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cpe FAQs

What is CPE?

CPE stands for Continuing Professional Education and refers to learning activities that enable Members/warrant holders to perform competently within their professional environment.

Who should undertake CPE?

All Members of the Malta Institute of Accountants and warrant holders are obliged to undertake CPE.
Members of the Institute should meet the requirements set in the MIA CPE Regulations.
Warrant holders should meet the requirements of the Accountancy Board (AB) CPE Scheme available on the AB website.
A Member who is a warrant holder needs to satisfy the reporting obligations of both schemes. As for the CPE hours, he/she needs to satisfy the minimum requirements set by any of the Schemes (which are identical in this matter).

I joined the Institute this year and I am not a warrant holder. When should I start undertaking CPE?

Your CPE obligations will become mandatory as from next year since a Member is exempt from doing CPE in the year of joining the Institute unless he / she has a warrant.

I joined the Institute this year and got the warrant last year. When should I start undertaking CPE?

You should start undertaking CPE as from this year.

    I am a retired Member / warrant holder and I am not practising the profession. Am I still obliged to undertake CPE?

    The CPE Regulations automatically exempt those Members / warrant holders who are over 65 years of age and who do not earn more than €10,000 from the exercise of the profession. If you have not yet reached the age of 65 and you are neither practising the profession on a full or part time basis, you must declare your exemption status in the CPE Declaration.

    What are the annual minimum CPE requirements? Can any excess from one year be carried forward to the following year?

    The annual minimum requirements are as follows: 25 hours of Structured CPE (10 of which must be Core) and 15 hours Unstructured. In other words, 40% of the hours must fall under Core competencies. The remaining 60% can fall under Core competency, Professional Development competency or both. Any hours in excess of the minimum requirements cannot be carried forward to the following year.

    Can all the hours fall under Core competency?

    Strictly speaking yes. However one cannot undermine the importance of undertaking training in Professional Development competencies.

    What makes an activity Structured?

    For an activity to be claimed as structured CPE it must meet the following 3 criteria:
    Relevance: The content should be relevant to your circumstances and to the exercise of the profession.
    Measurability: a number of hours is allocated to the activity.
    Verifiability: the activity can be verified / proofed by a competent source.

    What makes an activity Unstrucured?

    An activity will automatically fall under Unstructured if any of the above criteria is not met.
    So if you attended an event but do not have a certificate / proof of attendance, you cannot claim the hours as structured CPE. If on the other hand you have a certificate of attendance for an event which is not relevant to the course of your work and profession, you cannot claim this activity as structured CPE.

    I am interested in attending a course and it is not accredited. Can I apply for an accreditation?

    No, accreditation is sought by the service provider and not by the participant.

    Can this non-accredited course be claimed as structured CPE?

    Any course which is neither MIA organised nor MIA accredited can be claimed as structured CPE if the 3 criteria mentioned above are met. Only lecturing hours can be claimed. Any registration time and break times are to be deducted.

    I attended training / courses at work. Can these be claimed as structured CPE?

    In-house courses can be claimed as structured CPE only if the training is done in a structured manner. One-to-one training sessions or informal discussions cannot be claimed as structured CPE.

    I work on a part-time / reduced hour basis. Am I obliged to carry out the full annual CPE requirements or can these be done on a pro-rata basis?

    The annual CPE requirements apply whether you practise the profession on a full or part time basis.

    Can participation in meetings fall under Structured CPE?

    You can claim hours spent on technical committees or panels only if your participation resulted in a tangible output such as new standard, technical release or other form of guidance. External quality reviews imposed on a member / warrant holder by the Accountancy Board following a QAU visit cannot be claimed as structured CPE.

    Can online CPE qualify as structured activity?

    Yes. Most importantly you must ensure to obtain a certificate of completion after undertaking the online activity. Online courses normally have an assigned time allocated to it. If not you must reasonably assess the amount of time spent on the activity.

    I deliver training courses. Can this be claimed as structured CPE?

    Lecture preparation and lecturing can be claimed as structured CPE if the knowledge gained from this activity enhances your technical and professional competence. You can only claim 13 hours out of the minimum requirements of 25 hours. Also a lecture can only be claimed once – repeat sessions cannot be claimed. 

    I am doing a post-tertiary qualification. Can I claim it as structured CPE?

    Yes but only if the depth of knowledge increases your technical and professional competence. If such qualification is spread over a number of years, only the amount of hours undertaken in any one year can be claimed in that particular year. Ensure to obtain a proof of attendance for the hours undertaken from the service provider. Study and exam hours do not fall under structured CPE. 

    What is the difference between Core and Professional Development competencies?

