Employer, otherwise they may not be able to offer you an ACA training agreement.
When you start with your new employer
- Obtain your new employer's Authorised Training Employer (ATE) code.
- Re-register as an ACA student using the re-registration form and your original student number.
- Re-familiarise yourself with your online training file and rewatch the training file videos, as the file and requirements may have changed.
- Meet with your employer to set milestones for the remainder of your training including dates for your six-monthly reviews. Use the guide to help you.
- Re-evidence professional development skills using examples and feedback from your new employer.
- Ensure you have at least three ethics reviews with your new employer including discussions of ICAEW Ethics in Practice scenarios. The ethics reviews should be at least one month apart.
Q: How long must I register for with my new employer?
You must re-register for a minimum of three months or for a period such that you have trained for at least 36 months in aggregate, whichever is the greater. During this time, you must gain a minimum of 65 practical work experience days, re-evidence professional development and hold at least three ethics reviews with your new employer. Your new employer is within their rights to ask you to register for longer than three months even if you have exceeded the overall 36-month training agreement requirement. Sometimes they may need longer to fully assess your understanding of ethics and your professional development level before signing you off.
Q: My training file is still showing my previous employer, but I am now with a different employer. What do I do?
Firstly, you will need to ensure that your online training file is up to date, up to and including your last day of employment. This includes practical work experience, ethics reviews, professional development ladders (and Audit Qualification experience where relevant).
Once it is up to date, the training agreement will need to be cancelled by your previous employer (via the employer’s online dashboard). You will not be able to re-register with your new employer until this cancellation has taken place. If there are any issues with the cancellation process, your previous employer should contact email@example.com
Q: My old firm had an accredited professional development scheme in place. My new firm does not, do I have to do the professional development ladders?
Yes, you will need to complete the ICAEW professional development ladders using examples and feedback from your new employer.
Q: I have already passed the ethics assessment at my previous employer and I have documented ethics reviews. Do I need to do anything else on ethics at my new employer?
Yes. It is your new employer who will ultimately assess your understanding of ethics in order to sign you off as fit and proper for ICAEW membership. It is very important that you have recorded at least three ethics reviews with your new employer, which must include discussion of ethics scenarios. These ethics reviews should be adequately spaced out and ideally at least one month apart.
Q: If I move employers, will I lose my exam passes and practical work experience so far?
Not at all. As long as you ensure your training file is up to date before you leave your employer, the experience and exam results will move with you.
Q: My previous organisation didn’t accept credit for prior learning. Can I claim this now?
As long as you have not attempted the exam yet, with agreement from your employer, you are welcome to apply for the exemptions online. Please refer to the credit for prior learning directory for further clarification.
Q: I have audit experience from my previous firm that isn’t in my training file. Can I claim it now?
Before moving employers or having your ACA training agreement cancelled by your old employer you should ensure all audit experience is recorded in two places. Firstly, within the practical work experience tab of your online training file. Secondly, also record any audit experience into the Audit Qualification tab of your online training file, ensure feedback is provided by your employer and overall approval has been received from your employer. You should see the word 'Approval' once all is signed off in the Audit Qualification tab. If you have missed this step you will need to complete the manual application form for the missing time, obtain the necessary signatures from your previous firm and submit the form to us within six months of the end your employment at the old firm. Your previous firm has no obligation to manually approve your time if it was not claimed before your ACA training agreement was cancelled.