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CPD for Business and Finance Professionals

Helpsheets and support

Published: 24 Apr 2023 Updated: 30 Jan 2024 Update History

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Guidance on your continuing professional development (CPD) obligations as someone holding ICAEW's Business and Finance Professional (BFP) designation, including the expanded ethics requirement that took affect on 1 November 2023.

CPD requirements

To maintain your Business and Finance Professional (BFP) designation you are required to consider your continuing professional development (CPD), by keeping your training and development needs under review.

This means you should be considering your professional work, as well as any other work you undertake, and whether you need any additional knowledge or skills to complete those tasks. ICAEW regulations also require that where a specific need for training or development is identified that you act promptly to meet that need.

You must also be able to provide evidence of compliance if requested by ICAEW.

As of November 2023 you are also required to complete at least one hour of training aligned with ICAEW's Code of Ethics.

Who is exempt

From 1 November 2023, you are exempt from the CPD requirements if you are not an ICAEW member, or regulated individual, and during a CPD year you:

  • do not carry out or undertake, for reward or without reward, any accountancy or finance work or provide any accountancy, finance, reserved or non-reserved legal services; and
  • do not act as a trustee, director of a body corporate or in any other capacity which carries with it an equivalent level of legal or financial responsibility.

Please see the updated BFP Regulations.

ICAEW members and regulated individuals

Individuals who hold the BFP designation and are also ICAEW members, or someone regulated by ICAEW for certain activities, must meet separate CPD obligations as detailed in ICAEW's CPD Regulations. From 1 November 2023 this includes the completion of a minimum number of CPD hours per year.

Ethics requirement

In alignment with changes to CPD requirements for ICAEW members and regulated individuals from November 2023, ICAEW revised its obligations for those holding the BFP designation. Alongside the existing requirement to review professional development needs and undertake CPD where necessary, ICAEW is requiring the completion of regular ethics training.

From 1 November 2023, you must undertake at least one hour’s training aligned to ICAEW’s Code of Ethics each year.

ICAEW has created a free ethics CPD course to help you comply with the new requirements, equipping you with the knowledge and confidence to demonstrate high standards of ethical conduct in your professional role.

The elearning course provides up to 12 hours of ethics CPD and is split into modules that can be completed at a pace that suits you. Each year ICAEW will produce a new hour-long module covering relevant updates and developments.

ICAEW’s learning management system will automatically recognise completion of each module and provide certificates of completion in real time.

You can choose to carry out alternative ethics training to comply with the new ethics requirement. This must be verifiable and must cover the following learning outcomes:

  • Ensures up-to-date knowledge, understanding and confidence that will enable you to demonstrate high standards of ethical conduct in your professional role.
  • Provides an understanding of why professional ethics matters and an appreciation of how ICAEW’s Code of Ethics provides a framework for helping you meet your professional responsibilities.
  • Develops your competence and confidence in making ethical decisions.
  • Provides awareness of, and ability to apply, the additional ethical guidance that is relevant to you as a specialist.

How to approach CPD

We recommend that you take the following approach to your CPD requirements: reflect, act, impact and declare (RAID).


Consider your development needs and how you can meet them, and create a plan of action. Think about:

  • Expectations – what do others expect of you and what standards do you expect of yourself?
  • Changes – the main changes affecting you in your role.
  • Responsibilities – what are the areas of responsibility for your role?
  • Environment – what are the main business environment issues for you? 
  • Knowledge gaps – what do you need to know about?

Depending on your role and the level of risk it carries, there may be times when, having reflected, you quite reasonably conclude that you already have all the current skills and knowledge necessary for your work and that you do not need to undertake any further CPD activity at that moment.

However, we would expect such a situation to be very rare and, as of November 2023, you are required to complete ethics-related CPD in accordance with the requirements in the updated regulations.


The following activities, if relevant to your role, could count as CPD:

  • Technical reading
  • Learning at work
  • Meetings with experts
  • Conferences
  • Courses and seminars
  • Online learning
  • Workshops with your peers
  • Reading magazines, newspapers and journals
  • Registering for updates and email alerts.

To support you in meeting your ethics requirement ICAEW has created a free Ethics CPD Course.


Evaluate the effectiveness of what you have done. Are you satisfied that your actions have enabled you to meet your objectives, or do you need more work in this area?


ICAEW will be updating the declaration process and provide further details in due course. You may be asked to provide evidence of your compliance as part of our annual monitoring process. We recommend that you keep a record of your CPD during the year so that you can submit this easily if required to do so.

Recording your CPD

As part of our regulations, ICAEW is required to monitor the CPD of those with the BFP designation. 

To make this as easy as possible, we've created a CPD record template to help you record all of your CPD activity.

You should include the following information:

  1. A detailed description of your role and responsibilities
  2. A description of your development needs
  3. Details of what activities you have undertaken
  4. The impact of those CPD activities
  5. Any matters carried forward to next year
  6. Your reflections for next year

Download the CPD Record Template

Template record

DOCX (37kb)

To make declaring your CPD compliance as easy as possible, we've created a template which can be used to record all your CPD activities.