19th December 2023

Your Essential Guide to the ICAEW CPD Requirements

If you’re an ICAEW member, you may already know that their CPD requirements changed in November 2023.

You now need to demonstrate that you’ve carried out a minimum number of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) hours every year to show that you are “maintaining and enhancing your competence”.

There’s a LOT of information out there about the new regulations! And I have spent quite a few hours reading and digesting everything that the ICAEW has shared about what has changed and what it means for us members.

I have turned this into a highly summarised overview to give you the information you really need to know.

Of course, I have included a whole load of added-value content to help you build out a verifiable CPD plan that’s most relevant to you and your future finance career too.

If you want to cut to the chase, you can click here to download the guide now.

I encourage you to do your own in-depth research through the ICAEW, but this guide is designed to get most people most of the way to understanding the changes, what they mean, and how they affect you.

What this ICAEW CPD guide covers

Before I start, over half of ICAEW members are non-practice members, (aka those not in an accountancy firm or a government audit organisation). The ICAEW has done a good job covering practice members, so this article mainly focuses on what you need to know if you’re a non-practice member.

This guide answers the following questions:

  • What are the new ICAEW CPD requirements?
  • Do the changes apply to me?
  • The new ICAEW CPD categories – which one am I in and what does it mean?
  • What can I do that counts as verifiable CPD hours?
  • What do you recommend I spend my time on?

So, let’s get to it! 

What are the new ICAEW CPD requirements?

From the 1st of November 2023, eligible ICAEW members fall into one of six CPD categories based on the type of work you do. Three categories for practice members and three categories for non-practice members

Each category (more on what they are later), has different requirements in terms of the minimum number of CPD hours you have to do, and how many of these must be verifiable.

Do the changes apply to me?

The ICAEW has a great tool that you can use to check if you’re impacted by these changes. My full guide has more details on how to use the tool. 

The ‘CPD assessment tool’ asks questions based on your day-to-day work and tells you the category you’re in. I also provide more information on the questions and how you might answer them in my guide. 

Most people will be in CPD Category 2 or 3 (explained later). 

What are the ICAEW CPD categories?

Depending on your role, you into categories 1-3. The categories relate to the number of verifiable CPD hours you’ll need to complete, I’ve included some role titles below so you can see which category you might fall into.

For those working outside practice, it looks like this.

If you’re working in practice, you need to do a slightly higher number of verifiable CPD hours.

It’s fine if you’re not sure, you can check the full CPD category info on the website here.

What counts as verifiable CPD?

For a CPD activity to be verifiable you need to evidence you’ve completed it.

This means it should be:

  • Objective – fact-based rather than based on personal perspectives 
  • Corroborated – can be confirmed to be accurate
  • Retained – documented and stored in an observable format.

Verifiable CPD is not only about formal courses but there are also other activities that count too, as long as they can be evidenced. The guide gives some examples of verifiable CPD activities and their evidence types.

Which development areas should I focus my CPD on?

If you know me, you know that I’m all about helping you futureproof your finance career. 

So if you’re looking at which development areas to focus on, these are my top four recommendations:

  • Personal development and coaching
  • Business partnering 
  • Data and analytics 
  • Finance transformation

There are some great CPD courses and resources out there which cover these areas, and I’ve listed my top recommendations in my full guide to the ICAEW CPD requirements.

Click here to download the ICAEW CPD guide now 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on if you find it useful or if there’s anything else you think should be included in the guide!

Want to talk CPD?

If you’d like to have a chat about the changes and what they mean for you or your team, please get in touch.

Oliver Deacon

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