Effective January 1, 2017, the AICPA National Accreditation Commission expanded the definition of acceptable professional education under the term continuing professional development (CPD) which includes CPE. These new requirements provide expanded opportunities for you to develop the professional competencies necessary to support continued success in your area of specialization. These changes are designed to reflect best practices in education and align with the strategies outlined in the AICPA Future of Learning — an AICPA initiative to help CPAs maintain relevancy in a rapidly evolving global marketplace. This competency-based model focuses on building relevant skills and real-world learning as the primary metrics of success.
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is the set of learning activities approved by NASBA or a legally constituted state authority that enables CPAs to maintain and improve their professional competence.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the learning activities approved by NASBA, a legally constituted state authority, or other professional body; or unstructured learning activities as outlined by the AICPA that enable credential holders to maintain and improve their professional competence.
Like CPE, CPD is designed to help CPAs achieve and maintain quality in professional services. In contrast to CPE, CPD includes both structured (including CPE) and unstructured learning activities, opening up new possibilities for growth as you work toward your immediate and future career goals.
The AICPA credential renewal requirements now encompass expanded ways to meet the annual ongoing CPD commitment, including work-based learning, learning from other professional bodies, mentoring and coaching. The AICPA recognizes that learning and development can take place in different ways and in a variety of environments. The new requirements also allow for the recording of increments of unstructured learning as small as 10 minutes providing you with greater flexibility.
This went into effect in January 1, 2017. When you pay your annual dues, you attest to meeting the new professional development requirements on your annual dues bill. Audits under the new guidelines will begin in August 2018.
No. You can continue to obtain credential-specific CPE like you have done in the past. The change allows you to consider other professional learning opportunities that might not have previously qualified.
Structured activities may include self-study text or online courses, webcasts, live or virtual conferences or courses with a formal structure and an explicit, expected outcome.
Unstructured activities may include coaching, mentoring, peer-to-peer learning, on-the-job training and taskforces. When considering whether or not you should include an activity, we recommend you consider the following:
- How is what I am learning relevant to the credential body of knowledge?
- Is what I’m learning related to current or future standards, guidelines or best practices?
- How are the learning outcomes of this activity relevant to my competency development?
- What benefits does the activity offer toward my current or future credential-related career goals?
ABV, CFF, CITP and PFS credential holders must complete a minimum 10 hours of structured learning to meet the professional development renewal requirements. If you have questions about the different types of learning opportunities, please review the glossary or call Member Service at 1.888.777.7077.
No. You are not required to have unstructured learning hours, but we encourage you to check out the glossary and discover what types of learning and professional development activities qualify toward meeting the new professional development requirement.
The minimum time allotment that can be recorded is 10 minutes.
Many unstructured learning and professional development activities may already exist within your organization or within professional associations to which you already belong. The AICPA began offering unstructured learning and professional development activities designed specifically for credential holders in 2017.
Yes. Unstructured learning and professional development activities are available through the AICPA.
Recording your learning and professional development throughout the year is encouraged, but not required. It will help you get the most benefit out of the unstructured learning in particular. If you are selected for an audit, you will be required to record and submit your learning and professional development activities through the AICPA | CIMA Competency and Learning website.
Learning activities should be recorded in the “My Learning” section of the AICPA |CIMA Competency and Learning website. New users may access a tutorial for logging CPD on the AICPA’s Competency and Learning website.
The audit process will be similar; however, now credential holders who are audited will be required to submit their learning and professional development records directly through the AICPA | CIMA Competency and Learning website.
No. The changes to the requirements do not increase the likelihood of an audit. Up to 10% of ABV, CFF, CITP and PFS credential holders will still be audited each year. The audit process for the CEIV credential will fall under the parameters of the CEIV Quality Monitoring Program.
Credential holders will continue to attest to meeting their renewal requirements when paying their annual dues. The link to the actual attestation you are making is included on the dues bill. To learn more details about your annual renewal requirements, please visit your credential recertification webpage.
Yes. If a learning or professional development activity is relevant to more than one credential, an activity may be used to meet both credential renewal requirements. And if it is CPE, it may also be used to meet your CPA license requirements.