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Continuing Professional Education (CPE) in the Spotlight – Part II

Types of activities that count for CPE

CPE is personal…It’s a self-assessment regime and it’s your responsibility to determine which CPE activities are appropriate for YOU!

With the TPB’s definition of CPE in mind, does that mean the education a practitioner requires to be able to deliver NEW services cannot count towards CPE hours?

CPE suggestions:

  1. The new Diploma of Payroll Services (FNS50417) or the Payroll Administrator Skill Set (FNSSS00012)
  2. A unit on theTax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) including the Code of Professional Conduct (Code)
  3. Relevant CPE activities provided by a recognised professional association (ABA)
  4. A unit on managing personal work priorities and professional development
  5. A unit on Cloud Computing or Cyber security awareness training
  6. Webinars relevant to the services you provide
  7. Online courses – preferably with an assessment component
  8. Tertiary courses provided by universities, registered training organisations (RTOs), other registered higher education institutions or other approved course providers
  9. Seminars, workshops and lectures
  10. Structured conferences
  11. Discussion groups (physical and virtual)
  12. Australian Taxation Office (ATO) seminars and presentations

Five rules for CPE

  1. You don’t have an obligation to complete CPE if you are NOT a practitioner registered with the TPB.
  2. Your base level qualification such as a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping, Diploma of Accounting or their equivalent which have been completed to obtain registration or renew registration will not generally constitute a CPE activity. However, a subsequent or higher level course relevant to the services you provide may be acceptable.
  3. A blend of structured and unstructured CPE is required. No more than 25 per cent should be undertaken through “Unstructured” CPE such as relevant technical or professional reading.
  4. Providing a BAS service (or tax (financial) advice, tax agent) will not constitute an acceptable CPE activity.
  5. If a service you provide is not a “BAS Service” by definition, the education required to deliver such a service to a competent level most likely is not an acceptable CPE activity. E.g. State payroll tax.

Records and Audits?

Both your Association and the TPB recommend practitioners maintain a record and evidence of the CPE activities completed, including details of the activities and the hours undertaken.

The TPB recently announced a plan to audit the CPE records of registered practitioners so now is a great time to gather these records.


Develop a strategy and plan your CPE

  1. Budget time and money to commit to CPE
  2. Create a Personal Development Plan (PDP)
  • Understand you own learning style
  • Identify and prioritise personal learning needs
  • Understand industry competency standards + Code requirements
  • Select activities appropriately
  • Set a timeline for your CPE achieving goals
  • Monitor your own progress
  • Keep a record.
  1. Use the PDP to determine how best to allocate your CPE resources
  2. Engage with a Mentor or Coach for professional guidance on your personal development strategy
  3. Main a CPE Log.

Remember, YOU are the captain your own ship! Embrace the sea of change within our industry and appreciate the treasure trove of CPE on offer as you sail towards prosperity and compliance.

Finally, see you at The Bookkeeper Event 2018 (Sea World Conference Centre).

Sonya Farrawell


Australian Bookkeepers Association

Sources of Information:

  1. Learn more about the Code.
  2. Learn more about TPB approved CPE Activities.


Australian Bookkeepers Association

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