CPD Audit Information

All members of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as a condition of ongoing membership. Every year the IPA undertakes an audit to ensure compliance with this requirement.

This information sheet has been developed to help you understand the IPA’s CPD requirements, as set out in Pronouncement 7. All members, regardless of status (other than honorary, retired, life and student members) must comply with these requirements.

CPD enhances member knowledge and allows members to remain up to date with legislative and technical changes and professional accounting standards. This is also a requirement of the IPA’s membership of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). All members must complete at least 120 hours of CPD over a three year period (based on a financial year).

There are many misconceptions about what constitutes acceptable CPD. It is not exclusive to attending events but can also include preparing for and presenting at events, technical reading and researching. However, it must relate to the accounting profession and related fields.

For quick reference or to provide guidance of CPD activities please see below:

Examples of structured CPD activities are:

  • Conferences, congresses and seminars 
  • Formal in-house training 
  • Workshops, Discussion Groups, and Divisional Advisory Committee meetings 
  • Webinars and on-line delivered events 
  • Studies undertaken with an IPA recognised educational provider 
  • Participation as a Mentor for the IPA Mentor Experience Program (max 40 hours per three year period) 
  • Completing in a Professional Practice Quality Assurance (PPQA) review (max 10 hours per three year period)

Examples of unstructured CPD activities are:

  • Research, writing and presentation of technical papers (max 30 hours per three year period) 
  • Serving on a technical committee or working group (max 15 hours per three year period) 
  • Participation in self-paced audio, visual or computer aided learning (max 30 hours per three year period) 
  • Self-paced learning (max 30 hours per three year period)

Exemptions: Members can seek an exemption (partial or total) from CPD requirements, however, there must be a good reason for seeking an exemption. Any request for an exemption must be in writing setting out the reasons for the exemption and sent to complianceadvisor@publicaccountants.org.au. It is at the sole discretion of the IPA to decide whether or not to grant an exemption and the extent of any exemption. Generally, exemptions are limited to serious physical illness, maternity leave or other exceptional circumstances.

New members: New members are subject to the same three year period as existing members, however will be permitted to meet the requirements on a pro-rata basis until a new three year period commences.

Failure to comply: Members who fail an audit of their CPD may be subject to suspension or forfeiture of membership. 

For further information on the CPD requirements please see IPA Pronouncement 7. Alternatively, if you require assistance in relation to CPD issues please contact your Divisional Office on 1800 625 625 or email complianceadvisor@publicaccountants.org.au.