Mentored Practical Experience (MPE)

Learn about the employment and practical experience requirements for the Chartered Accountants Program

In Brief

  • Accrue three years full-time (or part time equivalent) approved mentored practical work experience
  • Meet with your recognised mentor every six months with defined outcomes
  • Regularly log practical experience and competency development

The Mentored Practical Experience (MPE) component of the CA Program aims to develop essential on-the-job knowledge and skills so that you can learn, adapt quickly and achieve consistent, quality results at work.

Practical experience is gained in the workplace where you encounter real-life situations and use your knowledge and skills to solve problems, make decisions, work in teams, build relationships and communicate with others. In doing this, you also test and apply your values, ethics and attitudes.

  • Candidates must meet the MPE requirements to be eligible to apply for full CA membership.
  • MPE can be undertaken before, during or after completing the required formal education component, but candidates must complete both components within a maximum eight-year provisional membership period to qualify for full CA membership.

Standard schedule – three years full-time

Mentored Practical Experience 

MPE must be undertaken under the supervision of a practical experience mentor who is a member of CA ANZ, or a member of a GAA body which CA ANZ has a full recognition agreement with. The diagram represents the standard or default MPE schedule for the redesigned MPE program once candidates have completed the online orientation module. The standard schedule is a minimum of three full-time equivalent years of MPE.

Key features

The MPE program has been redesigned to drive the continual development of candidates and mentors and, in turn, improve workplace outcomes.

The key features of MPE include:

  • MPE embodies a holistic, integrated and practical approach to learning which includes reflection and feedback.
  • Candidates self-assess their competencies and provide supporting statements to verify and validate their work experiences against each required competency.
  • Mentors review, provide feedback and approve candidates’ self-assessment at least every six months.
  • Mentor and candidate meet every six months with defined outcomes.
  • Each year, the mentor and candidate meet to create a professional development plan.
  • Candidates create an annual self-reflection and personal development report which is lodged with their mentor for feedback and coaching.
  • Professional ethics and values are included in the competency self-assessment and reflective assessments.

After registering for MPE, the program starts with a mandatory online orientation module. Once this is complete, you and your mentor gain access to the online MPE Tracker, along with receiving online support and learning materials to provide just-in-time resources throughout MPE, supporting all stages of your development.

On completion of all MPE requirements, mentors recommend the candidate for full membership.

The CA Program’s professional and technical competencies reflect the evolving CA profession. Throughout the MPE, you will experience opportunities to develop your professional and technical competencies.

MPE competencies

  • Technical competencies

    Technical competencies, while critical, vary according to job role. Therefore, candidates determine which technical competencies relate to their job role and focus on developing those throughout MPE.

    Candidates must choose 2 technical competencies to specialise in, prioritising one to level 3, and a secondary to level 2: 

    1. Financial accounting and reporting 
    2. Tax in practice
    3. Tax in audit
    4. Management accounting and business performance 
    5. Audit and assurance 
    6. Technology 
    7. Data analytics and insights  
    8. Risk 
    9. Strategy and performance  
    10. Financial modelling  
    11. Financial planning
    12. Insolvency
    13. Superannuation
  • Professional competencies

    Professional competencies are considered essential for the future employability of a professional accountant irrespective of their level of work, career stage, location or job role. Candidates must demonstrate all professional competencies to level 3 by the end of MPE:

    1. Self-management, learning and adaptive mindset 
    2. Collaboration and relationships 
    3. Communication 
    4. Critical thinking and decision making 
    5. Professional values, ethics and attitudes 

    Candidates self-assess their competencies and provide supporting statements to verify and validate their work experiences against each required competency. These are reviewed and validated by their mentor.

Information for Stakeholders

  • MPE for candidates

    Candidates must be in approved employment, meaning employment which meets the following guidelines:

    • Candidates must accrue at least three years full-time (or part-time equivalent) experience.
    • Candidates must work for at least 17.5 hours per week in a relevant accounting role.
    • A relevant accounting role provides a depth of experience in at least one technical area as outlined in the MPE competency requirements (above).
    • Candidates must be employed by an approved employer (ATE/RTE).
    • Candidates must work under the guidance of a CA ANZ approved mentor (a member of CA ANZ or a reciprocal member body in another country).

    Candidates must demonstrate:

    • competency in at least two technical areas: one to level 3 and one to level 2.
    • all professional competencies to level 3.

    Candidates are also responsible for:

    • For finding their own mentor.
    • Managing the relationship with their mentor and arranging and preparing for meetings.
    • Proactively working with their mentor to create a professional development plan every 12 months.
    • Completing all self-reflection and competency reporting requirements.
    • MPE must be completed within a maximum of eight years from beginning provisional membership.
  • MPE for mentors

    MPE must be undertaken under the guidance of an approved mentor. Mentors are expected to monitor and support candidate progress throughout MPE by providing career guidance, support and insights into the accounting profession; recommending workplace activities to demonstrate competencies; and providing feedback and assessing the candidate’s competence.

