As the end of the year approaches, members’ thoughts will be turning towards reviewing their continuing professional development (CPD). But this year, developing new skills and knowledge will be very different.

The pandemic has forced a dramatic shift in the working environment, with training and development equally affected. More people are working remotely, which is likely to become a permanent feature of daily life, so conferences and seminars are also switching to the new normal of a virtual environment.

ACCA UK has accordingly made the decision to launch Professional Courses Online – a series of events that will be entirely digital, catering for members’ continuing professional development needs. This complements an existing wide range of free online resources available for members.

However, we aren’t simply moving professional development modules online. The new digital benefits will include giving members access to industry-leading learning resources that are flexible, high quality and relevant. Members will be able to gain insight and learning from expert speakers and have the convenience of joining live sessions as well as enjoying on-demand access.

Members will be able to gain insight and learning from expert speakers and have the convenience of joining live sessions as well as enjoying on-demand access

Proving popular

Since the launch, feedback has been positive. ‘I am finding online CPD courses much more convenient,’ says Panayiotis Chacholiades, senior accountant at London-based Accountancy 2000. ‘I can have my coffee, make notes comfortably at my desk, and not have to use public transport, wear a face mask or spend time travelling. There are so many advantages to online CPD.’

Victoria Wood FCCA, who runs her own practice in East Sussex, agrees. While looking forward to an eventual return to face-to-face meetings, she understands the need for a shift to online courses. ‘This webinar format is an excellent substitute given we have little choice in the current environment,’ she says.

For members in practice

Recent online CPD conferences for practitioners have included updates on the construction industry scheme tax hosted by consultant Tim Palmer, a ‘Knock your socks off service in these challenging times’ webinar from Simon Chaplin FCCA of Socks Up Simon, employment law updates from consultant Louise Dunford, and the latest developments in accounting standards by Steve Collings FCCA of Leavitt Walmsley Associates.

These sessions are now available on demand and can be accessed via CPD Conference Two for practitioners.

Looking forward, the live webinar schedule for November includes CPD Conference Three for practitioners (24-27 November). Session topics include claiming allowances and reliefs for individuals and owner-managed businesses, protecting your data and digital privacy, the autumn Budget update and crossborder VAT in 2020 and beyond.

For members in business

For ACCA members working in industry and commerce, the Corporate accountants’ updating programme (2–6 November) will feature live online courses including Employment law update, VAT on land and property, Implications of Brexit on business planning and economic outcomes 2020, Cashflow fundamentals and Advanced budgeting, planning and forecasting.

Continuing development is a vital aspect of being a professional accountant. And our online CPD offering covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • accounting and tax technical updates
  • supply chain management
  • digital and technology
  • wellbeing
  • remote management
  • cybercrime and fraud
  • cryptocurrencies
  • cashflow and financial support.

By moving to an online professional courses portfolio, ACCA is ensuring that members can easily complete their CPD requirements, track their achievements and submit their end-of-year declaration with confidence – while providing the best service and advice to their clients.