One week until SAICA members have to submit their CPD declaration

The revised CPD compliance declaration must be completed by all SAICA members before 31 January.

There’s one week left to go for SAICA members to complete their revised annual CPD compliance declaration. The revised declaration requirements came into effect from 1 January 2020, and the final deadline for submission is now 31 January 2021.

According to a statement by the institute, members and associates who do not comply with this deadline will be reported to SAICA’s legal and discipline department.

SAICA introduced CPD requirements a number of years ago, giving members a choice of completing an easy declaration that they had fulfilled the CPD requirements, or they could declare the courses they completed as they happened, and retain the proof.

The new submission, however, will take longer than the original declaration, and members who have not kept their contact details up to date will not have received any emails from the institute containing a link to the annual declaration.

SAICA said that the objective of the new 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 in accountant preforms.

There are no exemptions under the new CPD policy. This means that, if you are ‘professionally active’, including serving on a board or being in any advisory role, you have to complete your declaration. A stay-at-home mother who expects to go back to work in a few years or a retired CA who is doing odd accounting jobs for his family members will also have to submit an annual declaration.

CPD Requirements

The minimum CPD requirements include:

  • Submitting a reflective plan
  • Outlining your areas of development
  • Reflecting on your progress

According to SAICA’s statement, reflecting is an integral part of the CPD process. It is especially important if you want to get the best results from your CPD activities.

The planning phase requires you to consider and record your current and future roles and to reflect on the developmental areas that you consider most important for your professional growth and development. Once these areas have been recognised, you will be required to complete CPD activities that fulfil your identified learning needs.

You may draft your own reflective plan, but SAICA has provided some guidance around it:

  1. Your plan should be unique and reflective of your development needs, and identify specific competencies required for your role, [such as] technical competencies in the value-creation process, self-assessment, undertaking relevant learning interventions, reflecting on the effectiveness of the learning interventions, assessing progress made and so on.
  2. If you undertake a learning activity that was not planned, try to link it back to a “specific competence area”.
  3. A ‘learning intervention’ includes business breakfasts (the author anticipates an increase in business breakfasts, Covid-19 notwithstanding). “Saica no longer requires learning to be measured by the number of hours you completed.”
  4. Saica retains the right to identify specific areas of CPD that are compulsory, but has not yet done so. However, your competencies should cover professional values and attitudes (including ethics), enabling competencies, and technical competencies.
  5. The reflective plan should be retained for three years. A random sample of members/associates will be selected annually to submit the reflective learning plans to Saica.

Tax practitioners

Tax practitioners also have to comply with the CPD requirements set out by the South African Revenue Service (SARS), along with SAICA’s CPD requirements.

  1. SARS requires a minimum of 15 tax-related CPD hours in a calendar year. Nine hours must be verifiable by SAICA (or any other institute), while six hours of tax-related CPD may be non-verifiable.
  2. Tax practitioners are required to record these hours and furnish the details to SAICA.
  3. Records of the tax-related CPD hours must be retained for five years.
  4. Tax-related CPD activities “must be captured and submitted in [the] form of an Excel spreadsheet, Word document, PDF, Jpegs or a printout of a member’s log”.