New ICAEW CPD regulations will build trust in the profession

  • Person icon Tim Evershed
  • Calendar icon 22 September 2023 10:44
Man studying online.

The revisions to the ICAEW’s CPD regulations will aim to build and maintain trust in the audit, accountancy and tax professions, Mercia’s latest Insight from the Experts members’ event was told.

The new regulations have been prompted by the increased level of scrutiny the profession has experienced in recent years. They will come into force on 1 November 2023 and will use a hybrid model, with CPD relevant to people’s roles with a minimum number of hours.

These regulations will affect ICAEW members or persons regulated by the ICAEW for certain activities that undertake accountancy or finance work.

Andrea Cook, Director of CPD and Events at the ICAEW and Liz Shaw, QAD Senior Manager at the ICAEW were the experts at the online event that was available exclusively to Mercia members.

Cook said:

Why are we making the changes? Maintaining and building trust in the profession is one of the ICAEW’s strategic objectives. We’ve decided that by making our CPD policy more robust that is a really effective way for us to enhance trust in the accountancy profession.

We’re not going back to the old days of CPD hours and structured/unstructured training. We’re trying to be quite innovative here in flexing those number of hours to ensure that it is reflective and proportionate in relation to the work our members are doing.

It is all about maintaining trust in the profession and ensuring our members and everyone we regulate is competent and seen to be competent by our stakeholders.


ICAEW CPD categories

Most individuals affected will fall into one of three CPD categories, each of which has a minimum number of CPD hours that must be fulfilled, with a proportion needing to be verifiable.

The three category requirements are summarised below:



Minimum hours

Verifiable hours


Outside practice


Outside practice

















A minimum of one hour’s verifiable CPD on ethics must be completed by all persons affected, which must be aligned to the ICAEW’s Code of Ethics.


What are the responsibilities of my firm?

Shaw said:

Although firms have always had a responsibility to make sure their employees are competent, the revised CPD regulations now include a specific responsibility to ensure compliance. There will be a responsibility for any ICAEW member firm – which means any firm majority owned or controlled by ICAEW members – or anyone regulated by us in areas like audit, investment business or probate.
  1. Make sure all members and relevant persons comply with the minimum number of hours.
  2. Review the guidance and regulations to understand which category members fit in.
  3. Make sure staff comply.
  4. Maintain records of the number of hours.
  5. Maintain the relevant records for QAD inspection as and when requested. Records must kept for three years.


Which ICAEW CPD category do I fall under?

The ICAEW has published extensive information outlining which category each individual is likely to fall under.

If you are still unsure about whether these new requirements will apply to you, and for an extensive list of other people who will fall completely, partially, or are exempt under the new rules, please see further information available through the ICAEW.

There is also a handy self-assessment tool developed by the ICAEW via which you can answer a series of questions to help determine which category you fall under.


What are verifiable CPD hours?

Verifiable CPD hours will require a record of completion that is factual and can be corroborated and documented. The ICAEW may wish to confirm the hours recorded for the year.

This could include live or online training courses that show a record of attendance in either soft or technical skills, or less formal hours such as participating in peer discussion forums, writing technical articles or related research.


Keeping track of your CPD

It is important to keep track of your completed and planned CPD hours so that you can identify areas to focus on, and plan live course attendance in advance. The ICAEW monitors CPD and currently requires a sample of members to submit records, which will include the new verifiable hours from November onwards.


Aligning the CPD year

Responding to questions from Mercia members, the event was told that it does not matter if their CPD year does not align with 1 November 2023. Individuals should start recording verifiable hours from the beginning of their CPD year after 1 November 2023, e.g., if the CPD year starts in January then start recording from 1 January. 

In addition, students must comply with CPD rules from the point that they become a member of the ICAEW.


How can Mercia help with your CPD?

Here at Mercia, we are able to help with an extensive bank of on-demand, in person and live online training courses covering technical accounting and tax topics and professional skills. Attendance at any Mercia course counts towards verifiable CPD.

Our 2024 training programme has suggested pathways for each ICAEW category per technical stream, making it easy for you to identify the courses that will ensure compliance.

The My Account area and attendance records allow you to keep track of hours completed and acts as documentation for your verifiable hours. Mercia’s member firms are also able to see individual training records, supporting firms with their responsibilities too.  

Our News and Insights page gives you access to a range of blogs, podcasts and our monthly newswire, all of which contribute to continuing professional development.

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