Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

For many Accountants (and other professionals), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is often seen in the context of compliance and a concern about receiving a letter explaining that you are one of a sample who are being asked to provide verification. This is not unreasonable as mandatory CPD is typical of all leading professions. But let’s just stand back a little and consider some of the features of the dynamically changing environment of an accountant, be they in practice or in business.

  • Ever changing legislation, regulation, corporate governance, tax, accounting standards, and auditing standards.
  • Political disruption including Brexit, a minority government and the Trump presidency and their possible impacts on the commercial and financial markets.
  • Rapid developments in technology underpinning seismic change in terms of big data and analytics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, imminent driverless vehicles leading to outdated business models being destroyed as new business models break the mould.

Many of these then have knock-on effects as to how accountants can ‘future proof’ themselves by developing and improving their softer skills – communication, presentation, influence and negotiation to name but a few – so as to differentiate themselves from what could become a more commoditised and automated profession.

In essence, why on earth wouldn’t you undertake CPD to make sure you are on top of current developments and be prepared for what could be very different work scenarios in the not too distant future?

BPP Professional Development are a recognised leader in qualification and CPD training and are proud to work in partnership with CIMA and ICAS to deliver professional development to their members. In a rapidly changing world, the business model for Professional Development is also changing to reflect the needs of its customers – professionally qualified accountants and their current and future employers. Key to this is its ability to leverage the step-changes that have been made in technology and communications The face-to-face course remains a core part of the offer and for many it is ideal in isolating a day away from the day job not only enabling an interactive session with an expert in the chosen subject area, but also an opportunity to network with like-minded professionals. For several years, online has been on offer in the form of pre-recorded accessible PowerPoint sessions presented by subject matter experts with knowledge checks at the end. This gives delegates the flexibility to choose when and where to complete their CPD. Most recently, technology has enabled what we call Online Classroom Live whereby delegates log in to a session where an expert presents live and where there is enormous opportunity for interaction with the presenter and other delegates. Perhaps counter-intuitively, there is typically more intense engagement in these types of courses than in a face-to-face environment.

BPP can also be flexible in its in-house offering for all forms of delivery and this can be very cost effective and efficient for both delegates and employers by substantially the cost and time involved in travel and accommodation.

So as pressures for CPD become more powerful so the business model for professional development is rapidly evolving to be more flexible and adaptable in meeting finance professionals and, in turn, their employers’ needs.