CPE Requirements - FAQs

CPE Requirements - FAQs

Please refer to the detailed guide on reading the CPE Compliance Summary Table.

To ensure that the Institute continues to uphold professional and ethical standards required of the profession, all members who hold the designations FCA (Singapore), CA (Singapore), Associates and Affiliates except for Members-in-retirement (MIR) will need to fulfil certain CPE requirements. Please refer to CPE Requirements for more information.

Members have the flexibility to plan and choose their CPE activities according to their individual needs and circumstances. However, it is a mandatory requirement to fulfil at least 2 verifiable hours of ethics courses every year or 6 verifiable hours of ethics over a rolling three-year period.

Members who want to apply to be a public accountant and public accountants who want to renew their certificate of registration will have to comply with ACRA's CPE requirements in respect of the application or renewal of the certificate for registration as public accountants.

Below are the definitions of the CPE competency categories:

  • Category 1: Financial and Sustainability Reporting Standards and Pronouncements
  • Category 2: Ethics and Professionalism
  • Category 3: Auditing and Assurance Standards, Pronouncements and Methodology
  • Category 4: Insolvency and Restructuring
  • Category 5: Information Technology.

If the course does not fall into any of the five categories, you may select ‘Others’.

Other than public accountants who are required to comply with ACRA’s CPE requirements in the various categories for renewal or registration as public accountants, the fulfilment of CPE requirements for members is generally not restricted to the various categories.

Members are required to fulfil the minimum 2 ‘verifiable’ hours of ethics for each CPE year or 6 'verifiable' hours of ethics over a rolling three-year period. As such, if you are updating your CPE records in the ISCA eServices portal, you can select Category 2: Ethics and Professionalism for ethics hours.

The Institute accepts a wide range of topics as ethics-related and the generally acceptable topics include anti-bribery/anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, company’s code of ethics/ code of conduct etc. We leave it to members’ discretion to substantiate what courses covers the ethics component.

If there are no such options available to you, the Institute also provides a wide range of ethics courses (Competency Category 2).

No, you are not allowed to do so.

As the objective of CPE is to develop and maintain member’s professional competency, this is achieved through the undertaking of relevant CPE activities on a regular basis. Hence, you would still need to meet the minimum CPE requirements on an annual/triennium basis.

Yes. If you have not been able to fulfill the CPE requirements due to reasons such as medical conditions, unemployment, full time homemaker, career break and retirement, you may wish to request for CPE exemption.

Otherwise, for members who have not been able to comply due to reasons such as busy work commitment, the Institute will provide a six-month grace period to members to make up for the shortfall in CPE hours by 30 June of the subsequent year. Members who wish to have additional time to fulfill the shortfall are required submit an online request or write in to us at cpeaudit@isca.org.sg, stating the reason(s) for extension and plans for remedy.

There are various CPE learning activities that members can clock as 'verifiable' CPE hours, and these can be beyond training.

In general, CPE activities include those that are relevant to a member's work, and helps to develop and maintain a member’s professional competence. For members who hold board and committee appointments, CPE hours may be claimed for your time spent on preparing and discussing technical matters at board meetings or audit committee meetings.

Attendance at external training or courses is also one of the verifiable learning activities.

Some examples that constitute CPE hours include:

  • Attending seminars, talks or workshops
  • Attending in-house training provided by your employer
  • Attending online programmes or e-learning
  • Studying for an MBA or other post-qualification programmes
  • Preparing and sitting for professional examinations
  • Writing technical articles, papers and books
  • Attending audit committee or board meetings
  • Coaching or mentoring

Evidence of participation for these activities can be in the form of certificates, receipts, attendance lists, minutes of meetings, employers' or lecturers' letter of certification. 

If you have not been able to fulfill the CPE requirements, you will be given a six-month grace period till 30 June of the renewal year to make up for the shortfall.   

If you need clarification, please write to us at cpeaudit@isca.org.sg.

Members who want to apply to be a public accountant and public accountants who want to renew their certificate of registration will have to comply with ACRA's CPE requirements in respect of the application or renewal of the certificate for registration as public accountants.

Types of CPE Activities - FAQs

CPE should contribute to the professional competence of the individual member and therefore, as a general rule, acceptable CPE courses or activities should be relevant to the work of the member concerned.

