ICAEW unveils new ethics-focused CPD policy

The new policy will also include a stipulated requirement for a minimum number of CPD hours per year for all members, other than those who are retired

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has announced it will be introducing a new policy for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) that will introduce a compulsory ethics requirement, effective November 2023.

The ICAEW said that many recent issues in the profession have arisen due to ethical conflicts of interest and behavioural issues, and not just on a lack of technical understanding.

The introduction of a compulsory ethics requirement will reportedly help to address this issue. From November 2023, members will need to complete mandatory training aligned to the ICAEW Code of Ethics each year.

A new ethics learning programme is already in development and will be made freely available to members to “make it easy” for them to comply with this additional requirement.

Sharron Gunn, ICAEW’s chief operating officer, said that it is difficult under the current policy for ICAEW to monitor and evaluate whether the amount of CPD completed is appropriate to members’ roles.

Additionally, the new policy marks a shift away from an output-based model to a hybrid model which will include a stipulated requirement for a minimum number of CPD hours per year for all members, other than those who are retired.

Gunn said: “Almost 20 years on, times have changed and our CPD policy must be adapted to reflect the increasingly complex world in which our members operate. What’s also true is that external factors, notably increased regulatory expectations and the audit reform agenda, underline the need for ICAEW to act to maintain and enhance public trust.”

Duncan Wiggetts, ICAEW chief officer for Professional Standards, added: “There is an increasing expectation on the part of ICAEW’s oversight regulators that professional bodies should require more tangible evidence from members in relation to CPD, and that this should be more closely and regularly monitored.

“Over many years, ICAEW chartered accountants have established a reputation for their individual integrity and expertise and their collective commitment to serve the public interest. Ethical behaviour is vital to ensure compliance with the accountancy profession’s commitment to the public interest.”

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