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The 2023 CPD requirements explained

Helpsheets and support

Published: 24 Apr 2023 Updated: 05 Dec 2023 Update History

An overview of the changes to ICAEW's continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, including how much CPD must be completed, what counts as CPD and what to do if your circumstances change.

What are the new CPD requirements? 

From 1 November 2023, all individuals affected by the regulations will be required to identify which CPD category is most applicable to them, based on the type of work they do.

Most people, whether in practice or not, will fall into CPD category 3 as this is the default. The nature of your role may, however, move you into a higher CPD category.

Each CPD category has a corresponding minimum number of hours of CPD that must be undertaken, a proportion of which must be verifiable. The minimum hours requirements apply regardless of whether you are working part-time or full-time and are as follows: 

CPD category

Minimum number
of hours

Minimum number of verifiable hours

Practice

Category 1 40

30

Category 2 30 20
Category 3

20

10

Working outside practice

Category 1

40

15

Category 2

30

10

Category 3

20

5

Executives/trustees of charities working pro bono.

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

The regulations detail the full list of CPD categories, but you can use the CPD self-assessment tool to work out which CPD category best applies to you. Further information is available, covering:

Ethics requirement

From 1 November 2023, for those affected by the revised CPD Regulations, at least one hour of your verifiable CPD each year must be on ethics. ICAEW has created a free ethics CPD course to help you comply with the new CPD Regulations, equipping you with the knowledge and confidence to demonstrate high standards of ethical conduct in your professional role.

Verifiable hours gained from the course will count towards your overall verifiable CPD hours requirement. The ethics course provides up to 12 verifiable hours of CPD, meaning that if you choose to complete more than one hour of verifiable CPD on ethics in any given CPD year the extra hours will count towards your overall number of verifiable CPD hours.

ICAEW’s learning management system will automatically recognise completion of each module and a certificate of completion will be held in your ICAEW CPD record. This record can then be used as evidence of your verifiable CPD hours.

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.
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Who must comply?

If you are an ICAEW member, someone regulated by ICAEW for certain activities, or a reciprocal member, you are affected by the revised CPD Regulations if:

ICAEW member firms are also within the scope of the CPD Regulations. There is separate guidance for these firms that covers their responsibilities under the regulations.

If the only work you do during a CPD year is the provision of accountancy or finance or unreserved legal services without reward, then you are partially exempt from the CPD Regulations. Find out more about your responsibilities as a volunteer

If being a statutory director of a micro entity is the only role that brings you within scope of the regulations, you must reflect on the nature of this work and ensure your CPD addresses and your professional development needs.

If you are a member based outside of the UK, you will need to use your judgment to determine whether you are engaged in an equivalent role, with reference to the relevant national laws and regulations where appropriate. Find out more about applying the CPD categories outside the UK.

Exemptions

ICAEW members who are not working in accountancy, finance or legal services and those that have not worked in a CPD year are exempt from the CPD Regulations coming into force in 2023.

Reciprocal members, who are not responsible individuals or key audit partners, and who have satisfied the CPD obligations of their home professional body are also exempt from the 2023 Regulations.

Some trustee roles that are of a low-risk, personal nature are also exempt from the requirements of the CPD regulations. 

Are you affected?

Confirm whether you need to comply with the revised CPD Regulations by answering a few simple questions about your work.

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

What are my CPD responsibilities?

Unless you are exempt from the CPD Regulations, then you are required at the start of the CPD year (1 November) to identify which CPD category is most applicable to you, based on the type of work you do. You can use ICAEW’s CPD self-assessment tool, to do this.

If you hold more than one role covered by the CPD Regulations then you should complete the assessment for each. If your roles have different CPD obligations, you must meet the higher requirements for CPD hours.

Once you have identified which CPD category best fits your circumstances, you should reflect on your professional development needs, and come up with a plan for the CPD you need to meet those needs.

You need to ensure within that plan that you undertake the minimum number of CPD hours that is required for your CPD category. A proportion of those CPD hours will need to be verifiable. There is guidance available on what will be considered as verifiable (see below).

In addition to the CPD that you undertake, you will also be required to undertake at least one hour of ethics training. 

You must keep evidence of the verifiable CPD you have done throughout the CPD year. ICAEW has published an example of what a CPD record could look like and the key elements that it should include, such as your reflection statement, CPD activities and evidence.

ICAEW has developed an online CPD record which you may choose to use. We are also creating a tool that will enable members to verify CPD activity on icaew.com and log it in this online record. 

Furthermore, you must keep evidence for at least three years after a CPD year ends. If ICAEW's Quality Assurance Department asks for that evidence, you will need to supply it, together with a written summary of the reflection you did to consider what your CPD needs were for the year.

What counts as CPD?

Much of what you do every day will count as CPD. It's not just about attending courses or watching webinars, but can include a wide range of activities, such as listening to podcasts, coaching, problem solving, reading articles and learning from your colleagues, as well watching and participating in panel discussions.

CPD is also not restricted to activities focused on technical accounting or finance knowledge. Engaging in content that looks to the future of the profession, such as thought leadership, would be considered CPD, as would the development of soft skills, such as communication, leadership and change management. 

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

To see how ICAEW can support you with your CPD needs, visit our CPD resources page.

What is verifiable CPD?

For a CPD activity to be verifiable there must be evidence of its completion that is:

  • objective - fact based rather than based on personal perspectives;
  • corroborated - can be confirmed to be accurate; and
  • retained - documented and stored in an observable format.

Note that only one piece of evidence is required per verifiable activity listed in your CPD record.

Verifiable CPD is not limited to structured courses. Independent evidence can be provided for a wide-range of actions from your day-to-day work, from attending peer discussion groups and consulting experts, to on-the-job research of technical areas and writing academic articles.

Read further guidance on what will be accepted by ICAEW as verified CPD, including a list of example activities and how they can be evidenced.

Access your new online CPD record

To support ICAEW members with changes to CPD requirements, we have created a new online record for the 2023/24 CPD year. It will allow you to quickly record and track your progress against your CPD requirements.

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

What if my circumstances change?

Read guidance on what happens to CPD obligations if your role or circumstances change during a CPD year (1 November - 31 October).

Find out more about how ICAEW's CPD Regulations are changing after 1 November 2023
Changelog Anchor
  • Update History
    16 May 2023 (04: 30 PM BST)
    Clarification added that the number of CPD hours required under the revised regulations remains the same whether you are working full-time or part-time.
    26 May 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    Additional clarification added on what activities would be considered as constituting CPD.
    26 Sep 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    Clarification that to meet your annual ethics requirement alternative training must meet all of the learning outcome of ICAEW's Ethics CPD Course.
    13 Jun 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    Links added to the ICAEW ethics CPD course which is now live.
    13 Sep 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    Addition of updated video outlining the changes to ICAEW's CPD Regulations.
    05 Dec 2023 (12: 00 AM GMT)
    Links have been added to the new online CPD record.