CPD requirements

Continuing professional development (CPD) requirements

 

 

CPD requirements 

 

Q1.

What is continuing professional development?

Q2.

What is the consequence for not complying with the CPD requirements?

Q3.

Under Statement 1.500, is there any difference between Practising Certificate (PC) holders and non-PC holders in terms of CPD requirements?

Q4.

What is the reporting cycle for CPD compliance?

Q5.

What does a rolling three-year period mean?

Q6.

I have been a member of the Institute since 1999, please illustrate how I comply with the CPD requirements in a rolling three-year period.

Q7.

If I join the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs as a member in the middle of a CPD year, how many CPD hours do I have to complete during that year?

 

 

 

CPD activities and examples

Q8.

What is the distinction between verifiable and non-verifiable CPD activities?

Q9.

I know the Statement has introduced the concept of CPD as verifiable learning activities.  What are the differences between "structured" CPD as defined in the old Statement 1.500 (September 2004) and "verifiable" CPD as defined in the current Statement 1.500 revised since the December 2010 version?

Q10.

What are relevant CPD activities?

Q11.

How do I choose a CPD programme?  I have attended a number of courses run by organizations other than the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs.  These courses are not endorsed by the Institute, can I claim CPD hours for these courses?

Q12.

I am studying an MBA programme.  Can it be recognized as a CPD programme?  If so, is it a verifiable or non-verifiable CPD activity?

Q13.

My job requires me to coach my staff on a daily basis.  Can I claim CPD hours from coaching my staff?

Q14.

I am a department head and responsible for introducing the company background and business strategy to new staff in orientation programmes.  I need to carry out some research for preparing the introductions.  Can this type of activity be counted as CPD activity?

Q15.

I participate in my company's in-house training sessions and occasionally I am involved as a speaker.  Can this type of activity be counted as verifiable CPD activity?

Q16.

I serve on a number of committees of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs and other professional bodies.  Some can be classified as technical committees, some cannot.  Can this activity qualify for CPD hours?

Q17.

What is a technical committee?

Q18.

I have attended talks relating to personal career development and the use of Chinese medicine or other ways to keep good health.  Can I claim CPD hours for attending these events?

Q19.

Can "networking time" be counted as CPD hours?

Q20.

I joined the Institute's Mentorship Programme as a mentor.  How many CPD hours can be claimed for my participation?

Q21.

Summary of CPD activities with capped CPD hours

 

 

 

CPD declaration

Q22.

I have not submitted my CPD Declaration to the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs by the specified deadline, will I be regarded as a case of non-compliance?

Q23.

Do I have to submit an individual CPD declaration of compliance to the Institute if my employer makes the declaration for me under a block declaration arrangement?

Q24.

I am a Practising Certificate (PC) holder of the Institute. If my employer has made the annual CPD declaration on my behalf in a block declaration, do I need to submit a Declaration for the Re-application of a Practising Certificate?

Q25.

How can I apply for block declaration of CPD compliance?

 

 

 

Recording CPD hours and evidence

Q26.

I have enrolled on a Hong Kong Institute of CPAs' CPD seminar with the Computerized Ticketing System (CTS) and I checked in with my membership card at the registration counter.  Do I need any attendance record form to substantiate my CPD hours for this event?

Q27.

I am also a member of another professional accountancy institute.  To comply with CPD requirements of other professional bodies, I need documentary evidence to support my attendance of CPD seminars organized by the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs.  How can I get attendance records from the Institute?

Q28.

I have subscribed for an e-Manager course with listed CPD hours of 3 hours.  However, I only needed 2 hours to complete the whole course, including the assessment, which I passed.  How many hours will I be granted for this e-Manager course?

Q29.

I enrolled on a CPD seminar but I arrived 30 minutes late and missed the first part of the seminar.  Can I claim any CPD hours for this event?

Q30.

I know I need to maintain documentary evidence to support my attendance and completion of CPD activities.  How long do I need to keep these records?

Q31.

I know that an annual audit exercise is conducted after the annual CPD declaration.  Who will be selected and how are they selected to undergo this audit exercise?

 

Exemption from CPD requirements 

Q32.

What are the criteria for CPD exemption?

Q33.

I know the Institute may grant exemption from CPD to a member who, at the time of application, is not carrying out any accountancy or accountancy related work, whether paid or unpaid, and does not plan to do so for a significant period of time.  What is accountancy or accountancy related work?

Q34.

Any examples for accountancy or accountancy related work? 

Q35.

I am a director of an unlisted / private company but I am not doing any accountancy or accountancy related work in my company; am I eligible to apply for CPD exemption?

Q36.

