CPA Australia Professional Standards Scheme update

CPA Australia Professional Standards Scheme approved for gazettal

3 July 2019

On 21 June 2019, the Professional Standards Councils (PSC) approved CPA Australia’s application for a five-year Professional Standards Scheme (Scheme) for gazettal. Before it can take effect, the Scheme application must first be authorised by the relevant Ministers in each Australian state and territory for gazettal. The new Scheme is expected to commence on 23 December 2019 when the current Scheme expires, with the date to be confirmed upon gazettal.

The new Scheme will be more inclusive than the current Scheme and will enable all public practitioners who conduct public accounting services, hold a CPA or FCPA designation and have a current limited or full public practice certificate to participate. However, the scope of eligibility will depend on the services provided. A limited liability cap will apply to a claim relating to the provision of public accounting services including accounting, bookkeeping, taxation, audit and assurance services, insolvency and corporate reconstruction, management accounting, limited financial planning, forensic accounting and financial reporting activities. Whereas, it will not apply to a claim relating to the provision of public accounting services including financial planning and advice (Full AFSL), and consumer and commercial credit services (ACL).

Public notification documents

CPA Australia Professional Standards Scheme progresses to public notification

17 May 2019

On 12 April 2019, the Professional Standards Councils (PSC) considered CPA Australia’s application for a five year Professional Standards Scheme (Scheme). We are pleased to advise that the PSC has progressed our proposed Scheme instrument for public notification. While this is not final approval of our application it is a significant milestone in our Scheme application. The proposed Scheme was notified in the press on 17 April 2019 and the Scheme instrument was open for public comment for 28 days, closing on 15 May 2019. You can still read the public notification documents below.

The PSC will consider comments received on our proposed Scheme instrument and our application at its next meeting on 21 June 2019. If the PSC is satisfied, the next step will be to progress to the gazettal phase and the new Scheme (which under mutual recognition is recognised in all states and territories) will be applicable for members in public practice from December 2019.

Public notification documents

Further information 

CPA Australia Professional Standards Scheme approved

21 December 2017

The Professional Standards Councils (PSC) has advised it has approved CPA Australia’s application for a new Professional Standards Scheme for recommendation to the relevant Ministers in each State and Territory for gazettal. The NSW Scheme is to be gazetted on 22 December 2017 and will be effective the following day. Please refer to the PSC website (psc.gov.au) for details of other states and territories. 

CPA Australia has been working closely with the PSC on our application for a new Scheme since January 2017.

Post the public notification process in September and October, the PSC Board advised it required an amendment to the Scheme in order to recommend its approval.  

In practical terms, with the required amendment, the Scheme will not apply to Members who either themselves hold an unlimited Australian financial services licence (this was also the case with the previous Scheme) or are “Representatives” of a person or company which does.

This Scheme will therefore not apply to all PPC Holders. PPC Holders must read the Member Guidance Note to ascertain how the details of the new Scheme relate to their individual circumstances.

It is the responsibility of every PPC Holder to make this self-assessment, ensure their risk management framework is up to date and that their insurance coverage is based on this framework.

We respect that the PSC is reflecting changes in the regulatory environment. We also note that CPA Australia is the first professional accounting body to apply for a new Scheme since the removal of the accountants’ exemption on 1 July 2016.

We will be in further consultation with the PSC to see if we can broaden coverage of the Scheme. All PPC Holders will continue to be covered by the group Member’s Professional Indemnity Excess Insurance Policy. CPA Australia previously arranged to support members in public practice for those services covered by the Policy. View the full details of the policy.

The commencement of the new Scheme will require members that are covered to include appropriate disclosure statements on engagement letters, stationery and other documentation from the date of commencement of the scheme in the jurisdiction relevant to the PPC holder.


FAQs are available to assist members with any questions you may have. For additional materials to support you in the administrative transition to the new Scheme, refer to the Member Guidance Note.


Peter Wilson AM FCPA

President and Chairman


Consumer information

All CPA Australia Public Practitioners must ensure that consumers' interests are protected. Members are required under CPA Australia's By-Laws to:

  • Hold minimum levels of prescribed Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) that mirror the current Scheme minimum caps.

    This provides confidence that compensation is available, so if anything goes wrong, you know our members have insurance.

    In addition, CPA Australia arranged a group Member's Professional Indemnity Excess Insurance Policy to support members in public practice effective 8 October 2017. The policy continues to be in place. For consumers this means consumer protection over and above the minimum amounts of PII that a CPA Australia Public Practitioner must maintain.

  • Comply with Professional and Ethical Standards prescribed by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB)

    Professional and ethical standards are fundamental to the reputation of CPA Australia and ensure consistency of practice and confidence for Australian businesses. We set high professional standards via our regulation and oversight programs.

    The APESB is an independent national body which sets the code of ethics and professional standards with which our members must comply. 

  • Maintaining Professional Competencies. Keeping Up to Date

    Our members are committed to life-long learnings and required to complete 120 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each triennium.

    Our professional development programs ensure our members maintain the knowledge and skills relevant to the services they provide.

  • Monitor Compliance

    Through our Quality Review Program we monitor members’ compliance with the application of standards and regulations.

    We provide oversight via a Quality Control Program and maintain a Complaints and Discipline program. So if you believe that a member you’ve dealt with has acted unprofessionally or breached their professional standards, you can make a complaint.

For further information on the consumer benefits of a professional standards scheme visit: psc.gov.au/consumer-information.