Proposed Changes to CPE Standards for CPAs Up for Public Commentby
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) are seeking feedback from the accounting profession on revisions the two organizations have proposed to professional education standards for CPAs.
The last time the NASBA and the AICPA proposed major revisions to the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs was in 2012. Published jointly by the NASBA and the AICPA, the standards provide a framework for the development, presentation, measurement, and reporting of CPE programs.
Under the proposed revisions, which were jointly released by the two groups on May 19, the standards would permit CPE credit for nano-learning and blended learning. The standards would also require CPE providers to maintain the license information and status of CPAs, tax attorneys, and/or enrolled agents used in the development of accounting, auditing, and tax programs. In addition, the program descriptive materials must now be maintained for all programs, regardless of the field of study classification.
According to the document, nano-learning is defined as “a tutorial program designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject in a 10-minute timeframe through the use of electronic media (including technology applications and processes and computer-based or web-based technology) and without interaction with a real-time instructor.”
Blended learning is defined as “an educational program incorporating multiple learning formats.” Examples are e-learning, live or virtual classroom instruction, and workshops.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of the hard work of the CPE Committee and CPE Working Group on this endeavor and the additive approach taken to these revisions,” Maria Caldwell, Esq., chief legal officer and director of compliance services for the NASBA, said in a written statement. “The currently available delivery methods have remained, but the new nano-learning and blended learning delivery methods reflect the need for learning that is more personalized and on-demand. More and more students and professionals are learning this way and expect CPE to keep pace. We believe the changes included in these revised standards will help keep CPE relevant and meaningful to CPAs.”
Clar Rosso, AICPA vice president of member learning and competency, noted that the new learning options are in line with the findings of the AICPA Future of Learning Task Force and “reflect the realities of the shifting workplace dynamics.”
“The proposed revisions to the CPE standards will continue to expand and enhance the opportunities available to CPAs and underscore the profession’s commitment to lifelong learning,” Rosso added.
Review of the 2012 standards began in April 2014. The proposed revisions are the outcome of extensive reviews and evaluations of the standards by the CPE Standards Working Group and the Joint AICPA/NASBA CPE Standards Committee. The board of directors of both the NASBA and the AICPA approved the proposed revisions for the exposure draft during their April meetings.