I have been granted exemption for the Institute's CPD requirements but I will resume accountancy work very soon.  What are the CPD requirements for me after I return to the workforce?

Q37.

If I satisfy the criteria for exemption from the CPD requirements, do I need to submit a CPD Declaration through the Annual Return whenever I renew my registration as a CPA?

Q38.

I am over 55 years of age and have been appointed as a non-executive director of a listed company on a part-time basis, can I be exempted from the CPD requirements?

Q39.

I have been granted exemption from CPD compliance before the Statement 1.500 was revised in August 2010.  Do the new guidelines for CPD exemption have any impact on my exemption status?

Q40.

I am also a member of another professional accountancy institute.  Do I have to comply with the CPD requirements of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs?

Q41.

If I am a member of another professional accountancy institute and I am exempt from its CPD requirements, am I automatically exempted from the CPD requirements of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs?

Q42.

I am currently working in the US and will not be in Hong Kong for the next few years.  As such I shall not be able to attend any CPD activities in Hong Kong.  Can I get any exemption from CPD requirements?

 

 


 

CPD requirements 

Q1.What is continuing professional development?
Ans.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is intended to maintain, enhance and broaden members’ relevant knowledge and skills to enable them to carry out their professional duties and responsibilities competently as Certified Public Accountants (CPA) throughout their career and thereby to strengthen public trust in the profession.

 

The cardinal principle of considering what are relevant CPD activities is whether such activities are relevant to an individual's work as a CPA.  These learning activities should enhance and broaden the relevant knowledge and skills to enable a CPA to carry out his or her professional duties and responsibilities competently. 

 

Individual training needs vary and the CPD scheme has been designed to reflect this by offering a wide spectrum of training activities which qualify for CPD hours.  To meet the CPD requirements, members are free to choose activities relevant to their individual needs.  Members may choose programmes offered by the Institute or other outside providers, so long as they consider such programmes suitable and relevant to their individual needs.

 

Having taken into consideration that many of our members are busy practitioners and frequent travellers, compliance with CPD requirements can be achieved by methods of learning other than classroom lecture-based methods.  Examples are e-Learning; attending overseas accounting conferences/training; long distance learning courses and reading of professional journals and books.

 

Selection of CPD programmes should not be confined to those organized by the Institute as other relevant programmes/courses organized by outside providers are also recognized as CPD activities.  The main consideration is whether such activity fulfils the cardinal principle as set out above.

 

In addition to education, practical experience, and training, CPD also includes learning and development activities, such as (a) coaching and mentoring, (b) networking, (c) observation, feedback, and reflection, and the (d) self-directed and unstructured gaining of knowledge.

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Q2.What is the consequence for not complying with the CPD requirements?
Ans.

With the enactment of the Professional Accountants (Amendment) Ordinance (PAO) in September 2004, compliance with CPD is one of the criteria for renewal of registration as a CPA under s.28(2)(c) and issuance of a Practising Certificate under s.30(8) of the PAO.  In the absence of exemption, the Council shall refuse a member's application to renew his/her registration as a CPA if the member fails to comply with the CPD requirements as set down by the Council.

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Q3.Under Statement 1.500, is there any difference between Practising Certificate (PC) holders and non-PC holders in terms of CPD requirements?
Ans.No.  The same requirements are applicable across-the-board to all members, irrespective of whether or not the member is a PC holder.  However, even if PC holders are members of Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) institutes, they are still required to fulfil the HKICPA’s CPD requirements.
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Q4.What is the reporting cycle for CPD compliance?
Ans.The Institute adopts a rolling three-year reporting cycle, which commences on
1 December each year. For example, the first rolling three-year period is from
1 December 2005 to 30 November 2008, and the second cycle is from
1 December 2006 to 30 November 2009.
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Q5.What does a rolling three-year period mean?
Ans.The rolling three-year cycle allows more flexibility for members to earn their CPD hours: a fixed total number of CPD hours (120) has to be completed every three years rather than every year.  However, a minimum of 20 CPD hours (verifiable or non-verifiable) has to be achieved each year.
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Q6.I have been a member of the Institute since 1999, please illustrate how I comply with the CPD requirements in a rolling three-year period.
Ans.

(i) The rolling three-year period is measured as below:

Rolling three-year periods

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

1 Dec

30 Nov

1 Dec

30 Nov

1 Dec

30 Nov

1 Dec

30 Nov

1 Dec

30 Nov

1st cycle

(Note 1) 

1st CPD Year

2nd CPD Year

3rd CPD Year





2nd cycle



1st CPD Year

2nd CPD Year

3rd CPD Year



3rd cycle





1st CPD Year

2nd CPD Year

3rd CPD Year

 

Note 1

  1. The first rolling three-year period begins on 1 December 2005 and ends on 30 November 2008, with a breakdown as below:

 

First rolling three-year period

CPD reporting year*

1st CPD Year (2005/06)

1.12.2005 – 30.11.2006

2nd CPD Year (2006/07)

1.12.2006 – 30.11.2007

3rd CPD Year (2007/08)

1.12.2007 – 30.11.2008

 

* A CPD Reporting Year (also referred to as CPD year) is a period of 12 months ending on 30 November each year.

