Issued: 25 October 2023

Last modified: 8 December 2023

TOC (auto-generated)


In this webinar we’ll provide you with an overview of our continuing professional education (CPE) policy, including your ongoing registration obligations.


Webinar recording

A step-by-step guide to CPE webinar recording

Questions and answers

We have compiled some of the questions we received during our webinar.

Continuing professional education activities

Yes, you can count this towards your continuing professional education (CPE), provided the software training relates to the tax agent or BAS services you provide, or knowledge gained from the software training helps you provide effective services to your clients. You should exercise your professional judgement in making this decision.


No, as the activity is not relevant to the tax agent or BAS services you provide. However, CPE activities such as research or attending webinars to prepare material for lectures you deliver may count towards your CPE, providing the activities are relevant to the services you provide. For example, business law research may not be relevant whereas tax law could be.


Yes, watching our webinar recordings counts towards your CPE hours. You can view them on our webinar resources hub.


In-house training can count as relevant CPE if it is structured, relates to the services a tax practitioner provides and is provided by a person or organisation with appropriate qualifications and experience.


If you are already registered with us and are not using the diploma in accounting to gain your initial registration with us, then it may be considered CPE providing it is relevant to the tax practitioner services you provide


The provision of a tax agent or BAS service will not, of itself, constitute a CPE activity.


No, as these activities would not maintain or improve your knowledge and skill in providing BAS services.


Activities such as research in preparation for a course can be considered relevant CPE. 

A limit on the amount of CPE you can complete only applies to professional or technical reading and educational health and wellbeing activities.

Over a standard 3-year CPE period, you cannot count more than:
•    25% of the CPE hours in relevant technical or professional reading
•    10% of the CPE hours in educative mental health and wellbeing activities


No, you are unable to claim the same activity more than once.


Yes, both activities would count towards your CPE as long as they are relevant to the tax agent or BAS services you provide. We don’t limit the number of activities you can undertake on the same topic.


Yes, as it would be considered relevant to the tax practitioner services you provide.


You should use your professional judgement when selecting relevant CPE activities to undertake. Any educational activity must maintain, develop or promote your knowledge and/or skills to be considered relevant.


Generally, work undertaken during your employment would not be considered a CPE activity. 

Refer to our list of appropriate CPE activities for more information.


This would be dependent on how the mentoring sessions were conducted. To be considered relevant for CPE purposes, the sessions would need to be structured and cover topics relevant to the tax practitioner services you provide, while also maintaining or improving your knowledge in these areas.


The use of Excel is indirectly relevant to the services you provide, however training covering how to use these programs would be considered relevant CPE because effective and accurate use of the software improves on the skills you need to competently provide services to clients.


A meditation course in its entirety would unlikely meet CPE requirements for a health and wellbeing activity. Suitable educative activities under this category would be things such as courses or webinars about managing stress, self-care and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of your staff. Keep in mind there is a 10% cap on the number of hours you can undertake for a health and wellbeing activity.


No, mental health and wellbeing activities are not compulsory to maintain any tax practitioner registration.


If you work part-time, you still need to maintain your knowledge and skills to be able to provide competent services to your clients. Therefore, you are still required to complete a minimum of 90 hours of CPE over a 3-year period.


We do not accredit or approve CPE providers. CPE activities should be provided by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the relevant subject area. For the types of CPE activities we consider appropriate, refer to CPE activities.


We don’t have limits or seek to prescribe certain topics. You should exercise your professional judgement to assess if the amount of CPE undertaken on any given topic is appropriate. You just need to complete the minimum amount of CPE hours per year required by your registration while being mindful of the 25% cap on technical and professional reading and the 10% cap on mental health and wellbeing activities.   

Technical or professional reading activity

Technical reading, while providing relevant information, does not have set knowledge or learning objectives. Structured CPE has a clear set of objectives, where the participant will seek or receive a specific learning objective(s) and will provide a structured means to achieve that learning objective(s). 


We removed the 25% cap for relevant technical or professional reading in March 2020. Due to the COVID situation improving in most parts of Australia we reinstated the cap from 1 January 2023.


Research is treated the same as technical or professional reading under our requirements and therefore falls within the 25% cap.


In this scenario the 25% cap would not apply, as any research undertaken while preparing a client case (providing a tax agent or BAS service) is not considered relevant CPE.


Passive listening products such as podcasts or self-paced training would be counted under the 25% technical reading cap.


You must ensure the hours you undertake for technical reading do not exceed the 25% cap rule. For example, for a standard tax agent registration you are required to undertake 120 hours of CPE in 3 years. 25% of 120 is 30 so you would be unable to claim any more than 30 hours of CPE on ATO technical readings.

Structured and unstructured CPE

Structured CPE includes formal activities, such as conferences, tertiary courses, webinars and structured training. These activities generally have a clear set of learning objectives. Unstructured CPE activities include relevant technical or professional reading, self-paced audio, visual and computer aided instruction, or group discussions on technical topics.


