Section 2: Accreditation standards

Professional accreditation signifies that the program and provider have been assessed as meeting the standards and that the program provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practice in the accounting profession.

We also use these standards to assess whether an accounting degree will produce graduates with the knowledge, skills and attributes required to enter the CPA Program.

There are seven standards that need to be addressed by higher education providers looking to offer a professionally-accredited accounting program. They must demonstrate that it satisfies, or is capable of satisfying, all of the accreditation standards. Where it doesn't satisfy a standard, it must set out its plans to do so. 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 the following accounting programs:

  • an undergraduate program resulting in a bachelor's degree that's listed as approved by the relevant accrediting body within that country
  • a postgraduate program resulting in a postgraduate award that's listed as approved by the relevant accrediting body within that country
  • a twinning program of either an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate award that may exist between an approved overseas university.

If the accreditation status of a program is unclear, we'll assess the qualification using the AEI-NOOSR 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.

Our accreditation standards are primarily concerned with graduate outcomes rather than inputs or processes. The required technical and professional competency areas and related learning outcomes, including the content guidance schedules in Section 3: Technical and professional competency areas and learning outcomes, give program developers further details on the specific graduate learning outcomes expected by CPA Australia.

Guideline and evidence requirements

We require 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: Accreditation Submission Templates - Template 1). This must be provided electronically to us.

It's not our intention to have providers write material especially for the submission. Instead, it's preferred and assumed that most of this material already exists as part of the providers’ documentation and can be readily accessed and utilised for submission purposes.

Seven standards