Your workplace mentor will play an important role in helping you to achieve ACCA membership. Not only will they be responsible for signing off the experience you have gained and recorded in My Experience, they should also support you in planning, achieving, and recording the experience required to become an ACCA member.
1. Who should be your workplace mentor?
Ideally, a workplace mentor should also be in a position to influence your access to experience. They should, wherever possible, be able to provide you with opportunities to gain relevant experience so that you can achieve your performance objectives. This may be through secondments, job swaps, or project work.
2. What if there isn’t anyone who can be your workplace mentor?
In most cases, your line manager should be able to fulfil that role. However, if your line manager isn’t a qualified accountant there might be another suitably-qualified person who you work with – either someone in another department or more senior in the organisation. It may be that your organisation’s auditor has knowledge of your work and is able to sign-off your experience.
3. More than one mentor?
It’s possible that you may have more than one workplace mentor, with different people planning, supporting, and reviewing different objectives. This might be the case if your experience is gained in more than one department or with more than one employer. Remember that experience in any sector – part-time or voluntary roles – may contribute to your practical experience requirements, as long as it’s in a relevant accounting or accounting-related role.
4. How to approach someone to be your workplace mentor
In order for the mentoring relationship to work, it’s essential that your workplace mentor is interested, willing, and committed. How you approach a potential workplace mentor can help to influence this.
A successful mentoring relationship is most likely to be achieved when both parties clearly understand the objectives and benefits of the process. An individual is more likely to agree to be your workplace mentor if you can specify what you require from them as a mentor. Consider the following before approaching a potential workplace mentor:
- Plan what you are going to say and be clear about your key points. You will come across as more professional and more likely to get the support you want.
- Be clear about what role you want them to play – do you want them to oversee all your practical experience or just specific performance objectives?
- Be confident in the benefits your workplace mentor will receive. Sell the role to them by explaining what’s in it for them and why they should support you.