This is the third and hopefully final blog post on the CIMA PER.
The reason I am writing this entry is down to the feedback I received from CIMA when submitting my application for assessment.
Before I get into that, here are links to my previous blog posts on the CIMA PER.
CIMA PER: Practical Experience Requirements
CIMA PER: A hands on guide!
In my hands on guide linked above, I gave an example on the evidence I provided to support one of the competencies.
However, the description I gave was too vague and not in the right format.
Thankfully, the good guys at CIMA Membership Applications sent by PER back to me before it went for official assessment and requested I fill in each competency with the below in mind;
CIMA Membership Applications Feedback
*This extract was taken direct from an email sent to me on 13th June 2019.
“…. having had a look through your application I recommend that you provide more detail to evidence your competencies, the descriptions provided are often very brief and unlikely to provide the assessors with enough information to make an informed decision.
When writing your evidence think of the context of the competency and about adding depth to your narratives by detailing exactly what you have done that evidences the competency, how you went about it, how often you were doing it, what the outcomes were etc.
Please ensure that you write in the first person, so that it’s clear you’re talking about what you’ve done yourself.
Simple statements that just reflect the actual competency don’t really evidence the necessary experience has been gained.
No single competency is identical to another, so each narrative should be solely focused on evidencing that particular competency.
Please refrain from using bullet points and ensure you provide full explanations on how you have satisfied each competency category chosen.
As a guideline;
For each Foundational competencies listed you should aim to write between 200-250 words for each individual competency.
For competencies at Intermediate level and above you should be aiming to write between 250-500 words per competency.
Depending on the competency level you have chosen will determine the level of detail you should write.
For instance, If you have a competency level which is “Expert” our assessors will expect more detail to be included in comparison to a competency which is at “Foundation” level.
As general guidance, before you resubmit your online application please consider the following:
– Have I written in first person? Have you explained your personal contribution on how you have satisfied each competency. A lot times applicants can make the mistake of advising what their team does as opposed to what they personally do.
– Have I provided enough detail? It is imperative that you not only explain what you have done but how it has been done. Our assessors a lot of times can defer an application because the applicant has not explained how they satisfied the competency category chosen .
– Have I ensured each competency listed is unique? Our assessors cannot assess an application if the applicant has duplicated information across competencies.
I’ve put your application back to you to add more detail. Please note: any verified competencies that you edit will become unverified and need verifying again.
My First Submission (returned to me);
As part of the robotic process automation, my team suggested an improvement to automate the intercompany invoice process.
However, to achieve maximum efficiency with this RPA idea, I lead workshops to bring other teams within finance in line with our process for issuing inter company invoices.
This involved me;
– hosting meetings with all countries to present RPA idea and current process for issuing invoices.
– Work with RPA team to ensure they have all required information regarding process automation for intercompany invoice process.
– Help support other finance teams with implementation of standard process so they could also adopt the RPA solution.
– Write SOP and documentation on standard to ensure there is sufficient support and backup for the process.
My Second Submission (sent on for assessment);
Outside of the monthly reporting periods, I have a strong focus on process improvement initiatives (also encouraging my team members to contribute with how we can improve our daily work activities).
One of the main areas of my focus has been the standardization and improvement of the intercompany recharge process.
Previously, all teams within our department followed a different process and flow on issuing internal invoices. I identified that we had a best in class process, as we have a clear reconciliation of all costs to be recharged, smooth process on issuing the invoice and the final invoice is delivered to the counterpart with a clear set of supporting documentation.
With this in mind, I presented our process to other teams with the aim of standarding the processing across all of the other teams/regions.
In order to overcome the resistance presented by some of my colleagues, I told them how much time this saved us and how easy it was for the accountants to reconcile their costs to be recharged.
I also attended meetings with our in-house RPA (Robot Process Automation) team and explained to them the part of the process, which is very repetitive (data entry to raise invoice and sending final invoice, documentation to counterpart) so this could be performed by the robot and give the accountant more time to spend on value added activities like analysis.
I was also required to spend additional time one on one with other Team Leaders to go through the specifics of the process we have, so they can adopt within their team.
You can see a clear difference between the two statements.
In hindsight I had rushed my first application just to get submitted and out of the way, but you need to take time and ensure you support the competency you are documenting.
Get it right first time and add the sufficient depth to your PER to avoid it being returned!
*I’ll confirm on this blog post once I have it all approved and final.