    The only requirement to become a mentor is to be a full CA member of CA ANZ, or a member of a GAA body which CA ANZ has a full recognition agreement with.

    It is preferable that the mentor is an experienced Chartered Accountant in the candidate’s workplace, but if that isn’t an option, an experienced Chartered Accountant elsewhere is acceptable.

    Why become a mentor?

    Mentoring is your opportunity to make a tangible impact on a candidate’s career path by providing guidance and support. Mentoring enables you to:

    • Grow your professional coaching skills and contribute to the success of others
    • Connect with a younger network and gain a diverse perspective on emerging trends
    • Have a direct impact on the development of your organisation’s team
    • Contribute to your profession by passing on the wisdom, guidance and support you’ve gained throughout your career
    • Gain Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours in recognition of your investment and the benefit you provide
    Mentors are responsible for:
    • Registering as the candidate’s mentor by agreeing to the mentoring relationship via an online process.
    • Completing the online MPE orientation module.
    • Acting as a guide, coach and role model for the candidate.
    • Working with the candidate to create a professional development plan every 12 months.
    • Reviewing and approving candidate’s competency progress at least every six months.
    • Recording the feedback they give the candidate related to competency progress every six months.
    • Completing the mentor’s interim report if the candidate changes mentor or employer within the MPE period.
    • Endorsing the candidate for full membership when all MPE requirements have been met.
  • MPE for employers

    To undertake MPE, candidates must be employed by a verified approved employer. This ensures that the organisation meets CA ANZ’s standards for offering the type of work experience and mentoring that fulfils the MPE requirements.

    There are two types of approved employer:

    • An Approved Training Employer (ATE) offers work experience and training that meets the MPE requirements of CA ANZ.
    • A Recognised Training Employer (RTE) offers an in-house training program that has been approved by CA ANZ.

    An organisation must obtain ATE or RTE status before a candidate can commence MPE.

    Approved Training Employers (ATE)

    All employers of candidates undertaking MPE must apply for ATE status, even if they intend to also apply for RTE status.

    An ATE offers work experience and training that meets the practical experience requirements for CA ANZ.

    ATEs agree to:

    • Provide structured practical experience by establishing a documented and regularly monitored work experience program for all candidates undertaking MPE requirements for admission to CA ANZ.
    • Conduct a reasonable mix of accounting work, so the candidate can obtain the appropriate range of practical experience.
    • Provide appropriate resources and procedures to provide quality staff development, including training.
    • Provide quality assurance processes including nomination of person/s responsible for the program, and for recruiting, developing and monitoring the progress of candidates.
    • Provide internal procedures for regular monitoring and supervision of candidates’ practical experience, including appropriate on-the-job training, counselling and development of CA ANZ’s MPE competencies.
    • Be committed to professional development and to ensuring all staff remain up to date technically and with matters affecting the wider economic community.
    • Display a professional approach to accounting, with a supportive senior management attitude towards modern systems, compliance with best practice, and continuous improvement.
    • Provide sufficient access to members of CA ANZ who are willing to act as mentors.
    • Provide time during and outside working hours to enable candidates to successfully complete MPE.
    • Provide reasonable access to the internet and the required computer resources to complete MPE.

    Candidates employed with ATEs will use CA ANZ’s MPE Tracker to track their performance across all stages of the program.

    Recognised Training Employers (RTE)

    An RTE offers an in-house training program that has been approved by CA ANZ. Employers must be approved as an ATE before they can apply for RTE status. Once approved as an RTE, an employer’s existing staff performance systems are used to record the candidate’s MPE progress. MPE eligibility, assessment and competency requirements for candidate are the same for both ATEs and RTEs; however, RTEs manage these processes internally.

    Candidates, therefore, are only required to complete the RTE’s internal performance appraisal documents rather than also completing CA ANZ’s MPE Tracker. If candidates are asked to submit documents to CA ANZ for quality auditing, they can submit in-house versions.

    RTEs agree to offer work experience and training that meets the practical experience requirements for CA ANZ by mapping the organisation’s in-house performance competencies against CA ANZ’s competencies to achieve at least 80% alignment for both technical and professional competencies.

    At a minimum this must include:

    • 80% of at least one technical area to level 3 competency
    • 80% of at least one technical area to level 2 competency, and
    • 80% of all professional competency areas.

    NOTE: More information will be available for RTE transitions in the coming weeks.

For more information on MPE, download the CA Program Information below.

Information for current candidates

For current candidates who wish to transition to the new MPE Program, rest assured that your experience within the current Practical Experience Program will be recognised and we will work with you to transition when it becomes available. If your employer is an RTE, we will liaise directly with them regarding the new MPE Program.

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