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Impact of voluntary charity work on your new CPD requirements

Written by: Kristina Kopic, Head of Charity and Voluntary Sector, ICAEW
Published on: 25 Jul 2023

Voluntary work can come with significant responsibilities. Charity trustees, for example, are responsible for deciding how a charity is run and may be known by other titles, such as governors, directors or board members.

Depending on the type of role and activity you perform, your CPD requirements may be changing from November 2023.

ICAEW members, and individuals authorised and licensed by ICAEW, fall within the scope of the CPD Regulations if they undertake accountancy or finance-related work on a voluntary basis, if they are a charity trustee, or hold any role with an equivalent level of legal or financial responsibility.

Directors and trustees

Under ICAEW’s CPD Regulations, you are required to understand the legal responsibilities associated with your voluntary role and keep up to date with developments that impact those responsibilities.

If the only work you carry out is volunteering as a charity trustee, or volunteering in another senior financial or executive role for a charity or not-for-profit organisation, you will not need to meet the CPD requirements for categories 1-3.

However, from November 2023, you will need to complete annual training consisting of:

  • an hour of verifiable ethics training, such as ICAEW's free annual ethics CPD training course (or ethics training with similar outcomes); and
  • verifiable charity-specific training, such as ICAEW's forthcoming video offering CPD support for charity trustees (or other verifiable training with similar learning outcomes).

This trustee CPD video will be recorded and updated annually to give you an overview of your legal responsibilities, highlight key developments that impact your role and signpost to further information. It will be made available free of charge from November and will prompt you to document your key learnings for your CPD record.

If you hold other paid roles but also volunteer as a charity trustee (or in another senior financial or executive charity role), you are strongly encouraged to perform some charity related CPD, for example by watching our free CPD video. This will be available from November and count towards your minimum number of verifiable CPD hours that would be required for your other paid role.

For those new to the trustee role, our free Trustee Training Modules offer an additional resource of verifiable CPD to deepen your understanding of the legal and financial responsibilities of charity trustees and the strategic and operational aspects of the role.

Other voluntary roles

For accountancy or finance-related work in any other capacity, you should reflect on the nature of this work, your professional development needs and undertake appropriate CPD. There are no minimum hours of CPD to complete and you will continue to approach CPD using the reflect, act, impact and declare principles.

  • Reflect prompts you to identify gaps in skills and knowledge, and any learning and development needs that may impact your role
  • Act requires you to take steps to address your development needs, for example through courses, e-learning or coaching
  • Impact requires you to review if the CPD activities have fully addressed your development needs or whether more training is required
  • Declare encourages you to keep a record of your CPD reflections and actions as evidence of your compliance with ICAEW’s CPD Regulations

From 1 November, you will be able to use a ICAEW’s new online CPD Record to reflect on your voluntary activities and the responsibilities and risks associated with them, as well as your learning needs and the activities you have undertaken during each CPD year (1 November to 31 October).

Other considerations

If you volunteer, consult our guidance for members engaging in public practice to check whether the voluntary activity requires you to have a practising certificate (PC) and professional indemnity insurance (PII). The guidelines are changing in January 2024 and our Practising Certificate Hub includes charity scenarios to guide your assessment.

If a practising certificate is not required, members should clarify their position with a written statement to the client, clearly stating that they do not have a PC or PII. We recommend that you consider obtaining professional liability insurance designed specifically for volunteers.