How to Complete Your Practical Experience Training (PET) for the ICPAU Qualification
CPA Connect Magazine
11 Dec 2023
5 min read
The ICPAU qualification is a prestigious and rigorous certification that requires you to complete a Practical Experience Training (PET) program. In this article, we will guide you through the steps and tips to successfully complete your PET and advance your career as a professional accountant.
Practical Experince Training (PET) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Practical experience training (PET) is an essential component of the ICPAU qualification that prepares trainees for the challenges and opportunities of the accounting profession. PET enables trainees to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired from the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) course to real-life situations in the workplace.
In this article, we answer some of the common questions that trainees may have about PET.
1. Why is there a requirement to complete practical training as part of the ICPAU qualification?
PET provides trainees with valuable work experience that enhances their professional competence and confidence. By completing PET, trainees can demonstrate that they have met the minimum standards of practical skills and ethical behaviour expected by ICPAU and the public. PET also helps trainees to develop their professional judgement, communication, teamwork and leadership skills.
2. How do I commence my practical training?
To commence your PET, you need to secure a training or work placement with an employer that is approved by ICPAU. You can find a list of approved employers on the ICPAU website. Once you have secured a placement, you need to sign a training contract with your employer and ICPAU. The training contract outlines the terms and conditions of your PET, including the duration, objectives, supervision and assessment. You can commence your PET at any stage of your CPA course, either before or after completing the exams.
3. How do I notify ICPAU if my supervisor changes?
Your supervisor is a qualified accountant who is responsible for overseeing your PET and providing you with feedback and guidance. Your supervisor must be approved by ICPAU and registered on the ICPAU portal as a member. If your supervisor changes during your PET, you need to inform ICPAU as soon as possible by updating your details on the student portal. You also need to ensure that your new supervisor signs a new training contract with you and ICPAU.
4. Where do l record my practical experience?
You need to record your PET in the online logbook on the student portal. The logbook is a tool that helps you to track your progress and document the skills and competencies you have developed during your PET. You need to update your logbook regularly and provide evidence of your work activities and achievements. Your supervisor will review your logbook periodically and confirm your recorded experience by signing it off on the ICPAU portal.
5. What happens at the end of my training contract?
At the end of your training contract, you need to submit your completed logbook to ICPAU for verification and approval. ICPAU will assess whether you have met the requirements of PET and whether you are eligible for membership of the Institute. If your PET is approved, you will receive a certificate of completion and an invitation to apply for membership.
6. If I lose my job, can I carry forward experience acquired in previous job and if so, for how long?
Yes, you can carry forward experience acquired in previous jobs as long as it is relevant and verifiable. You can use experience from previous jobs to meet part or all of the requirements of PET, depending on the nature and duration of your previous roles. However, you need to ensure that your experience is not older than six years from the date of application for membership.
7. I am unable to meet face to face with my supervisor on a regular basis. How do I get him/her to sign-off the logbook?
You do not need to meet face to face with your supervisor to get him/her to sign-off your logbook. You can communicate with your supervisor through email, phone or video calls and share your logbook electronically. Your supervisor can access your logbook on the ICPAU portal and sign it off online.
8. Is recognition given for the Master’s Degree I have attained?
Yes, a period of relevant graduate (beyond undergraduate e.g., masters) education with a strong element of practical application and research in the accountancy field may earn a trainee one year’s credit of practical training. This would need to have been undertaken at an approved teaching institution. A list of approved teaching institutions is available from ICPAU.
9. Does ICPAU offer any training opportunities to its students?
ICPAU does not directly offer any opportunities for practical training. Where employers request ICPAU for trainees, such opportunities will be widely publicised to all students.
Accountancy firms registered with ICPAU have committed to provide trainees (ICPAU students and graduates) with opportunities for practical training. Trainees are encouraged to take up such opportunities.
It is important to note, that undertaking practical training in addition to the acquisition of knowledge
through your CPA course will make you highly desirable to any potential employers.
This article was originally published in the CPA Connect Magazine, a monthly publication for certified public accountants and accounting professionals. The magazine covers topics such as industry trends, best practices, career development, and ethics. The article appeared in the December 2023 issue, number 11.