 

(ii) Illustrations of compliance and non-compliance with the current CPD requirements

Example A – Compliance

CPD Year
 

 

CPD Hour

A

B

C

D

2005-06

2006-7

2007-8

2008 -9

Verifiable (VH)

0

20

40

80

Non-verifiable (Non-VH)

40

10

20

10

Total VH and Non-VH40306090

Total/Cycle

-

-

130
(A+B+C)

180
(B+C+D)

VH/Cycle

-

-

60

140


This member has met the CPD requirements as he has completed:

  1. a minimum of 120 CPD hours in each rolling three-year period as shown in the row "Total/Cycle"; and
  2. a minimum of 60 verifiable CPD hours out of the 120 CPD hours in each rolling three-year period as shown in the row "VH/Cycle"; and
  3. a minimum of 20 CPD hours per year, either verifiable or non-verifiable, as shown in columns A to D.

 

Example B – Non-compliance

CPD year
 

 

CPD hour

A

B

C

D

2005-06

2006-7

2007-8

2008-9

Verifiable (VH)

10

40

0

15

Non-verifiable (Non-VH)

5

40

25

0

Total VH and Non-VH15802515

Total/Cycle

-

-

120
(A+B+C)

120
(B+C+D)

VH/Cycle

-

-

50

55


Despite this member has completed a total 120 hours in each rolling three-year period, he has not complied with the CPD requirements for the following two reasons:

  1. Failure to meet a minimum of 20 CPD hours per year as shown in columns A and D, both are 15 hours only; and
  2. Failure to meet a minimum of 60 verifiable CPD hours out of the 120 CPD hours in each rolling three-year period, as shown in row VH cycle.
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Q7.If I join the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs as a member in the middle of a CPD year, how many CPD hours do I have to complete during that year?
Ans.

Where a member joins the Institute during a CPD year, the CPD requirements are on a pro-rata basis for that year (i.e. 20 minimum CPD hours on pro-rata basis).  The rolling cycle starts on the subsequent 1 December.

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CPD activities and examples

Q8.What is the distinction between verifiable and non-verifiable CPD activities?
Ans.

Verifiable CPD activities can be objectively verified by a competent source.  Some learning activities, for example on-the-job training, may be measurable, but may not be able to be verified.  These activities also contribute to the development and maintenance of professional competence, but would not be considered to form part of the 60 hours of verifiable CPD in the three-year rolling period.

 

The following examples represent evidence that could be used for verification:

 

(a) Course outlines and teaching materials; 

(b) Confirmation of participation by a provider, instructor, employer, mentor, or tutor (in the case of the Institute's e-Learning courses, the registration form or confirmation of registration); 

(c) Transcript, examination result slips;

(d) Independent assessments that a learning activity has occurred;

(e) Confirmation by organizers of participation in activities where learning outcomes have been achieved;

(f) Confirmation by organizers of seminar/talks in which one was engaged as a speaker;

(g) Publication of a professional article or of the result of a research project. The publication would be by a third party publishing organization which would have reviewed the article or results as suitable for publication; and

(h) Agenda of meetings for committees of professional bodies.

 

Non-verifiable CPD activities have no evidence to substantiate the CPD hours claimed.  One example of a non-verifiable activity is reading professional journals including A-Plus Magazine.

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Q9.I know the Statement has introduced the concept of CPD as verifiable learning activities.  What are the differences between "structured" CPD as defined in the old Statement 1.500 (September 2004) and "verifiable" CPD as defined in the current Statement 1.500 revised since the December 2010 version?
Ans.

The "verifiable" activities under the current Statement are, to some extent, quite similar to that of "structured" activities under the old Statement.

 

A verifiable activity means that an activity can be objectively verified by a competent source, while structured activity is composed of either an interactive or an assessment component.  For example, participation in a course or seminar can generally be considered as verifiable and structured CPD because it can be objectively verified by a competent source, like an attendance record or, in the case of the Institute’s e-Learning course, registration confirmation.  At the same time, it is interactive and/or consists of an assessment component.  In other words, a structured activity in most cases is also a verifiable CPD activity.

