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Your CA Diary of Professional Development

On becoming a CA Trainee you will enter into a period of professional development, either under a Training Contract with a member firm or a recognised training organisation or through the Elevation Programme which was launched in 2009.

During this period you will learn to apply the functional/technical knowledge to real-life situations; your broad-business skills will be developed and you will adopt the values and demeanour that befits a prospective member of the CA profession. The guidelines which govern your period of professional development are set out in the document, CA Diary of Professional Development Handbook For Students and Mentors

You will chronicle your development in your CA Diary of Professional Development, which is a web-based tool, and this diary will form part of your Admission to Membership application at the end of your training period.

Some Frequently Asked Questions about your CA Diary

 

1. Why have a period of Professional Development and what are the periods of development?

2. What is the CA Diary of Professional Development?

3. What is the purpose of maintaining the diary?

4. What is Competency?

5. What are the mandatory competencies?

6. How do I record my CA Diary entries?

7. How do I know when I have achieved an adequate level of competence?

8. How often should I make diary entries?

9. When will my diary be reviewed?

10.Is there guidance available for mentors to use the CA Diary?

11. Is there guidance available for students to use the CA Diary?

12. Are there sample entries available for trainees and mentors to read and assist them create entries and lock entries?

13. Is there any further information available for mentors on how to carry out a review?

14. What do I record as company audit in my CA Diary?

15. When can I apply for Admission to membership?

16. Is there any further information on how to assess if my CA diary records meets the criteria for Admission to Membership?

17. Can I delete an entry?

18. Is there a quick list of the competencies to assist trainees and mentors?

19. How are my days served calculated?

20. How many entries do I need?

21. How many mentor reviews do I need?

22. My mentor cannot submit the final review. What do I need to check?

23.Who do I contact on Admission to Membership queries (invoice, deadlines)?

24. I work in Northern Ireland and have a query on audit work undertaken in respect of QLPs to count as statutory audit work for NI only. Is there any further information available on the FRC's view?


1. Why have a period of Professional Development and what are the periods of development?

Your period of professional development will enable you to acquire the professional values, personal and interpersonal skills, the functional (technical) competencies, and an awareness of the practicalities of the business environment.

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Length of Experience

The amount of experience required is dependent on your educational background:

  • Recognised Masters in Accounting: 3 years  (627 days) or (592 days if completing CAP2)

  • Undergraduate degree: 3.5 years (682 days)

  • ATI qualification: 4 years (796 days)

The above minimum days excludes

  • relevant study leave;

  • average 20 days Holidays each year;

  • public holidays each year; and

  • average sick leave of 20 days over the course of the contract period.

(Sample of 3 years equation :   52w x 5d = 260d x 3y =  Total 780 days minus leave = 627 days)

All other leave should be viewed as “exceptional  leave“ which must be discussed and  approved by your training firm prior to recording on the CA Diary.

 

2. What is the CA Diary?

The CA Diary is an electronic tool which will allow you to record the acquisition of skills, values and competencies during the period of your professional development.

 

3. What is the purpose of maintaining the diary?

1. To assist you in planning your work activities

2. To help you to understand how you have applied your competencies in the workplace

3. To chronicle the acquisition of your skills and competencies

4. To help you reflect on the effectiveness with which you have applied your competencies in your work environment

5. To provide evidence to Chartered Accountant Ireland at the time of your application for admission to membership that you have acquired the requisite values, skills and competencies


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4. What is competency?

Competence is defined as 'being able to perform a certain work role to a defined standard with reference to real working environments.' (International Federation of Accountants - IFAC)

 

5. What are the mandatory competencies?

All trainees must demonstrate the acquisition of competencies 1-4 in Financial Accounting, the broad Business Environment skills, and throughout your period of training, the adoption of the professional values and the growth in your personal/interpersonal skills will be monitored.

6. How do I record my CA Diary entries?

Each activity you perform is informed by a technical skill and invariably will require some personal/interpersonal input. When you complete a task, you will need to reflect on the skills and values that informed your actions in each work activity.

1. You should firstly enter the time period for which you are making the entry by using the date selection boxes (From/To) on the Diary Entry page.

2. Your CA Diary entry should be a short narrative that describes the tasks that you have been assigned over the time period for which you are making the entry.

3. You should then identify the specific functional competencies that were required to complete the tasks and the other competencies that informed the carrying out of the task.

4. Complete the entry by evaluating with which level of competency, in your opinion, you have carried out the assignment – understands, applies or integrates.

5. You must at all times respect your client’s confidentiality by not naming them in your CA Diary.

7. How do I know when I have achieved an adequate level of competence?

Along with identifying the functional and other competencies you will acquire during your period of professional development the Institute has also identified three levels of proficiency which may be generic to every assignment carried out by you. These levels of proficiency will serve to demonstrate your professional growth during your period under training. You should always indicate the levels of proficiency when recording your experience in the CA Diary. The three levels are Understands Applies and Integrates.

Set out below is a guidance to the interpretation of each of these levels. In the early stages of your professional development you are likely to perform tasks at the 'understand' level and to graduate to the 'integrates' level as you come towards the end of your training period.

Level One: Understand

Level Two: Apply

Level Three: Integrates

Trainee can grasp a clear understanding of the task assigned.

Becomes pro-active in managing routine tasks.

Identifies problems and resolves them.

Can carry out tasks that are established processes.

Carries out assignment with a lesser degree of supervision.

Demonstrates an in-depth technical knowledge in defined areas.

Works under supervision.Can take instruction from seniors/line manager.

Performs as part of a team in planning and executing assignments.

Demonstrates clear managerial/ leadership skills. Demonstrates ability to manage an assignment/project to completion.

