NASBA, AICPA, Boards Release Exposure Draft For Public Comment

September 2011

The revised Statement on Standards for CPE Programs (Standards) continues its journey toward implementation, and now you have the chance to offer input.

After the Joint AICPA/NASBA CPE Standards Committee finalized its recommendations, both the NASBA and AIPCA boards reviewed the document at their summer meetings and released an exposure draft for public commentary. That exposure period will end on October 13, 2011. If the process continues to follow the projected schedule, the revised Standards would receive final approval in late October/early November, and would go into effect on January 1, 2012.

Attendees at the CPE Conference received a copy of the revised Standards as they existed at that time. Since then, some major new revisions have come into play.

Among the areas which continued to see changes and revisions:

  • Internet-based programs recorded or archived for future presentations;
  • Examples of numbers of review and final exam questions required when issuing half credits under self-study programs;
  • Promotional/course announcement information for in-house training programs; and
  • Requirements for re-pilot testing.

In addition, an alternative method to pilot testing for calculating the CPE credits for self-study programs has been recommended.

As proposed, this alternate method to calculate CPE credits is based on a word-count formula and tracks methodologies used in other professions. The NASBA Task Force researched the formula using 100 programs of varying length and difficulty, and determined that it produced results similar to pilot testing, and thus offered a reasonable alternative to CPE providers in calculating recommended CPE credits for self-study courses.

The word-count formula is based on the total number of words contained in the program's required reading components that are deemed critical. Critical, in this case, pertains to text that is necessary to the achievement of stated learning objectives. The word count is divided by 180, which is the average reading speed of adults. Next, the total number of review questions, exercises, and final-exam questions is multiplied by 1.85 - the estimated average completion time per question. These two numbers, along with an actual audio/video duration time, are added together. That total is divided by 50 to calculate the CPE credit for the self-study program.

The calculation looks like this:

[Number of words/180) + actual audio/video duration time + Number of questions x 1.85)]/50 = CPE credit

To read the full recommendation contained within the exposure draft, click here.

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