CPD Frequently Asked Questions

Can I download my SAICA CPD record from the internet and submit a print out of it to the IRBA annually?

Yes, RAs may either use the form (CPD-I), provided by the IRBA, on which to complete their annual CPD record or they can download their SAICA on-line record and use it as their annual record.

What is the difference between SAICA's and the IRBA's CPD policies?

Due to the objective driven nature of the CPD required by the IRBA, verifiable, audit-relevant CPD is most likely to provide the IRBA with some assurance of competence. The IRBA, therefore, requires all RAs to complete at least 90 hours of verifiable, audit-relevant CPD over a three year period.

SAICA allows for both structured and unstructured CPD activities. SAICA requires its members to complete 120 hours of CPD activities in a three-year period of which 60 hours should be verifiable. A minimum of 20 hours of learning must be completed each year.

The major differences between SAICA and the IRBA in terms of CPD activities are:

  • The IRBA requires an additional 30 hours of verifiable CPD to that required by SAICA. Members of SAICA will not, however, forfeit any hours by having 30 hours more verifiable CPD activities than SAICA's stated minimum. RAs that are compliant with the IRBA, in terms of verifiable, audit-relevant CPD, will only have to complete an additional 30 hours of learning, which may be non-verifiable in nature, in order to meet the SAICA requirements.
  • The IRBA's reporting date for submission of CPD activities is 1 April of each year. The reporting period for both the IRBA and SAICA is from 1 January to 31 December.
  • The IRBA requires RAs to complete a prescribed number of hours in three identified categories (professional knowledge, professional skills and ethical values) whereas SAICA does not have specified categories.
  • All CPD activities undertaken by RAs must be verifiable whereas SAICA allows for both verifiable and non verifiable.

Does the IRBA offer an exemption for RAs based on retirement, extended leave of absence or other similar reasons?

No. The IRBA has a duty to ensure that RAs are competent at entry to the profession and remain so throughout their professional lives. To this end, it would be inappropriate for the IRBA to register an individual if they have not maintained and developed their professional competence.

Does the minimum 20 hours, which must be completed in a year, have to be achieved in the three identified learning areas?

No, the minimum 20 hours can be achieved in any, or all of the three learning areas.

What is verifiable e-learning?

Verifiable e-learning constitutes any course or programme conducted over the inter / intranet, which is formally planned and documented.

What will happen in instances where RAs present courses or conduct formal research?

The principle for recognition of CPD in these circumstances will be determined, inter alia, by the level and the development time involved.

Does the IRBA recommend courses or service providers?

No, the IRBA does not recommend courses or service providers.

Where can I get more information?

You may contact the IRBA offices or your professional body.

I am the only RA at our office and find it very frustrating and time consuming to have to attend courses. I find it much more beneficial to read and study documents on my own. What am I to do?

Your reading time will count towards your CPD hours. RAs are permitted to submit a maximum of 30 hours of self-certified reading over the 3 years, with a maximum of 10 hours in any one year. Private study on its own will not count towards your verifiable structured learning; however, the IRBA recommends linkages with other RAs to form a study group. It will be important for this group to formalise the proceedings through planning and documenting the discussions.

I am a CA (SA) not in public practice. Does CPD still affect me?

If you are registered with the IRBA, then CPD applies to you, even if you are non-attest. If you are not registered with the IRBA, your professional body's CPD policy would be applicable.

The acquisition of professional knowledge is quite simple, however, the other categories are not necessary as easy to acquire such as the ethical requirement, though only a minimum of 10 % of the total. Would attendance at specific religious lectures, talks by respective theologians rank in this category and how would one have this verified?

Your CPD activities should be determined by your developmental needs. Please refer you to the section on verifiable CPD in the information booklet in order to determine what is required as proof. In effect, the lectures or talks that you attend need to be structured, documented and relevant to you practicing as an RA.

I wrote part 1 and 2 (Auditing) of the Board in 2004 and passed both. I registered with SAICA but never with the then PAAB. If I do not register with the IRBA and I want to return to an auditing firm, will it hamper the process if I am not an RA. Also, will my time "lapse", i.e. will I have to write part 2 again?

There are two main reasons for registration with the IRBA. Firstly, if you are going to be performing the attest function and secondly, if you are going to be a partner in a firm of registered auditors, even if you are not performing the attest function.

As far as time constraints are concerned, the current procedure is that if it has been more than three years since you have passed the PPE or since you have been in practice, or since you have completed your training contract, you will be subject to a proficiency assessment. You will be contacted by a Director at the IRBA for a telephonic interview to ensure that you have been keeping up to date with standards, are aware of Practice Review requirements etc. As it currently stands, the process is fairly informal.

As from 1 April 2008, the following procedures will be followed:

For applicants wishing to register with the IRBA more than three years after:

(a) they were last registered with the Board;
(b) they passed the PPE; or
(c) they completed their training contract,

whichever is the later, will be subject to a proficiency assessment. This may range from an interview to a review of a mock file, depending on the CPD compliance. If there is no relevant CPD record, the PPE may have to be re-written.