Collects, organises and analyses basic information using established criteria.

Assumes appropriate additional responsibility.

Generates ideas and is proactive in implementing.

Communicates verbally, and in writing to an in-house audience.

Communicates verbally in-house and prepares, for manager, written communication to clients.

Communicates concisely and effectively, verbally and in writing, both in-house and to clients.

When adding to your diary, please keep these competence levels in mind.

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8. How often should I make diary entries?

Ideally, on completion of a work activity/ assignment you should reflect and be able to identify the competencies you have developed. At a minimum, Chartered Accountants Ireland recommends that you make your diary entries at the end of every month.

9. When will my diary be reviewed?

Under the terms of your training contract your progress must be reviewed at a minimum, every six months. During the review process, you and your mentor will discuss your diary entries and agree your goals for the next six month period. At the end of the review your mentor will lock your diary entries.

10. Is there guidance available for mentors to use the CA Diary?

A presentation is available to view to guide you through the functionality of the CA Diary. It will show you how to run a report, carry out a review, lock & unlock entries.

 

11. Is there guidance available for students to use the CA Diary?

A presentation is available for students on the functionally of the CA Diary. It is always important that you remember to save your entries as you work on your CA Diary.

 

12. Are there sample entries available for trainees and mentors to read and assist them create entries and lock entries?

Yes, information on content and sample entries that will assistance trainees understand the type of information they have to provide and the level of detail needed in the entries are available for download

Also mentors can use the information as a guide to the standard needed from trainees before they lock entries as part of the mentor’s review

13. Is there any further information available for mentors on how to carry out a review?

Yes, information for mentors on how to carry out a review and points of information they should be aware of is available in the CA Diary Handbook available to download in pdf.

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14. What do I record as company audit in my CA Diary?

Company audit work is any audit work carried out under the companies act for a limited company.

Other audit work is where an audit is carried out for another body which is not established under the companies acts. This could include such organisations as credit unions, semi state bodies (e.g. ESB), clubs or other businesses which have not been incorporated.

15. When can I apply for Admission to membership?

The time-bar rule applies to all students registered under training contract with effect from 1st July 2005.The rule specifies that students must apply for associate membership of the Institute within a ONE-YEAR period from the date they become eligible to apply for associate membership i.e. joining within 12 months of FAE success or expiry date of training contract, whichever is the latter. The eligibility of students who do not join within the ONE YEAR period may be required to:

- Re-sit examination(s) and/or
- Complete further relevant experience

16. Is there any further information on how to assess if my CA diary records meets the criteria for Admission to Membership?

Yes, a help sheet is available to download from this webpage. It is intended that you would use the document at least once a year in your training contract to assess your progress.

Go to the Admission to Membership page

 

17. Can I delete an entry?
No. Entries cannot be deleted. You can re-edit them for future, or leave them blank.

 

18. Is there a quick list of the competencies to assist trainees and mentors?

Yes. Please download here. This list is to assist reviewing but always review the CA Diary Handbook documents for the full definitions.

 

19. How are my days served calculated?

When you enrol on a training contract you are informed of the length of time you need to serve.  This information tranfers to the CA Diary.  We know for example that a 3.5 year contract start out as 910 days and as you enter your absenses e.g. study leave, annual leave, other (bank holiday, graduation, maternity) these reduce the total down to the actual days served.   Days served calculation is entirely focused on the information in the calendar.

 

Days served is not calculated from the number of work entries you create or the number of audit days you enter.  One error to be aware of is if you have allocated a full month of work experience to audit, this time will then be blocked out in the calendar.  The time in the calendar for that month cannot be changed to annual leave or anyother category until you first ammend your work entry.  Amending the entry then makes the time available in the calendar to use for absences. 

 

20. How many entries do I need?

There is no set number of entries.  What is important is you account for all of your training contract either through entries or in the Calendar.   A rule of thumb of one a month is sufficient.

21. How many mentor reviews do I need?

You are required to have one review every six months.  So the length of your contract will dicate the exact number.  The system will automatically check that you have more than 5 before the Final review can be submitted. 

22. My mentor cannot submit the final review. What do I need to check?

Check there are more than 5 mentor reviews, all the competency requirements are fulfiled and locked. 

 

23. Who do I contact on Admission to Membership queries (invoice, deadlines)?

Sandy Grant DD telephone 01 637 7261 or sandy dot grant at charteredaccountants.ie

 

 

24. I work in Northern Ireland and have a query on audit work undertaken in respect of QLPs to count as statutory audit work for NI only. Is there any further information available on the FRC's view?

 

The FRC has considered whether audit work of qualifying partnerships amounts to statutory audit work for the purpose of gaining the audit qualification. The FRC considers that audit work undertaken in respect of a qualifying partnership can count as statutory audit work.  The Partnership (Accounts) Regulations 2008 (“the Regulations”) requires members of a qualifying partnership to appoint an auditor and cause to be prepared such an auditor’s  report in accordance with the requirements of Part 15 and Part 16 of the Companies Act 2006 (“the Act”), in the same way as  if the qualifying partnership was a company. The auditor has responsibility to audit and express an opinion on the financial statements in accordance with the applicable law, and is bound by all other duties and responsibilities imposed on an auditor of a company. 

 

Please note that the above conclusion does not apply to qualifying partnerships who are exempt from the requirement to produce audited accounts in accordance with the Regulations and Part 15 and Part 16 of the Companies Act 2006,  if the partnership is dealt with on a consolidated basis in group accounts prepared by a parent company. 

 

Please note- the information above is not relevant to ROI.

 

 

 

Any queries on the CA Diary can be directed to to Hugh Carroll, Training Support Unit at 01 637 7325 or studentqueries@charteredaccountants.ie

 

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