Activities must be verifiable with a clear set of objectives and a logical framework. Only the actual time during which you participated in a recognised type of technical activity can be claimed.

ISCA offers a wide array of courses that cater to our members' needs with CPE hours awarded. Please visit our website for more information.

If you have attended ISCA courses (classroom training, webinar and e-learning etc.), your CPE hours will be automatically updated to the ISCA eServices Portal within two weeks from the course attendance/completion. Please check your member's portal to ensure that your CPE hours are correctly updated and your certificate was issued.

For certain courses jointly conducted by ISCA and other organisations, we would still require you to present us with evidence, in the form of certificates or letters of attendance, for these courses.

As long as the CPE activity meet all of the criteria of 'verifiable' CPE hours, members are given the flexibility to choose and attend CPE courses relevant to them and these courses need not be organised by the Institute.

For CPE activities/hours to be ‘verifiable’, they must meet all of the following criteria:

  • the activity is relevant to your current or future work
  • there are clear learning objectives or outcomes when attending or completing the activity
  • the activity helps in the development of your professional competency
  • there is proof of attendance or participation of the activity
There is no requirement that CPE activities have to be accounting-related. Hence, members who have moved on to other professions are required to maintain their professional competency by attending courses that are relevant to their current work. Members who have relocated overseas are also expected to attend courses in their respective locations or attend online courses.

Both the preparation and presentation time of speakers/presenters can be recognized as verifiable CPE hours. For a first-time training conducted, you may claim preparation time of up to two times the actual duration of the training (e.g. Preparation time of up to 4 CPE hours can be claimed for a 2-hours training).

For repeated presentations / subsequent trainings conducted on the same topic/content, both the preparation and presentation time can be claimed as per above only if it can be shown that there is a significant change in the presentation/training content such that additional preparation time is needed. Otherwise, the presentation time can only be claimed once each calendar year.

In order to be verifiable, there should be an evidence of participation to support your course participation and the duration of the actual presentation. We will accept different forms of supporting documents so long as it provides indication of the member’s participation as a speaker in the programme. Examples include Company’s letter of confirmation, certificate of participation, published materials indicating speaker and course duration etc.



CPE Compliance Check - FAQs

Yes, members are required to keep a record of their own CPE activities.

Members are encouraged to record their CPE activities and view the CPE history online at the ISCA eServices Portal. After you have logged in, click on “CPE records” on the left menu to view and edit your CPE records.

Please note that the “CPE Category” field is only applicable for public accountants. If you are not a public accountant, you may indicate “Others” or “NA” as the CPE category. For information purposes, below are the definitions of the different categories:

Category 1: Financial and Sustainability Reporting Standards and Pronouncements
Category 2: Ethics and Professionalism
Category 3: Auditing and Assurance Standards, Pronouncements and Methodology
Category 4: Insolvency and Restructuring
Category 5: Information Technology.

Only members who have been selected for the annual CPE audit need to submit the evidence of participation for their verifiable CPE activities.

For courses, seminars, workshops or conferences organised by the Institute, certificates or letters of attendance will be issued to participants. The number of CPE hours granted is clearly stated on each certificate/letter. Members are required to retain the certificates/letters and present them if they are selected for the audit.

For courses not organised by the Institute, the following examples represent evidence that could be used for verification:

  • Confirmation of participation by a provider, organiser, instructor, employer, mentor or tutor
  • Confirmation of registration or invoice for payment of course fee
  • Agenda or meeting minutes for participation in technical committees
  • Transcript, examination result slips
  • Publication of a professional article or a research project

Kindly note that the number of hours claimed has to be properly substantiated in any evidence presented. Only the actual hours participated in the relevant CPE activity is claimable.

If your CPE hours are denied during the audit and this results in a shortfall of CPE hours, an extension of up to six (6) months may be granted to the member to remedy the shortfall. After the extension period, the member will be audited again. If a member is deemed to be ‘Non-compliant’ after the second audit, it may result in non-renewal of membership.
Members are advised to retain their CPE records and the evidence of participation for a period of five years.
The courses and activities you attend to comply with the CPE requirements of other accountancy professional bodies are also valid for your ISCA CPE requirements. However, you still have to maintain a separate record and ensure that it matches our requirements for submission to ISCA.
As different professional accountancy bodies might have different requirements for CPE, please check with the respective institutes on the CPE/CPD requirements.