CPD Requirements for UK Accountants
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and is the term used to describe the learning activities accountants and accountancy professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. Accountancy CPD combines different learning methodologies such as CPD seminars, training workshops and accountancy CPD online courses for an accountant to improve their skills. There are over 1000 institutes & professional bodies across the UK, a number that is forecast to increase. The accountancy industry together with its professional bodies has long since had a structured and recognised approach to Continuing Professional Development.
Overview of CPD Requirements for UK Accountants
This article provides a simple overview of the CPD requirements for UK accountants, including information on accountancy professional bodies and the various types of CPD available for accountants. Engaging in Continuing Professional Development ensures that accountancy qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete; allowing accountants to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves, regardless of age or educational level.
What are the types of CPD for Accountants?
There are three main different types of accountancy CPD. An accountant will often complete a recommended number of structured CPD hours each year to maintain their membership within their professional body. Structured CPD is also known as active learning. This can include attending accountancy training courses, conferences or CPD seminars. It can also include completing accountancy CPD online courses. Reflective learning is another type of CPD and involves little or no participant-based interaction. Examples of reflective learning CPD include reading relevant accountancy industry updates, videos and webinars. Learning objectives must be made clear in an accountants overall CPD plan. The last type of CPD is called self-directed learning which involves unaccompanied and less tangible CPD learning activities.
What are CPD hours or points?
Improving your skills and knowledge is the responsibility of every UK accountant. When completing CPD it is important to keep a record of the training, seminars and online courses completed each year. The CPD training record kept by an accountant is typically called a CPD portfolio. Often CPD points, units and credits all relate to the same thing, which is CPD Hours. Typically 1 CPD point, unit or credit will equate to 1 CPD hour of learning. CPD Hours can be defined as the time spent learning something relevant for Continuing Professional Development objectives.
UK Professional Bodies Accountancy CPD Requirements
Accountants should identify what CPD requirements are needed to carry out their role effectively. UK Accountancy professional bodies often set yearly CPD requirements for their members. CPD requirements for accountants are typically around 20 – 30 hours of purposeful learning every year. CPD for UK accountants is not solely limited to technical knowledge and legislation, but should also embrace practical training that is essential to managing a successful accountancy practice, as well as professional business and people skills.
UK Accountancy professional bodies review the CPD portfolios of their members to ensure accountants meet the annual Continuing Professional Development obligations. A CPD portfolio should be kept up to date, as it is more difficult to record CPD at the end of the year, hoping to remember everything completed over the last 12 months.
Importance of CPD for Accountants
The responsibility for completing Continuing Professional Development lies ultimately with each accountant as set by their UK professional body requirements. There is sometimes a common misapprehension that CPD takes significant time which may result in periods of “out of the business”. However, the availability of more flexible CPD suited for business requirements and the introduction of online learning has enabled more and more accountants to take a proactive stance with CPD.
Benefits of online Accountancy CPD courses
The availability of more flexible learning suited to accountants CPD requirements is increasing. The introduction of distance learning and online accountancy CPD courses with modules and certificates provides ease to complete regular CPD.
Online accountancy CPD courses are becoming popular as alternatives to traditional training courses and seminars. The convenience of online accountancy courses has significantly improved and many Accountants with limited available time can find many benefits to the flexibility and affordability. Online accountancy courses can be completed at any time with simple planned CPD elements that fit easily within the working week.
Affordable online Accountancy CPD courses
Online accountancy CPD courses can be relatively more affordable than traditional classroom courses. There are no commuting costs for accountants and often handouts can be made available for free online. Online accountancy CPD courses can be delivered with relatively low ongoing operating expense and many of the components of online courses can be automated to improve the training process.
Online accountancy CPD courses can provide more comfortable learning environments and many of the stresses around learning are removed. Online accountancy courses are often more suitable than face-to-face class sessions. Online accountancy CPD courses provide flexibility to learn around other work priorities. Accountants can study at their own time as course materials are always accessible online through a log-in portal.
How to become an accredited CPD training provider
Organisations working in the UK accountancy industry typically become accredited CPD providers if they provide any form of structured CPD training courses, seminars or events for accountants. Alternatively you may have internal training for staff that have CPD obligations. Many training providers in the UK accountancy industry utilise CPD accreditation for training courses, workshops, seminars and events. Gaining CPD accreditation for training and online courses helps validate knowledge to an industry recognised approach to learning. Find out more about how to become an accredited CPD provider.
We hope this article was helpful. You can find relevant Accountancy CPD Courses, news and information at the Finance CPD Industry Hub. Alternatively visit the Accountancy CPD Providers Directory to find experts from across the industry.