CA Diary for Flexible Route Trainees FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about your CA Diary

Have a question? Please see the list of questions below and if you can't find the answer you're looking for you can contact us via the Support & Services page and we'll try our best to help you.

  1. What is the CA Diary?

    The CA Diary is an electronic tool which will allow you to record the acquisition of skills, values and competencies during the period of your professional development.

  2. What is the purpose of maintaining the diary?

    1. To assist you in planning your work activities
    2. To help you to understand how you have applied your competencies in the workplace
    3. To chronicle the acquisition of your skills and competencies
    4. To help you reflect on the effectiveness with which you have applied your competencies in your work environment
    5. To provide evidence to Chartered Accountant Ireland at the time of your application for admission to membership that you have acquired the requisite values, skills and competencies
  3. What is competency?

    Competence is defined as 'being able to perform a certain work role to a defined standard with reference to real working environments.' (International Federation of Accountants - IFAC)

  4. What are the mandatory competencies?

    All students must demonstrate the acquisition of competencies n Financial Accounting (FA 1- FA4), the broad Business Environment skills (CB1 - CB6), and throughout your period of training, the adoption of the professional values and the growth in your personal/interpersonal skills will be monitored (PV1 - PV7). Full definitions are provided in the guidelines.

  5. How do I record my CA Diary entries?

    Each activity you perform is informed by a technical skill and invariably will require some personal/interpersonal input. When you complete a task, you will need to reflect on the skills and values that informed your actions in each work activity.

    1. You should firstly enter the time period for which you are making the entry by using the date selection boxes (From/To) on the Diary Entry page. This will record the number of days you have evidenced.
    2. Your CA Diary entry should be a short narrative that describes the tasks that you have been assigned over the time period for which you are making the entry.
    3. You should then identify the specific functional competencies that were required to complete the tasks and the other competencies that informed the carrying out of the task.
    4. Complete the entry by evaluating with which level of competency, in your opinion, you have carried out the assignment - understands, applies or integrates.
    5. You must at all times respect your client's confidentiality by not naming them in your CA Diary.
    6. In the Work Activity Field you are required to state the Company that you gained the experience in i.e. your employer.
    7. The number of days served will calculate from the time period specified in the entry. The system doesn't count weekends as it assumes a normal working week.
  6. How do I know when I have achieved an adequate level of competence?

    Along with identifying the functional and other competencies you will acquire during your period of professional development the Institute has also identified three levels of proficiency which may be generic to every assignment carried out by you. These levels of proficiency will serve to demonstrate your professional growth during your period under training. You should always indicate the levels of proficiency when recording your experience in the CA Diary. The three levels are Understands Applies and Integrates.

    Set out below is a guidance to the interpretation of each of these levels. In the early stages of your professional development you are likely to perform tasks at the 'understand' level and to graduate to the 'integrates' level as you come towards the end of your training period.

    Level One: Understand Level Two: Apply Level Three: Integrates
    Student can grasp a clear understanding of the task assigned. Becomes pro-active in managing routine tasks. Identifies problems and resolves them.
    Can carry out tasks that are established processes. Carries out assignment with a lesser degree of supervision. Demonstrates an in-depth technical knowledge in defined areas.
    Works under supervision. Can take instruction from seniors/line manager. Performs as part of a team in planning and executing assignments. Demonstrates clear managerial/ leadership skills. Demonstrates ability to manage an assignment/project to completion.
    Collects, organises and analyses basic information using established criteria. Assumes appropriate additional responsibility. Generates ideas and is proactive in implementing.
    Communicates verbally, and in writing to an in-house audience. Communicates verbally in-house and prepares, for manager, written communication to clients. Communicates concisely and effectively, verbally and in writing, both in-house and to clients.

    When adding to your diary, please keep these competence levels in mind.

  7. How often should I make diary entries?

    As part of the Flexible Route/Elevation Programme we understand that there maybe gaps in periods of experience. If you are unsure if your experience is relevant firstly check the guidelines and then speak to your mentor.
    The more systematic and organised you are in recording your experience the quicker you will able to use the CA diary and work with your mentor to lock and review your experience.
    Ideally, on completion of a work activity/ assignment you should reflect and be able to identify the competencies you have developed.
    At a minimum, Chartered Accountants Ireland recommends that you make your diary entries at the end of every month if you are getting continuous experience. Or if there are gaps in your experience at the end of a work activity.

  8. When will my diary be reviewed?

    It is intended that the Diary of Professional Development will facilitate the mentor in monitoring the experience gained by the student. It will also be of benefit to the student in that its review will provide regular opportunities for both parties to discuss the progress of the Flexible Route/Elevation Programme student's professional development during the course of the REQ.

    It is anticipated that mentors will review, at a minimum, twice annually, the student's entries on the Diary and evidence their progress accordingly

    When a qualified accountant agrees to mentor a student in the Flexible Route/Elevation programme both parties should agree a timetable of regular contact.

  9. Is there guidance available for mentors to use the CA Diary?

    A User Guide is available for mentors to provide information on the functionality of the CA Diary.This document can be accessed through the Current Students > CA Diary Resources section of the Institute's website

  10. Is there guidance available for students to use the CA Diary?

    A User Guide is available for trainees to provide information on the functionality of the CA Diary. This document, along with the Guide to Professional Development Requirements on the CA Diary documents can be accessed through the CA Diary Resources section of our website

  11. Are there sample entries available for Flexible Route students and mentors to read and assist them create entries and lock entries?

    Yes, information on content and sample entries that will assist Flexible Route students to understand the type of information they have to provide and the level of detail needed in the entries can be accessed in the Sample Entries document, which ican be accessed through the CA Diary Resources section of our website

  12. What do I record as company audit in my CA Diary?

    Company audit work is any audit work carried out under the companies act for a limited company.
    Other audit work is where an audit is carried out for another body which is not established under the companies acts. This could include such organisations as credit unions, semi state bodies (e.g. ESB), clubs or other businesses which have not been incorporated.

    Audit experience gained in the Flexible Route can be recorded to reflect the competencies attained. The number of days audit will not be counted towards meeting the educational requirements for the audit qualification. Students qualifying through the Flexible Route route will generally not be able to meet the educational requirements for the audit qualification.

  13. When can I apply for Admission to membership?

    In the Flexible Route Programme you have eight years from the date of your registration to evidence your required Recognised Experience for Qualification (REQ) and pass all of your exams. Once you have all the requirements met you are eligibly to apply for associate membership of Chartered Accountants Ireland. Information on the application process is available on our website

  14. How many entries do I need?

    There is no set number of entries. What is important is you account for all of your training contract either through entries or in the Calendar. A rule of thumb of one a month is sufficient.

  15. How many mentor reviews do I need?

    You are required to have one review every six months. So the length of your contract will dictate the exact number. The system will automatically check that you have more than 5 before the Final review can be submitted.

  16. I cannot find a link to request a Final Mentor Review - why is this?

    Refer to the Trainee User Guide, which explains the criteria that have to be met in order to avail of a Final Mentor Review.

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