CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. It enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive.
CPD combines different methodologies to learning, such as training workshops, conferences and events, e-learning programs, best practice techniques and ideas sharing, all focused for an individual to improve and have effective professional development.
There are two broad categories of CPD hours which all professional accountancy bodies require their members to comply with:
a) Structured hours. This is also known as verifiable hours.
b) Unstructured hours.
The number of structured and unstructured hours varies from one jurisdiction to another. All professional accountants the world over are required to maintain a certain minimum number of CPD hours. Engaging in Continuing Professional Development ensures that both academic and practical qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete; allowing individuals to continually 'up skill' or 're-skill' themselves, regardless of occupation, age or educational level.