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Five steps to get ahead on CPD changes

Helpsheets and support

Published: 13 Jul 2023 Updated: 01 Nov 2023 Update History

From today (1 November 2023), ICAEW’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Regulations have changed, formalising the minimum amount of CPD expected of members. If you haven’t started thinking about it yet, don’t worry here's five key steps you can take.

With rapid developments in technology, changing regulatory requirements and increased scrutiny, professional development is vital to ensure accountants have the skills they need.

ICAEW’s revised CPD Regulations clarify the amount of CPD you should be completing each year and also introduce a mandatory ethics element.

ICAEW has produced a range of guidance and support to help you understand your new CPD requirements. Here’s five steps to getting grips with the changes

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Step 1: How much CPD do you need to complete?

The amount of professional development that you are required to complete each CPD year (1 November-31 October) varies depending on the type of work you undertake and the organisations you work with. For example, a finance director at a large company is expected to undertake more than a member of the  finance team.

The regulations divide professional roles into six categories. The category you fall into dictates the minimum amount of CPD you need complete each year and for what proportion you need to provide independent evidence.

The default for members is category 3, which has the lowest requirements. Working for certain organisations, or in particular roles, places you in a higher category. For example, those leading internal audits for a public interest entity fall into practice category 1, while the head of finance at an small business would fall into non-practice category 3.

ICAEW has created an online CPD self-assessment tool where you spend a few minutes answering questions about your role and it will determine which CPD category you fall into.

CPD category

Minimum number
of hours

Minimum number of verifiable hours


Category 1 40


Category 2 30 20
Category 3



Working outside practice

Category 1



Category 2



Category 3



Executives/trustees of charities working pro bono.

ICAEW's CPD video for charity trustees  or training with similar learning outcomes.

Guidance and support:

Step 2: What counts as CPD?

What constitutes CPD is not changing. It can include a wide range of activities, including:

  • listening to podcasts,
  • receiving coaching,
  • watching webinars,
  • reading articles,
  • on-the-job training,
  • learning from colleagues, and
  • attending courses and events.

CPD is not restricted to activities focused on technical accounting or finance. The development of soft skills, such as communication, leadership and change management, are equally considered professional development.

For an activity to count as CPD, you need to show in your record how it is relevant to your role and how it has helped meet your learning needs.

CPD resources from ICAEW

A huge range of resources are included as part of your ICAEW membership, including the majority of faculty and community content which previously has been paid for.

For example, you can now access all of the technical support produced by the Tax, Corporate Reporting and Audit and Assurance Faculties. Examples of what you can find, include:

Similarly, if you’re looking for support on a particular industry or professional specialism, you can also access ICAEW’s community content. You can boost your Excel knowhow by browsing the community’s tips and tricks and catch up with the latest in other industry sectors by looking at their webinar recordings.

Don't forget ICAEW Insights content, where you can keep up to date on the latest news in tax and the broader accountancy space. Alongside daily news articles, we publish two podcasts each month one offering an overview of key developments and the other offering a deep dive into an important issue.

You can see the most recent content and find links to other key resources on our CPD learning resources page.

Guidance and support:

Step 3: What does verifiable mean?

The revised regulations require that some of your CPD activity is verifiable. CPD is verifiable if you can provide independent evidence of the activity’s completion. This could include:

  • an email confirming attendance at a webinar from the organiser;
  • records of on-the-job training from a mentor, manager or tutor;
  • a certificate of completion for a course, or
  • correspondence with an expert in resolving technical issues.

The key things to remember about verifiable evidence is that must be factually accurate, corroborated by an independent source and in a format that can be included in your CPD record.

As part of the new online CPD record, launching in late November, ICAEW will be providing the AddCPD tool that will verify engagement with articles, videos and podcasts on icaew.com for CPD purposes. AddCPD will enable you to add the page you're browsing to your online CPD record and verify that activity.

Joining any of ICAEW’s numerous free faculty and community webinars could also count as verifiable CPD, so long as they are relevant to your role.

Guidance and support:

Step 4: Understanding the ethics requirement

ICAEW does not mandate CPD topics, given the variety of work undertaken by our members. The exception to this is ethics. To satisfy the regulations you must complete at least one hour of ethics-related training each CPD year and this activity must be independently verifiable.

To help members meet this requirement, ICAEW has created an Ethics CPD Course, which provides up to 12 hours of verifiable CPD. The free online course is broken down into four modules and covers specialist areas, including: audit, economic crime, insolvency and tax.

ICAEW will be updating the course annually to provide an hour of additional CPD on the latest development in ethics and continue this support for members.

Guidance and support:

Step 5: Get started

The start of the CPD year is the time to reflect on your learning needs and start planning what CPD activities you'd like to complete over the next 12 months.

One area where its easy for you to make a start on meeting your new requirements is on ethics. ICAEW's Ethics CPD Course is live and offers up to 12 hours of verifiable CPD. You can complete the course modules in your own time and add your certificates to your online CPD record when it launches later in November.

You can browse for content that could support your professional development on our CPD learning resources page, as well as:

Get in touch

If you have any questions about CPD, don’t hesitate to contact us. Phonelines and webchat are available between 09:00-17:00 (UK time) Monday to Friday and 10:00-17:00 on Wednesdays (excluding UK bank holidays).

More on CPD and skills

Support on the changes to CPD requirements and how they apply to you, as well as the skills accountant need.

Professional development and skills
More support

See the full list of CPD categories and use the CPD self-assessment tool to help you understand your new obligations.

CPD categoriesFind out your category
Changelog Anchor
  • Update History
    25 Jul 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    Title of article changed from: "Are you up to date with the new CPD requirements?" and introduction text updated.
    13 Sep 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    Addition of updated video outlining the changes to ICAEW's CPD Regulations.