 

An example to illustrate the differences between "verifiable" and "structured" CPD activity is an e-Learning programme.  An e-Learning programme which does not have an assessment component, is unstructured CPD.  It is however verifiable, because it can be verified by a "competent source" such as the confirmation of registration by the provider.

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Q10.What are relevant CPD activities?
Ans.

It is the responsibility of members to exercise their professional judgement in deciding the type of CPD activities they undertake according to their individual needs.  Such learning activities should maintain, deepen and extend their professional knowledge, skills and values, and should be relevant to the individual member's current and future work, professional responsibilities, helping them to enhance their understanding of the trends and environment in which they are working as a CPA.  Learning activities to improve business skills, such as leadership, negotiation, management and presentation skills can also be recognized as relevant CPD activities.

 

If you are applying your existing professional knowledge and skills, such as to perform daily job duties, to act as judge / panelist of competitions, you should not recognize these activities as relevant CPD activities because there is no learning involved.

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Q11.How do I choose a CPD programme?  I have attended a number of courses run by organizations other than the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs.  These courses are not endorsed by the Institute, can I claim CPD hours for these courses?
Ans.

It should be noted that CPD programmes do not need to be approved by the Institute.  There is no policy requiring outside course providers to obtain endorsement from the Institute for CPD recognition.  It is entirely up to the individual member to judge the suitability of a particular programme for himself/herself.  The main consideration is whether these courses contribute towards your professional development.  In other words, they should be relevant to your immediate or long term needs as a CPA.  For guidance, this judgement can be based on the following factors:

 

  • whether the programme will enhance the professional proficiency of the individual member;
  • whether the programme is at the right level and depth for the individual member;
  • whether the programme content is relevant to the individual member's work;
  • whether the trainers of the CPD programme are technically competent; and
  • whether the programme provider has a good track record of delivering quality programmes. 

 

Members are reminded to keep a record of these activities, such as the course outlines and timetables, handouts / instructional materials, case studies working materials, certificates of completion, etc.  If the organizer provides a 'bearer' certificate or attendance record, members are reminded to fill in their names immediately after receiving the record to avoid transfer of CPD to another person in the event of its loss.

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Q12.I am studying an MBA programme.  Can it be recognized as a CPD programme?  If so, is it a verifiable or non-verifiable CPD activity?
Ans.

Studying a relevant academic course can be considered as a verifiable learning activity if it is able to be objectively verified by a competent source, such as an attendance record, or confirmation of registration from the provider.  For an MBA programme, both face-to-face contact hours, examination hours as well as revision hours can be counted as verifiable CPD hours.

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Q13.

My job requires me to coach my staff on a daily basis.  Can I claim CPD hours from coaching my staff?

Ans.

No.  Normal work activities carried out as part of your daily work do not constitute continuing professional development, whether verifiable or non-verifiable.

 

However, occasional technical training sessions or supervision of a registered student or a prospective member of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs as an Authorized Supervisor (AS), an External Authorized Supervisor (EAS) or a Counsellor (C) of an Authorized Employer is recognized as CPD activity.

 

An AS/EAS/C is allowed to claim up to 5 verifiable CPD hours (with supporting documents by a competent source) for supervising one registered student or one prospective member under the Practical Experience Framework per CPD year.  Regardless of the number of registered students or prospective members supervised, the member can only claim up to 20 hours per CPD year.  For example, if a member supervises 5 students or prospective members as an AS and 2 students or prospective members as an EAS during any CPD year, he/she is still only allowed to claim a maximum of 20 verifiable CPD hours.

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Q14.

I am a department head and responsible for introducing the company background and business strategy to new staff in orientation programmes.  I need to carry out some research for preparing the introductions.  Can this type of activity be counted as CPD activity?

Ans.

No.  Induction to new staff constitutes part of your job duties as staff.  Normal work activities do not constitute continuing professional development, whether verifiable or non-verifiable.

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Q15I participate in my company's in-house training sessions and occasionally I am involved as a speaker.  Can this type of activity be counted as verifiable CPD activity?
Ans.

Participation in company's in-house training courses is recognized as verifiable CPD activity provided you are able to provide objective verification by an independent source.

 

In principle, time spent by a member in assimilating knowledge on professional, technical and managerial subjects relevant to his/her work as a CPA is recognized as constituting continuing professional development.  Therefore being a course speaker or presenter of topics relevant to your professional responsibilities is considered to be a CPD activity.  Time spent in preparing the presentation of relevant topics is also counted as CPD hours. 

 

However, repeated presentations of the same material (especially within a short period of time) will not be counted as CPD activity unless the repeated work entails updating of the presentation material.  In this case only the time spent on research and updating the material should be counted as CPD hours.

