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Practical Experience Framework

Practical Experience Framework 
Q1.

What is the purpose of the changes to the Practical Experience Framework ("PE Framework")?

Q2.

What are the key changes to the PE Framework?

Q3.

When will the revised PE Framework be launched?

Q4.

In measuring practical experience, what does the terms "input based" and "output based" refer to?

Q5. What are the details of the 18 elements of Technical Competences and seven elements of Enabling Competences?
Q6.  Can a QP student freely select any four elements from the 18 elements of Technical Competences?
Q7. If a QP student has satisfied Technical Competence requirements but failed to meet the Enabling Competence requirements, will he/ she be qualified for HKICPA membership admission?
Q8.  Can a QP student work in an industry other than practicing firms and still fulfil the practical work experience requirements?
Q9. Can the attendance in training courses by a QP student be accumulated and recognized as Working Days?
Q10.  A QP student completed all his/ her QP examinations and 500 Working Days of practical experience within two years. Can he/ she be qualified to apply for HKICPA membership admission?
Q11.  Can part-time work experience be recognized under the revised PE Framework?
Q12.  Can a QP student's practical experience attained outside Hong Kong be recognized?
Q13.  Is there any time limit for practical experience to be recognized as relevant for HKICPA membership application? 
Q14.  How do the Institute's Assessors conduct the authorization visit?
Q15.  How are AE/ AS selected for authorization visits? 
Q16.  How many CPD hours will be granted for being a Counselor/ AS? 
Q17.  For a QP student who is currently trained under the supervision of an External Authorized Supervisor ("External AS"), will there be any transitional arrangement with the launch of the revised PE Framework? 
Q18.  In case of a staff movement outside of the AE/ AS organization (e.g. change of employment), what does the QP student/ Counselor/ AS need to do?
Q19.  In case of a staff movement within the same organization during a QP student's Practical Experience Period (e.g. change of department), what does the QP student/ Counselor/ AS need to do?
Q20. 

If a person has been working in an organization for two years but only registered as a QP student and signed the Development Commitment with the AE/ AS three months ago, will the QP student's previous two-year practical experience be recognized?

Q21.  When a QP student changes employment, will he/ she use the same set of Development Commitment and Training Records to record his/ her practical experience acquired under the new AE/ AS?
Q22.  If the employment period of a QP student with an AE/ AS is less than 12 months, is it necessary for the AE/ AS to sign off on the online Training Records?
Q23.  How should a QP student record his/ her practical experience and how often should he/ she provide the Training Records for the Counselor/ AS to review? 
Q24.  Assuming a QP student gained the relevant practical experience under an AE/ AS in the period from January 2010 to December 2012, could the practical experience be recognized under the PE Framework during the transitional period?
Q25.  What will happen if an existing AE/ AS fails to submit the self-assessment form and declare compliance with the Codes and Guidelines?
Q26.  What will happen if an existing AE/ AS completes the self-assessment form and declares non-compliance with certain areas of the Codes and Guidelines? 
Q27.  What are the professional accountancy bodies recognized by the Institute that the members of these bodies could be appointed as MIC, Counselor or AS?

 


 

Practical Experience Framework

   
Q1. What is the purpose of the changes to the Practical Experience Framework ("PE Framework")?
Ans.

The changes to the PE Framework aim at aligning the practical experience process with international standards and the best practices of leading accountancy bodies and, in particular, refining the process to realise the following key benefits:

  1. Enhancing the flexibility of the time requirements under the PE Framework to embrace the wide variety of work environments.

     

  2. Strengthening the quality assurance of the Authorized Employer ("AE") and Authorized Supervisor ("AS") system.

     

  3. Promoting communication and improving the transparency and timeliness of documentation through a wider use of electronic processes.
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Q2.

What are the key changes to the PE Framework?

Ans.

