SAICA

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) philosophy

SAICA’s objective of having a CPD policy is to protect the public interest by ensuring there is a framework within which the members commit to ongoing learning and development throughout their careers, demonstrating the competence required in relation to the specific roles an accountant performs. The growth in knowledge and the speed of technological change, plus the obsolescence of existing knowledge means that the qualifying programme of professional education can no longer be seen as a career-long standing statement of professional competence; CPD is essential for professional practice.
Therefore SAICA, as a membership body, has the objective to ensure that members and associates:

  • maintain and develop their professional competence relevant to their current and future roles;
  • take responsibility for reflecting on and undertaking relevant CPD activities to remain competent in their current and future roles; and
  • take responsibility for recording CPD activities to demonstrate that they have undertaken relevant and appropriate learning activities for their circumstances.

SAICA has revised its CPD policy and is of the view that an output-based approach to CPD will promote a more holistic view of CPD and better drive the core attitude/behaviour of lifelong learning.

 

The CPD policy has been revised to ensure that it is based on adult education principles which include that learners:

  • Know why they need to learn something (the learning experience must add value and help them achieve their goals);
  • Want to be respected as capable learners. This means the adult is given choices and sets their own learning objectives based on what they need to achieve in their specific role;
  • They already have some experience and they should be encouraged to use these experiences and apply this to new learning opportunities;
  • They want learning to occur timeously (they are only ready to learn when they have identified something they want to know or become proficient at); and
  • Both internal and external factors play a role in motivating adult learners (e.g. increased job satisfaction, increase in pay).

The objective of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is to promote up-to-date,
high-quality services by ensuring that practitioners have access to the necessary learning opportunities to maintain and improve their ability to practice. An input-based approach to CPD focuses mainly on hours and activities, and it often neglects the actual purpose of CPD, which is for practitioners to enhance their knowledge, acquire new skills and build on existing ones through continual reflection. The input-based approach to CPD often drives a compliance-based, number-driven view of learning which is in contrast to what SAICA wishes to achieve through its CPD policy; a commitment to lifelong learning where CPD activity includes work-based learning, undertaking new projects at work, online reading, researching particular issues relating to clients or a specific role, and focused discussions with colleagues or professional advisers.

Under the new CPD policy, there is no requirement to achieve a certain number of hours or points – the important feature is that consideration is given to the requirements of the position and that learning addresses this.

SAICA will move to an output-based CPD policy by January 2021 (2020 year under review). Due to the post-facto nature of the CPD policy, members will report on the previous year’s CPD in the January of the following year. There will be a one year transition period. Members may record their 2019 CPD (report due in Jan 2020) on either the new CPD reflective plan or on the old input-based form. However, from Jan 2021 (2020 CPD) onwards all members must use the online CPD reflective plan. 


CPD report due

CPD reporting year

Reporting format

Monitoring

January 2019

2018

Input- or output-based

Input- or output-based reporting

January 2020

2019

Input- or output-based

Input- or output-based reporting

January 2021

2020

Output-based only

Output-based reporting only

How will I know how much CPD to undertake if no hours are stipulated?
Members and associates are no longer required to complete a set number of hours per annum. Practitioners are required to reflect on their own needs in accordance with industry developments, career aspirations, clients’ needs and those of the profession. Once considered, practitioners must plan their CPD in accordance with their unique circumstances and undertake sufficient CPD to satisfy their professional and personal developmental needs. This is not a time-based activity but one that requires practitioners to reflect meaningfully on their learning and development.

Members and associates are no longer required to complete a set number of hours per annum. Practitioners are required to reflect on their own needs in accordance with industry developments, career aspirations, clients’ needs and those of the profession. Once considered, practitioners must plan their CPD in accordance with their unique circumstances and undertake sufficient CPD to satisfy their professional and personal developmental needs. This is not a time-based activity but one that requires practitioners to reflect meaningfully on their learning and development.

Through the reflective planning form: The only documentation you need to retain for SAICA is the reflective planning form (either SAICA’s template or your own). SAICA will assess the relevance, coverage and level of reflection recorded in your reflective plan. If SAICA has set compulsory learning areas for your sector of the profession, they will check to what extent you have covered the learning areas and your reflection on the learning outcome.

In cases where SAICA is dissatisfied with the quality of the reflective plan submitted through the monitoring procedures, it may require further information from you through an interview. Competency interviews will be done through the regional offices. This reflective plan must be kept for three calendar years.

Through the annual declaration: All members and associates will be required to submit an annual declaration to SAICA. The declaration will be updated to reflect an output-based approach to CPD and those areas of competence SAICA may from time to time mandate. The declaration will also include those members and associates who have retired or who are taking a leave of absence from practice.

SAICA has a competency framework which members can use as a guidance tool for setting out their own learning activities on their reflective plan.

<click button> Read the full list of Frequently Asked Questions

<click button> Comparison between the old and proposed new CPD policies

 

Under the new CPD policy, there is no requirement to achieve a certain number of hours or points – the important feature is that consideration is given to the requirements of the position and that learning addresses this.