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How does on-the-job learning fit into CPD changes?

Helpsheets and support

Published: 30 Aug 2023 Update History

An important part of continuing professional development (CPD) is learning on the job, which is why ICAEW is making sure this counts towards your verifiable CPD hours from November.

As part of the changes to ICAEW’s CPD requirements which come into force on 1 November 2023, members and those regulated by ICAEW, must complete a minimum number of hours of relevant CPD each year.

A proportion of those hours must also be verified. This means that as part of your CPD record you must include evidence, corroborated by an independent source, of CPD activities being completed.

This is a simple task for activities such as attending a webinar or completing an elearning module, where you can keep registration emails or a certificate of completion, but ICAEW understands that CPD encompasses much more than these types of training.

ICAEW’s Director of CPD and Events Planning, Andrea Cook, explains: “Our members have told us that a lot of their CPD is gained through on-the-job learning, much of which can be difficult to evidence given its informal nature.

“We recognise the importance of this type of learning and appreciate the need for this to be evidenced as verifiable CPD.

To enable members to capture evidence of on-the-job learning ICAEW has created a downloadable form. Whenever you have developed or maintained your professional competence through learning while working, you can use this form as evidence.

What counts as on-the-job CPD?

Examples of on-the-job learning that could qualify as CPD include, but are not limited to:

  • researching the implications of a new accounting standard,
  • shadowing a colleague,
  • having a discussion with peers on a technical issue,
  • preparing and delivery training for colleagues, and
  • preparing a tax return for the first time.

Completing the form

The on-the-job-learning form is your opportunity to explain the learning you completed and why it was relevant for your professional development needs.

The form has four sections:

  1. CPD activity: Describe the on-the-job training you completed.
  2. Why did you choose this activity: Outline how the CPD activity was relevant to you. For example, it might have been related to a specific piece of work or you might have needed to familiarise yourself with some legislation.
  3. What did you learn from this activity: Describe how the CPD activity addressed your learning needs. Consider the effectiveness of what you did. Are you satisfied that your actions have enabled you to meet your objectives, or do you need more work in this area?
  4. Number of CPD hours attributed to this activity.

Who can verify the CPD activity?

For your completed document to count as evidence of verifiable CPD, it must be signed by an appropriate individual who can confirm that the activity took place. This individual should be someone who works or has worked closely with you and should have a more senior role within the organisation.

They need to provide their name, position within the organisation, relationship to you, (for example, line manager), and their contact details on the completed form.

They are also required to briefly summarise their involvement in the CPD activity, for example they may have attended a presentation you delivered or asked you to produce a report.

Completed forms

The completed and signed on-the-job-learning form can then be added to your CPD record as evidence of verifiable CPD for that year. You should complete a separate form each time you complete some relevant on-the-job training.

All evidence of verifiable CPD must be retained for three years in case you are selected for monitoring. If you are selected for monitoring ICAEW reserves the right to contact the individuals who verified your on-the-job training to check that the activity took place. 

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).

CPD resources

ICAEW membership includes a significant range of online content, including webinars, podcasts and insights. Members also have access to content created by our faculties and communities.

Find out more about how ICAEW's CPD Regulations are changing after 1 November 2023
More support

Guidance on what constitutes verifiable CPD and potential evidence that would be acceptable under the revised CPD Regulations, as well as the downloadable form for verifying on-the-job learning

Verifiable CPD examplesOn-the-job learning form