When the CA student starts, the Counselling Member should meet with him or her to discuss the specific training program that has been approved by the profession. The Counselling Member can introduce the concept of the RQE and explain the competencies that will be developed throughout the term of practical experience. This will allow the student to understand how the specific CA Training Program will correlate to the competencies required. While not mandatory, this is a best practice that can help the student prepare for the term of practical experience ahead. Grandparented CA firms will not have a customized map, but can use the Sample Audit Mapping Tool to give CA students the same understanding and expectations.
The Counselling Member must be a CA in good standing with a Provincial Institute/Ordre or have been given permission by a Provincial Institute if he or she is an internationally trained accountant [note: in Quebec, Counselling Members must be members of the Ordre]. His or her primary responsibility is to act as a mentor to his or her CA student. With the important job of being a role model, providing specific guidance, assistance and insights, the Counselling Member is meant to help his or her student become an excellent entry-level CA and highly valued employee.
Through at least semi-annual meetings with the CA student, the Counselling Member will discuss the RQE and ensure the student is being exposed to the practical experience needed to develop his or her specific depth and breadth competencies. The Counselling Member is not expected to assess the specific competencies developed by the student; instead, through these meetings and discussions with the student’s Line Manager and other relevant inputs, he or she is to ensure that the student is on track to completing the CA Training Office’s specific CA Training program. The Counselling Member must document that these semi-annual meetings with the CA student have taken place, either by signing the RQE or through the CA Training Office’s internal performance management system. When the CA student is being supervised by a Line Manager who is not a CA, the Counselling Member should meet more regularly with the student; these meetings do not need to include a formal discussion of the RQE.
If the Counselling Member feels that the student is not on track to becoming a CA, he or she is responsible for making sure actions are taken. If the student is not being exposed to the required experience, the Counselling Member should request the necessary schedule or task modifications from the CA Training Office or involve the Training Principal to make such modifications. If the CA student is not performing at the level expected, a plan of action should be discussed and documented in the RQE and the Training Principal should be told of the problem and proposed solution. The Counselling Member should also talk to the Training Principal if:
- more opportunities for the development of breadth and depth competencies than what was approved by the profession;
- additional offices or departments that would like to implement the program;
- any changes in the CA Training Office’s business that require modifications to the approved training path;
- any changes to the approved competencies expected to be developed when compared to those competencies approved for the CA Training Office.
A new e-module is available on this website, providing you and your CA students with an overview of our competency-based program. Its examples show how CA students can reach the proficiency levels expected of entry-level CAs.