Training is an essential part of the process of preparing CPA students for membership of the Institute. It has a number of elements, the most significant of which is supervised, practical experience in accounting-related work. Other relevant supervised activities, such as simulation, research, project work or certain training courses may also be included. Experience on its own does not constitute training. It must be progressive, supervised instruction and entail structured feedback.
There is a minimum of 3 years relevant supervised training required to apply for Membership of the CPA. That training can take place in practice (firm of accountants), industry or both. As a CPA student you are not tied down to a contract with only one employer. You are free to choose your job sector and your employer and you are in control of your career from the start. If a student has any previous, relevant experience this can also be taken into consideration.
Training typically takes place alongside exams. If a student finds themselves out of work or perhaps working in a non relevant area they are still eligible to proceed with the CPA qualification. Relevant training can be obtained at a later date. Students have up to three years from the date of their final exam to complete relevant training.
All students must complete and return a training record on an annual basis. The Training Records provide a means by which the student's relevant supervised training can be recorded and evaluated by the Institute on application to Membership. The general requirement of the Institute is that the student has a broad base of practical training upon application to Membership.
Download a copy of the Training Record here.
Students are also required to submit a Competency Guide to the Institute. The Competency Guide & Return form is only required for students at Level 3 training, also known as the report and recommend stage. Students typically reach this stage in their final year of training.
CPA launched the Approved Employer Programme in 2009 to provide a quality framework for your accounting training. Under the guidance of the Institute, the AEP provides a framework delivering:
- Structured Training Environment
- Effective Career Management Strategy
- Improved exam pass rates
- Monitored training
CPAs work across a variety of roles in both practice and 'industry', including sectors such as financial services, banking, manufacturing, construction, education, consultancy and I.T.
View profiles of CPAs and learn how the CPA qualification has helped them in their careers.