ACCA practicing certificate | AccountingWEB

ACCA practicing certificate


I've asked similar questions before on here and have received some very helpful advice. I want to throw this query out there to see if anyone has come up against this before.  I spoke with ACCA today and was devastated when I read on the practice certificate training record that it has to be signed off by an ACCA approved employer (not a problem for me) - practice development approved (big problem for me).  On ACCA's website under their PCTR section they confirm this.  But when I emailed them a few weeks back, this is what they said:

"You can use experience from industry to complete the practising certificate training records and therefore gain a practising certificate.

The training records are set out in a way that allows members in practice or industry to gain the certificate.

To be eligible to obtain a practising certificate – non audit, a member must have been a member of ACCA continuously for period of not less than two years and must have completed a minimum of 36 months of training, under the supervision of a suitably experienced member or another individual having, in the opinion of Council, an adequate qualification (working either as an employee or sub-contractor). At least 24 months of this experience must be gained after admission to membership.

All employers who train ACCA trainees and members are encouraged to apply for ACCA approved employer status through the online application. Please visit the following link for further details

However, members who have obtained training outside of an ACCA approved employer, equivalent to that which would have been obtained in an ACCA approved employer, may request ACCA to administratively backdate the approved employer status for the firm(s) or oganisation(s) in which training was obtained when submitting their application for a practising certificate. Where training has been obtained in industry/commerce, providing that training has been supervised by a member from one of the CCAB bodies (i.e. ACCA, ICAEW, ICAS, ICAI, CIMA, CIPFA) the training will be recognised as being of an equivalent standard.

Further details and the Practising Certificate Training Record (PCTR) and practising certificate application form can be downloaded from the following link "

So, now I'm very confused and upset!!

Can anyone confirm which version is the correct one?  Do CIMA, CIPFA etc have similar problems? Gather ACA wouldn't because of the training contracts.  I will be redundant by end May and am relying on this certificate. How difficult would it be, do you think, to find someone to sign off my accounts for a couple of years, for, say, 10% of fee??


thanks, Eve



No problems

killer33 | | Permalink

Hi Eve

I'm applying for my ACCA  non audit practicing certificate at the moment.

Virtually all my post qual experience is in industry - although I did train in practice and spent a few years after qualifying before jumping ship. 

The ACCA have confirmed with me that provided my post qualification experience can be verified by a member from one of Chartered institutes they will accept it (my old boss is ACA). My employer was not approved by the ACCA for training but that is not a problem as the reply you have received from the ACCA confirms. They just backdate the employer training status of the company you worked for ( even the 'Practice Certificate Development' part !). The rules are stricter if you are looking for an Audit certificate however.













eve2206's picture

that sounds hopeful

eve2206 | | Permalink


What you say seems to be in line with what their email to me said.  So, I'm now feeling a bit more hopeful.

I wish I'd thought about all this years ago, but I never anticipated wanting a cert.  It's only after doing the corporate stuff for so long that I've realised how unhappy I am in my job.  I became an accountant because I enjoy doing the core accounts work, bit of tax, giving advice, and generally everything that I might do if I worked in a practice.

ACCA (I can't comment on the other CCAB bodies) are a pain in the neck.  I understand they have to be careful. But I don't think their procedures or rules/regs have moved with the times.  I am having to complete retrospective training records for six month periods (which I can do) but I also have to complete 'the next six months' development pages and get those signed off retrospectively - for years and years ago.  This to me is just 'box ticking' and is mindless bureaucracy (blimey, hope I've spelled that correctly, it's too early on a Saturday!).



Agree with Paul

nilesh_m | | Permalink

Hi Eve


I just replied to you PM.  I agree with Paul, as long as the PCTR signed off by a qualifed accountant (ACCA, ACA and CIMA). 

This seems stupid!

luke.hector | | Permalink

Thats stupid. 


I worked with an ACCA employer for the whole period while I was training to be a member. 2 months after qualifying I left that job because I hated the workplace and had been working for an accountancy firm that wasn't chartered. I've been a senior all that time, fully ACCA certified and reporting to two partners who themselves weren't chartered accountants.


Now because of that it seems that I am not allowed to branch of as a sole director of a company  and become a tax consultant or even a book-keeper that does SA tax returns as well. How is that fair? What's the point of all that hard work for 3 years if it gains me no benefit when I want it?


ACCA told me that they can only back-date pre-membership experience for 1 year with a chartered firm, which means I'm screwed as my current firm is only registered with HMRC. Seems ACCA was a waste of time acquiring wasn't it?


Practising cert

Abacusms | | Permalink

Yes i agree. Im Acca qualified with membership and im currently working for a charity gaining all the experience i require for a practising cert, as some ive allready acquired through a acca approved employer, however my current experience would mean i have completed what is expected as i meet the competencies. My manager isnt a qaulified accountant so it doesnt count as she can only sign as a supervisor but would still need acca member to sign , which we dont have as im the most senior in accounting. I know alot of people in the same boat, who have set up companies in their partners names and work under the title of accounts manager. Does anyone have any thoughts on this or any experience?

That's not allowed as the

Matt42 | | Permalink

That's not allowed as the issue of 'control' steps in. You would be a de facto director.

practising certificate

rb1175 | | Permalink

I am ACCA member for one year and working with small practice. Before membership I have worked with ACCA firm for several years. Can Acca allow to use pre membership experience to obtaim practising certificate?

ThanksPractising certificate

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