All CPA Australia Associate members must complete the CPA Program before they can begin their careers as CPAs. As a mentor, you are ensuring that the next generation of business leaders have the required skills to perform their role with professional competence.
Who can be a mentor?
- a CPA, FCPA or anyone who holds full membership of an equivalent International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) member body
- you must be a member in good standing of your IFAC professional accountancy body while you are a mentor
- you have an obligation to let your mentee know if you discontinue your membership or if you are no longer a member in good standing
- it is preferable, but not essential that you have experience in mentoring or supervision
What does a mentor do?
Your main role is to help your mentee through the CPA Program and the experience requirement by supporting their professional development, reviewing and discussing their achievements and assisting them to select relevant examples to demonstrate in order to achieve competence in a skill. If your mentee does not work in the same industry, then the success of the relationship will depend on your ability as a mentor, and access to current knowledge in the area.
Your first meeting is very important. You should establish the best way to work together, your goals, responsibilities and expectations so that you and your mentee are both clear on what you expect from the relationship.
You will need to:
- commit to regular meetings with your mentee
- reflect on and share your knowledge and experience to help with your mentee’s career goals
- help your mentee select appropriate areas of work within the technical skill area
- help your mentee select the right examples to perform at work
- assess the examples they perform and discuss against the sub-skill
- verify each sub-skill in the logbook as it is demonstrated
- sign forms that confirm the sub-skills your mentee has demonstrated and the length of your mentoring relationship
Your mentee may demonstrate their competence by discussing the specific workplace example that demonstrates the skill they’ve obtained. As their mentor you could discuss the examples beforehand and plan which examples they are going to demonstrate at work. You should also agree on a timeframe for each example. Your role is to decide if they have demonstrated the skills they wish to claim.
If the example meets the criteria, you can sign the recorded example in the logbook (PDF).
If you don’t think the example meets the criteria, you can ask your mentee to discuss another example. If you still believe they are not competent, explain why and help them to develop next steps for how to demonstrate competence.
Mentoring and continuing professional development (CPD)
Any time you spend being involved in a mentoring program, whether it is through the practical experience requirement or another program, can be claimed toward your CPD obligations. This includes time you spend reading any material about mentoring as well as time with your mentee. When you record mentoring activities for CPD, use Code K. Visit continuing professional development for more information.