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ICAEW new CPD rules - not that scary, promise, read on

Goody two-shoes, satsumas and life Venn diagrams as we look at who is affected by the new ICAEW CPD rules.

Pair of shoes to highlight goody two-shoes
Goody two-shoes for new CPD rules

The CPD rules are a changing at ICAEW Palace. From 1 November 2023 there are new, or at least evolving rules, which affect every ICAEW member, yes, that is everyone. Even partners are included.

Why the change?

Well, the official reason is because of

Which is a safe phrase from the CPD playbook, it offends nobody, is the truth and misses one big point.

This reality is and the bit ICAEW did not say (cannot, because the explosion would be heard by the man on the moon) is far too many ICAEW members have swerved their CPD. The days of ‘I read Accountancy Magazine’ (one from twenty years ago) sort of resurfaced in new, not quite credible, formats.

There said it out aloud, or at least typed to a digital screen. But don’t we all know this?

Sadly, the compliant members are paying the price for the laxer members of the profession.

For the CPD ‘goody two-shoes’ contingent (like me) then you are nearly home and dry. The good news if you have undertaken CPD over the last few years, and since you listen to the CPD tax podcast you probably have, you are mostly compliant perhaps a tweak here and there you are sorted.

Now if the letters C. P. D. in that sequence are new to you or are a distant memory then it is scary and the socks need pulling right up.

You can find more details at in the CPD is changing section of the website. It is packed with detail and explains the regulations, is an excellent, extensive guide – it truly is.

Time is super-precious (sorry, for the Americanism) so I will drive a coach and tank through the mountains of information then you don’t have to. As with a Christmas satsuma we will segment the rules into easy to digest sections.

Start at the very beginning – who

In fact, the first news to most members is the CPD year runs from 1 November to 31 October, it always has done. Nothing new here. No big.

The rules include the following:

· If you are an ICAEW member (so there you have it everyone, no exclusion for being senior)

The link takes you to the full definition but tends to be people involved in a*d*t, insolvency, probate etc.

The list of headings in the accountancy and finance section follows the rider format of a celebrity, it is vast, long, lengthy and comprehensive. There are 9 headings with layer upon layer of sub-headings from tax right up to bookkeeping. If you are in practice you need to check this.

Curiosity confirms reserved services includes legally restricted areas ICAEW regulate such as probate. The non-reserved legal services include estate administration and will writing.

Tax has three sub-headings

· Dealing with personal or business tax returns

· Providing tax advice

· Representing a client in a tax situation

Which 'ain’t that many' considering how vast the area is. To conclude – if you do tax you do CPD.

It is unquestionably clear if you are a director, perhaps with tax responsibility but not limited to tax, you are now in the CPD club. There is a reduction, but not exclusion, if you are volunteering as a trustee for a charity, but not if you are a director of a Charity.

And it now includes

ICAEW member firms, and firms granted a dispensation to use the description 'chartered accountants', are also within the scope of the CPD Regulations.

It would have saved a lot of conifers to say: ‘everyone’.

Is anyone exempt?

A few people are exempt on practical grounds and the ones mentioned are (my parentheses):

· fully retired (but not for those who wish they were retired)

· unemployed (why – could use that time wisely, no offence)

· on a career break

· on maternity or paternity leave (too tired anyway)

· on long term sick leave, or

· a full-time carer

There is more guidance in the regulations but if in doubt run it past ICAEW. The amount of CPD required can be reduced on a pro-rata basis if circumstances require e.g. long term sick.

Venn diagram time for the completely exempt

There is one group of people who are completely exempt

· who are ICAEW members

· But working in a role that does not in any way relate to finance or accountancy services or legal services

ICAEW provide an example of a member working in marketing in a fashion role, not a director of the company, then this person is not required to undertake CPD.

However, on the big Venn diagram of life the circle with marketing fashion directors in it and the one with ICAEW members must overlap with only the slightest glance, but we get the idea.

Our podcast focusses on tax issues and that is where these articles will flow to. Next article will cover what category of accountant are you? Now there’s a question.

We will also look at CPD and verification, ethics, what you need to do and other areas you need to know.

19 July 2023

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