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Meeting your individual and firmwide CPD requirements

07 Jun 2023

CPD is a hot topic at the moment as ICAEW members and firms have been informed of a change in ICAEW requirements from 1 November 2023. We have summarised the key changes in this article and further information can be found here.

The best practice principles around CPD and learning are the same for all individuals working in this profession. Regardless of professional body membership or work areas undertaken, we should all ensure we provide a great service to our clients and only undertake work that we and our teams are competent and skilled to do. This involves a commitment to learning, planning a programme of training each year and reflecting on the effectiveness of that programme. This may then be supplemented with particular professional body requirements around minimum hours, standards of evidencing CPD, record keeping and reporting.

We are delighted that the new 20:20 Innovation website will greatly aid our members in this process; from both an individual user and firmwide viewpoint.

ICAEW firms and members – what’s changing?

It remains a requirement for ICAEW members to undertake the ongoing process of ‘Reflect’, ‘Act’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Declare’.

In addition, from 1 November 2023, individuals will be required to identify which ‘CPD category’ they fall into and then undertake a corresponding minimum number of hours of CPD, a proportion of which must be ‘verifiable’. The verifiable hours must also include at least one hour of ethics training.

We are pleased to confirm at this stage that all 20:20 Innovation webinars are ‘verifiable’ and so meeting the new targets will be very achievable.

There are 3 CPD Categories and there is a lot of information, along with a self-assessment tool, for individuals to assess which one they fall into. Very broadly, individuals will fall into the categories if they undertake:

Category 1 -

  • high-risk or public interest audit services, or
  • tax services to large companies (not meeting the small or medium-sized criteria in the Companies Act 2006), listed or international companies or groups or high-net-worth individuals (defined as having a net-worth of more than £20m).

Category 2 -

  • audit services to large companies and public sector bodies not falling into Category 1,
  • tax services that go beyond that described in Category 3 but not as far as Category 1. Note, this includes all advisory services and corporation tax work (unless for large companies, in which case it is Category 1),
  • probate work, or
  • Designated Professional Body (DPB) licenced activities.

Category 3 -

  • Only very simple tax cases namely;
    • Simple income tax self-assessment returns for UK residents that are not high-net-worth individuals,
    • VAT compliance (not advice) for businesses other than large companies,
    • Payroll administration.


  • Any other service not already identified in Category 1 or 2.

We anticipate that most users of 20:20 Innovation training will be Category 2, with some falling into Category 1. Category 3 is the ICAEW’s default and will be achievable by some but, for most general practitioners, especially 20:20 Innovation members, the exclusion of tax advisory and corporation tax work from Category 3 will keep it out of reach.

It is however important to refer to the full range of rules and guidance. The percentage of an individual’s time in these work areas does make a difference to the classification.

Why does it matter?

The Categories set the minimum hours that an individual must undertake as follows:

CPD CategoryMinimum number of hoursMinimum number of verifiable hours
Category 1
Category 2
Category 3

For those working outside of practice, more information can be seen here.

The ICAEW are clear that verifiable CPD is not limited to structured courses. Verifiable means independent evidence of the activity can be obtained. A good range of examples can be seen here.

The Ethics Requirement

The new ICAEW regulations also include an ‘Ethics requirement’. Regardless of CPD Category and work areas, all ICAEW individuals must undertake at least one of their Verifiable CPD hours on ethics to ensure knowledge and confidence to demonstrate high standards of ethical conduct in their professional role.

ICAEW member firms – firmwide responsibility

ICAEW firms also have new responsibilities – these are set out here but in summary; an ICAEW firm has a responsibility to ensure that its ICAEW member employees and other ‘relevant persons’ are undertaking sufficient CPD. Of course, it is already a requirement for firms to ensure team competency, but we can expect the QAD to be asking more about firmwide CPD visibility and controls over the coming months and years.

How can 20:20 Innovation help?

1. Every user (or their admin or training coordinator) is able to input their minimum CPD hours in ‘My Account’. Simply select ‘Edit my details and expertise’ and complete the appropriate fields.

2. Every user (or their admin or training coordinator) is able to record their assessment of whether they fall into Category 1, 2 or 3. Simply go to ‘My Account’ and ‘Edit my details and expertise’ and complete the professional body tick boxes as appropriate. It is possible to select more than one.

3. Every user has ‘My 20:20 Innovation training’ in their Dashboard. This gives a visual representation of all training booked and undertaken, as well as holding the course materials and CPD Certificates. It also gives a snapshot of training undertaken compared to the minimum hours entered at the step above.

4. Every user has ‘My other training’ in their Dashboard. This provides functionality to record and track CPD done in addition to 20:20 Innovation webinars. It also gives a snapshot of training undertaken compared to the minimum hours entered at the step above.

5. Every individual within a firm that has been given the status of ‘Administrator’ or ‘Training Coordinator’ has ‘My Team’s Training’ in their Dashboard – giving a consolidated firmwide view across all individuals.

This can be filtered by professional body membership, ICAEW category types or by office.

Further information can be viewed to find out more about the types of CPD undertaken by each individual and the csv downloads can be used to produce bespoke reports.

Your CPD process with 20:20 Innovation

The below flow diagram sets out how we recommend CPD is planned and recorded using the 20:20 Innovation website and resources.


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