The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the American Institute of CPAs have both given their final approval to a revised set of standards for providers of continuing professional education programs for accountants.

The two organizations said Tuesday their boards had both approved revisions to the Statement on Standards for CPE Programs governing the development, presentation, measurement and reporting of CPE programs.

The revised standards aim to provide more flexibility for innovative learning techniques and allow for future considerations around outcome-based learning. There are significant revisions in the areas of group Internet-based learning and self-study programs; issuance requirements for half credits under self-study programs; promotional and course announcement information for in-house training programs, and alternate methods for calculating CPE credits for self-study programs.

The approval comes after a joint committee of AICPA and NASBA representatives conducted a collaborative analysis of the CPE standards, along with an extended public comment period of an exposure draft of the proposed standards. The submitted comments did not lead to major changes or revisions in the exposure draft; the major change was to provide extra time for implementation of the revised standards.

They will take effect on July 1, 2012, for group programs and independent study. They will also become effective on the same date for self-study programs that were in development as of Dec. 31, 2011 and/or being published for the first time. For self-study programs that were already in existence as of Dec. 31, 2011, the effective date will be March 1, 2014

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