Continuing Professional Development (CPD) (sometimes called Continuing Professional Education [CPE]) is required for all Incorporated Public Accountants (with very narrow exceptions), regardless of sector or size of business within which they work. Incorporated Public Accountants are Professionals offering professional services and professional opinions and therefore must maintain and develop their professional knowledge and skills. The CPD requirements are based on the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) International Education Standard 7 (IES 7). These provisions, based on IES 7, require that CPD be undertaken because:
- Incorporated Public Accountants have an ethical obligation of due care to their clients, employers and relevant stakeholders and need to demonstrate their ability to discharge their responsibility in a competent manner;
- Incorporated Public Accountants in all sectors hold positions of importance involving financial reporting, public accountability and maintaining the public trust;
- The public is likely to rely on the designation or professional standing of the Incorporated Public Accountant.
- Incorporated Public Accountants carry the professional designation “Incorporated Public Accountant”, “AIPA” and/or “FIPA”, and any lack of competence or ethical behaviour has the same consequences to the reputation and standing of the profession, irrespective of the sector or role in which they operate.
- All sectors are affected by the rapidly changing environment and the consequential need to adapt the strategic or business plans of those organizations relying on the professional accountant’s professional competence.
- Employers hiring professional accountants in any sector rely, at least to some extent, on the professional designation as proof of professional competence.
The Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants has adopted the “input-based approach” for members which requires Incorporated Public Accountants to:
- complete at least 120 hours or equivalent learning units of relevant professional development activity in each rolling three-year period, of which 60 hours or equivalent learning units should be verifiable;
- complete at least 20 hours or equivalent learning units in each year; and
- track and measure learning activities to meet the above requirements.
Honorary Members, Members holding the “Retired” designation and Members with a demonstrated medical issue may be exempt from complying with the IIPA’s CPD regulations.