Improving the practising certificate application process
Useful advice for anyone considering applying for a PC.
On 1 January 2019 ACCA will launch a new way for members training towards an ACCA practising certificate (PC) or an ACCA practising certificate and audit qualification to record their experience.
Currently members must obtain a period of relevant experience and complete a Practising Certificate Training Record (PCTR) in order to be eligible for a PC. With effect from next year members who have not commenced their PCTR must meet the Practising Certificate Experience Requirements which will require members to document their experience within the Practising Certificate Experience Forms (PCEF).
ACCA has robust practising certificate requirements and this will continue with the launch of PCEF. The launch of PCEF will not dilute the rigour with which we evaluate members for a PC as the minimum competence level of PCEF remains at a challenging level.
PCEF has been designed following feedback from members. Using a framework and process that is similar to the student Practical Experience Requirements allows a smoother progression from student to practising member and a consistent user experience.
But what does it mean for members currently completing the PCTR? Members will not be able to combine both the PCTR and the PCEF – they will need to complete a single document (either PCTR or PCEF) to evidence their complete period of relevant experience. The Practising Certificate Experience Requirements state that all completed PCTRs need to be submitted and approved by ACCA by 31 December 2020. After this date only the PCEF will be accepted.
Similar to PCTR, PCEF will require evidence of performance in relation to a range of experience. The existing PCTR elements of competence have been revised and these are now arranged into different areas (mandatory, optional and audit). The PCEF itself will be in three parts:
Part 1 includes the overall PCEF guidance together with the mandatory areas, the principal review and the time summary
Part 2 contains the optional areas
Part 3 relates to the audit area.
A member training towards a practising certificate would be expected to complete Part 1 and Part 2, whereas a member training towards a practising certificate and audit qualification would complete all parts.
Members will need to complete statements of achievement documenting experience gained in relation to these areas. These statements must be reviewed and achievement confirmed by the member’s training principal. Members can complete these statements of achievement at any point during their training towards a PC. In addition to the statements of achievement, members must also undertake six monthly reviews with their training principal. These should be recorded in the principal review section of PCEF. There is also a time summary which must be completed on a six-monthly basis.
What about members who want to obtain the audit qualification? In order for members to obtain an ACCA practising certificate and audit qualification, they must meet specific exam requirements.
From September 2018 Strategic Professional replaced the previous Professional level exams. Members wanting to apply for an ACCA practising certificate and audit qualification must therefore pass the UK or Irish variants of Strategic Business Reporting and Advanced Audit and Assurance. Members were previously required to have passed the UK or Irish variants of P2 Corporate Reporting and P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance.
Further information in relation to the specific exam requirements of the ACCA practising certificate and audit qualification is available on our website
What next? We are in the process of finalising our additional resources to assist members and training principals in relation to these changes. These will include:
guidance notes explaining each of the areas
comprehensive examples of completed statements of achievement
a series of bite-sized webinars explaining the different aspects of PCEF