What is CPD? Advice for newly-qualified CAs

CPD planning
By Eleanor O'Neill, Student Blog

25 March 2019

As a CA, you will be expected to keep your knowledge and professional standards up to date. But how do you get started in taking charge of your own development and setting the goals that will boost your career?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a mandatory requirement for ICAS members and can take the form of work-based learning, training courses, voluntary research or any other undertaking that can be proven to have a positive impact on your professional development.

Though the ICAS CPD model mandates the need for some level CPD of activity every year, what form that development takes is largely up to the individual. For those just starting out on their career journey, taking responsibility for your own learning can seem like a daunting task.

What to learn

There are three main forms of CPD:

  • Learning: Identify the gaps in your current knowledge and make it your goal to expand your experience. You may find it beneficial to seek out training for a new skill or to get to grips with important developments happening in your area of expertise.
  • Connecting: Networking is a highly useful practice and powerful career development tool. Make an effort to strengthen the professional relationships that will benefit your career and consider seeking out a mentor whose achievements you admire.
  • Creating: Content sharing on blogging or professional network platforms can also contribute to your CPD. Writing encourages a deeper understanding of the subject matter as you express your knowledge and views to others while encouraging advice and commentary.

How to get started

Once you have decided on what you want to work on, it becomes a matter of setting goals and planning.

  • Connect CPD to existing targets and set quarterly deadlines. Do you have an important project coming up? What skills can you develop to make it a success?
  • Break goals into smaller tasks and regularly make time to review your progress. What steps could you take on a weekly basis to advance your achievements?
  • Identify conferences or courses you want to attend. Why not invite a colleague to encourage continued discussion and learning opportunities?

Having a clear timetable will encourage you to keep up with your professional development and meeting goals will have an undoubted positive impact on your career.

Take a look at what CPD opportunities may be available to you through ICAS Professional Development initiatives and partner offerings:

ICAS Events also offer the chance to connect with peers and CA leaders, as well as insightful content from experts in the profession and beyond.


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