Frequently Asked Questions (Replies in line with the latest CPE Regulations issued in 2017)
What is CPE?
Who should undertake CPE?
I joined the Institute this year and I am not a warrant holder. When should I start undertaking CPE?
I joined the Institute this year and got the warrant last year. When should I start undertaking CPE?
I am a retired Member / warrant holder and I am not practising the profession. Am I still obliged to undertake CPE?
What are the annual minimum CPE requirements? Can any excess from one year be carried forward to the following year?
Can all the hours fall under Core competency?
What makes an activity Structured?
What makes an activity Unstrucured?
I am interested in attending a course and it is not accredited. Can I apply for an accreditation?
Can this non-accredited course be claimed as structured CPE?
I attended training / courses at work. Can these 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?
Can participation in meetings fall under Structured CPE?
Can online CPE qualify as structured activity?
I deliver training courses. Can this be claimed as structured CPE?
I am doing a post-tertiary qualification. Can I claim it as structured CPE?
What is the difference between Core and Professional Development competencies?
I submitted the online CPE return through the MIA website but I need to rectify it. What is the way forward?
What happens to these CPE returns? Are these checked?
What supporting documentation / proof of CPE should I retain and for how long?
Which circumstances exempt me from doing CPE?
How can I apply and is there a deadline to apply?
What are my CPE obligations if I meet the criteria for a CPE Exemption?
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?
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 need 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).
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.
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 Return.
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.
Strictly speaking yes. However one cannot undermine the importance of undertaking training in Professional Development competencies.
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.
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.
No, accreditation is sought by the service provider and not by the participant.
Any course which is neither MIA organised nor MIA accredited can be claimed as structured CPE if the 3 criteria mentioned above are met. Such courses are to be logged as Other Events in the annual CPE return. Only lecturing hours can be claimed. Any registration time and break times are to be deducted.
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.
The annual CPE requirements apply whether you practise the profession on a full or part time basis.
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. In the annual CPE return, you can claim such hours as Qualifying Activities > Service on Technical Committees and Panels.
External quality reviews imposed on a member / warrant holder by the Accountancy Board following a QAU visit cannot be claimed as structured CPE.
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. In the annual CPE return, you can claim such hours as Qualifying Activities > Web-based learning.
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. In the annual CPE return, you can claim such hours as Qualifying Activities > Lecture Preparation and Lecturing.
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. In the annual CPE return, you can claim hours spent on post tertiary courses as Qualifying Activities > Post-tertiary courses.
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.
By the 31 of January of each calendar year, you need to submit a detailed breakdown of the CPE 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.
Send an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and the CPE return will be reversed for your perusal. Do not forget to re-submit it once the changes have been made.
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 returns to ensure compliance, accuracy and relevance of undertaken CPE activities.
|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.
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).
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 return.
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.
|Required Structured||Core||Core; or Professional Development; or
|Annual Minimum hours||25 hours||10 hours||15 hours|
|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|
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 5 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 return.
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.