Your Continuous Learning Questions, Answered

What is Continuous Learning?

Continuous Learning is the assurance of commitment to a life-long process of learning and continuing personal development.

In the fast changing world of regulatory and financial crime compliance, it has never been more important to keep your knowledge up to date. This is why the best professionals in your industry commit to a meaningful regime of Continuous Learning

Creating a working plan to continuously develop your appropriate competencies will ensure that you perform at your best and will prepare you to fulfil your future career goals.


What is the ICA Continuous Learning scheme?

The purpose of the ICA Continuous Learning scheme is to ensure that our professional members continue, maintain and enhance their expertise. 

How is Continuous Learning measured?
Continuous Learning is measured by the time spent undertaking a learning activity. The table below provides the amount of Continuous Learning hours members are recommended to achieve annually. Professional and Fellow membership level Continuous Learning requirements are mandatory in order to retain ICA Membership.

Membership Level Continuous Learning Annual Continuous Learning recommendation (hours)  Technical- (recommended hours) Non-technical - (recommended hours)
Affiliate  Recommended 10 7 3
Associate (AICA) Mandatory 35 20 15
 Professional (MICA) Mandatory 35 20 15
 Fellow (FICA) Mandatory 35 20 15

A 'Continuous Learning year' runs alongside your annual membership renewal cycle; there are no grace periods. Only Continuous Learning completed within this year will be considered as Continuous Learning achieved for that year. Continuous Learning hours carried out over the recommended annual requirement can not be carried forward to the next Continuous Learning year.

How do I decide what Continuous Learning to undertake?
When approaching Continuous Learning activities, we expect members to form their own professional judgment as to the best way of assuring that you are making a meaningful contribution to the development of your knowledge, competencies, and skills. However, we strongly recommend our members undertake Continuous Learning that is verifiable and relevant to their role.

A crucial aspect of your role is to be up to date and conversant with current trends, topics, legislation and regulations and we are committed to providing ample opportunities, tools and resources to help you meet your Continuous Learning goals and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and competence.

This will ensure that each ICA Member is professionally competent and are maintaining and developing their knowledge and skills throughout their careers. 

What types of Continuous Learning does ICA recognise?
ICA recognises two distinct types of Continuous Learning– ‘technical’ and ‘non-technical’.

  • Technical Continuous Learning refers to any piece of learning related to your industry: AML, compliance, FCP, etc. These help you to maintain or develop the knowledge and skills that are essential to perform the technical/practical/functional aspects of your current or desirable role, and may include professional qualifications, conferences, online learning, writing/reading a technical article, report, etc.
  • Non-technical Continuous Learning refers to 'soft skills' development, i.e., learning that can be applied in any industry: management, leadership, strategy developing items. These aid in the development of your overall skills and knowledge, and may include undertaking soft skills training, giving a presentation, etc.


Does Continuous Learning gained from other professional sources count?
We recognise that many ICA Members are members of other professional bodies and may already comply with other Continuous Learning schemes. ICA Members can ‘double count’ Continuous Learning completed through other professional bodies towards completion of their ICA Continuous Learning obligation, provided all the other conditions of the ICA scheme are met.

What are 'competencies' and how do I set 'objectives'?
To help you decide which Continuous Learning content is right for you, we have aligned our Continuous Learning content to competencies which are mapped against the National Occupation Standards. By clicking on My Competencies in the My Profile section, you can select competencies that you want to develop and each competency is explained in detail. It will also list the specific Continuous Learning content available in the Continuous Learning zone that relates to that particular competency. 

By selecting particular competencies you can personalise your Continuous Learning search to ensure it relates to your disciplines and functions, and set objectives to achieve them within your development plan. Any Continuous Learning you complete through the Continuous Learning zone will be automatically assigned to this objective, allowing you to easily track your progress towards your goals.

How do I create a Development Plan and Log?
The development plan facility within your profile allows you to create objectives to complete. These can be added from your competency selection or added manually. If added automatically from your selected competencies we will suggest, under your plan, related Continuous Learning based on your chosen level. Anything logged in your Continuous Learning log that matches the selected competency will be added as an 'action'.

Your development plan is yours and you can design and maintain your plan to better suit your circumstances. However, we are more than happy to provide support, guidance and share best practice on this subject throughout your membership journey. 

How to log CPD hours:


Where can I access Continuous Learning?

What sources do ICA provide? 
ICA Membership offers a wide range of Continuous Learning activities for our members including online resources, conferences and events, as well as providing discounted access to external events. You will enjoy access to a vast range of events, publications, videos and a library of online resources that are being constantly updated, making it easy for you to gain the required number of Continuous Learning hours.

The ICA Continuous Learning zone – explained

Our continuous Learning zone is designed to suit differing levels of seniority and experience, and provides general and jurisdiction-specific learning (both technical and non-technical).

