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Your guide to CPD

Five steps to help you understand your professional development requirements, examples of resources to support you and options for recording your CPD.
Find out your requirements Log into your CPD record

Why is CPD important?

Maintaining your professional development throughout your career strengthens your credibility. It provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to do your role more effectively and prepares you for the challenges ahead. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) also demonstrates to your fellow members and the wider public that you are invested in remaining proficient and at the forefront of the profession.

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

The amount of professional development that ICAEW members 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.

ICAEW’s CPD 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 how many hours you need to provide evidence of completion (see table below).

The default category is 3, which has the lowest CPD requirements, however, working for certain organisations, or in particular roles, can place 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 suggest 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.

Check your CPD category

Find out which CPD category you fall into by answering a few simple questions about your work.

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

Step 2: What counts as CPD?

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

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.

A wide range of activities can constitute CPD, including:

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.

For example, you can 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 three podcasts each month. Alongside the Tax Track podcast, we've got a series offering an overview of key developments for the sector 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.

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

Step 3: What does verifiable mean?

ICAEW’s CPD 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, ICAEW’s AddCPD tool verifies your engagement with articles, videos and podcasts on icaew.com for CPD purposes. AddCPD enables you to add the page you're browsing to your online CPD record and verify that activity. 

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. 

Step 5: Recording your CPD

As an ICAEW member, you are expected to record your professional development needs each year and the activities you completed to meet those needs. If you are selected for monitoring by ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Department, you must provide evidence that you have met your CPD requirements.

Your CPD record should include the following information:

  1. A detailed description of your role and responsibilities
    - A description of all your role/s held during the CPD year/period (1 November to 31 October).
    - Identify any aspects of your role that carry any risks eg, Executive Director of PIEs, FCA regulated, Audit, KAP, Insolvency, MLRO, Probate Licence holder.
  2. A detailed description of your development needs. This must cover:
    - changes to your role;
    - technical aspects;
    - ethics and professional scepticism; and
    - professional skills and development.
  3. CPD Activities. Detail what activity you have undertaken – reading / research / courses / webinars/ shadowing/discussions.
  4. Outline the impact of those actions.
  5. Detail any matters carried forward to next year.
  6. Your reflections for next year.

Your digital CPD record

You can choose to record your CPD in any way that suits you, but to make the process as easy as possible ICAEW has created a new online CPD record which you can access through your member dashboard.

The new record enables you to document your CPD requirements, the activities you’ve completed and upload verification evidence via icaew.com, meaning its accessible anywhere, at any time.

The record is also linked to ICAEW’s new AddCPD tool. This means that is easy to add the time spent on icaew.com as verified CPD.

Online CPD record

As an ICAEW member, it's easy to manage your professional development activities and record your progress against CPD requirements in the new online CPD Record.

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