Any education activity relevant to the tax (financial) advice, tax agent or BAS services you provide that maintains, develops or promotes your skills, knowledge or attributes, is considered to be a continuing professional education (CPE) activity under our CPE policy.
You should use your professional judgement when selecting relevant CPE activities to undertake.
We do not propose to accredit or approve CPE activities. CPE activities should be provided by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the relevant subject area.
- Courses completed for registration
- Technical or professional reading activity
- Educative health and well-being activities
CPE activities considered appropriate under our policy include:
- seminars, workshops, webinars, courses and lectures
- structured conferences and discussion groups (including by phone or video conference)
- tertiary courses provided by universities, registered training organisations (RTOs), other registered higher education institutions or other approved course providers
- other education activities, provided by an appropriate organisation
- research, writing and presentation by a registered tax (financial) adviser, tax or BAS agent of technical publications or structured training
- peer review of research and writing submitted for publication or presentation in structured training
- computer/internet-assisted courses, audiotape or videotape packages
- attendance at structured in-house training on tax related subjects by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the subject area covered
- attendance at appropriate Australian Taxation Office (ATO) seminars and presentations
- relevant CPE activities provided to members and non-members by a recognised professional association
- a unit of study or other CPE activity on the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) including the Code of Professional Conduct (Code).
We recognise that cyber security awareness training can assist tax practitioners protect themselves from a cyber-attack and will count towards your CPE.
The provision of a tax (financial) advice, tax agent or BAS service will not, of itself, constitute a CPE activity.
A course that has 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 tax (financial) advice, tax agent or BAS services provided may be acceptable.
Our CPE policy requires that no more than 25% of CPE should be undertaken through relevant technical/professional reading. In light of current coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts, we have temporarily removed this 25% cap until 30 September 2020. However, you must first and foremost, explore and undertake online CPE offerings. You must also maintain a log book detailing the activities undertaken.
We also acknowledge that during this difficult time impacted by COVID-19, it is important to manage your mental health and wellbeing in order to continue to provide services to your clients. Therefore, we will temporarily be accepting a small amount of educative health and wellbeing activities, such as attending webinars about how to manage stress and self-care, as being a relevant CPE activity that will count towards your CPE hours for TPB purposes. However, the vast majority of your CPE activities must still be relevant to the tax agent services you provide that maintain, develop or promote your skills, knowledge or attributes.
Example 1: Activity considered CPE
Jess is a registered tax agent who works for a major accounting firm. Jess is required by her employer to attend CPE provided by a partner of the firm, specialising in superannuation. The partner presents a lecture on the taxation of complying superannuation funds, approved deposit funds, pooled superannuation trusts and providers of retirement savings accounts, followed by an interactive discussion and consideration of a complex hypothetical case study.
As the CPE activity is structured and provided by a suitably qualified person, Jess may count this session as CPE.
Example 2: Tax agent in remote location completing CPE
Dave is a tax agent residing in Coober Pedy, South Australia. He provides tax agent services predominantly to individuals who work in opal mines. Dave rarely has time to travel to Adelaide to attend face-to-face training and only makes a modest income. Dave is however careful to maintain his knowledge and skills by undertaking online learning packages and participating in online discussion groups as well as monitoring updates on the ATO website and undertaking technical reading.
During a typical CPE period Dave completes three face-to-face seminars (total of 15 hours), participates in structured online discussion groups (total of 52 hours), completes two internet assisted courses (total of 14 hours) and undertakes nine hours of technical reading. Dave has completed the minimum level of CPE.
Example 3: Indirect activity considered to be relevant CPE
Ken, a registered BAS agent, attends a training session provided by Swift Software. Ken uses the Deluxe Swift Software package to assist him in providing BAS services to clients. Whilst this training session is indirectly relevant to the BAS services Ken provides it will be considered relevant CPE because effective and accurate use of the software package impacts on the skills Ken needs to competently provide BAS services to clients.
Example 4: Financial product training relevant to tax (financial) advice services
Nick is a registered tax (financial) adviser. Nick attends a two hour seminar regarding a new financial product that he intends to sell as part of the tax (financial) advice services he provides. The seminar includes a 15 minute discussion regarding the various taxation implications concerning the financial product.
As the financial product is relevant to the tax (financial) advice services that Nick provides, he can claim the full two hours at the seminar as relevant CPE, despite the seminar covering topics other than taxation.
Example 5: Cyber-security awareness training recognised as relevant CPE
Klay is a registered tax agent who uses web-based applications in providing tax agent services to his clients. Klay completes a cyber-security awareness training package.
The TPB considers this training as relevant CPE for Klay to competently provide tax agent services to clients.
- Continuing professional education for tax agents
- Continuing professional education policy requirements for registered tax and BAS agents from 30 June 2013
Last modified: 8 May 2020