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What the Duke of Edinburgh's crash can teach accountants about CPD

23rd Jan 2019
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Prince Philip

Readers might wonder what Prince Philip and maintaining a professional qualification have in common.

If the speculation by the Prince’s biographer Giles Brandreth is correct, His Royal Highness started driving over 80 years ago and has probably never passed the driving test.

This might have been of no consequence had an accident not occurred just outside the Sandringham Estate last week.

According to news reports, the 97-year-old Royal’s vehicle crashed into a car containing two women and a baby. He suffered no great injury but one of the women broke either an arm or wrist, which has been played down but was still very serious for the victim. Nobody has even tried to attribute blame, although from the comments of an eyewitness it might have been easy to do so.

What has any of this got to do with the world of accountancy? On the face of it, nothing at all. However, if one cares to dig beneath the surface, there are some interesting parallels.

Whether the Prince of Wales passed a driving test at around the start of World War II or didn’t, it seems unlikely that he has faced any kind of testing or training of his road skills since. At most, he might have been obliged to undergo an occasional eye test.

Far be it from me to make a disparaging statement but is it really safe for somebody not far short of their century to drive at all, particularly when nobody has checked out their mental or physical capabilities for doing so?

This is the link. Anyone qualified to work in the field of accountancy must, by definition, have passed some pretty stringent examinations at some point, although this could also be half a century or more in the past. They can still practice at 97 too.

However, they are required to comply with CPD requirements, obliging them to do some reading, attend training sessions or otherwise maintain a degree of knowledge of their areas of purported expertise.

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