All activities are stored within our Continuous Learning zone and state how many Continuous Learning hours they are worth. Many of these are exclusive to ICA Members.

Not currently an ICA Member?
Visit the Continuous Learning zone and view some examples of content ►

ICA Continuous Learning content includes:

1. Online learning: including e-learning modules, live and recorded webinars, videos and podcasts.

2. Articles/reports: including knowledge bites, articles, reports, white papers and quick guides.

3. inCOMPLIANCE®: our bimonthly magazine packed with articles from experienced practitioners on various hot topics.

4. Conferences, events, workshops, seminars, virtual classrooms

5. Continuous Learning events: members can benefit from a range of events organised by recognised providers, including role-based and personal skills-focused events.

6. ICA Qualifications: upon successful completion of any of the ICA qualifications, Continuous Learning hours will be credited as set out below:

Course Level Course format CPD Credit in hours
Short Courses Online course  3
Course Level 2 Introductory/ Specialist  15
Course Level 4 Intermediate   20
Course Level 6 Advanced  35
Course Level 7 Expert  35

Download our 'What counts as Continuous Learning? PDF here (or click on the image above to enlarge)

Watch a short video on how to get the most from our Continuous Learning zone.

If you face any issues with viewing the content, or have any feedback please report to ICA at 

Contributing to ICA Continuous Learning content
We also encourage our members to contribute to Continuous Learning content, which can also be considered to gain valuable Continuous Learning hours.

As a member of the ICA compliance community, your voice should be heard. As an Affiliate, Associate, Professional or Fellow, your perspective on regulatory change, burning compliance issues and innovations in technology is important to us.

For example:

  • contributing to an article in inCOMPLIANCE® or white paper can claim 5 Continuous Learning hours
  • contributing towards creating a Continuous Learning webinar or podcast can claim 3 Continuous Learning hours.

Please note: social networking events are not counted towards your Continuous Learning for ICA.

If you would like to submit some content on a topical issue in compliance and financial crime prevention, please submit your ideas to


We provide all members with access to a simple online Continuous Learning Log which should be updated on a regular basis. The log is designed for you to quickly record all of your Continuous Learning activities with ease and keep track of progress. You can even store evidence of activities undertaken, such as event attendance certificates, alongside each record. 

Most importantly, this facility allows all Continuous Learning undertaken through the ICA website to be automatically recorded in your Continuous Learning log, which will significantly limit the amount of administration required to record your activities. 

Below are some examples of fulfilling your Continuous Learning requirements through external sources, and how to enter them into your Continuous Learning log.

  • Example 1. You spent 15 minutes reading a technical article. You need to enter this activity into your Continuous Learning log, mentioning the title of the article and all other necessary details, and Continuous Learning value as '15' (in minutes). This will equal to 0.25 Continuous Learning hour.
  • Example 2. You attended a one-hour AML workshop. You need to enter this activity into your Continuous Learning log, mentioning the details and attaching the proof of attendance, and Continuous Learning value of '60' (in minutes). This is equal to 1 Continuous Learning hour.



Here is an example of a completed CPD log (or click on the image to enlarge)

Please note, you may be asked to provide evidence for verification purposes, if you are selected for a CPD audit. Further details on this are explained below. 

The requirements of the ICA Continuous Learning scheme may be suspended in certain circumstances. For example, ICA Members not in employment due to illness, unemployment or maternity leave may suspend the Continuous Learning requirement during this period. It is not necessary to make a formal application to the ICA, but members should enter the reason for the suspension and the relevant dates on their Continuous Learning record and keep documentation substantiating the circumstances of the suspension to be submitted to ICA, if requested. Members are expected to resume Continuous Learning when the situation leading to the suspension ends. Retired members are exempt from Continuous Learning.

Failure to comply with Continuous Learning requirements is a breach of ICA regulations. It constitutes misconduct that will be referred to the Membership Committee, which may require an appropriate disciplinary hearing be convened to address the breach.

If you are unable to complete Continuous Learning in accordance with ICA requirements, please contact us to discuss and agree appropriate action.

‘The information provided in this Continuous Learning zone is provided for the use of ICA Members and may not be disclosed to any third party or used for any other purpose without express consent of ICA (and the authors as appropriate). Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, neither ICA nor the authors can be held responsible in any way for consequences arising from the information provided. No decisions should be taken on the content of this Continuous Learning zone without reference to specialist advice’.

ICA assess a percentage of members Continuous Learning and members will be contacted if there are any queries with their Continuous Learning records or if additional information is required.

Help and support

Alternatively contact us on: +44(0)121 362 7534 / (Course information)

or +44(0)121 362 7533 / (Enrolled learners)

or +44(0)121 362 7747 / (Membership)

or +44 (0) 121 362 7503 / (End Point Assessment)