Increased regulatory expectations and the audit reform agenda have prompted an ICAEW consultation on changes to its CPD Policy intended to increase transparency and ensure that the policy is consistent with its duty to act in the public interest.
Specifically, the consultation hinges on proposed changes around mandatory ethics learning and risk categories for members in practice, all of which will be subject to ICAEW’s current ‘RAID’ principle: Reflect, Act, Impact, Declare.
This requires members to:
- reflect on their current role and learning needs;
- take appropriate action to address those needs;
- assess the impact of that action to ensure their needs have been met; and
- declare annually their CPD status for the previous year.
The proposed changes to ICAEW’s CPD Policy aim to improve and maintain the professional, technical, and business excellence of ICAEW Chartered Accountants. As such, we are proposing to introduce an annual mandatory ethics CPD requirement for all members, risk-based CPD requirements based on the risk profile of a member’s area of work and the requirement for a minimum number of verifiable CPD hours for each of the three Risk Categories we have identified. The three risk categories are explained in the full supporting document for ICAEW’s consultation, under the “risk categories” subheading.
A two-phase introduction of this policy would see phase one effective from 1 November 2022 and phase two effective a year later from 1 November 2023.
The first phase will see the introduction of a mandatory ethics CPD requirement for all members. Members working in practice will continue to be subject to the overarching RAID principle but will also be required to complete the specified number of verifiable and non-verifiable CPD hours depending on the Risk Category they belong to.
Meanwhile, members working in business will not be subject to the minimum number of verifiable hours requirement for this CPD year but will be obliged to continue to apply RAID and will be provided with enhanced guidance on how to apply RAID including guidance on the likely future Risk Categories for members in business.
For the second phase, all members in practice and business (other than those who are exempted by the new policy) will be subject to the overarching RAID principle but will be required to complete the specified number of verifiable and non-verifiable CPD hours depending on the Risk Category they belong to. All members will also be required to comply within their verifiable hours with specified ethics learning outcomes.
New ethics learning requirement
It is proposed that all members would be required on an annual basis to undertake, declare, and evidence compliance with specified learning outcomes aligned to the ICAEW Code of Ethics.
ICAEW will provide learning resources for all members from the implementation date of the new Policy. Members will not be required to undertake the ICAEW programme of learning but must be able to provide verifiable evidence if they choose to use an alternative programme.
The ICAEW ethics learning programmes is expected to comprise four hours of CPD in year one. Subsequent years will comprise approximately one hour of CPD annually. The ethics requirement will extend to non-ICAEW members registered with ICAEW as Responsible Individuals, Key Audit Partners, and insolvency practitioners.
Risk categories for members in practice
The proposed policy will require members to identify which Risk Category they belong to and then complete the minimum number of verifiable and non-verifiable CPD hours annually as prescribed for that category:
Risk Category 1 members will be required to complete a minimum 40 hours’ CPD, of which 30 hours must be ‘relevant and verifiable’.
Risk Category 2 members will be required to complete a minimum 30 hours’ CPD, of which 20 hours must be ‘relevant and verifiable’.
Risk Category 3 members will be required to complete a minimum 20 hours’ CPD, of which 10 hours must be ‘relevant and verifiable’.
Relevant and verifiable CPD
Under the new policy, all CPD must continue to be relevant to a member’s role and address their learning needs. Relevant and Verifiable CPD is defined as “an activity that meets a specific learning outcome(s) identified as necessary to remain up to date and competent in the role(s) which can also be evidenced”. It also includes any activity that meets specific learning outcomes identified as necessary to remain up to date and competent in the role. This can be evidenced in various ways, ie, file notes of technical research or writing technical articles.
Long-term leave and return to work
It is proposed that members on leave from their role throughout the whole CPD year will be exempt from the verified hours and ethics requirements for that year.
On returning to work, members in these categories will be required to complete CPD under RAID in the year of return before moving onto the formal inputs requirements for subsequent CPD years. ICAEW will continue to offer support and guidance to individuals returning to work.
For those who wish to give their feedback, please respond to the consultation.
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