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CPD FAQs

Please refer to our frequently asked questions for any queries you might have about CIMA's CPD programme.

CPD requirements

What is CPD?

Continuing professional development (CPD) is the process of maintaining and developing your skills, knowledge and experience so that you can meet the requirements of your current role, achieve your career aspirations and meet your professional obligations.

Do I have to do CPD?

Yes, all CIMA members need to keep learning throughout their career and keep a record of their activities.

I'm a new member, when should I start undertaking CPD?

The CPD requirement applies from the date on which you are elected to membership i.e. the date you are able to use the letters ACMA/FCMA and CGMA after your name.

I'm taking a career break, do I need to do CPD?

No, CIMA members taking a career break don’t need to undertake CPD. However, if you intend to return to work, we would strongly recommend that you do whatever is necessary to keep your knowledge and skills up to date.

I work part-time, what should I do?

There are no special arrangements for members working part-time. All members need to ensure that they meet the requirements of their role (whatever they might be).

How much CPD should I be doing?

CIMA doesn’t prescribe a number of hours or units, instead we ask that you do as much as you need to remain professionally competent and advance your career. This will obviously depend on your individual circumstances and development needs.

What counts as CPD?

Any activity (formal or informal) that helps you develop your knowledge and skills will count as CPD. CPD activities include, but are not restricted to:

  • Work based learning
  • Project work
  • Secondments
  • Observation and feedback
  • Coaching and mentoring/being coached/mentored
  • Delivering training
  • Academic and professional qualifications
  • Internal and external training courses
  • Conferences and events
  • Local CIMA events
  • Reading technical reports and journals
  • Online learning
  • Research
  • Discussion forums

My role doesn't involve a lot of actual accounting. Is this an issue?

No, that’s not an issue. Your professional development should focus on the requirements of your current role and/or a role you want to move into. This may be outside the finance function.

CPD records

How do I record my CPD?

Please use the My Learning section of the Competency and Learning website to record your CPD.

The Competency and Learning website allows you to identify your learning needs, track your progress and, if selected, submit your record to the CIMA CPD monitoring team.

For more information on the Competency and Learning website visit competency.cgma.org or download our guide.

I work for an accredited employer, how will it affect me?

If you work for a Premier Partner or CIMA Development Quality Partner you can use your appraisal/personal development plan to record your CPD and, if selected for CPD monitoring, you may not need to submit your record for assessment.

A list of CPD accredited employers is listed on our website. If your employer isn’t listed, and you still believe that they are accredited, please let us know.

How do I add a learning activity to My Learning record on the Competency and Learning website?

Watch our short video to learn how to add a learning activity to your My Learning record.

How do I add a role to My Learning record on the Competency and Learning website?

Watch our short video to learn how to add a role to your My Learning record.

How would you recommend recording learning on the job?

As this could be an extensive list, we would recommend that you identify key themes and record what you learnt and how you have applied it in the workplace against each theme.

How long should my reflective statement be?

When reflecting on any learning activity please make sure you answer the following questions:

  • What competency did you develop?
  • What can you do now that you couldn’t do before?
  • Did you meet your objectives? If not, what else do you need to do?
  • What will be the wider impact for your team, your organisation and your career?

Answering these questions will ensure you provide the correct level of detail.

What does CIMA consider an 'adequate' record?

CIMA considers a record to be adequate when the member has used the My Learning section of the Competency and Learning website. The Competency and Learning website has been build around the CPD Cycle and allows you to identify your learning needs, track your progress and, if selected, submit your record to CIMA for monitoring.

CPD monitoring

When should I submit my CPD record?

Whilst all CIMA members need to keep their CPD record up to date, you don’t need to submit your CPD record for monitoring until formally requested to do so by CIMA’s CPD monitoring team.

How will I know if I've been selected for CPD monitoring?

If you've been selected for CPD monitoring you'll be notified by letter and receive a follow-up email.

Please ensure your contact details are up to date. You can update your details by logging into your My CIMA account.

If selected for CPD monitoring, how should I submit my CPD record?

If selected for CPD monitoring you will be required to submit your record using the Competency and Learning website.

If you haven’t started using it yet, please familiarise yourself with the My Learning section of the website and start using it to record your CPD now.

