Section 5 Frequently asked questions

Go to secondary navigation
International Accreditation Guidelines



Does CPA Australia stipulate any requirements relating to the advanced standing policy of accredited programs?

No – CPA Australia acknowledges the obligations of the accrediting bodies in those countries to ensure adequate rules for advanced standing.

Does CPA Australia prescribe a minimum student: staff ratio?

No – CPA Australia acknowledges the obligations of the accrediting bodies in those countries to require adequate guidelines for course design and delivery including student: staff ratios and maximum class size.

Does CPA Australia stipulate any program assessment requirements?

Although not being prescriptive, there is a general expectation that at least 50 per cent of the assessment for subjects meeting the professional bodies’ required competency areas should be invigilated.

If the expectation referred to above is not met for a subject, then the professional bodies will consider whether the proposed assessment methods are appropriate for that particular area. For example, a major reliance on computer laboratory practical work may be appropriate in some cases for the Information Technology area.

Does CPA Australia accredit conversion programs that are not award based?

CPA Australia will only accredit programs that lead to a higher education award (for example, bachelor degree, master).

What are the specific requirements of a twinning arrangement?

For twinning arrangements, assessment of the program will focus on the following factors:
  • approval of program by relevant higher education agencies
  • equivalence of curriculum
  • quality of instruction
  • reliability of assessment
  • adequate and accessible facilities
See Appendix 3 for further information on these factors. For twinning arrangement accreditation submissions, providers are to use Template 1 (doc).

What are the requirements for reaccreditation?

CPA Australia requires all accredited programs to apply for re-accreditation every five years. In order to be re-accredited, the program must meet the accreditation standards and criteria current at the time. 

CPA Australia reserves the right to review a program or conduct a site visit outside the standard accreditation cycle.

What type of accounting software is expected to meet the Accounting systems and processes competence area?

CPA Australia expects that the software will be a commercial accounting package (there are many on the market, but as an example, MYOB, Xero). Use of a spreadsheet or database package, or software specially developed for teaching accounting, will not normally meet this requirement.


Are there any fees associated with CPA Australia accreditation?

There are no fees payable by a higher education provider to apply for accreditation by CPA Australia. CPA Australia invests in accreditation as part of their broader academic commitments.

What does the site visit by CPA Australia involve?

CPA Australia will conduct a site visit for the first program accreditation submission by a new higher education provider and the reaccreditation review (if required) which occurs every five years. CPA Australia reserves the right to conduct a site visit outside the standard accreditation cycle.

If an initial site visit cannot occur prior to accreditation, accreditation may still be granted on a case by case basis, but be subject to the outcome of a future site visit.

At the site visit, the representative of CPA Australia will identify any areas of concern and the higher education provider must address these areas before the application will be considered for accreditation. If the provider is operating a twinning arrangement, and CPA Australia has not previously visited the twinning partner campus, then a site visit to that campus will normally be required.

The reaccreditation site visit will be a requirement for providers within their first 10 years of accredited program delivery and recommended for more established providers.

What if a new program is accredited in the 5-yearly review cycle?

If a provider introduces a new accredited program during their 5-yearly review cycle, the new program will need to be included in the next review submission regardless of whether the initial accreditation of that program was less than 5 years ago. This is to streamline processes for all stakeholders and align subsequent review cycles to the same period.


What is considered a major change?

A major change is anything that impacts on how the provider or accredited program complies with CPA Australia's Accreditation Standards and Competence Areas. Examples can include but are not limited to:

  • change of ownership or legal control of higher education provider
  • in accreditation status by the relevant accrediting body in that country
  • change an award level or title
  • changes to key staff within the School of Accounting
  • changes to program delivery locations/campuses
  • changes to mode of delivery
  • changes to program structure or content associated with required competence areas
  • program cessation

How do I notify CPA Australia of a major change?

Complete Template 2 (doc) and email through to [email protected] The accreditation status of the program will be reviewed by the CPA Australia and you will be advised in writing of the outcome of this review.

I am changing the name of the subjects but not the structure or content within – what should I do?

Email details of the change through to [email protected] to ensure the program name is updated CPA Australia’s websites.

I am looking at changing program structure but want to ensure it still meets the requirements of accreditation by CPA Australia – what should I do?

Complete Template 2 (doc) and email through to [email protected] This will then be assessed by CPA Australia and we will advise as to whether the changes will impact the accredited status of the program.

Program promotion

Marketing the program accreditation

If a program is accredited, the higher education provider will receive an accreditation certificate to display on campus and also have access to CPA Australia’s logos to use on their marketing material for the program in accordance with respective guidelines. The accredited program will also be listed on CPA Australia’s websites.

Are there requirements that providers should be aware of when advertising the accredited status of a program or using CPA Australia’s logos?

Yes – CPA Australia has a number of set requirements with how the logo, trademarks and brand are utilised. Contact CPA Australia for assistance on using the logo on marketing materials.

Where does CPA Australia publish accredited programs?

CPA Australia publishes a dynamic list of accredited programs on their website. In efforts to provide accurate information to members and potential members and the broader community about accredited programs available, we require the assistance of higher education providers to maintain the listing via timely submission of their annual reports and notification of any changes outside this reporting period as soon as possible.

Links to the profession

Does CPA Australia support Work Integrated Learning?

In support of developing well-rounded, work-ready graduates, CPA Australia welcomes the inclusion of work-integrated learning in accounting degrees across a range of formats, including:

  • professional work placements
  • internships, practicum, field or clinical placements
  • cooperative education
  • service learning
  • community projects
  • industry projects
  • work-based projects
  • fieldwork
  • site visits, field observations and shadowing

CPA Australia welcomes opportunities to promote such activities to its members and invite their involvement.

The work integrated learning may also contribute towards the practical experience requirement for the CPA program.

Does CPA Australia wish to have representation on program advisory boards?

Higher education providers are encouraged to invite members and representatives of CPA Australia to have input into the program development process via program advisory committees or review panels. Ideally, the appointed persons would include employers of program graduates in order to provide a "marketplace" view of the education needs of the industry, as well as feedback on the accounting programs offered and on the standards achieved by graduates.

Contact us

Level 20, 28 Freshwater Place, Southbank
GPO Box 2820 Melbourne VIC 3001

P: +61 3 9606 9606
E: [email protected]