Under the proposals, members of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy would be required to register a minimum number of continuous professional development points every year or risk losing membership of the institute.
And other institutes and regulators are considering the idea. ‘This is our ‘euro’ question,’ CIPFA’s head of education and training Ken Gill told Accountancy Age.
Currently, continuous development for institute members is voluntary and only a quarter of the membership formally participates in its documented CPD scheme. Gill said the institute’s council was ‘not happy’ about the low participation rates and was looking at options to increase it, including making the scheme compulsory.
A final decision is not expected until later in the year, following consultation with members.
The institute is also looking at how other professions maintain standards.
The issue is likely to be considered by accountancy minister Melanie Johnson, the DTI’s new under-secretary of state for competition, consumers and markets.
It is also high on the Accountancy Foundation’s agenda. Two years ago the International Federation of Accountants called for compulsory CPD.
The ICAEW already requires compulsory CPD for members with a practice certificate and those working in the ‘reserved areas’ of audit, investment and insolvency.
ACCA members are ‘expected’ to complete 35 hours of CPD a year, but continuous training is compulsory for those with a practice certificate. Mandie Lavin, director of professional standards at CIMA said CPD was ‘largely voluntary’, but added they were reviewing the situation. ‘It’s difficult to argue it is not in the public interest,’ she said.
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