COVID-19 and meeting CPD requirements
The difficult circumstances of the current COVID-19 pandemic are presenting many challenges, and the need to focus on the health of ourselves, our families and businesses, as we adapt to the rapidly changing circumstances and prepare for the potentially protracted recovery period. The guidance below is intended to provide some particular focus on the topic of CPD in this environment.
Members are reminded that details of the current CPD regulations and guidance can be accessed via the link below and we have also produced a film which provides a reminder about the requirements and points arising from the review of records for the year to 31st December 2018.
The ATT and CIOT appreciate that for some members it might be difficult to access structured courses and training in person at this time and members are reporting to us how busy they are assisting their clients. For many members, considerable amounts of time are likely to be involved in familiarisation with the tax related changes being brought in as a response to COVID-19. Members are reminded that such research counts as CPD so they should maintain a record of this to demonstrate how they have met the requirements for the year to 31st December 2020.
At the time of writing, it is not yet clear how long the COVID-19 restrictions are likely to last but we are aware that the restrictions may result in changes to the mix of sources of CPD undertaken, and the focus of that CPD but we would not expect to see a negative impact on the quality or quantity of CPD. Whilst there may be limited scope to attend training courses in person, CPD requirements can be met in a number of other ways including:
- Learning media including podcasts and computer based training packages (including ATT/CIOT branch meetings provided by webinar).
- Learning at work, such as training, coaching and mentoring (including when delivered remotely).
- Technical discussions on client matters, new legislation and case law.
- Studying for a relevant further qualification.
- Developing and presenting relevant training material (including via webinar, webex etc)
- Writing books, articles and reviews.
- Reading technical journals such as Tax Adviser.
- Researching the answer to a technical query.
- Reading material relevant to your role such as anti-money laundering or data protection guidance.
- Reading professional standards material e.g. Professional Rules and Practice Guidelines and Professional Conduct in relation to Taxation.
- Non tax technical subjects such as practice management, “soft skills” and IT training relevant to your role.
CPD achieved via these sources can be just as effective as physical attendance on courses and should be recorded in a member’s CPD records.
For those who may need to take a break from their current role during the disruption they should consider how they will maintain their CPD ready to return to work. They may want to continue to undertake CPD during a period of furlough or undertake a more intensive period of CPD as they return to work.
At present we are still expecting the annual CPD review (records to 31st December 2019) to be scheduled for Spring 2020. If members have problems accessing their records because they are now working remotely they should inform us regarding this as soon as they receive a request for their records.
For details of CPD being provided by the ATT over the coming weeks refer to: ATT Events. If members have any queries relating to meeting CPD requirements they should email standards [at] att.org.uk.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a means of ensuring that members of a particular profession maintain their expertise by keeping up to date with recent developments.
As a member of ATT your conduct is governed by the following fundamental principles:
- Professional competence and due care
- Professional behaviour
Whatever your chosen specialisation in taxation, you must demonstrate your commitment to maintaining your professional knowledge and skill and compliance with ATT CPD Regulations. It is not only in the interests of your own career development to do so, but also for the benefit of the public.
The first step is to consider what you are trying to achieve as a Tax Adviser and what is expected of you in your current job from your employer, your clients, your professional body, the authorities and the general public.
Consider your personal aims, for example: job promotion, job change, improved skills, greater confidence. Then you must consider what you have to learn in order to achieve these aims and identify your own strengths and where you need to improve. You won’t be able to fulfil all your aspirations at once so you must prioritise the action that you plan to take.
From January 2017 new CPD regulations came into force and the updated regulations and guidance is detailed here. Members could choose to adopt the new regulations when recording and providing details for 2016.
The Branch Network offers a programme of technical lectures and seminars designed to meet the training needs of members; some of which also carry Law Society accreditation. The Annual Tax Conferences are also a good source of CPD.
A 2021 CPD form is available here.
Please note that in 2020 you will be required to self-certify your CPD compliance as part of an Annual Return which will be completed on a calendar year looking at the period 1st January to 31st December 2020. You do not need to make a separate declaration of CPD compliance in January.