I had a request on twitter a few weeks back about the Practical Experience Requirements (PER) that are needed to obtain the fully fledged CGMA designation.
So with this in mind and the fact I am beginning the strategic level myself, it seemed the perfect time for myself to delve further into this subject which you may have not even thought about!
What is PER?
Well, let’s start at the beginning.
What exactly is PER you might say?
It’s about fulfilling the practical experience that is required in order to be considered a competent chartered global management accountant.
As a CIMA student/member you’ll need to have 3 years relevant work experience under your belt and fulfil a certain criteria that is measured by the CGMA Competency Framework (more on that later…).
As a student you’ll need to submit the relevant work experience using the MAT Membership Application Tool – here you will record your practical experience against the CGMA competency framework – it will need to verified by your line manager or something at who can prove you fulfilled the criteria.
Finally, once you’ve passed the SCS exam, it will be assessed by CIMA to determine whether you have gained the sufficient experience and then be awarded the CGMA designation.
When do I need to take action?
I imagine most student’s leave this part until they have passed the final exam and then realise they need to submit their PER.
However, you can begin to complete the PER as soon as you begin studying CIMA – as long as you have demonstrated the professional experience in the workplace.
And that’s something I have started to myself since researching this blog post as it will save time when I do finally complete the strategic level.
As well as reading this article, I would suggest you to take a look at the official CIMA PER Guidance here – this will explain in detail;
- What is PER and why it’s required.
- The CGMA Competency Framework.
- The criteria you need to fulfil.
- How the MAT (Membership Application Tool) works.
In summary, I would suggest all students (especially those with 3+ years’ experience in finance) to start your PER now and document your practical experiences in line with the CGMA competency framework.
Not only will you be a step ahead when you complete the strategic level, recording the experience as and when we complete it will ensure its accuracy and help the verification process.
How do I take action?
Let’s take a look first at the CGMA Competency Framework to see what kind of practical experiences we need to submit and get verified.
The hierarchy of the CGMA competency framework is split into four levels with Level 1 based are the four knowledge areas which we are already familiar with from our case study exams (see the core in diagram below);
Level 2 is what is known as the competency category you can see listed out in the above disagram – for example, the first one under Technical Skills is “Financial Accounting and Reporting”
Level 3 is the proficiency level of the category, which is clearly shown in the above illustration.
Meanwhile, Level 4 is the competency required to fulfil that specific proficiency level. This is ultimately the professional competency we are aiming to demonstrate in our PER.
Completing your PER
Now we understand whats behind the competency framework we can begin our application.
I’ve just recently begun to the complete the PER application by logging into MY CIMA account and selecting the Updated PER option in the MY CIMA menu.
It’s actually quite easy and self-explanatory to complete despite my initial trepidation.
You start by entering your personal details and then your employment history with timelines – now you have the chance to select the Level 4 Competency’s we looked at earlier.
For example; I selected the following competency:
Level 1: Technical Skills
Level 2: Financial Accounting and Reporting/Transnational Accounting and Closing Process
Level 3: Advanced
Level 4: Simply, improve and harmonise existing and complex processes and systems for accounts reconciliation’s and month end closing.
So remember, it’s the Level 4 competency I am documenting here.
Once I have added how I have demonstrated this skill (500 words maximum) I save it on my application, but then it will need to be verified by my line manager.
You can do this by adding a verifier to each employment role you listed on your application, it’s quite straightforward, nothing too tricky.
Once you are ready you can submit it for verification.
Just to clarify, it doesn’t matter if you are still on operational level, you can still add the professional experience to the PER and get it verified by your manager/designated verifer.
It’s the final step of submitting the PER application to CIMA can only be done once you have passed the final Strategic Case Study exam.
If you’re still none the wiser, then take another look at the Official CIMA PER Guidance from CIMA, or you can leave your comments below and I will do my best to answer ASAP.