The CA Diary update and how it affects you

Mar 01, 2021
There are changes coming to the CA Diary and Nicola Sullivan explains what you need to know before it goes live.

As I am sure all students are aware, it is necessary to pass the FAE and to have a completed and approved online CA Diary record before you become eligible to apply to become a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland. That means you need to regularly upload all obtained relevant work experience to the online CA Diary and have this approved twice-yearly by an approved mentor. This aspect of your training is subject to regular monitoring.

Regular recording (and approval) of experience is an invaluable reflective learning tool that allows you and your mentor to measure your progress towards meeting the professional development requirements. However, the way in which you create and modify CA Diary entries will be changing soon. 

Get ready for change

There will be new features in the CA Diary soon. The forthcoming features will provide a streamlined way of selecting competencies and recording a corresponding narrative. It will also allow all trainees who are engaged in audit assignments to include specifics about the engagements. 

Once the changes have been implemented, you won’t have to figure out what content to include, as is the case with the current description text box. Rather, you will include character-limited text against each competency element selected. You will also be able to record a brief description under the new ‘reflection’ field. Don’t worry, the Training Support Unit in Chartered Accountants Ireland will be updating the CA Diary guidance to explain how the new features work and students will be able to access onscreen recordings to help them understand the new functionality.

How will this impact you?

If you have been maintaining CA Diary entries offline (such as in a Word or Pages document) with the intention of uploading them later, you should act now. The current description box will not be available to you after the new features go live. This will mean that you would have to reconstruct any entries before you can save or submit them when using the updated CA Diary. 

To avoid having to re-work your entries after go-live,  you should upload all entries into the system and submit them to your mentor for approval as soon as possible.

Once the new system goes live, you won’t lose any of your existing diary entries and will still be able to modify and submit any entries that originated in the current functionality. Your mentor will still be able to review, lock (and unlock) entries in the normal way. Only new entries created after the go-live date will be recorded using the new functionality. 

Before attempting any changes or updates to your CA Diary record, we strongly recommend that you review the latest trainee guides, including the Sample Entries and Professional Development Requirements guides. These are available for viewing/download on the CA Diary resources page

Additionally, a series of short, online tutorials are available for trainees and mentors. These tutorials supplement, rather than replace, the PDF documents that are available on the CA Diary Resource page. There are a number of webinar recordings that answer commonly asked questions and advise on common CA Diary errors.

When will the new changes come into effect?

It is anticipated that the streamlined CA Diary will be available to all students in late March. When the Training Support Unit have a confirmed date, they will contact all trainees and training firms/organisations.

Becoming a Chartered Accountant

If you are nearing the completion of your training period, you may be wondering about the Chartered Accountants Ireland membership application process. Even if you are just starting out on your trainee journey, this is valuable information.

Before becoming eligible to apply, you need to have demonstrated that you have met the professional development requirements through the CA Diary. If you have passed the FAE and have a completed CA Diary, you will be given the opportunity to complete your online application for membership. In order to access the online application to membership, you will first need to become eligible for a final mentor review. For information on the eligibility requirements for the final mentor review and how to obtain one, refer to the CA Diary Guide for trainees. 

Once you have access to the online application for membership, you will submit a summary of your training experience along with a completed application form signed off by your training partner/member of the Institute.
When an application is submitted to the Chartered Accountants Ireland Admissions team, it is scheduled for an Oversight Board review. Students should receive communication from Admissions approximately 7-10 days after each deadline. Deadline dates are published here.

As always, the Institute is here to help. Please do get in touch with any CA Diary questions you may have at

Nicola Sullivan is a Student Support Executive in the Training Support Unit at Chartered Accountants Ireland.