Date posted: 28/02/2024

Your CPD requirements and opportunities as a CA Specialist

New Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for all members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) came into effect from 1 July 2021. Are you clear on how they apply to CA Specialists?

In brief

  • One of the benefits of being a CA Specialist is the right to promote yourself as an accredited specialist in your field.
  • To uphold the integrity of the accreditation, there are more detailed CPD requirements for CA Specialists than for other CAs.
  • Find out you can meet your CPD requirements.

CPD requirements

Being a Chartered Accountant means maintaining professional competence, a fundamental principle under the Code of Ethics. To support this, Regulation CR7 details CPD requirements for all members. In summary, you are required to complete at least 120 hours of CPD each triennium (three years), of which 90 hours must be verifiable CPD (previously referred to as formal CPD in Australia). You must complete at least two hours of verifiable ethics training each triennium, which will increase to six hours from 1 July 2024. Included in the current requirements is recognition that on-the-job training may comprise of up to 50% of your personal verifiable CPD hours.  Find out more about the changes and your overall CPD requirements.

CPD requirements for CA Specialists

One of the benefits of being a CA Specialist is the right to promote yourself as an accredited specialist in your field. To uphold the integrity of the accreditation, there are more detailed CPD requirements for CA Specialists which are outlined in CA ANZ Regulations CR6 to CR6E and CR7.

You must undertake at least 40% of your minimum CPD requirement each triennium in areas relevant to maintaining professional competence in your specialist area. This is a minimum of 48 hours CPD (as part of your overall minimum 120 hours CPD) per triennium unless you are eligible for a CPD exemption.

  • You must devote at least 20 hours CPD each triennium to topics specific to your specialisation.  This forms part of the 40% minimum CPD hours related to your specialisation.  The remaining hours to reach 40% can be CPD relevant but not specific to your specialisation.
  • If you hold multiple CA Specialisations, the 40% minimum applies to each specialisation. A CPD activity may be relevant to more than one specialisation. For example:
    • a member who is a CA Business Valuation Specialist and CA Forensic Accounting Specialist attends a one-hour webinar “Valuing a business for a family dispute”. The member conducts family law valuations, so determines this webinar relates specifically to their professional competence in both business valuations and forensic accounting
    • the member can therefore count the webinar as contributing one hour towards their specific CPD specialist hours for both specialisations. It counts as one hour towards their overall CPD requirement.
  • These requirements are the minimum required of CA Specialists; you may well undertake more professional development in your specialist area. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with the overall CPD requirements for Chartered Accountants, which include 2 hours of verifiable ethics training each triennium. If you are a member of other organisations, and/or subject to statutory CPD obligations, you must also have regard to those requirements.

Type of CPD

  • Your annual CPD can be a mixture of verifiable and non-verifiable CPD, provided you meet the minimum CPD requirements for all members of at least 90 hours verifiable CPD and 120 hours of overall CPD per triennium.
  • The detailed CPD requirements for CA Specialists don’t specify how much CPD specific/relevant to your specialisation should be verifiable or non-verifiable. This is to provide specialists flexibility to undertake CPD relevant to your individual learning needs. However, CA Specialists like all members must ensure the total CPD comprises at least 90 hours of verifiable CPD per triennium.

Verifiable CPD

Examples of verifiable CPD activities include:

  • attending or speaking at conferences, courses, seminars, training or presentations. These include education offerings and member events from CA ANZ such as the specialisation course and member events offered in each specialisation area, from other education providers including LinkedIn learning (provided complimentary for members), in-house training, technical discussion groups, and self-directed online learning
  • developing training content, sessions or courses
  • authoring or reviewing professional articles, research or other publications
  • on-the-job training, which may be verifiable CPD provided it is genuine professional development that fosters new or enhanced knowledge or experience. It must be verified and independently authorised by a supervisor or manager using the CA ANZ prescribed on-the-job CPD form.

Non-verifiable CPD

Examples of non-verifiable CPD include:

  • reading technical or professional articles, such as the CA ANZ Business Valuation and Forensic Accounting newsletters
  • mentoring and collegial discussion where learning is fostered. This could be for the trainer providing on-the-job training to a colleague, or on-the-job training or mentoring for the trainee that does not meet the criteria for verifiable on-the-job training.

Examples

1. A CA Business Valuation Specialist uses Excel valuation models when conducting business valuations.

a. They attend a four hour workshop on Excel modelling tailored to business valuations. The specialist assesses this to be CPD specific to their specialisation, and part of their overall verifiable CPD hours.

b. They attend a four hour generic Excel modelling workshop. The specialist assesses this as relevant to their specialisation as they use Excel in their business valuation work, but not specific as the workshop is not tailored to business valuations. It forms part of their overall verifiable CPD hours.

2. A CA Forensic Accounting Specialist writes investigation reports as part of their work.

 a. They spend one hour reading an article on how to write an investigation report. The specialist assesses this to be CPD specific to their specialisation, and part of their overall non-verifiable CPD hours.

 b. They spend one hour reading an article on how to write a professional report.  The specialist assesses this to be CPD relevant but not specific to their specialisation, and as part of their overall non-verifiable CPD hours.

3. A CA SMSF Specialist prepares and presents a two hour presentation for their firm on changes to the superannuation and SMSF landscape:

a. They asses their time preparing and presenting on changes to the SMSF landscape as specific to their specialisation, and part of their overall verifiable CPD hours.

b. They asses their time preparing and presenting on changes to the superannuation landscape as relevant but not specific to their specialisation, and part of their overall verifiable CPD hours.

Record keeping

You must record your CPD hours, including identifying CPD relevant/specific to your specialisation. Your CPD record must detail whether CPD is verifiable and non-verifiable, and you must also retain evidence of verifiable CPD. This could be a certificate from a course, copies of source materials or invoices, proof of attendance or a calendar record, or the CA ANZ prescribed form for on-the-job training.

You may choose to use the CA ANZ CPD log (via login to My CA) or create your own records. If you use the CA ANZ CPD log you can download it as an Excel spreadsheet, and edit to identify CPD specific or relevant to your specialisation(s).

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