Getting prepared for CPD compliance audit

Institute’s Membership and Admission Department

A summary of the continuing professional development requirements and tips on how to meet them

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Institute’s Membership and Admission Department


Continuing professional development (CPD) is important for members to develop and maintain necessary professional competence to perform their roles as CPAs throughout their career and thereby strengthen public confidence and trust in the profession.

CPD is also one of the statutory requirements for membership renewal. According to Statement 1.500 Continuing Professional Development of the Members’ Handbook, all members are required to:

  • Complete at least 120 hours of relevant professional development activity in each rolling three-year period, of which 60 hours shall be verifiable;
  • Complete at least 20 CPD hours of relevant professional development activity in each year;
  • Measure learning activities to meet the above requirements; and
  • Maintain appropriate records of all CPD activities completed in each rolling three-year period.
CPD compliance audit

The Hong Kong Institute of CPAs conducts a CPD compliance audit every year to ensure that members have met the CPD requirements for membership renewal. If you’re selected for the audit, don’t worry! We are here to help you every step of the way.

The Institute wants to make sure that the CPD compliance audit is fair and objective, so members may be selected for audit on a risk-based process. Practising certificate holders, responsible persons of public interest entity auditors, or members with a history of non-compliance may have a higher chance of being selected.

To pass the audit, you will need to complete and return the CPD Record Form within one month of notification via online submission, email, or post. You will also need to provide supporting documents for all your verifiable CPD activities and a statement on why you consider the CPD activities relevant to your work and professional responsibilities.

Verifiable evidence

If you are selected for the audit, it is important to understand which supporting documents are acceptable for verifiable CPD activities. Examples may include course outlines, confirmation of completion from a provider, transcript, examination result slips, independent assessments, and confirmation of participation in activities.

Relevant CPD activities

As a member of the Institute, you will likely take up a variety of roles across different public and private sectors. The good news is that the CPD requirements offer flexibility for you to choose the type of CPD activities that best suit your individual needs and interests.

When completing your CPD Record Form, you will be asked to explain why you consider the CPD activities relevant to your work as a professional accountant. These activities should maintain, deepen, and extend your professional knowledge, skills, and values, and help you to better understand the economic trends and environment in which you work as a CPA.

CPD activities are not just limited to technical accounting skills. Learning activities that improve your business skills, such as leadership, negotiation, management, and presentation skills, can also be recognized as relevant CPD activities. So, you are encouraged to explore different types of activities that interest you and will help you grow as a professional.

Closing remarks

Lastly, it is important to note the consequences of not passing the audit. If there is a shortfall of CPD activities, you will be asked to provide an explanation and allowed a small window to make up for the shortfall if appropriate. Failure to respond or make up for the shortfall may result in non-renewal of membership or referral of the matter to the Accounting and Financial Reporting Council for regulatory action.

CPD is crucial for our profession, and the CPD compliance audit process is necessary to ensure members maintain and enhance their professional competence and technical knowledge. If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to contact the CPD Compliance team of the Institute. Details of the CPD requirements can also be found on the Institute’s website. Let’s work together to ensure that we all meet the CPD requirements and continue to grow as professionals.

The article was contributed by the Institute’s Membership and Admission Department.

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