Mentored Practical Experience (MPE)

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

In Brief

  • Accrue three years, and not less than 500 days, of approved mentored practical work experience
  • Meet with your recognised mentor every six months with defined outcomes
  • Regularly log practical experience and competency development

Mentored Practical Experience (MPE) is one of the two essential components to full CA membership. Both the Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting (GradDipCA) and the MPE program must be completed before a candidate is eligible for full CA membership.

MPE 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.

MPE can be undertaken before, during or after completing the GradDipCA 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 

To commence tracking their MPE, candidates must be an approved provisional CA member registered for the MPE program. MPE must be undertaken under the supervision of a MPE mentor who is a full Chartered Accountant (CA) member of CA ANZ, or a full member of a GAA body or non-GAA body which CA ANZ has a full membership 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.

On completion of all MPE requirements, mentors recommend the candidate for full CA 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 (can’t be done with Management accounting and business performance) 
    10. Financial modelling  (can’t be done with Management accounting and business performance) 
    11. Financial advice 
    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 which meets the following guidelines:

    • Candidates must complete three years full time (or part-time equivalent) experience, and not less than 500 days on 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 a CA ANZ approved employer (ATE/RTE).
    • Candidates must work under the guidance of a CA ANZ approved mentor (refer download below).

    Candidates must demonstrate:

    • Competency in at least two technical areas: one up to level 3 and one up to level 2.
    • All professional competencies up to level 3.

    Candidates are also responsible 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 the maximum eight-year provisional membership period.
    • Recognition of prior work experience: Candidates can claim up to 1 year (full-time) of prior work experience towards their MPE requirements under the following conditions:
      • They have completed mentored practical experience meeting the approved employment criteria for a period of 3 months or more; or
      • They have worked in a relevant accounting role outside of the approved employment criteria for a period of at least three years full time (or part time equivalent) and not less than 500 days
    • For Chartered Accountants ANZ to consider this employment towards a candidate’s mentored practical experience, the candidate must also provide a service letter or Mentored Practical Experience (MPE) Agreement Form from the employer they completed their work experience with.
      • The Service Letter must be on official company letter head and signed by an appropriate senior member of the organisation (Manager, Director or HR Representative). This letter must also include the following: candidate's full name, candidate's position and brief description of the role, start and end dates of employment (dd/mm/yy), number of contracted hours per week, mentor name and start/end dates of mentoring period (if applicable)
      • If the candidate was engaged in a recognised mentoring relationship during this period of work experience, they will need to provide a Mentored Practical Experience (MPE) Agreement Form signed by their mentor to confirm this. Alternatively, it is acceptable for a mentor to co-sign the Service Letter in addition to the employer.
  • MPE for mentors

    MPE must be undertaken under the guidance of a CA ANZ 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 full member of a GAA body or non-GAA body which CA ANZ has a full recognition agreement with (refer download below).

    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 external mentor 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
    Mentors are responsible for:
    • Registering as the candidate’s mentor by agreeing to the mentoring relationship.
    • 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 CA ANZ 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.

    Chartered Accounting organisations in Australia and New Zealand are deemed to be ATEs without application.  Non-Chartered Accounting organisations 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.
    Recognised Training Employers (RTE)

    An RTE offers an in-house workplace learning 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 Logbook. 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 up to level 3 competency
    • 80% of at least one technical area up to level 2 competency, and
    • 80% of all professional areas up to level 3 competency.

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