Indiana has become the first state to allow competency-based education to qualify for renewal of a CPA license.

The Indiana CPA Society said it is cooperating with the Indiana Board of Accountancy on a pilot program to enable the change. The competency-based courses permitted for license renewal include "gamification" and "nano-learning.”

The courses are online, interactive modules and can be taken on-demand. Digital badges, a new concept for the CPA profession, will be earned once the courses have been completed. Examples of them are pictured here. The course offerings cover skills for CPAs to be successful in the 21st century and are rooted in the core competencies identified by the AICPA in its CPA Horizons 2025 project. The Indiana CPA Society’s recently established CPA Center of Excellence plans to expand the course offerings over the next 12 to 24 months (see Indiana CPAs Establish CPA Center of Excellence).

The courses feature video stories from experts speaking about their experiences and can be accessed from desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smartphones. Participants must demonstrate successful competency achievement through interactive elements before proceeding to the next section.

“Our profession has long been in need of innovation and enhancements in the area of professional development and educational activities of CPAs,” said Indiana Board of Accountancy chair Greg Coy in a statement. “The Competency-Based Learning Pilot Program is an outstanding development in proficiency-based learning. I am proud and excited to see Indiana at the forefront of these changes in the profession.”

The pilot program is in effect through Dec. 31, 2015. Any currently licensed CPA in Indiana is eligible to participate. As part of the program, each CPA can take up to two online course modules and receive a waiver for 16 hours of CPE credit (eight hours each). The courses themselves must be completed within 90 days, and the time to complete each course will vary from participant to participant. Estimates range from five to 12 hours.