If you need assistance, download our guide.

How many years’ worth of records do I need to submit?

If selected for CPD monitoring you will be required to submit your CPD record for the last 12 months using the Competency and Learning website.

Am I exempt from CPD monitoring?

If you’re selected for monitoring, but believe you may be eligible for an exemption, please contact us outlining your circumstances.

Exemptions are normally only given to members who are already fully retired, on maternity leave or in ill health. CIMA will not grant exemptions due to high workload as it is expected that members undertake and record CPD on an ongoing basis.

What is meant by a false declaration under Regulation 18?

When renewing your membership each year you are declaring that you will comply with the royal charter, byelaws and regulations and have undertaken professional development in accordance with Part I, 13-18.

Under the Institutes byelaws CIMA may terminate membership where a member is found to have made a misleading or false statement in connection with admission to membership.

What is meant by a CPD breach under Regulation 18A?

CIMA will continue to offer guidance and support to help members through the CPD monitoring process. Members who submit their CPD record to CIMA as per the requirements will not be in breach of the regulations.

Members will be in breach of the regulations where they fail to submit an adequate CPD record to CIMA.

A first breach of the regulations will occur where the member has been formally notified to submit their CPD for monitoring by a specified date but has failed to submit despite follow up requests from CIMA. In this case, the member will be required to pay a fixed penalty of £100 (or local equivalent).

Following a first CPD breach the member will be given 56 days of the date of sending to submit their CPD and pay the financial penalty. Paying the financial penalty does not remove the requirement to submit a CPD record to CIMA. 

A second breach of the regulations will occur where a member has failed to provide their CPD record for a second time but has paid the £100 or local equivalent financial penalty within the 56 days. CIMA will automatically select the member to submit their CPD record for the next monitoring period. The member will again be given 14 working days to submit their CPD record and will have to pay a financial penalty of £250 (or local equivalent) within 56 days.

A third breach is where a member has on a third occasion failed to submit their CPD record by the specified date, they will be referred to the Institute's Investigation Committee for consideration of further disciplinary action. 

Members who do not pay a financial penalty within 56 days of notification (whether it is a first or second breach) will be referred to CIMA's Investigation Committee.

What if I am unable to submit my CPD record when requested?

Get in touch with us as soon as possible. Where you cannot submit your CPD record for monitoring for any reason, Professional Standards will review the circumstances on a case by case basis and grant an exemption or extension where justified. 

Why are financial penalties in place?

Members who do not comply with CIMA’s regulatory requirements pose a risk to the public and the profession. To strengthen CIMA’s regulatory processes governing CPD monitoring financial penalties have been introduced.

Members who comply with the CPD requirements and submit their CPD when requested within the specified timeframe will not be subject to financial penalties.

What if I am unable to pay the penalty?

The simplest method of avoiding a financial penalty is to submit your CPD record to CIMA when requested.

Members who are unemployed may be eligible for an exemption from CPD monitoring. In such cases please contact CIMA as soon as you receive your CPD monitoring notification to explain the circumstances.

Does paying the financial penalty remove the need to submit my CPD record for monitoring?

No. Undertaking CPD and submitting it to CIMA upon request for monitoring is a mandatory requirement of membership. Any member that has been issued a financial penalty must also submit their CPD to CIMA for monitoring.

Can I appeal?

Undertaking and recording CPD is a fundamental condition of continuing membership. The cost to CIMA of monitoring and enforcing compliance with the CPD Regulations is significant.  If you have not complied with the CPD Regulation and are selected for monitoring, you should contact us as soon as possible to explain the circumstances. If you do not and a financial penalty is imposed, you must pay the penalty and submit your CPD as soon as possible (and in any event within 14 days of notification for the CPD and 56 days for the financial penalty). 

If you choose not to do so, you will be referred to CIMA’s Investigation Committee. You will be entitled to explain your non-compliance to the Investigation Committee, who have a range of powers including referral to the Disciplinary Committee. In serious cases of misconduct, the Disciplinary Committee can expel a member from membership. Decisions of the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee can in certain circumstances be appealed to the Appeals Committee.

Have another question?

If your question isn't covered above please email cima.contact@aicpa-cima.com.