The professional competence of CPA accountants equips them to be effective in a number of roles in business
It has two elements—technical expertise and behavioural attributes which are developed over time through a process of formal study and practical experience.
Prior to qualification, this process is structured for CPA students through exams and a defined training regime. The minimum level of competence needed for admission tg CPA membership ensures that newly qualified CPAs are capable of meeting the expectations of the market place.
Each student must acquire at least three years relevant supervised experience prior to being eligible to apply for CPA membership. Experience on its own does not constitute training, it must be progressive, appropriately supervised and entail feedback. Other relevant supervised activities such as simulation, research, project work or certain training courses may be included. Training must be recorded and submitted to the Institute annually.
Training can take place in practice (firm ot accountants), industry/business or both. As a CPA student you are not tied down to a contract with any 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 may also be taken into consideration. The general requirement of the Institute is that each student has a broad base of practical training upon application to membership.
Training typically takes place in parallel with preparation for CPA exams. If a student is temporarily out of work or perhaps working in a non relevant area they may still commence along the journey to qualify as a CPA by preparing for and also sitting CPA exams. 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 and fulfill the competence requirement.