Accountants, stressed about your CPD? Do not be afraid ...... you have very probably completed the CPD requirements of your professional body without consciously realising it. Let me tell you how......
Although many accountants have conformed to CPD guidance for some time, whether by virtue of their firm's or their professional body's requirements, for many of us, its only relatively recently that we've had mandatory compliance. The International Federation of Accountants' education standard now requires all IFAC member bodies to adopt a mandatory CPD policy, based on the same overarching principles designed to meet global standards on CPD. So CPD is, or is very soon to become, mandatory for all UK accountants. This is great news - for all accountants, whether previously compliant or non-compliant.
Why? Well firstly it puts our personal development high on the business agenda which has got to be a good thing, enhancing the skill-set and status of the accountant. Secondly, there has been a distinct retreat from the old input-based CPD systems. These were centred around accumulating hours and units, geared very much to classroom based courses, with the emphasis on technical training. In the new CPD world, we have an output-based approach, meaning that learning is centred on the experience and skills directly relevant to your role. Just two examples are ICAEW's Reflect/Act/Impact/Declare and CIMA's Define/Assess/Design/Act/Reflect/Evaluate. They are all about looking at the needs of your particular role, identifying your personal development requirements, and then adopting the best way for you to achieve these objectives. This produces a truly bespoke CPD programme, role-specific and person-specific that can accommodate your personal preferred learning style and learning environment. Gone are the days of herding accountants onto the one-size-fits-all classroom based courses.
The new systems recognise that CPD can come from all sorts of different mediums, whether from self-study CD roms, webucation, on-the-job learning, discussion groups, or coaching and mentoring harnessed to your in-house appraisal system. And what is patently obvious in all of this, is, that it is no longer just the technical skills that are perceived as critical for the professional accountant. As we have all always known so well the 'softer' skills are vital for a job which is predominately team and relationship based.
You should find that by thinking broader than technical classroom based learning you have more than met the requirements of your role. The next step is looking ahead to the skills you will need in the coming year to fulfil the requirements of your current job and/or equip you for your next career move.
I have two resources which can help you complete the paper-based, recording side of your CPD.
Use the first as a checklist to brainstorm all the different ways you have, and are planning to, meet your CPD requirements this year and next year. Accountants CPD - methods and modes
And use the second checklist to help identify all the 'softer' skills than you may need to fulfil the requirements of your current role and career aspirations. Accountants CPD - softer skills
And remember, as a professional coach and accountant, I can help you fill any softer skills gaps as well as assisting you in formalising your CPD records for the current year or planing your personal development for the year ahead. Email me at email@example.com
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Carol McLachlan is theaccountantscoach with a mission to facilitate accountants in maximising their potential in their career and in the whole of their lives.
Useful CPD links: