CPD requirements

Step 1: Understanding CPD

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is about keeping your professional skills up to date and appropriate for your job.

As a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland it is a requirement under the Code of Ethics for Members that you maintain your professional competence. This is for the purposes of integrity and quality of professional services offered by Chartered Accountants. 

Step 2   Choose your approach

Choose one of the following approaches:

The input-based approach which allows a member to establish a set amount of learning activity that is considered appropriate to develop and maintain competence

The output-based approach which requires a member to demonstrate, by way of outcomes, that he develops and maintains professional competence

The combination approach which requires a member to combine elements of the Input-based Approach and the Output–based Approach setting the amount of learning activity required and measuring the outcomes achieved

The input-based approach

This is the traditional basis of CPD where you measure your CPD by the number of hours learning you have done

If you are adopting this approach you will need to complete 70 hours per annum of which at least 20 hours must be structured CPD; the remainder, i.e. up to 50 of the 70 hours, may be unstructured CPD. If you work in practice you will need to achieve a minimum of 10 hours of structured CPD in each service area in which you practice.

  • Audit/Accounting
  • Investment Business
  • Insolvency Practice
  • Tax

These requirements can be averaged over a three year period but you must undertake at least 20 hours structured or unstructured CPD each year.

The output-based approach

The key feature of output CPD is that completing a prescribed number of hours is not the requirement: it is showing

that you have thought about your specific training needs and followed through on developing them. For many members this is more relevant than attending courses that may or may not be relevant to your current role. In order to follow an output basis you will be required to do the following:

  1. Assess what is expected of you in your current and future roles.
  2. Decide on and carry out your development goals, including identifying CPD activities
  3. Reflect on the effectiveness of your CPD activities in meeting your training and development goals Step.
  4. Record all of the above

The combination approach

Where a Combination Approach is adopted the member shall be required to achieve a combination of structured or unstructured CPD per annum, together with, evidence to demonstrate achievement of outcomes, to sustain professional competence.

Step 3   Keeping Records

At the beginning of the year you should decide which approach best meets your needs. You will of course need to clearly record which method you have chosen. Input CPD can be achieved over a 3 year rolling average, whereas output CPD is an annual requirement, therefore if you change your CPD basis, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are meeting your CPD requirements each year for that basis.  

Suggested formats for recording both output and input CPD

Step 4   Annual Returns

All members are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Once a year members must complete an Individual Annual Return as evidence of compliance with the CPD regulations.

More supporting documents

We have a list of specially prepared documents to assist you in understanding and complying with the requirements of CPD Regulations. Please refer to the Continuing professional development support and guidance page for the full list of documents.

I qualified this year, what are my CPD requirements.

From the date you join Chartered Accountants Ireland as an associate (i.e. not from when you pass your exams) you are required to comply with CPD requirements. If you have studied for your exams in the year in question you are unlikely to need to undertake any additional CPD. However, if you had previously completed your studying then you will need to comply with the CPD Regulations in full in the year in which you become a member. The actual requirements applicable to you will depend on which CPD approach you adopt.

Have more questions?

Professional Standards provide a great repository of supporting documents to assist you in understanding the CPD regulations as well as compliance requirements.

For CPD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), guidance, related regulations as well as input approach and output approach, please refer to the professional standards area for additional information.

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