Section 5: Frequently Asked Questions

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Professional Accreditation Guidelines Australia and New Zealand



Do the Professional Bodies stipulate any requirements relating to the advanced standing policy of accredited programs?

No – the Professional Bodies acknowledge the obligations of TEQSA or NZQA registered providers in granting advanced standing in their programs in alignment with the AQF’s or NZQF’s qualification pathways policies.

Do the Professional Bodies prescribe a minimum student:staff ratio?

No – the Professional Bodies acknowledge the obligations of TEQSA or NZQA registered providers to meet higher education standards for course design and delivery including student:staff ratios and maximum class size.

Do the Professional Bodies 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.

Do the Professional Bodies accredit conversion programs that are not award based?

The Professional Bodies 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.

What are the requirements for reaccreditation?

The Professional Bodies require all accredited programs to apply for re-accreditation every five years. In order to be re-accredited by the Professional Bodies, the program must meet the accreditation standards and criteria current at the time. 

The Professional Bodies reserve 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?

The professional bodies expect 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 Professional Body accreditation?

There are no fees payable by a higher education provider to apply for accreditation by the Professional Bodies. The Professional Bodies invest in accreditation as part of their broader academic commitments.

What does the site visit by the Professional Bodies involve?

The Professional Bodies 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 5 years. Where possible, each site visit will be conducted by representatives of both Professional Bodies. The Professional Bodies reserve the right to conduct a site visit outside the standard accreditation cycle.

The initial site visit will take place during the assessment stage of the accreditation process. At the site visit, the representatives of the Professional Bodies will identify any areas of concern and the higher education provider must address these areas before the application will be considered for accreditation by the Professional Bodies. If the provider is operating a twinning arrangement, and the Professional Bodies have 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 are the ongoing requirements of higher education providers of accredited program(s)?

Once a program is accredited by the Professional Bodies, we request that the provider:
  • provides confirmation/ update of subject tables annually. The Professional Bodies will send an email request to the provider’s nominated contact for response. Failure to supply timely information may result in program details being removed from both websites.
  • inform the Professional Bodies of any proposed significant changes to the program via submission of Template 3.

Major changes will be reviewed by the Professional Bodies’ relevant accreditation committee. Changes may impact the accredited status of the program.

In what circumstances can the Professional Bodies withdraw program accreditation?

Should the Professional Bodies accreditation standards not be met, the program will not be re-accredited. Similarly, should either Professional Body become aware of a significant change to an accredited program that results in the accreditation standards not being met, accreditation of this program can be withdrawn by the Professional Bodies.

Program changes

What is considered a major change?

A major change is anything that impacts on how the provider or accredited program complies with the Professional Bodies Accreditation Standards and Competency Areas. Examples can include but are not limited to:

  • Change of ownership or legal control of higher education provider
  • Change of program or provider accreditation status with TEQSA or NZQA
  • Change to AQF or NZQF award level and 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 competency areas
  • Program cessation

How do I notify the Professional Bodies of a major change?

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

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

Email details of the change through to [email protected] and [email protected] to ensure the program name is updated on both Professional Bodies’ websites.

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

Complete Template 2 and email through to [email protected] and [email protected]. This will then be assessed by the Professional Bodies 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 both of the Professional Body logos to use on their marketing material for the program in accordance with respective guidelines. The accredited program will also be listed on both Professional Body websites.

Are there requirements that providers should be aware of when advertising the accredited status of a program or using the Professional Bodies logos?

Yes – both Professional Bodies have a number of set requirements with how the logo, trademarks and brand are utilised. Contact the Professional Bodies for assistance on using the logo on marketing materials.

Where do Professional Bodies publish accredited programs?

Both Professional Bodies publish a dynamic list of accredited programs on their websites. In efforts to provide accurate information to members and potential members of the Professional Bodies 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

Do the Professional Bodies support Work Integrated Learning?

In support of developing well-rounded, work-ready graduates, the Professional Bodies welcome 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

The Professional Bodies welcome 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 professional program of both Professional Bodies.

Do the Professional Bodies wish to have representation on program advisory boards?

Higher education providers are encouraged to invite members and representatives of the professional bodies 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.


CPA Australia

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

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

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

33 Erskine Street, Sydney
GPO Box 9985 Sydney NSW 2001

P: +61 2 9290 5660
E: [email protected]