continuing professional development

CIPFA's qualified members are required to participate in our continuing professional development (CPD) scheme.

The scheme is designed to be as flexible as possible. It takes into account the various sectors CIPFA members work (nowadays many members work outside of mainstream accountancy and audit roles).

CPD year and cycle

Members select the CPD year, based on a calendar, financial or appraisal year (e.g. August to July, April to March), and three-year CPD cycle.

CPD hours

120 hours of CPD activities are required over a three-year period with a minimum of 20 hours in any one year.

CIPFA offers training and development opportunities to help you to meet CPD requirements, from short courses to longer accredited programmes. Visit our training pages or search our events database to find out more.

Levels of participation

There are two levels of participation to choose from.

Level 1 (minimum requirement)

  • Type and date of CPD activity completed.
  • Number of hours spent on the activity.
  • Reference to a piece of evidence to verify the activity was undertaken (e.g. certificate of attendance).

Level 2 (best practice requirement)

  • Key roles and responsibilities, in current and possible future roles.
  • Development needs: what skills and knowledge you'd like to develop in order to best perform current and possible future roles.
  • CPD activities: the activities you plan to undertake to develop the desired knowledge and skills.
  • Reflective comments about the usefulness of the activity, what has been learned, how this acquired knowledge or skill will be used in the future, and how far it has met objectives.

Portfolio of evidence

A portfolio is required at levels 1 and 2. It needs to provide supporting material demonstrating that activities listed on your learning and development record have been undertaken.

Exemptions and reductions

Members who are fully retired from paid work or are undertaking voluntary work that does not rely upon the skills of a professional accountant are exempt from participating in the scheme.

Exemptions for other members are considered on a case by case basis.

Please email providing details of your circumstances and why you consider an exemption from participating in the scheme appropriate.

Reductions are available for members who work reduced or part time hours.

CIPFA employer accreditation

Members who work for CIPFA Platinum Accredited or CIPFA CPD Accredited Employers are already working to a programme of professional development that meets with our requirements. These members do not need to complete CIPFA’s CPD Learning and Development records and plans or maintain a portfolio of evidence, your employers appraisal/development scheme replace these.

Members working for CPD accredited employers do need to complete their Annual Members’ Statement confirming participation in CPD.

It is essential that members keep their employer details up to date in “My CIPFA”.

To find out how your employer can apply for accreditation, learn more about our scheme and download our application form.

Confirming participation

Every year members are asked to confirm participation in or exemption from the scheme by completing the CPD declaration section in the Annual Members Statement.  Members can complete the Annual Members' Statement by logging into the website and going to My CIPFA.