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Practical work experience

Practical work experience is one of the four key elements of the ACA qualification, which you must complete to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Working with an employer enables ACA students to put what you are learning into practice. Here you will develop vital skills for your future career and earn a highly competitive salary at the same time.


  1. 450 days

    You must complete 450 days of work experience, which normally takes between three and five years.

  2. ICAEW employer

    You must complete your work experience with an ICAEW authorised training employer or authorised training principal

  3. Relevant experience

    Working in one or more of the following: Accounting, Audit and Assurance, Tax, Financial Management, Insolvency or Information Technology.

Authorised employers

To qualify as meeting the requirements of the ACA, the work you undertake must be at one of ICAEW’s 5000 authorised training employers (ATEs) or with one of our authorised training principals (ATP).

ATEs are located all over the world and are not just accountancy firms, you could complete your work experience requirements working at a bank, a private business or a charity.

ATPs are individuals who are members of an internationally-recognised accountancy body and will have overall responsibility for ACA training within the organisation.

They are approved by the ICAEW to support ACA students who are working alongside them.

Stay up to date

If you're interested in becoming a chartered accountant, ICAEW sends regular newsletters about potential job opportunities, how you can secure a training agreement and news to help you through the recruitment process, as well as highlighting forthcoming events. Sign up here.



average starting salary for Accounting and Professional services graduates in the UK*

* Data source: High Fliers: The Graduate Market in 2018

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