The role of counsellor usually exists in mid-sized or larger organisations, as a support to the qualified person responsible for training (QPRT), where it would be unreasonable or impossible for the QPRT to support each ACA student through their training.
Counsellors must have an interest in developing students. They must also understand and have experience in giving feedback and impartial advice, listening, encouraging constructive discussion and coaching.
A counsellor can be responsible for multiple students, but normally no more than 15 students. This is to ensure all students have ready access to their counsellor.
Who can be a Counsellor?
A Counsellor has to be:
- ideally an ICAEW member but certainly a member of one of the following professional bodies: ACCA, CIPFA, CIMA, ICAS or CAI or equivalent international bodies
Counsellors need to:
- understand the ACA exam structure;
- understand the practical work experience, professional development and ethics requirements of the ACA;
- conduct their students' six-monthly reviews, when they cannot be undertaken by the QPRT;
- discuss any training issues with their students as and when required; and
- confirm to the QPRT that their students are fit and proper to become members of ICAEW.
Counsellors do not need to have direct line management responsibility for students but must be able to liaise closely with those who do.
A counsellor can:
- view their students' online training file which includes the training agreement history, exam and education history, credit for prior learning awarded and exam applications; and
- conduct six-monthly reviews with their students, which includes agreeing to the number of practical work experience days they have accumulated since the last review.
A counsellor cannot:
- complete the final sign-off at the end of their students’ training agreement. However, they can confirm to the QPRT that their students are fit and proper to become an ICAEW member.