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Q16.I serve on a number of committees of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs and other professional bodies.  Some can be classified as technical committees, some cannot.  Can this activity qualify for CPD hours?
Ans.

Yes, participation in technical committees for professional bodies (with supporting documents by a competent source) qualifies as verifiable CPD.  The cardinal principle of considering what are relevant CPD activities is whether such activities are relevant to individual's work as a CPA.  These learning activities should enhance and broaden the relevant knowledge and skills to enable a CPA to competently carry out his or her professional duties and responsibilities.  CPD credit is counted on actual basis, including preparation work and attendance to the committee meetings. 

 

For participation in non-technical or other committees, the maximum verifiable CPD hours claimed for a year is 4 (with supporting documents by a competent source).  The granting of CPD credits aims to encourage members' development of soft skills such as communication, presentation, negotiation, time management skill, etc. which are essential competencies relevant to members' work and professional responsibilities nowadays.

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Q17.

What is a technical committee?

Ans.

CPD may be claimed for preparation and attendance at technical committees relevant to a member's professional development.  Technical committees are committees which deal with issues of accountancy or accountancy related knowledge and skills, technical competencies and professional values, ethics and attitudes.  Other committees would be of a non-technical nature. 

 

The following committees of HKICPA are technical committees and the attendance to these committees for discussing technical issues can be claimed as CPD hours where relevant to a member's professional development:

 

-  Auditing and Assurance Standards Committee

-  Ethics Committee

-  Financial Reporting Standards Committee

 

If members attend other committees, the time they spend on discussing technical matters is also eligible for claiming CPD hours provided it is relevant to the member's professional development.  Please refer to the Appendix of Statement 1.500 (Revised July 2014) for guidance on accountancy or accountancy related work that may be regarded as technical matters taken from.  The list is not exhaustive.  There may be other work which is of a technical nature.

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Q18.I have attended talks relating to personal career development and the use of Chinese medicine or other ways to keep good health.  Can I claim CPD hours for attending these events?
Ans.

These events do not relate to enhancement of members' professional skills for the provision of better services to others.  The Institute does not normally grant CPD credits for attending these events.  Similarly, training relating to CV preparation and interviewing skills which help members to perform better recruitment interviews also does not qualify for CPD credits.

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Q19.Can "networking time" be counted as CPD hours?
Ans.

With effective from 1 December 2013, "networking" and "observation, feedback and reflection" are accepted as non-verifiable CPD activities.  Members may claim up to 5 non-verifiable hours in total per year for these categories together (not 5 hours individually).  These 5 hours are in addition to any networking time included in verifiable CPD events (e.g. conferences, seminars, etc).  Members would need to list the networking events claimed in the 5 hours and describe their professional purpose. 

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Q20.I joined the Institute's Mentorship Programme as a mentor.  How many CPD hours can be claimed for my participation?
Ans.With effective from 1 April 2015, an approved mentor under the Institute's Mentorship Programme will be awarded up to 5 non-verifiable CPD hours for each assigned mentee and up to 3 verifiable CPD hours for attending mentorship related briefings organized by HKICPA during any one-year mentorship cycle commencing on 1 April each year.  Each mentor can take at most two mentees concurrently during any mentor-mentee cycle.
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Q21.Summary of CPD activities with capped CPD hours
Ans.

Types of activities

 

Max. CPD hours claimed

Verifiable / Non-verifiable

Reading Financial Newspapers 

5 hours per year

Non-verifiable

Participation in non-technical or other committee's meeting 

4 hours per year

Verifiable

"Networking" and "Observation, feedback and reflection" 

Total 5 hours per year

Non-verifiable 

(effective from 1 Dec 2013)

As an Authorized Supervisor (AS) / an External Authorized Supervisor (EAS) / a Counsellor (C) of an Authorized Employer

5 hours per registered student or prospective member; & maximum 20 hours per year

Verifiable

QP Facilitator

2 workshops of total 14 contact hours and actual preparation time

Verifiable

Approved mentor under HKICPA's Mentorship Programme

5 hours for each approved mentorship & at most 10 hours if a mentor has been assigned 2 mentees during any one mentorship cycle

 

3 hours for attending mentorship related briefings organized by HKICPA

Non-verifiable

(effective from 1 April 2015 for every 12-month cycle)

 

Verifiable

(effective from 1 April 2015 for every 12-month cycle)

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CPD declaration

Q22.I have not submitted my CPD Declaration to the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs by the specified deadline, will I be regarded as a case of non-compliance?
Ans.Yes, if you do not file your CPD Declaration to the Institute by the specified due date, you will be regarded as being not complying with the CPD requirements.  As a consequence, your application for renewal of registration as a CPA will not be granted.
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 Q23.Do I have to submit an individual CPD declaration of compliance to the Institute if my employer makes the declaration for me under a block declaration arrangement?
Ans.CPD block declaration is not applicable since the 2016 membership renewal.  All members are required to complete and submit the Annual Return individually online.
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Q24.I am a Practising Certificate (PC) holder of the Institute. If my employer has made the annual CPD declaration on my behalf in a block declaration, do I need to submit a Declaration for the Re-application of a Practising Certificate?
Ans.CPD block declaration is not applicable since the 2016 membership renewal.  All members are required to complete and submit the Annual Return individually online.
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Q25. How can I apply for block declaration of CPD compliance?
Ans.