    The definition of Core should not be taken as those areas which are of core importance to your work and duties. The CPE Regulations specifically list the subject areas that fall under Core competency. By elimination any areas which are of relevance to you but are not listed as Core topics in the Regulations will fall under Professional Development competencies.

    What are my CPE reporting obligations?

    By the 31 of January of each calendar year, you need to submit a CPE Declaration  in relation to CPE activities undertaken in the previous year. This is to be submitted electronically through the website. 
    If you are a warrant holder you also need to self-declare the hours undertaken in your Annual Return.

    I submitted the online CPE DECLARATION through the MIA website but I need to rectify it. What is the way forward?

    Send an email on info@miamalta.org highlighting the changes that need to be made. 

    What happens to these CPE Declarations? Are these checked?

    On an annual basis the Institute undertakes a CPE monitoring exercise for both its Members and warrant holders. The latter is a duty that has been assigned by the Institute by the Accountancy Board. During this exercise, the Institute carry a desktop review and then audit a sample of CPE declarations to ensure compliance, accuracy and relevance of undertaken CPE activities.

    What supporting documentation / proof of CPE should I retain and for how long?

    • Events (courses, seminars, workshops, conferences ) - Certificate of attendance or Confirmation of participation issued from the service provider
    • In-house courses  - Certificate of attendance or Confirmation of participation issued from the employer
    • Participation in technical committees - Confirmation from the committee’s chairperson or Minutes of committee meetings
    • Web-based learning  - Certificate confirming completion
    • Lecturing - Confirmation from the learning institution, service provider or organiser
    • Post-tertiary courses (face-to-face) - Confirmation from the service provider
    • Post-tertiary courses (distance learning) - Study log or Confirmation of assessment completion
    Any supporting documentation should be retained for a period of five years.

    Which circumstances exempt me from doing CPE?

    Maternity leave entitles you to a 9 hours reduction from your annual CPE requirements. This means that the minimum number of hours to be undertaken falls to 16. The reduction can be taken pro-rata over two years if the maternity leaves extends from year to the next.
    Other reasons which allow for CPE exemption includes: serious illness, pursuing full-time study, not in employment (neither gainfully employed nor self-employed) and working in a non-accountancy related position (not doing any accountancy related work).

    How can I apply and is there a deadline to apply?

    As from 1 January 2017, Members are no longer required to apply for a CPE Exemption. Instead they are required to self-assess the circumstances giving rise to CPE exemption and the number of hours to be undertaken (based on the period out of the profession) and declare it retrospectively at year end via the CPE Decleration submitted through the MIA website. 
    It is important to retain evidence of your exemption for a period of five years since it may be requested by the Institute during its monitoring exercise.

    What are my CPE obligations if I meet the criteria for a CPE Exemption?

     
    Required Structured
        Core                    
    Core; or Professional Development; or
    Both  
    Annual Minimum hours
    25 hours
    10 hours
     15 hours
    Percentage
     
    40%
    60%
    Exemption – Maternity
    16 hours
     6.5 hours
     9.5 hours
    Pro-rata Exemption – Example: 3.5 months out of the profession
    25 hours – (3.5/12 x 25) = 18 hours
     7 hours
     11 hours

    What is the procedure and actions to be taken should I wish to re-enter back into the profession after a period of CPE exemption?

    If you have been exempted for less than 2 years, you can re-enter the profession immediately. Exemptions between 2 and 5 years require a catch-up phase – undertaking of CPE hours depending on the number of years you have been out of the profession. A course need to be undertaken if the exemption extends for more than 5 years.
    The Re-entry into the profession regulations came into force in 2012.
    Duration of Exemption
    Action for Re-entry
    Up to 2 years
    No action required
    Between 2 to 3 years
    CPE catch-up requirement: 38 hours
    Before re-entering: 19 hours (min 8 core)
    In the year of re-entering: full or pro-rata hrs*
    Subsequent year: 19 hrs + min of 25 hrs for the year
    Between 3 to 4 years
    CPE catch-up requirement: 50 hours
    Before re-entering: 25 hours
    In the year of re-entering: full or pro-rata hrs*
    Subsequent year: 25 hrs + min of 25 hrs for the year
    Between 4 to 6 years
    CPE catch-up requirement: 62 hours
    Before re-entering: 31 hours
    In the year of re-entering: full or pro-rata hrs*
    Subsequent year: 31 hrs + min of 25 hrs for the year 
     5 years or more
    Refresher course
    Before re-entering: Complete a refresher course

    As from 1 January 2017, Members are no longer required to inform the Institute before re-entry. Instead they are required to self-declare their status retrospectively at year end via the CPE Decleration submitted through the MIA website. 
    It is important to retain the relevant records and documentary evidence relating to the re-entry to the profession for a period of five years since it may be requested by the Institute during its monitoring exercise.
                   
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