Top tips for your Continuing Professional Development

Gaining qualifications are an excellent way to show you are qualified and competent in your chosen career.  However, after passing qualifications you should ensure your standards of knowledge and competence are maintained.  All IAB members are required to keep up to date with technical matters related to the profession and current legislation affecting them, their clients or employers.  Accruing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points is a method of demonstrating continuing technical and professional competence and whether you are a student member or professional member it is advisable to engage in CPD activities.

The IAB recommends members complete, a minimum of 30 hours CPD each 12 months (for practicing members this coincides with the certificated year).  CPD records should be maintained individually, although the IAB will only ask to see these records if you are a member in practice.  If you are in practice you would be required to submit your CPD record annually to the Head Office with the Certificate of Supervision/ Compliance or Practising Certificate application.

CPD points can be easier to gain than you think and don’t just cover attending seminars and webinars.  This article aims to provide you with some useful tips for how you can keep your CPD up to date easily and at an affordable cost.

The 30 points (hours) can be gained by using two categories Pro-active & Re-active, further information on this can be found by clicking here.

CPD can be gained via any of the following sources:

  • Seminars – the IAB holds several seminars every year, with speakers attending from The Pensions Regulator, HMRC and Companies House to name just a few. To find out about the latest IAB seminars taking place please visit: http://www.iab.org.uk/event/calendar.  If there are other seminars taking place in your area which are of relevance then these can also be included in your CPD record.
  • Regional Meetings – The IAB works closely with the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA), allowing IAB members to attend meetings around the UK for free.  To find out more about the latest meetings taking place please visit: http://www.ifa.org.uk/branches/map/
  • Webinars – They are an excellent way to gain CPD while taking part from the comfort of your own home or office.  They also tend to be either free or reasonably priced.  The IAB has previously held webinars covering pension’s automatic enrolment.  However, we would also recommend considering webinars from HMRC (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-webinars-email-alerts-and-videos) and The Pensions Regulator (http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/press/events.aspx) as well as any other webinars you come across.
  • Online CPD courses – Online CPD can cover anything from gaining the latest skills in a specific software programme, such as Microsoft Excel to finding out more about IFRS.  The IAB currently works with three providers who offer CPD training at a discounted rate to IAB members.  These include accountingcpd.net, The Professional Training Academy and Filtered.  For further details about this please login to the restricted area of the IAB website.
  • Technical guides, newsletters, magazines and websites – Articles and guides can also count towards you CPD.  By reading the IAB newsletters, technical guides or visiting relevant websites such as AccountingWeb you are showing you are keeping up to date with the latest news relevant to your profession.

Finally here are some top tips for gaining the most from your CPD:

  • Don’t forget spontaneous CPD. Learning can happen through conversations with colleagues or people you meet at events.  By acknowledging spontaneous CPD it means that learning will occur without too much extra work.
  • Maintaining a record of your CPD may seem daunting. However, you can easily keep a portfolio of evidence by keeping any receipts for learning materials/courses and containing attendance or completion certificates from events you have attended.  If you are a professional member you would have received your IAB diary which includes a CPD records section.  Alternatively record sheets may be requested from Head Office.  We don’t expect you to record every single article you have read.  However, by recording some of the key CPD you have engaged with this will show that you are competent and keen to update your skills and knowledge.
  • By identifying the challenges you may encounter at work this will enable you to plan how to meet them and may help to identify suitable CPD for you. Challenges may include getting up to date with recent tax changes.
  • Break your CPD into manageable chunks by setting aside short but regular slots in your diary to record a CPD activity. You could do this on your way home from work, or make this your first or last task each week.
  • By sharing your experiences or knowledge you have gained from CPD activities with colleagues or clients you will be showing that you are confident in the work you do and being proactive in ensuring you are aware of any changes or news within the profession.
  • In a competitive market place, it is more important than ever to remain employable and keep up with rapid change. By engaging in CPD activities and topics that are outside your immediate priorities you will be showing you are passionate about your career and it will show to any employer that you are competent in the work you do.

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