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Guide to a CPD Diary

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an important part of your career as a financial advisor, tax agent, or accountant. With the industry constantly evolving, you are required to stay updated with the latest regulations and industry best practices. This is where CPD comes in. It’s an obligation to commit to your continued development as a professional. 

To effectively manage your CPD obligations, a CPD Diary is your trusted companion. It allows you to track your hours and activities so you can prove your commitment to your learning. 

In this guide, we will explore what a CPD Diary is, what it covers, and how it can benefit you as an advisor and accountant.

What is a CPD Diary?

A CPD Diary, short for Continuing Professional Development Diary, is a record-keeping tool that professionals use to track their CPD activities and progress. Think of it as a personalised logbook that allows you to maintain a clear record of the activities you undertake to enhance your professional skills.

How Does the CPA Australia CPD Diary Work?

If you’re a member of CPA Australia, you may have access to a CPD Diary through their website. These provided CPD Diaries streamline the recording and reporting of your CPD activities, making the process hassle-free.

Let’s take a closer look at how the CPA Australia CPD Diary works:

1. Automatic Updates

Whenever you complete a professional development course, attend an event, or participate in training sessions provided by CPA Australia, your CPD Diary is automatically updated for you. 

2. Manual Entries

For activities such as courses, discussion groups, or webinars not provided by CPA Australia, you'll need to make manual entries in your CPD Diary. Regularly updating your diary ensures that all your relevant activities are recorded correctly. 

3. CPD Activity Categories

When recording an activity in your CPD Diary, you'll need to categorise it appropriately. Each activity falls into a specific category, allowing you to organise your CPD efforts effectively. 

Here are some common CPD activity categories:

  • A - Congresses, Conventions, and Conferences
  • B - Courses, Webinars, Seminars, or Workshops
  • C - Discussion Group Meetings
  • D - In-House Learning
  • E - Tertiary (University) Courses
  • F - Appropriate Developmental Activities
  • G - Researched or Written Technical Publications
  • H - Technical or Research Committees
  • I - Self-Study
  • J - Structured Reading, Video, or Audio
  • K - Mentoring
  • L - CPA Australia Recognised Employer Program

4. Record-Keeping

As per CPA Australia's by-laws, you must maintain detailed records of your CPD activities for 12 months after the end of your triennium. This is crucial in case you are selected for a CPD review, as you may be asked to provide evidence of your activities.

CPD Diary Caps

Some of the sections in the CPD Diary have specific restrictions on the maximum number of hours you can claim. Here are the categories:

  • Structured Reading, Video, or Audio (Category J): You can only claim a maximum of 10 hours per year.
  • Mentoring (Category K): Your claims are limited to 10 hours per year.
  • CPA Australia Recognised Employer Program (Category L): The maximum allowable hours for this category is 40 per year.
  • Appropriate Developmental Activities for Health and Wellness (Category F): You can claim up to 4 hours per year.

It's important to keep in mind that exceeding these limits will not count towards fulfilling your CPD obligations.

Tracking Your CPD Hours Without CPA Australia

Tracking your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours is an important aspect of professional development, even if you are not a member of CPA Australia. If you don’t have access to CPA Australia’s automated CPD diary, here’s how you can track your hours effectively. 

Create a CPD Plan

Formulate a plan that outlines the specific CPD activities you intend to pursue within a designated time frame. This should include providing detailed descriptions of each activity, expected outcomes, and potential completion dates.

Document Your CPD Hours

Maintain comprehensive records of each CPD activity as you engage in them. Record the name of the activity, date, and duration. Briefly describe what you've learned or gained from it.

Keep Track of Hours or Points

Certain CPD programs necessitate professionals to accumulate a specific number of CPD hours or points. Make sure to track these metrics for each activity diligently.

Reflect on Your Learning

After participating in each CPD activity, take time to reflect on how it has contributed to your professional growth. Consider how the knowledge or skills acquired can be practically applied in your work.

Gather Supporting Evidence

Whenever possible, gather supporting evidence that substantiates your participation in CPD activities. This might include certificates of completion, notes from workshops or seminars attended, or documentation of any self-study efforts undertaken.

Track Your CPD Hours Accurately Today

A CPD Diary serves as a crucial tool for advisors or accountants like yourself, aiding in the management of your professional development. It simplifies the task of tracking CPD by offering clear categories, automatic updates, and the ability to record various activities.

It's important to remember that maintaining comprehensive CPD records is not just a professional suggestion; it can be a requirement for industry professional bodies. Having a well-maintained CPD Diary can help you to showcase your dedication to continuous learning and professional excellence.

At QuickBooks, we offer numerous CPD-related courses that are designed to support your ongoing professional development while providing insights from industry experts. Take advantage of your CBD obligations and ensure you sharpen your skills for success in your professional career.

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