Revision of CPE standards completed

BY KEN TYSIAC

CPE programs for the accounting profession will have enhanced opportunities to use group Internet-based formats, outcome-based learning and other innovative techniques under newly completed revisions announced Tuesday.

The AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) announced the final approval of proposed revisions to the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs.

The standards are the framework for developing, presenting, measuring and reporting CPE programs. More information is available at the AICPA’s website.

These are the first revisions to the framework since 2002. Areas with significant changes include group Internet-based learning and self-study programs; promotional and course announcement information for in-house training programs; and alternate CPE-credit calculation methods for self-study programs.

Among the changes:

  • A standard was added for the development of group Internet-based programs, a delivery method that wasn’t included in the 2002 standards.
  • Sponsors may recommend half CPE credits (equal to 25 minutes) for self-study programs.
  • Language was included to provide flexibility for innovation in learning techniques and for future considerations around outcome-based learning.


Separate requirements were created for promotional materials for sponsors conducting in-house training and sponsors whose courses are developed for sale or external audiences.

Submitted comments did not significantly change the exposure draft of the standards; the comment period ended Dec. 1. Revisions will take effect July 1, 2012, for group programs, and independent study and self-study programs that were in development as of Dec. 31, 2011, or are being published for the first time. The revisions will take effect on March 1, 2014, for self-study programs that were in existence on Dec. 31, 2011.

The changes to the standards were made by a 13-member task force consisting of AICPA representatives, CPE program sponsors, members of NASBA’s CPE Advisory Committee, state board of accountancy members, state society members and educators.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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