The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) is moving away from the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 'output-based' model, where members self-assess their needs to complete an amount of CPD appropriate to their role, to a model which sets a minimum number of hours including a minimum number of hours that are 'verifiable' depending on your role as an accountant.

The new policy change has been driven by worldwide changes affecting the accountancy profession including regulation of audit, professional conduct in relation to taxation and anti-money laundering compliance. It also brings the ICAEW in line with several other bodies including the ACCA.

If you are an ICAEW member or someone regulated by ICAEW for certain activities, you must comply with new CPD Regulations from November 2023 if you undertake accountancy or finance work or reserved or non-reserved legal services.

You will also be subject to the CPD Regulations if you are a company director, a trustee, or hold any role with an equivalent level of legal or financial responsibility.

ICAEW member firms and firms granted a dispensation to use the description 'chartered accountants', are also within the scope of the CPD Regulations.

What’s changing?

From 1 November 2023, each year everyone covered by the regulations will be required to complete:

  • A minimum number of CPD hours.
  • A number of CPD hours that are verifiable.
  • A minimum of one hour's ethics training aligned with the ICAEW Code of Ethics.

A new ethics CPD course will also be made freely available from the ICAEW.

The minimum amounts of CPD required depend upon the nature of your employment and your role.

The ICAEW requires CPD to be completed annually as defined by categories of accountancy work.






Category 1



Category 2



Category 3



Working outside practice


Category 1



Category 2



Category 3



Executives/trustees of charities working pro bono.

ICAEW's CPD course for charity trustees or training with similar learning outcomes.

Who is in which category?

Category 1 roles include large companies and public sector audit and insolvency. You will also find that you are in this category in terms of tax work if you are: '(L)' Those providing direct or indirect tax services to large companies, listed or international companies or groups, or high-net-worth individuals.

This provides that a minimum of 40 CPD hours of which 30 hours must be verifiable.

Category 2 also covers mainly audit and insolvency functions but it sweeps up probate and other non-reserved services and also the provision of basic tax services, '(P)'. Those providing direct or indirect tax services which are not limited to:

  • Simple Income Tax self-assessment returns for individuals and partnerships who are UK resident, UK domiciled and not high-net-worth individuals.
  • VAT compliance (not advice) for entities that are not large companies, listed or international companies or groups.
  • Payroll administration.
  • And do not fall into CPD practice category 1 (L).

This provides that a minimum of 30 CPD hours of which 20 hours must be verifiable.

Many members in professional firms will be in Category 2 by virtue of their direct or indirect tax services.

Category 3 covers members and relevant persons working in practice, who are not exempt and who do not fall within any of the areas of work set out in CPD Categories 1 and 2. They are required to undertake 20 CPD hours of which 10 hours must be verifiable.

See ICAEW CPD Categories for full details of each category.

Volunteering at charities

Those members and relevant persons working/acting without reward as a senior executive or financial positions at, or acting as trustees of, charities are required either:

  • To undertake ICAEW's forthcoming training programme for charity trustees (which will be made available free).
  • Or to undertake training to keep themselves up to date with developments impacting their work as charity trustees with similar learning outcomes.

What counts as CPD?

Much of what you do every day will count as CPD. It's not just about attending courses or watching webinars but can include a wide range of activities, such as listening to podcasts, coaching, problem-solving, reading articles and learning from your colleagues. 

For an activity to count as CPD, you will need to show how it is relevant to your role and has helped you to meet your learning needs.

What is verifiable CPD?

For a CPD activity to be verifiable there must be evidence of its completion that is:

  • Objective: fact-based rather than based on personal perspectives.
  • Corroborated: can be confirmed to be accurate.
  • Retained: documented and stored in an observable format.

Note that only one piece of evidence is required per verifiable activity listed in your CPD record.

Verifiable CPD is not limited to structured courses. Independent evidence can be provided for a wide range of actions from your day-to-day work, from attending peer discussion groups and consulting experts, to on-the-job research of technical areas and writing academic articles. Some examples of CPD and evidence of its verification are as follows:

Type of CPD Evidence of verification
Attendance on external courses:
  • Certificate of attendance. 
  • Booking confirmation from course supplier.
Attendance on internal courses: if your organisation provides evidence of your attendance.
  • Attendance record.
  • Certificate of attendance from internal system/training coordinator.
Formal study and/or passing exams leading to a designation, degree, certificate or diploma.
  • Enrolment record.
  • Attendance schedule.
  • Certificate of completion.
  • Exam certificate.

Attending or participating in:

  • Webinars.
  • Lectures.
  • Symposiums.
  • Conferences.
  • Seminars.
  • Workshops.
  • Presentations with defined learning outcomes.
  • Peer learning discussion groups.
Proof of participation or attendance: registration email or a certificate/email confirming completion.
Preparing to lecture/teach new content.
  • Session materials.
  • Record of event.
Carrying out technical research: where the results of that research can be produced in presentations, reports, file notes or similar documents
  • Presentation/report/file note/other document summarising the research.
  • List of source references used.
  • Certificate summarising time spent on research activity, signed by line manager.
Technical reading
  •  Only verifiable if the reading can be evidenced. Otherwise, would count as non-verifiable CPD if it is relevant to the learning needs of your role. 
Listening to podcasts
  • Not verifiable, but can count as non-verifiable CPD if it is relevant to the learning needs of your role
Writing technical or academic articles, papers or books

Yes, where it is published.

  • Copy of article.
  • Source references.
  • Publication dates.
  • Details of time spent in preparation.
On-the-job training that helped develop or maintain professional competence

Yes, so long as the records are provided by another person, e.g. employer, performance manager, mentor or tutor.

Certificate or other documented records, confirmed by an employer, performance manager, mentor or tutor, for time spent. 

Participation in meetings/discussion groups on technical topics, for example, ICAEW District Society meetings Evidence of meeting, for example, minutes, diary dates or an attendee list.
Consulting experts to resolve technical or ethical issues

Yes, so long as the consultation is evidenced.

  • Record of expert(s) consulted.
  • List of resources accessed. 
  • Copies of correspondence with the expert.
Participation in professional board that developed and maintained competence Records confirmed by the professional board for time spent participating.


Recording CPD

To demonstrate the CPD you have undertaken, you should keep a record of your CPD activity, along with the supporting evidence for the verifiable CPD.

Verifiable CPD for subscribers to and Users of the Virtual Tax Partner Servics (

We are able to offer a service which tracks your time when reading and viewing CPD content on this site.

If you have used our sister VtaxP service, this retains evidence of "Consulting experts to resolve technical or ethical issues". You are of course free to download the entire support ticket.


Useful guides on this topic

CPD Webinars
Our selection CPD webcasts for paid subscribers covering tax updates, topical issues and FAQs. Each one is between 10–30 minutes long.

Tax Events
Here you can find details of our Virtual Tax Partner practical tax training, new tax conferences, and events.

Training and course fees
Can you receive tax relief on the cost of training? Can employees or directors obtain tax relief on training?

External Links

ICAEW CPD is changing

ICAEW new CPD record Case studies

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