The key changes to the PE Framework are summarized as follows:

  1. The minimum time requirement is three years for approved degree holders or graduates from the Associate Level of the new QP, during which the total period of relevant experience is not less than 500 Working Days. A minimum of 75 Working Days is required in each of the four selected technical elements (out of 18). The time requirements, represented by Working Days, are measured based on the following criteria:

     

    1. QP students need to gain at least 130 Working Days of practical experience each year. A Working Day is considered to be eight working hours and working hours can be accumulated. The required Working Days allow a maximum of 40 hours of attendance at relevant training courses each year.

    2. Practical experience must be attained within 10 years prior to the date the QP student applies for HKICPA membership (i.e. 10-year Recency Rule).

  2. AE/ AS applicants need to carry out a self-assessment to assess their commitment to comply with the requirements under a strengthened Practical Experience Codes and Guidelines (hereinafter referred to as "Codes and Guidelines") prior to seeking authorization.

     

  3. The Institute's Assessors will conduct authorization visits for all new AE/ AS applicants. They will meet with the applicant's representatives and their staff to understand the training and development environment and assess whether the applicant complies with the principle of the Codes and Guidelines in all material aspects.

     

  4. The AE/ AS status, once granted, is valid for five years subject to an online annual monitoring. A visit will be conducted on a sampling basis or as circumstances require. The AE/ AS needs to renew its status online every five years. Re-authorization visits will be carried out on a sampling basis. The Institute may suspend or withdraw the AE/ AS status if there is any concern over their compliance with the Codes and Guidelines.

     

  5. Each AE needs to appoint a Member-In-Charge ("MIC") to assume the overall responsibility for supervising the training of QP students and confirm to the Institute that the QP students have attained the required competences. The MIC must meet certain qualifications and take up a series of responsibilities.

     

  6. Where the number of registered QP students under the AE is large, the MIC can appoint up to a maximum of five deputies. Deputies must meet the same set of criteria as required of a MIC.

     

  7. The MIC of an AE needs to assign a Counselor to each QP student. The Counselor of an AE must meet certain qualifications and take up a series of responsibilities. The Counselor to QP student ratio must not be more than 1:8.

     

  8. Where an AE is not available, a suitably qualified individual may be authorized by the Institute as an AS. The AS must meet certain qualifications and take up a series of responsibilities similar to a MIC.

     

  9. The existing arrangement of QP students trained by External Authorized Supervisors will be abolished.

  10. At the commencement of the Practical Experience Period, the AE/ AS and the QP student are required to enter into a Development Commitment setting out the expectations and responsibilities of all parties.

     

  11. The QP student should maintain online Training Records including a Reflective Statement for the Counselor/ AS to sign off each year.

  12. Counselor/ AS should carry out interim and annual review meetings with the QP student.
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Q3. When will the revised PE Framework be launched?
Ans.  The revised PE Framework is scheduled to be launched in 2021/ 2022. The exact date will be confirmed and announced in due course.
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Q4.

In measuring practical experience, what does the terms "input based" and "output based" refer to?

Ans.

Practical experience requirements are a combination of time (input based) and competences (output based). "Input based" refers to the time input requirements whereas "output based" refers to the competence requirements achieved. 

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Q5. 

What are the details of the 18 elements of Technical Competences and seven elements of Enabling Competences? 

Ans.  The learning outcomes of the 18 elements of Technical Competences and seven elements of Enabling Competences are outlined in the Practical Experience Competence Grid in the Position Paper. Please click here for details. 
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Q6.  Can a QP student freely select any four elements from the 18 elements of Technical Competences? 
Ans.  Although provision is made for a wider range of eligible practical experience, retaining a common core in the Financial Accounting and Reporting is essential to becoming a professional accountant. As such, QP students are required to demonstrate competence in one of the three elements in the Financial Accounting and Reporting core area. Other than that, QP students can select any other three elements of Technical Competences based on their scope of work. 
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Q7. 

If a QP student has satisfied Technical Competence requirements but failed to meet the Enabling Competence requirement, will he/ she be qualified for HKICPA membership admission? 