HKICPA has suspended the CPD block declaration arrangement since the 2016 membership renewal.  Members are requested to update their membership data such as employment and interests when they complete the CPD declaration in the Annual Return for renewal.  The aim is to enable the Institute to provide better membership services customized to members' needs and to improve member communication and efficiency.  To protect data privacy and minimize the risk of input errors of personal data by the Institute, all members are required to complete and submit the Annual Return individually online.

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Recording CPD hours and evidence

  
Q26.I have enrolled on a Hong Kong Institute of CPAs' CPD seminar with the Computerized Ticketing System (CTS) and I checked in with my membership card at the registration counter.  Do I need any attendance record form to substantiate my CPD hours for this event?
Ans.CTS, the computerized ticketing system, is a substitute for the admission ticket so that members can use their membership card or the Institute's affinity credit card for admission to the Institute's CPD events.  After you enroll and check in with the CTS, details of the CPD event and your CPD attendance record will be automatically updated and displayed in MyCPA.  CPD records updated under CTS by the Institute in MyCPA are recognized as evidence of CPD hours by the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs.  You can click here to learn more about the CTS.
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Q27.I am also a member of another professional accountancy institute.  To comply with CPD requirements of other professional bodies, I need documentary evidence to support my attendance of CPD seminars organized by the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs.  How can I get attendance records from the Institute?
Ans.

Members have to collect a stamped CPD record form provided by the Institute at the end of each CPD event if the member needs a record of attendance to substantiate their CPD hours earned for the purpose of complying with CPD requirements of other organizations.

 

Please note that MyCPA may not be suitable evidence or record for your attended CPD hours complying with other professional bodies' CPD requirements.  Members are advised to follow the requirements of those other bodies.

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Q28.

I have subscribed for an e-Manager course with listed CPD hours of 3 hours.  However, I only needed 2 hours to complete the whole course, including the assessment, which I passed.  How many hours will I be granted for this e-Manager course?

Ans.

CPD hours for online courses are granted on the lesser of i) actual time spent on the online course; or ii) the listed CPD hours for the online course.  As you spent 2 hours to complete the e-Manager course, you are granted 2 CPD hours based on your actual learning activity.  This applies even when you successfully complete the assessment.

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 Q29.

I enrolled on a CPD seminar but I arrived 30 minutes late and missed the first part of the seminar.  Can I claim any CPD hours for this event?

Ans.

CPD hours are counted on an actual attendance basis.  Members can claim their actual attendance time as CPD hours unless their attendance in the event is less than 30 minutes, in which case no CPD hours are recognized.  The Institute's CPD seminars are verifiable CPD activities provided that members keep documentary evidence to support their attendance, such as the course outlines and timetables, handouts / instructional materials, case studies working materials, certificates of completion etc.

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 Q30.I know that I need to maintain documentary evidence to support my attendance and completion of CPD activities.  How long do I need to keep these records?
Ans.Pursuant to Statement 1.500 of Member's Handbook, members are required to maintain records and documentary evidence of their verifiable CPD hours for a minimum of five years.  You will be asked to produce the records and documentary evidence if you are selected for the CPD audit.  See the Institute’s web site for a sample CPD record: 
http://www.hkicpa.org.hk/file/media/section4_cpd/Continuing Professional Development/record-form.doc
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Q31.I know that an annual audit exercise is conducted after the annual CPD declaration.  Who will be selected and how are they selected to undergo this audit exercise?
Ans.Every year the Institute conducts a CPD audit on a certain percentage of the membership under the directive of Council.  A random sample is generated by computer.  Theoretically every member is subject to the CPD audit and members may be selected for audit on a risk-based process.  Members selected for audit are required to submit to the Institute their CPD records of the relevant reporting CPD period with documentation to support attendance or completion of the CPD activities as stated in their CPD records.  The current Statement 1.500 will be used as the basis to audit the CPD records.
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Exemption from CPD requirements

Q32.What are the criteria for CPD exemption?
Ans.

