Everything a CA needs to know about CPD
Why continuing professional development matters now more than ever and how ICAS can help members become better CAs
Some readers will be familiar with kaizen, the Japanese concept of continual improvement. When car giant Toyota applied kaizen principles to every aspect of its business, from staff to CEO and factory line to end product, it became the biggest carmaker in the world, surpassing General Motors.
Kaizen has been adopted and adapted across the corporate world via companies such as Unilever and Nestlé, and in sport, notably with Britain’s all-conquering Olympic cyclists.
Being able to adapt and improve is as vital to an individual as to an organisation. International Federation of Accountants has identified four themes of increasing importance – sustainability reporting, anti-corruption, digitalisation and sound public financial management – on which CAs would do well to ensure they are up to speed.
Consider how far society, working practices and the economy have changed since 2020. A failure to adapt leaves one in danger of being left behind. Whatever the sector or size of your business, ICAS provides an extensive range of courses to help you to fill a gap in your skillset, be more effective in your current role and, ultimately, to progress in your career (see panel).
We head into a period of great change for accountancy practices, FDs and CFOs. Digital transformation, ESG reporting, Making Tax Digital, and impending audit reform will all affect the role of the finance professional. Indeed, it can be argued that there has never been a better time to invest in CPD.
Why does CPD matter?
In accountancy CPD isn’t just an aspiration, it is embedded into the profession. ICAS members are required to maintain and develop their skills and knowledge. Through this CPD, you can ensure you always have the necessary skills to perform your day-to-day job, as well as to support your career development and enhance your future employability.
The benefits of CPD
In an ever-changing world, maintaining your CPD will keep your skills relevant and boost your confidence and capability. CPD can also help you to advance your career, grasp new opportunities and move into new roles. Your CPD undertaking reassures public and employers that you are committed to upholding the highest standards.
What counts as CPD?
A range of activities can count as CPD provided they are relevant to your current role or future career aspirations. Activities include courses, work-based opportunities and online learning. You can find out more about the different types of activities that count as CPD in the website’s “CPD – everything you need to know” section.
ICAS and BPP CPD courses
Through our partnership with BPP, ICAS provides more than 200 accounting, finance and business training courses. BPP is Europe’s largest specialist professional training provider and has more than 40 years’ experience working with many of the top companies and organisations. Having trained two-thirds of the UK’s accountants at some point in their career, BPP knows finance and accountancy inside out.
Face to face or online
ICAS hosts a number of shorter online live courses, but we have reintroducing a select number of face-to-face training courses throughout 2023. A range of on-demand online courses and packaged online course bundles are also available to members and non-members, irrespective of location.
Read CA digital magazine for upcoming courses
Each month CA magazine highlights a selection of courses demonstrating the breadth of content available, and shows how those courses can help CAs make sense of a rapidly changing world. Please note, CA is no longer printed and is now a digital-only magazine.
Spotlight courses in 2023
This course considers the development of the requirements for companies to include sustainability information in their annual reports. It examines current requirements, impending developments and the overall direction of travel.
Increasingly, cybersecurity is falling under the remit of the finance team. This session is based on real-life events and offers advice, tips and recommendations on what individuals and businesses can do to keep themselves protected and to minimise the risk of future threats.
Learn how to influence a company’s strategic direction by showing commercial acumen and becoming a valued business partner.
Tax departments can be one of the most profitable parts of a practice, but they can also expose accountants to the greatest risk of client disapproval when errors occur. This course helps to minimise those risks.
Mentoring and career development
In 2022, ICAS launched Career Mentoring. The Career Mentoring platform, which you have access to as part of the programme, is designed to meet all your mentoring needs. It combines a sophisticated mentor/mentee matching system with a straightforward sign-up. It easily connects prospective mentors and mentees, no matter where they are in the world, with the ability to message, and set up and host either online or in-person meetings.
The platform is available to all ICAS students (18 and above) and all members at all stages of their careers.
Find out more at Career Mentoring