DEMSA Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Scheme

The IMA is very happy to work in partnership with DEMSA and Staffordshire University enabling DEMSA members to study the Certificate in Money Advice Practice (CertMAP). Following successful completion of the qualification, to remain a qualified DEMSA member, advisers should adhere to the IMA CPD Scheme.

We encourage all those that have passed CertMAP to participate in order to develop and maintain money advice expertise and uphold the high standards to which the IMA is committed.

  • What is a CPD scheme?

    A CPD scheme is a process that aims to accredit continued learning in a given subject. Schemes will attach their own rules and requirements but the outcome is that those who adhere to the scheme can be accredited as a reliable and high quality practitioner. They usually operate on an annual basis and require a certain amount of learning to be completed within the year. Accreditation provides a ‘badge’ of quality that can be a useful promotional tool for advisers and companies alike.
  • How does the IMA CPD scheme operate?

    The IMA CPD scheme has the following essential rules:

    • That members complete 16 points of development activities within the CPD period
    • That activities must come from 3 out of 4 categories:
      • Training (formal and/or informal)
      • Meetings and discussion forums
      • Qualifications
      • Research, reading or writing
    • All submissions must contain 1 activity from the training category
    • A maximum of 2 points can be scored for ‘reading’ per annum
    • Activities must usually be in addition to your normal work duties
    • Activities must be Money Advice related or closely linked (for instance housing or welfare rights training).
    • Activities must be of sufficient technical level to support the ongoing development of and adviser working as a caseworker or specialist money adviser
    • See our Activity Table and Activity FAQs for examples of activities and the number of points awarded for each

    We also have a more detailed Activities FAQs on what types of activities may count towards your total.

  • What advantages are there for me if I do comply?

    Naturally you will benefit from the training and activities undertaken and you maintain your qualified DEMSA member status. This is good evidence to employers that an individual adviser remains up to date and is committed to high standards in Money Advice. It is also good evidence for that employer, to regulators and organisations that audit quality of advice.

    The FCA requires firms to employ people with ‘the skills, knowledge and expertise necessary for the discharge of responsibilities.’

    The Money Advice Service ‘Quality Framework for Individuals’ makes several references to undertaking CPD activities and being able to provide evidence of them. The IMA CPD scheme should help provide this evidence.

  • When do I start the CPD scheme?

    Your CertMAP Qualification accredits you until the May following your exam. For instance, if you take your exam in July 2014, you will start the scheme in May 2015 and must submit your CPD record in May 2016 for the previous twelve months’ learning and development.

  • When does the CPD period start and end?

    The CPD period runs from May 1st to the following April 30th and runs every year.

  • How do I submit my CPD record?

    We ask that you  use the IMA CPD Record to record the relevant information about your activities. Please submit this when you have completed your CPD activities and before the CPD deadline, by email to .

  • When is the deadline?

    Please submit your annual CPD activity record by the 14th May each year. For the CPD period that ends on 30th April 2015 the deadline will be the 14th May 2015. You must submit records each year to remain accredited.

    To reiterate – the CPD period ends on the 30th April but we allow until the 14th May to submit your record. Activities occurring after the 30th April will count for the following year. The 14th May is purely an administrative deadline and not an extension to the CPD period.

    For example:

    • A member submits their record on the 10th May 2015 for the CPD period 1st May 2014 to 30th April 2015. All activities fell before the 30th April 2015 and were counted
    • The deadline to submit the record is the 14th May 2015 but points will only be counted for activities completed before and on the 30th April 2015.


    • They undertake a training session on the 11th May 2015 – still before the before the CPD submission deadline of 14th May 2015.
    • This activity will not count for the CPD period that ended on the 30th April 2015

    It will count for the following CPD period (1st May 2015 to 30th April 2016).

  • Do I have to provide evidence of my CPD activities?

    We advise everyone to keep evidence of their activities as we do ask a random sample of advisers to provide evidence.

    If somebody does not comply with the scheme in one year (for instance they do not reach 16 points) we will automatically ask them to provide evidence the following year. Non-compliant advisers will no longer be qualified DEMSA members.

  • What counts as evidence?

    We have provided some examples of evidence to help you.