Appendix of Statement 1.500 (Revised July 2014) describes the criteria taken into account by the Institute in considering applications by members for CPD exemption.


The guidelines for exemption no longer refer to career break, serious illness and retirement as categories of special circumstances for granting CPD exemptions.  The guidelines state that the Institute may grant exemption from CPD to a member who, at the time of application, is not carrying out any accountancy or accountancy related work, whether paid or unpaid, and does not plan to do so for a significant period of time.  Council considers exemption applications on a case by case basis.  Members must apply in writing to the Institute for exemption, supported by documentary evidence.


Generally, in order to serve the public interest, no exemption will be granted to members holding Practising Certificates (PC) or Specialist Designations or directorship of any companies.  Exemptions of a State Board of Accountancy of the United States of America or of other Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) institutes from CPD compliance are not recognized by the Institute.  Exemption from compliance with the Institute’s CPD requirements can only be granted by the Institute.

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Q33.I know the Institute may grant exemption from CPD to a member who, at the time of application, is not carrying out any accountancy or accountancy related work, whether paid or unpaid, and does not plan to do so for a significant period of time.  What is accountancy or accountancy related work?
Ans.

For the purpose of applying CPD exemption, accountancy or accountancy related work includes:

 

  • Financial accounting
  • External financial reporting
  • Auditing or assurance
  • Internal auditing
  • Financial management
  • Management accounting
  • Management financial reporting
  • Information management
  • Corporate insolvency
  • Personal insolvency
  • Corporate taxation
  • Personal taxation
  • Business rescue or restructuring
  • Risk management
  • Corporate finance
  • Governance
  • Corporate investment
  • Investment advice
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Q34.

Any examples for accountancy or accountancy related work?

Ans.

Below are examples of accountancy or accountancy related work in which you would not be granted CPD exemption if you perform one of the following (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):

 

  • review and approve payroll and/or disbursements (this is financial management);
  • handle staff recruitment, organization, enforcement of standard (this is governance);
  • perform analysis/statistics on data (e.g. perform analysis on sales performance of different products in order to determine sales' strategies), process data (e.g. capture information from data collected by another department in order to perform your duties) (this is information management);
  • do bookkeeping and/or tax return for a company which is owned by yourself (this is financial accounting and/or external financial reporting);
  • provide investment advice to your family fund / members of your family or friends;
  • handle budgeting or cost monitoring (this is financial management);
  • teach or provide training in areas in which the member needs to keep his/her accountancy or accountancy related knowledge up to date;
  • work as a barrister or work for the Disciplinary Forces because the job is connected with the enforcement of law and public interest.

 

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Q35.I am a director of an unlisted / private company but I am not doing any accountancy or accountancy related work in my company; am I eligible to apply for CPD exemption? 
Ans.As a director of a company you have governance and other accountancy and tax related responsibilities.  You would not therefore qualify for CPD exemption.  This applies in respect of all directorships of companies, regardless of the nature of the company's activities, or whether the day to day duties are delegated to others.  This is also the case with other positions of responsibility such as trustees of charities or honorary treasurers of associations.
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Q36.I have been granted exemption for the Institute's CPD requirements but I will resume accountancy work very soon.  What are the CPD requirements for me after I return to the workforce?
Ans.The CPD requirements prevailing at the time your resume CPD compliance will be applicable to you.  In keeping with the Code of Ethics, where a member resumes accountancy or accountancy related duties after a significant period of not working or of CPD exemption, Council may require him or her to undertake, within a period of time, additional relevant CPD over and above that required in Statement 1.500 in order to refresh and update his or her knowledge.
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Q37.If I satisfy the criteria for exemption from the CPD requirements, do I need to submit a CPD Declaration through the Annual Return whenever I renew my registration as a CPA?
Ans.

To be exempt from the CPD requirements, a member must apply to the Institute and be granted exemption.  If you have already been granted a CPD exemption by HKICPA, and you continue to meet the current exemption criteria, i.e. you are (1) not an HKICPA Practising Certificate (PC) holder and not an HKICPA insolvency Specialist Designation holder; (2) not carrying out any accountancy or accountancy related work (paid or not paid) and do not plan to do so for a significant period of time; and (3) not a director of any companies (listed or non-listed), you do not need to complete or submit the CPD declaration section of the Annual Return.  If you no longer meet the current exemption criteria, you will need to notify the Institute in writing and resume your CPD.  Please refer to Appendix of Statement 1.500 (Revised July 2014), Guidance on Exemption for more details about exemption, including information about what is accountancy or accountancy related work.

 

Any previously granted exemption will cease when a member ceases his or her membership.  New application for exemption will be considered against the guidelines prevailing at the time of application.

