1. KnowledgeBank
  2. Making a claim
  3. I’ve heard the phrase ‘competent professional’. What is this?

I've heard the phrase 'competent professional'. What is this?

Peter Beavis Sector Specialist
Senior Sector Specialist
(Last updated on )

The competent professional is a key requirement for making an R&D tax credit claim. This is someone in your business who has a successful track record, notable experience and skills or qualifications in your relevant area of science or technology for which you are making the R&D claim. For software projects, this may be a developer; or, in a manufacturing business it might be an engineer.

The competent professional(s) is the person in your business who assesses which of your business activities count as research and development (R&D). Based on their knowledge, skills and experience, they will be able to assess the technically challenging aspects of your work, as well as a project’s routine elements which do not count as R&D.

When preparing an R&D tax credit claim your competent professional will need to identify your qualifying projects, the boundaries of those projects, and the specific activities that contributed to your advance. They will then need to attribute and apportion your qualifying expenditure to these activities.

Within HMRC’s recently published Guidelines for Compliance (GfC3) is a section on the importance of the competent professional. This guidance provides further detail of what a competent professional is, clear examples and confirmation that having a competent professional in the field of science or technology for which the claim is being made is key to preparing an R&D claim.

Although HMRC’s additional information form (AIF) – the document which is submitted to HMRC to confirm the R&D costs and projects within a claim – does not require biographical details of your competent professional, it is important you can confirm to HMRC this person’s experience, skills and qualifications if requested during a compliance check.

This article was last updated on