ICB's director of communications, Ami Copeland, explains why ICB is building wellness into its new CPD Framework

As a membership body, ICB is here to help bookkeepers be the best they can be and to get the recognition they deserve. We are our members’ lifetime career coach and we care about their wellbeing, not just their technical expertise. ICB is about more than just a qualification. We are a community. We support each other and we thrive on each other’s success. 

That is why we're building 'wellness' into our CPD Framework. I see it time and time again that our members spend more time and energy looking after their clients than themselves. We also have a predominantly female population, and that's unique amongst the main accountancy bodies. 72% of ICB members are women and it's well-documented that women are more likely to put pressure on themselves to be perfect. An internal survey of women working at Hewlett-Packard found women applied for a promotion only when they met 100% of the qualifications. Men applied when they met just 50%. 

If we are to lead the way for future generations of entrepreneurs and business leaders, it's important that we recognise these self-limiting traits and the pressure we put on ourselves. I think it's important that ICB looks beyond technical qualifications to embed wellness and self-belief into the model of a successful bookkeeper. That's why we are working on providing more content and resources to help our members build resilience and develop self-care strategies. We will be focusing on personal effectiveness, adaptability and reflection, and encouraging our members to take time out and look after themselves.

We have a bold plan to run an annual 'Wellness Weekend' where members can invest in themselves and spend two days with fellow bookkeepers to de-stress, unwind and set their intentions for the year ahead. It's not just about massages and meditation, we also have this amazing wellness coach, Simone Gilbert, who's going to give our members some actionable strategies for feeling and working better.

At the end of the day it's about finding balance. We can't predict what's going to happen, but we can control how we react. We can make a conscious decision to look after ourselves and build the physical and emotional resilience to handle everything life throws at us!

Some of our members were practically born bookkeepers but, for most, this profession has given them a second chance. This is their moment to shine and to make a difference, to spend more time with their family and be their own boss. Bookkeeping is a very noble profession and ICB Bookkeepers are bringing economic prosperity to themselves, their families, and to millions of small businesses across the UK. ICB Bookkeepers have disrupted the accounting industry and they are the future. We will support them every step of the way.