Yes, attending a webinar would be different to listening to a podcast. 

Structured CPE has a clear set of objectives, where the participant will seek or receive a specific learning objective and the CPE activity will provide a structured means to achieve that learning objective. 

Unstructured CPE has no set knowledge/learning objective or structure. Therefore, webinars are considered structured CPE, and a podcast would be considered unstructured and be part of the 25% technical or professional reading cap.


Evidence of CPE

We require confirmation that CPE requirements are being met when a tax practitioner renews their registration. We can also request evidence or confirmation of CPE completed at any time during the period of your registration.


Detailed records should be kept of any professional or technical reading activity you undertake. Things that should be included are the date you completed the reading, who published the article, what you learned, how long it took you to read the content, along with any other evidence you can provide. 

You may keep a record of the technical or professional reading you have done using the CPE log we have developed. Your recognised professional association may also provide a template you may wish to use to record your CPE activities. 


We recommend keeping a copy of emails confirming webinar attendance as this provides us with evidence that clearly demonstrates you have completed the activity.


We require you to provide sufficient details as evidence of completion. In this scenario you would be required to list each article, the topics covered, the date they were read, along with how many hours it took to complete the reading.


When attending one of our webinars, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance and you should keep this for your records. Otherwise, record details such as, the provider, date the webinar was held and learning outcomes.

CPE period 

Your CPE year starts on the date of your registration. However, you may choose to follow a calendar year or financial year if you are a member of a recognised professional association, and you wish to align with your professional association requirements. Refer to our frequently asked questions which explain when your CPE period will start.


Tax practitioners are generally subject to the new registration requirements from the date of registration renewal. Until your registration renewal date, you will need to continue to comply with the previous CPE requirements. For additional practical guidance and scenarios, refer to our FAQs.


Only individual tax and BAS agents need to complete CPE. Therefore, your CPE period will still align to your individual registration not your company registration.


Generally, the CPE period is 3 yearly. You must complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPE each year. If your registration period is other than 3 years, you should complete CPE on a pro-rata basis.


The 25% cap on technical or professional reading and the 10% cap on educative health and wellbeing activities applies to the CPE period as a whole.


You do not need to advise us if you want to elect a CPE period which aligns with your recognised professional association. You should however keep your own record of your elected CPE period – for example, you may want to make a note of your elected CPE period on your CPE log.


Yes, but only if you are a member of a recognised professional association


CPE hours 

The minimum number of CPE hours required for a condition of ‘superannuation’ is 45 hours. For more information regarding the requirements for conditional registrations, refer to number of CPE hours.


If the new CPE hours came into effect during your registration period, you will not be required to adhere to the new requirements until after you renew your registration. 


Yes, it is acceptable to complete the bulk of your CPE in a short period of time as long as you complete the yearly minimum requirement for each year of your registration period.


No, we do not provide enough webinars to cover the CPE requirement for a 3-year period. You will need to complete other educational activities that are relevant to the services you provide.


Yes, you can claim less than one hour of CPE. You would just need to accurately record the time in your CPE log.


If you fail to meet your CPE requirements you may be found to be in breach of the Code of Professional Conduct, which may result in termination of your registration. We would recommend getting in touch with us to discuss your circumstances as soon as possible.


No, we do not have a requirement to complete ethics training so there is no set minimum.

Extenuating circumstances

There are some circumstances in which you can apply to us for relief from the minimum level of CPE. In your request you should explain the attempts you have made to use the flexibility of the CPE period to manage these extenuating circumstances. Find out more by referring to our information on special circumstances that affect your CPE.


We have included family and/or caring commitments (such as maternity or paternity leave) as exceptional circumstances for not being able to complete the minimum CPE hours. In these circumstances, we will consider appropriate relief from the minimum amount of CPE hours, provided you can demonstrate that you have attempted to use the flexibility of your CPE period to manage any extenuating circumstances to comply with our CPE requirements.


If there are special circumstances that impact on your ability to complete the minimum hours of CPE, you should contact us and let us know your circumstances as soon as possible.

Examples of situations where it might not be possible for you to complete the minimum amount of CPE hours include:
•    illness
•    disability
•    family and/or caring responsibilities (such as maternity or paternity leave)
•    financial or other hardship.

If you experienced such circumstances, you should exercise your professional judgement and keep appropriate records in relation to your situation.

Professional association CPE

We do not measure CPE by points but by hours. It is possible some activities may be relevant to your professional association continuing professional development points, and your TPB CPE requirements. For your TPB records, you should make sure your activities are recorded as hours and not points. You should use your professional judgement to determine if topics can be used interchangeably.


You can still claim the hours you have completed as long as they are relevant to the tax or BAS agent services you provide.


Your recognised professional association’s CPE requirements will be accepted as meeting our CPE requirements, subject to the CPE activities being relevant to the tax or BAS agent services you provide.