    • Training – You can prove attendance on a course by supplying a copy of your attendance certificate or a printout of your completion screen if training is online. For informal training where there is no official certificate of attendance, you can provide evidence of an attendance list or use the Evidence of Attendance form. If you have written or delivered the training, we will expect to see documentation showing this.
    • Meetings/Discussion Forums – Official meetings usually minute the list of attendees or publish a list alongside the minutes, constituting sufficient proof of attendance. However, if you are unable to show your attendance in this or any other format, we suggest that you use the Evidence of Attendance form at these events.
    • Please note the Evidence of Attendance form should only be used where no other evidence is available. This must be signed and dated by the event organiser/chair or your supervisor.
    • Qualifications – Evidence of participation in a relevant qualification should be easy to document but points can only be counted if the qualification is successfully completed (or passed) in the relevant CPD period.
    • Alternatively you can choose to provide evidence of an individual module that has been completed within the CPD period as opposed to waiting and claiming the entire qualification. We are likely to want to see the course outline and module details. We might need to see a sample of your work.
    • Research, Reading and Writing – You can keep copies of documents showing your involvement in research projects or Policy/consultation activities. You can provide copies of documents showing your contribution to the production of articles, journals, training materials, consultations and reports etc. If you wish to record CPD points for reading journals, you will need to specify editions and titles of such. There is a cap on the amount of reading which can contribute to the overall CPD accumulation. In total reading may only amount to 2 of 16 CPD points per annum.

    We do not require you to provide evidence of having read journals on your CPD Record. However, if you are selected to provide evidence we might ask you to show that you have continued access to a journal which you have identified as contributing to your CPD points. This might be by asking you to refer to a specific article in the relevant edition.

  • Do I have to provide CPD Certificates as evidence of training? These usually cost extra.

    The IMA would not require a CPD certificate as other sufficient evidence is generally available at no cost. This does not affect what your employer might require from you as the IMA CPD scheme is not a replacement for internal supervision/training procedures.
  • How do I submit my evidence of activities and what is the deadline?

    We prefer evidence to be scanned and emailed to in order to reduce the amount of paperwork associated with running the scheme, but paper evidence sent through the post is also accepted.

    The deadline for evidence will be notified to those concerned and is usually 1 month following the request. The request for evidence is usually made about 1 month after the CPD submission deadline.

  • I am unsure if you will allow an activity. What should I do?

    Firstly we ask that you check the Activity Table and Activity FAQs as this might answer your question. The table cannot cover every eventuality so if your activity is not on the table it might still count. We are happy to receive enquiries to to let you know how we might decide. If you submit a query regarding an activity, it would help if you provided as much information as possible with any evidence.

    By asking our opinion you will ensure that you have time to complete alternative activities if we do not allow the activity you enquire about.

  • I am going to be absent from work temporarily (for example maternity leave, sick leave, extended holiday). I am unlikely to complete 16 points for the period. What should I do?

    Please let us know as soon as you can so that we can take account of your circumstances. The aim of the scheme is to show that advisers are covering relevant activities and remaining up to date. Whilst we will take individual circumstances into account, we cannot guarantee that your CPD record would be accredited for that year.

    As well as telling the IMA about any extended absence (start and return date) please complete as many activities as you possibly can.

  • Who makes the final decision that I have complied and am a qualified DEMSA member?

    Decisions are made by the IMA qualifications team.
  • What if I disagree with a decision that I have not complied?

    Our appeal procedure is currently being reviewed. If you submit a record and we do not accredit you will be informed of our interim procedure.
  • What decisions can I appeal?

    We only make one official decision that can be appealed and that is when we make a decision whether a CPD record is compliant.

    Although we can consider enquiries about individual activities, these are informal enquiries and not subject to appeal rights.

    Appeals are made to the Accreditation & Qualifications Sub-Committee who will consider all points awarded for each activity so individual activities are factors in the decision in any case.

  • Do I have to comply with the IMA CPD scheme?

    The IMA hopes that everyone completing the CertMAP qualification will engage in the CPD scheme and take-up within the sector has been very good. However, the scheme is not mandatory.

  • If I do not participate in the scheme do I still keep my CertMAP qualification?

    Your CMAP certificate is not affected and you will still hold that qualification.  However, especially where it has been some months since you qualified, because of ongoing changes in law and practice, the certificate alone will not provide evidence of up to date money advice knowledge.
  • Is the scheme reviewed?

    The CPD Scheme will be reviewed each year and the IMA reserve the right to amend requirements in order to ensure that the scheme remains fit for purpose.

  • I am leaving Money Advice. Should I tell the IMA?

    It would be helpful if you did tell us as this will avoid us sending unwanted email and postal reminders etc.

Where can I find out more information?

You can visit the other documents in this section

If you have any additional queries please contact the IMA by email at or call us on 0113 242 0048.