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Q38.I am over 55 years of age and have been appointed as a non-executive director of a listed company on a part-time basis, can I be exempted from the CPD requirements?
Ans.No.  As stipulated in para. A15 of Statement 1.500 (Revised July 2014), a member who is a director of any company, regardless of whether this is full-time or not, generally does not qualify for CPD exemption as a director automatically has accountancy related duties.  Accordingly you are required to comply with the CPD requirements as prescribed.
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Q39.I have been granted exemption from CPD compliance before the Statement 1.500 was revised in August 2010.  Do the new guidelines for CPD exemption have any impact on my exemption status?
Ans.

The Institute has recently reviewed exemptions granted to members prior to August 2010 in the context of the latest exemption criteria.  Therefore, you should have been notified and continue to be eligible for CPD exemption if you satisfy the current exemption criteria mentioned in Q32 above.  If you no longer meet the current exemption criteria, you should inform the Institute and you will be required to resume your CPD.  Any new application for exemption will be considered against the guidelines prevailing at the time of the application.

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Q40.I am also a member of another professional accountancy institute.  Do I have to comply with the CPD requirements of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs?
Ans.

The CPD compliance requirements of a State Board of Accountancy of the United States of America (US State Board) or of the seven institutes of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) (of which the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs (HKICPA) is also a member) listed below are now recognized by the Institute except for HKICPA Practising Certificate (PC) or Specialist Designation (SD) holders.  This means that, except for HKICPA PC or SD holders, members of HKICPA who are also holders of an active license issued by a US State Board or members of one or more GAA institutes need only fulfil the CPD requirements of that US State Board or of one of those GAA institutes (of which the HKICPA member is also a member) and, in so doing, shall be deemed to satisfy HKICPA’s CPD requirements. 

 

The other seven GAA institutes are:

1.  Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada)

2.  Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA)*

3.  Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

4.  Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)

5.  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

6.  New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)* 

     (members of the College of Chartered Accountants)

7.  The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

 

* The Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) have amalgamated to become Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

 

As an example, a member of HKICPA who is also a member of the ICAEW, but is not a PC holder of HKICPA, may choose to meet the CPD requirements of either HKICPA or ICAEW: if that member chooses to meet the CPD requirements of the ICAEW then he or she will be deemed to meet the HKICPA CPD requirements.  Such members are expected to choose which institute’s CPD requirements to comply with for a full CPD reporting year, i.e. 1 December to 30 November of the following year.  The first CPD reporting period for which this is effective is the year to 30 November 2008.  For practical purposes, in order to introduce these new arrangements, the Institute will accept declarations of CPD compliance which cover the three years to 30 November 2008 where a member has complied with another GAA institute’s CPD requirements for that period.  This applies even where the member has previously made declarations of compliance to the HKICPA’s CPD system for the two years ended 30 November 2007.

 

Members satisfying HKICPA’s CPD requirements by satisfying a US State Board or another GAA institute’s CPD system are still required to complete the HKICPA annual declaration of CPD compliance.  If selected for audit, such members will be required to produce their CPD records and relevant supporting documentary evidence to meet that US State Board or GAA institute’s CPD system.  HKICPA may seek relevant confirmation of CPD compliance with the relevant GAA institute as appropriate.

 

When a US State Board or a GAA institute requests information about a member's CPD compliance status with the Institute, HKICPA may disclose the relevant information to that US State Board or GAA institute unless the member has stated in their CPD declaration that they do not want the information to be disclosed to that US State Board or GAA institute.

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Q41.If I am a member of another professional accountancy institute and I am exempt from its CPD requirements, am I automatically exempted from the CPD requirements of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs?
Ans.

No.  Exemptions from CPD compliance granted by other professional accountancy bodies, including members of a State Board of Accountancy of the United State of America or the GAA institute (see Q40) are not recognized by the Institute.  Exemption from compliance with the Institute’s CPD requirements can only be granted by the Institute in accordance with the Institute’s rules.  Please apply for exemption directly to the Institute’s Admission Department.

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Q42.I am currently working in the US and will not be in Hong Kong for the next few years.  As such I shall not be able to attend any CPD activities in Hong Kong.  Can I get any exemption from CPD requirements?
Ans.Residing or working overseas does not qualify you for exemption from the CPD requirements.  CPD learning activities are not restricted to location or classroom lecture-based method.  For members who reside overseas, e-Learning is an alternative CPD activity.  Any suitable CPD activities taken outside Hong Kong are also recognized as constituting continuing professional development, provided that the knowledge and/or skills acquired through these activities are relevant to your professional development as a CPA.
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If you have any further queries regarding CPD requirements, please call the Institute at 2287-7454.

 

HKICPA

Revised in March 2016