The Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

standards

Continuing professional education is required for CPAs to maintain their professional competence and provide quality professional services.  CPAs are responsible for complying with all applicable continuing education requirements, rules and regulations of state boards of accountancy, as well as those of membership associations and other professional organizations.

The Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs (2012) (Standards) is published jointly by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to provide a framework for the development, presentation, measurement, and reporting of CPE programs.


The revised Standards will be effective as follows:

  • For group programs and independent study – July 1, 2012
  • For self-study programs in development as of December 31, 2011 and/or being published for the first time – July 1, 2012
  • For self-study programs already in existence as of December 31, 2011 – March 1, 2014

Process for Future Review and Evaluation of the Standards

Implementation and Application of the Standards
The Standards are intended to be an “evergreen” document. As questions arise related to implementation and application of the Standards, the questions will be presented to the CPE Standards Working Group whose composition will be similar to that of the Task Force.  The CPE Standards Working Group will meet quarterly as outlined below.

Authoritative interpretations will only be issued by the CPE Committee, upon the recommendation of the CPE Standards Working Group, in limited cases when the matter is not addressed in the Standards, cannot be addressed specifically with the CPE program sponsor, or cannot be addressed in the Best Practices document.  All interpretations issued by the CPE Committee will be reviewed and considered by the Joint AICPA/NASBA CPE Standards Committee upon the next revision of the Standards.

CPE Standards Working Group - Quarterly Meeting Dates
As part of the review and evaluation process of the Standards, the CPE Standards Working Group, whose composition is similar to that of the CPE Task Force, will meet quarterly to address any questions related to the implementation and application of the Standards.  The scheduled meeting dates for the remainder of the calendar year is as follows:

First Quarter:   February 15, 2013, 2:00pm - 3:00pm (Central)
Second Quarter: May 15, 2013, 12:00pm - 1:00pm (Central)
Third Quarter:   August 15, 2013, 12:00pm - 1:00pm (Central)
Fourth Quarter: November 13, 2013, 1:00pm - 2:00pm (Central)

Please submit any questions or topics to be considered by the CPE Standards Working Group to Jessica Luttrull, Manager-National Registry, at jluttrull@nasba.org.

Future Standards Revision Process
Every two years, the Standards will be reviewed in their entirety by the CPE Standards Working Group.  If the Working Group determines that revisions or modifications are required, then the Working Group will make its recommendation to the Joint AICPA/NASBA CPE Standards Committee.  In the limited situation when an interpretation has been issued by the CPE Advisory Committee, the interpretation will be reviewed and considered at that time by the Joint AICPA/NASBA CPE Standards Committee.


Background on Current Revisions

In May 2010, NASBA and the CPE Committee provided a forum for an open and candid discussion of the Standards.  A key outcome of the forum was to develop a Task Force to help review, analyze and implement suggestions and changes to the Standards.

The NASBA CPE Committee with input from NASBA leadership selected 13 Task Force participants.  Careful consideration was given as to the composition of the Task Force to ensure that all facets of the CPE community were represented.  The Task Force is comprised of CPE program sponsors; CPE Committee members; state board of accountancy members; state society members; educators and a representative of the AICPA (provider side).

The Task Force developed its recommended revisions to the Standards and presented its recommendations to a Joint CPE Standards Committee made up of representatives from the AICPA and NASBA.  The Joint CPE Standards Committee presented its recommendation to the respective AICPA and NASBA Boards of Directors at their meetings in late July/early August 2011. On August 15, 2011, the Standards exposure draft was released for public comment.

The Standards were posted for comment until December 1, 2011.  Subsequent to the close of the comment period, the NASBA CPE Task Force reviewed and considered all submitted comments.  Similar to the initial process for revising the Standards, the NASBA CPE Task Force developed its recommended revisions to the Exposure Draft of the Standards and presented them to the Joint AICPA/NASBA CPE Standards Committee.  The Joint CPE Standards Committee also had access to review and consider all comments submitted during the comment period and reviewed the work of the NASBA CPE Task Force.  The recommendation of the Joint CPE Standards Committee was presented to and approved by the AICPA and NASBA Boards of Directors on January 19, 2012 and January 20, 2012, respectively.

Overall, the submitted comments did not result in major changes or revisions to the Exposure Draft of the Standards.  The most significant change to the Exposure Draft was to provide additional time on the front end for the implementation of the revised Standards.