SECTION 2: ACCREDITATION STANDARDS
CPA Australia has developed the accreditation standards against which the quality of higher education accounting programs and their providers will be assessed. Professional accreditation of a program signifies that the program and provider have been assessed as meeting the standards and that the program provides the graduates with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practice in the accounting profession.
The accreditation standards are also used by CPA Australia to assess whether an accounting degree will produce graduates with the knowledge, skills and attributes required for entry into the CPA Program.
There are eight standards that need to be addressed for higher education providers wishing to offer a professionally accredited accounting program. A provider seeking professional accreditation of their accounting degree must demonstrate that it satisfies, or is capable of satisfying, all of the accreditation standards. Where it does not satisfy a standard, it must set out its plans to meet the standard. This may apply particularly to new and evolving schools.
Where a provider meets the guidelines and evidence notes accompanying each of the standards, it can be reasonably confident that it will satisfy that standard. Providers may elect to provide an alternative type of evidence but must demonstrate that their approach enables them to meet the standards.
The accreditation standards apply to accounting programs that have:
- an undergraduate program resulting in a bachelor degree award that is listed as approved by the relevant accrediting body within that country
- a post graduate program resulting in a postgraduate award that is listed as approved by the relevant accrediting body within that country
- a twinning program of either an undergraduate degree or a post graduate award that may exist between an approved overseas university
If the accreditation status of a program is unclear, CPA Australia will assess the qualification using the AEI-NOOSR (National Office for Overseas Skills Recognition) website.
Any new school of accounting or new accounting program within an established school must not advertise an accounting program or give the impression that it will lead to a qualification which entitles graduates to enter the relevant CPA Program until such a program has been granted accreditation approval by CPA Australia.
CPA Australia’s accreditation standards are primarily concerned with graduate outcomes rather than inputs or processes. The required competence areas and learning outcomes in Section 3 provide further detail to program developers on the specific graduate learning outcomes expected by CPA Australia.
Guideline and evidence requirements
CPA Australia requires higher education providers to provide a copy of their submission and relevant documentation listed under “evidence” with all submissions for new programs – see Section 6: Template 1 (doc). This must be provided either via email or a USB drive mailed to CPA Australia.
It is not the intention of CPA Australia to have providers write material especially for the submission. Instead, it is preferred and anticipated that much of this material already forms part of the providers’ existing documentation and can be readily accessed and utilised for submission purposes.