Ans.  No, QP students are required to demonstrate the skills in all Enabling Competences, which underpin the roles and behaviours required of the professional accountants in any accounting-related roles or positions. 
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Q8.  Can a QP student work in an industry other than practicing firms and still fulfil the practical work experience requirements? 
Ans.  Yes, a QP student can work in professional practice, commercial, financial, business, public sector or not-for-profit sectors, provided that the employers must be an AE or AS and the QP student fulfils both Technical Competence and Enabling Competence requirements under the revised PE Framework. 
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Q9. 

Can the attendance in training courses by a QP student be accumulated and recognized as Working Days? 

Ans.  Under the revised PE Framework, attendance at relevant training courses can be accumulated and recognized as part of the relevant practical experience up to a maximum of five Working Days (i.e. 40 working hours) per year. 
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Q10.  A QP student completed all his/ her QP examinations and 500 Working Days of practical experience within two years. Can he/ she be qualified to apply for HKICPA membership admission? 
Ans.  No, the minimum time requirement for practical experience for HKICPA membership is three years, during which the total period of relevant experience is not less than 500 Working Days.  
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Q11.  Can part-time work experience be recognized under the revised PE Framework? 
Ans.  If a QP student works for a minimum of three Working Days (i.e. 24 working hours) per week and fulfils all other time and competence requirements, the practical experience can be recognized. 
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Q12.  Can a QP student's practical experience attained outside Hong Kong be recognized? 
Ans.  Relevant practical experience outside Hong Kong can be recognized if it is attained under the supervision of an AE/ AS. 
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Q13.  Is there any time limit for practical experience to be recognized as relevant for HKICPA membership application? 
Ans.  Relevant practical experience must be attained within 10 years prior to the date of HKICPA membership application. 
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Q14.  How do the Institute's Assessors conduct the authorization visit? 
Ans.  The Institute's Assessors focus on the AE/ AS applicant's overall compliance with the principle of the Codes and Guidelines and review the evidence provided by the organization to determine the suitability of the AE/ AS applicant's work environment to offer quality training to QP students. By meeting with the employer representatives on site, the Institute's Assessors can efficiently review evidence, ask questions interactively and corroborate evidence to form a balanced view. 
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Q15.  How are AE/ AS selected for authorization visits? 
Ans. 

Authorization visits will be conducted for all new AE/ AS applicants. For AE/ AS renewal, re-authorization visits will be conducted based on a sampling basis. For annual monitoring, visits will be conducted based on a sampling basis. Additional visits may be carried out if, inter alia, the following circumstances exist:

  1. Past unsatisfactory self-assessment results;
  2. Counselor/ AS with disciplinary cases; or
  3. Any concerns brought to the attention of the Institute. 
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Q16.  How many CPD hours will be granted for being a Counselor/ AS? 
Ans.  HKIPCA members who have registered as a Counselor/ AS will be entitled to 5 CPD hours per year for supervising a HKICPA QP student. At most 20 CPD hours per year can be claimed under such role. 
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Q17.  For a QP student who is currently trained under the supervision of an External Authorized Supervisor ("External AS"), will there be any transitional arrangement with the launch of the revised PE Framework? 
Ans.  The External AS will be abolished with the launch of the revised PE Framework. The QP student already assigned with an External AS will be allowed to continue to be trained by the External AS until the end of the Practical Experience Period. 
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Q18.  In case of a staff movement outside of the AE/ AS organization (e.g. change of employment), what does the QP student/ Counselor/ AS need to do? 
Ans.  If a QP student changes employment during the Practical Experience Period, he/ she must inform his/ her Counselor/ AS and the Institute about the change. Before the QP student departs, he/ she should complete the Training Records and obtain sign off from his/ her AE/ AS on the Training Records for the supervision period. The QP student will have to continue to attain the remaining practical experience under supervision of a new Counselor/ AS. 
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Q19.  In case of a staff movement within the same organization during a QP student's Practical Experience Period (e.g. change of department), what does the QP student/ Counselor/ AS need to do? 
Ans.  If the change of department does not necessitate a change of Counselor/ AS, nothing needs to be done. If a change of Counselor/ AS is needed, the QP student should inform the MIC/ AS's employing organization for reassignment of a new Counselor/ AS to supervise the QP student's remaining Practical Experience Period. Also, the outgoing Counselor/ AS should complete signing off the Training Records for his/ her supervision period. 
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Q20.  If a person has been working in an organization for two years but only registered as a QP student and signed the Development Commitment with the AE/ AS three months ago, will the QP student's previous two-year practical experience be recognized? 
Ans.  All practical experience can only be recognized from the commencement date of the Practical Experience Period when the QP student starts to work under the AE/ AS's supervision and training. Under the revised PE Framework, a QP student is required to sign a Development Commitment with the AE/ AS within three months of commencement of the Practical Experience Period. In this case, the practical experience attained prior to three months of the signature date of the Development Commitment will not be recognized. 
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Q21.   When a QP student changes employment, will he/ she use the same set of Development Commitment and Training Records to record his/ her practical experience acquired under the new AE/ AS? 
Ans.  No, the QP student and his/ her new AE/ AS will sign a new Development Commitment. The QP student will attain the remaining required practical experience and record them under a new set of Training Records. 
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Q22.  If the employment period of a QP student with an AE/ AS is less than 12 months, is it necessary for the AE/ AS to sign off on the online Training Records? 
Ans.  If the QP student has satisfied the relevant competence requirements under that employment period, the AE/ AS should sign off the online Training Records for that period as one of the student's employments within the Practical Experience Period can be less than 12 months. 
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Q23.  How should a QP student record his/ her practical experience and how often should he/ she provide the Training Records for the Counselor/ AS to review? 
Ans. 

A QP student should record the practical experience progress including the number of Working Days, Technical and Enabling Competences acquired and self-reflective feedback through the online Training Records.

 

The online Training Records should then be duly reviewed and signed off by the Counselor/ AS on an annual basis. Also, the Counselor/ AS should conduct an interim review on the QP student's training progress while the QP student's performance and achievement of competences are still fresh in mind. 
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Q24.  Assuming a QP student gained the relevant practical experience under an AE/ AS in the period from January 2010 to December 2012, could the practical experience be recognized under the PE Framework during the transitional period? 
Ans.  Existing QP students who have completed the QP examinations and practical experience requirements can apply for HKICPA membership during the three-year transitional period and will not be subject to the new 10-year Recency Rule. However, if the same case arises after the transitional period, the new 10-year Recency Rule will apply and the practical experience gained from year 2010 to 2012 will not be recognized. 
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Q25.  What will happen if an existing AE/ AS fails to submit the self-assessment form and declare compliance with the Codes and Guidelines? 
Ans.  The AE/ AS status will be subject to termination when the revised PE Framework is implemented. 
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Q26.  What will happen if an existing AE/ AS completes the self-assessment form and declares non-compliance with certain areas of the Codes and Guidelines? 
Ans.  The non-compliance areas will need to be rectified within one year upon issuance of the self-assessment. Once the rectification of the non-compliance areas is successfully completed, the AE/ AS status will be valid up to the time of re-authorization. However, failure to rectify the non-compliance areas will be subject to termination of the AE/ AS status. 
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Q27.   What are the professional accountancy bodies recognized by the Institute that the members of these bodies could be appointed as MIC, Counselor or AS? 
Ans. 

Professional accountancy bodies recognized by the Institute are members of the Global Accounting Alliance ("GAA") which have signed the Reciprocal Membership Agreement with the Institute. The full list of such bodies can be found at the Institute's website at the following link: http://www.hkicpa.org.hk/en/Membership/Registration-and-Licensing/Recognition-of-Overseas-Bodies

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