frequently asked questions
9. Semi-annual meetings between Counselling Members and CA students
Requirements for regular meetings between Counselling Members and CA students are set out in CA Practical Experience Requirements (PER), Section 4.3.7.
Requirements to document that these meetings have taken place and the Record of CA Qualifying Experience are set out in Section 22.214.171.124.
The purpose of the semi-annual meetings is to formalize the mentoring relationship between the Counselling Member and the CA student and to ensure that the student has appropriate access to a Counselling Member.
The Counselling Member is responsible for mentoring the CA student in his/her progress towards becoming a Chartered Accountant, for modelling the values of the CA profession, and for ensuring that the CA student participates fully in the opportunities available through the CA Training Office’s CA Training Program. Counselling Members are required to inform the Training Principal if a CA student for whom they are responsible is not progressing according to the expectations of their CA Training Program.
As a mentor, the Counselling Member will use his/her judgement with regard to both the CA student’s needs and the expectations of the CA Training Office in planning meetings with individual CA students. The main focus of these reviews should be on the quality of the CA student’s participation in the CA Training Program and their progression in that program according to employer expectations. In assessing this, the Counselling Member would also:
- Review with each CA student his/her assignments, tasks and key-learning experiences as they relate to the development of entry-level CA competencies in the CA Training Program; and
- Review and discuss the CA student’s Record of CA Qualifying Experience, including his/her reflective thought piece on key-learning experiences since the last meeting, and progress in the development of CA competencies.
Q: How should the Counselling Member lead the discussion on CA competency development?
It is expected that many organizations will ensure that the CA competency development is part of the normal performance review cycle for all employees in the organization. The CA student would provide the Counselling Member with the completed Record of CA Qualifying Experience (including the self-assessment of specific competencies) before each meeting. The RQE would be used as the basis for the competency discussion. The Counselling Member may also wish to obtain input on the CA student’s progress from his/her Line Manager(s).
Q: How flexible are the date requirements (must the meetings be every six months)?
While CA students must meet with their Counselling Member at least semi-annually, the timing of the meetings is flexible. The required meetings over the duration of the training period is five or six, depending on the CA Training Office’s particular circumstances (four times in Quebec). Some CA Training Offices offer a final rotation in year three that is less than twelve months but is needed to develop a student’s depth or breadth competency area. To mitigate the risk of the student not fulfilling the required competency development by the end of the qualification period as expected, CA Training Offices should consider scheduling at least two meetings during this final rotation. This mostly applies to CA Training Offices in the corporate and government sectors.
Q: How will the RQE accommodate co-op work terms or placements of four or eight months?
There are no special provisions for co-op work terms, or for placements of four or eight months. It is recommended that these meetings take place at the end of work terms/placements of less than six months duration and that at least two meetings take place if the term is greater than six months.