The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy(NASBA)and theAICPA announced on Tuesday that they have approved proposed revisions to theStatement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs(Standards),as well as theNASBAFields of Studydocument, at their respective July and August 2016 Board of Directors meetings.
Published jointly by the two groups, the CPEStandards looks to provide a foundation for the development, presentation, measurement, and reporting of CPE programs.
The most notable changes toStandards is the addition of two rising teaching methods: nano learning and blended learning. The 2016 Standards will now require an element of student engagement to be included in group live programs for each CPE credit. The improved Standards will provide for one-fifth (0.2) CPE credit for nano learning, as well as the possibility to award one-fifth (0.2) CPE credit for programs using other delivery methods after a minimum amount of credit has been awarded.
The 2016 Standards also revises the definitions of group live and group Internet-based programs from how the content is delivered by the instructor to how the content is received.
“These newly approved revisions to theStandardsrepresent the collective efforts of the CPE Committee, the CPE Standards Working Group and the various individuals and organizations that participated in the exposure draft process,” stated Maria Caldwell, NASBA’s chief legal officer and director of compliance services. “Boards of Accountancy, CPAs and CPE providers have recognized the need for CPE to continue to evolve to keep pace with current learning models and the addition of nano learning and blended learning delivery methods is representative of that effort.”
“The addition of blended learning and nano learning meets the marketplace demand for greater flexibility and increased CPE options," said Clar Rosso, AICPA vice president of member learning and competency, in a statement. "These modernizations to theStandardsare in line with what we heard from our Future of Learning Task Force and reflect the current dynamic business environment CPAs operate in. On behalf of the AICPA, I’d like to thank all of our stakeholders for their valuable input into this process.”
Changes to theFields of Studydocument include revisions to the Specialized Knowledge field of study, separating computer science and information technology into their own respective categories. The changes also allow Specialized Knowledge to include topics that refer to specialized industries or services.
TheStandardsare effective September 1, 2016. CPE sponsors have until December 31, 2016 to comply with theStandards for programs currently in development. TheStandardsmust be implemented at the next CPE program review or revision date for all other programs. For the NASBA Fields of Study document, the effective date is September 1, 2016, but sponsors have until December 31, 2017 to fully implement the revisions.
To download the full Standardsand the Fields of Study documents, head to NASBA's site here.