Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the AICPA is updating professional education requirements for its specialized credentials and expand options available for members to earn the necessary credits.
The 60-hour education requirement every three years has been split into 20 hours each year. Relevant CPE credits will continue to apply toward this requirement — and up to 10 hours can be satisfied through a new category of education called unstructured learning. These are activities that many members already do day-to-day, and include leadership development, mentoring and research into evolving issues affecting their clients.
The change, which the AICPA’s National Accreditation Commission approved, reflects best practice in education and evolution in the ways professionals develop their skills. It also aligns with the AICPA’s commitment to help CPAs maintain relevancy in a rapidly evolving marketplace
As part of this shift, the terminology related to learning within the specialized communities also will change. It will be called Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to reflect the broader available options. You will need 20 hours of CPD each year to maintain your credential and attest to meeting this requirement when paying dues. CPE credits will continue to count so long as — just as before — the learning activities are relevant to the credential body of knowledge. A credential holder, therefore, could satisfy the 20-hour requirement entirely with traditional CPE or through a mix of CPE and activities such as on-the-job training or serving on a technical committee.
The purpose of this change is to provide more flexibility in recognition of the multitude of ways that professionals develop competencies, while continuing to help members deliver the highest quality in professional services.
For your convenience, we have outlined these new requirements in detail, including a list of frequently asked questions and a glossary of CPD-related terms. You may also view the archive of the January 2017 webcast outlining the new requirements or download a pdf of the slide presentation.