Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants
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BICA Continuing Professional Development Policy: Updated April 24, 2017

This policy is intended to govern The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) and its members with regards to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This policy will come into force at the beginning of the calendar year 2016.

This Policy prescribes CPD required for members to develop and maintain the professional competence necessary to provide high quality services to clients, employers, and other stakeholders, and thereby to strengthen public trust in the profession.

It is the responsibility of members to develop and maintain professional competence by undertaking relevant CPD activities. The role of BICA is to:

  1. Foster a commitment to lifelong learning among members;
  2. Facilitate access to CPD opportunities and resources for members and licensees;
  3. Establish benchmarks for developing and maintaining a high level of professional competence; and
  4. Monitor and enforce the continuing development and maintenance of the professional competence of members.

BICA does not preapprove any providers or courses for CPD. It is the responsibility of the member taking the course to ensure and prove that its contents meet the requirements of BICA.

To ensure that every member maintains professional competence in his area of practice, he must:

  1. Per calendar year, obtain a minimum of thirty hours of approved CPD provided that not less than twenty of those hours are obtained from annual BICA sponsored courses which are considered verifiable (the remaining hours can be obtained from other verifiable and/or non- verifiable CPD sources);
  2. Every three years, obtain a minimum of one hundred and twenty hours of approved CPD, provided that not less than sixty of those hours are obtained from BICA sponsored courses which are considered verifiable (the remaining hours can be obtained from other verifiable and/or non-verifiable CPD sources). At least forty hours of the one hundred and twenty must be in the members' area of specialty.

For the purposes of this policy, one CPD hour is equal to fifty minutes.

Any person who attends a CPD course shall maintain records of verifiable and non-verifiable CPD hours obtained and of the relevance of those hours to their role. In the case of verifiable hours, the records shall include proof that the individual was involved in an acceptable CPD learning activity. Examples of evidence for verification are:

  1. Signed CPD form for BICA sponsored course;
  2. Course outlines and teaching materials;
  3. Confirmation of participation by a provider, instructor, employer, mentor, or tutor; and
  4. Independent assessments that a learning activity has occurred.

Records shall be:

  1. Retained for three years and shall be subject to examination and verification by the Council;
  2. Provided to the Council upon request, in writing; and
  3. Provided within the deadline specified in the request, which shall be no sooner than seven days after the date of the request.

The following general topics would be acceptable as CPD subject matter:

  1. Accounting;
  2. Auditing;
  3. Management;
  4. Marketing;
  5. Finance;
  6. Law;
  7. Communications;
  8. Ethics;
  9. Quantitative Methods;
  10. Behavioural Sciences;
  11. Statistics; and
  12. Tax.

Topics other than those listed above may be accepted as CPD subject matter, if the member can prove to BICA that they contribute directly to the professional development of accountants. The following are some examples of learning activities that may be undertaken as part of a planned program of CPD activity:

  1. Participation in courses, conferences and seminars;
  2. Self-directed learning;
  3. Employer sponsored training;
  4. Participation in and work on technical committees;
  5. Developing or delivering a course or CPD session in an area related to professional responsibilities;
  6. Formal study related to professional certification;
  7. Participation as a speaker in conferences, briefing sessions, or discussion groups;
  8. Writing articles, papers or books of a technical, professional or academic nature;
  9. Research, including reading professional literature or journals, for application in the member’s role;
  10. Professional re-examination or formal testing;
  11. Providing professional development as an education / training facilitator (inclusive of tertiary education); and
  12. Receiving professional development support from an education / training facilitator (inclusive of tertiary education).

Instructors and presenters must be qualified to conduct CPD programs on the respective topics. BICA may require documentary evidence which speaks to the expertise of instructors. The responsibility for substantiating that a particular program is acceptable and meets BICA’s requirements rests solely upon the member enrolled in the program.

Presenters at BICA seminars will receive CPD hours equal to double their presentation time.

The organization sponsoring or organizing the CPD course must be a reputable organization. Hours of CPD attributed to the course must be proposed and agreed upon in advance of the course date. Courses should be pretested in order to determine an average completion time, and the proposed CPD hours should be based on that average time.

Each reporting period, all members will be required to:

Submit a declaration as to whether they met their ethical obligation to maintain knowledge and skill to perform competently; Submit a declaration as to compliance with BICA’s CPD requirements; and/or Provide evidence of learning activities or verification of competence developed and maintained.

Notwithstanding this requirement, the Council may, at its discretion, determine a sample of members to be audited for compliance with CPD requirements. Any noncompliance with CPD requirements may be subject to disciplinary action.

Council shall determine whether any course or seminar attended by a member is acceptable for obtaining CPD hours and such determination shall be final.

This policy shall remain in force until otherwise determined by The Council of BICA.

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