Frequently Asked Questions, Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
CAs must continually enhance their knowledge and expertise to remain at the forefront of today’s competitive market. It is imperative that CAs remain knowledgeable and current in all areas in which they practice or work in order to best serve the interest of clients, employers and other stakeholders.
The CPD program does not mandate areas of study. You should choose learning opportunities that are relevant to your professional role. Take an inventory of your skills and consider whether you allocate sufficient time to building or refreshing the various skills needed to do your job well. Qualifying CPD is not limited to accounting, assurance, or tax courses. Consider, for example, whether you have the range of soft skills (leadership, communication, etc.) and sufficient knowledge about your particular industry.
There are no any limits to the number of hours of CPD activities you may report. You are entitled to take credit for each hour that you engage in a learning activity with significant intellectual or practical content relevant to your professional responsibilities.
ICABC does not accredit third party course providers. As long as the course is relevant to your current or future professional role, and contains significant intellectual or practical content, then the course should qualify for CPD credit.
You should report the actual number of hours you engaged in learning activities. For conferences and conventions, estimate the amount of time that was spent engaged in activities with significant intellectual or practical content. Marketing, networking or social activities would not qualify as CPD learning activities.
Verifiable CPD should be supported by certificates of completion, confirmation of registration, attendance records, or such other evidence that can objectively verify completion of the learning activity. Although supporting documentation need not be submitted with the annual CPD report, it should be retained as a sample of members are requested to provide further documentation for verification each year.
You are required to maintain documentation supporting the completion of your verifiable CPD learning activities for one additional year after the end of the three-year cycle. As the current three-year cycle ends on December 31, 2013, you are required to retain CPD documentation until December 31, 2014 for all learning activities undertaken in 2011 to 2013.
The reporting deadline is January 31 for the previous calendar year.
We encourage all members to report on-line using the ICABC’s secure website at www.ica.bc.ca/secure. You may log your activities throughout the year on the secure website, and during the report submission period (November to January 31), all you’ll have to do is press the "submit" button, certify that your report is complete and accurate, and, voilà, your reporting obligation is complete! If you encounter any difficulties signing in to the secure website, please contact our Webmaster at email@example.com.
Alternatively, you may download the CPD reporting form from our website, fill it out, and return it to us by mail, fax to 604-684-1267 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can retrieve a list of your ICABC course registrations on our on-line CPD reporting site at www.ica.bc.ca/secure. If you encounter any difficulties signing in to the secure website, please contact our Webmaster at email@example.com.
Yes. You should engage in learning activities that are relevant to your current or future professional roles. Those learning activities do not necessarily have to include accounting, tax or assurance courses. Instead, take an inventory of your current skills and consider whether you allocate sufficient time to building or refreshing the various skills you need to do your job well. Consider whether you have the range of soft skills (leadership, communication, etc.) and sufficient knowledge in your particular industry. The time you spend gathering these skills and industry knowledge all count towards your CPD credits.
The ICABC Council encourages members to volunteer in the community. The unpaid work that you do for the charitable organization would not cause you to be required to complete the requisite number of CPD hours. However, we strongly encourage you to ensure that you are current and proficient in the competencies required of the particular volunteer role. Please note that, if you do not meet all of the criteria of the Members in Retirement exemption, you would be required to meet the CPD requirements.
The provincial CA institutes across Canada deliberated on this point and concluded that members who work part-time or part-year would need to have the same level of competency as members who work full-time.
In 2010, ICABC Council approved exemptions for members in retirement and members out of the workforce caring for dependent(s) who meet certain criteria. Please refer to the section on CPD Requirements to determine if you meet all the criteria.
You are allowed to take credit for the number of hours you actually engage in a learning activity. Claim verifiable credit for the number of hours you actually spent learning at the course in-person. If you read the seminar materials on your own to learn what you missed, you can claim unverifiable credit for the actual amount of time you spent doing so.
All the provincial institutes in Canada have now adopted the IFAC CPD standard. This has brought greater harmonization to the CPD requirements across Canada. However, administrative differences have been noted. If you are a member of more than one provincial CA institute in Canada, please be sure to contact the other institutes to ensure that you meet all your CPD requirements.
If you believe you have a valid reason for not complying with the CPD requirements, then you should submit a written request to the Professional Development Review Committee to consider your circumstances. Under the ICABC’s Part 10 – Continuing Professional Development By-laws, members who do not comply with the CPD requirements may be suspended and cancelled from the ICABC. This is necessary to ensure that we maintain public trust and uphold the reputation of the CA designation.
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Roger Merkosky, CA
These frequently-asked questions (FAQs) provide general information only about the Institute’s CPD requirements. They are not intended to address every possible circumstance.
The FAQs do not and cannot change the meaning of the Accountants (Chartered) Act, or the Institute’s Bylaws, Bylaw Regulations, Rules of Professional Conduct, and Council Interpretations of the Rules of Professional Conduct (collectively, the “Instruments”). In the case of any inconsistency between the FAQs and the Instruments, the Instruments will prevail and govern.
If you wish to discuss your particular situation, of if you have any questions, please contact the Institute’s CPD department for further information.