Section 4: Accreditation process

New program eligibility check

For higher education providers interested in having a program accredited by CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand ("the Professional Bodies").

Step 1: Review

Review the accreditation guidelines.

Step 2: Eligibility

"At a glance" eligibility check.

  1. Is your program accredited by TEQSA or NZQA?
  2. Are you registered with TEQSA or NZQA?
  3. Does the program cover all the required competency areas listed in the accreditation guidelines?

If you answered no to any of the three questions above, the program isn't ready to be considered for accreditation by the Professional Bodies.

Enquires about minimum criteria can be sent to [email protected] or [email protected]

If you answered yes to all three of the questions above, then you are encouraged to continue with the accreditation submission and review process.

Accreditation submission and review process

The following provides an overview of the accreditation process from initial submission to reaccreditation review.

Step 1: Submission

Initial submission (new provider) New program submission (existing provider)
We're a higher education provider seeking accreditation of a program for the first time (we don't have any prior accredited programs). We're a higher education provider with an existing accredited program/s seeking accreditation of a new/revised program or a twinning arrangement.
  • Complete Template 1 
  • Send accreditation submission to Professional Bodies and attach required evidence (soft copy submission preferred)
  • Complete Template 2 
  • Send accreditation submission to Professional Bodies and attach required evidence (soft copy submission preferred)

Step 2: Submission review

Professional Bodies conduct the initial desktop review and request any further information from the higher education provider if required.

Step 3: Initial site visit to a new higher education provider

The Professional Bodies will conduct an initial site visit for all new higher education providers (see Section 5: Frequently asked questions) where the submission is their first program seeking accreditation, or a reaccreditation submission within their first 10 years of accredited program delivery.

Step 4: Submission outcome

Each Professional Body's accreditation committee will consider the submission and then notify the higher education provider of the outcome.

Accreditation granted

If accreditation is granted, the higher education provider will need to follow the steps required for ongoing accreditation and reaccreditation over the five-year period. Contact the Professional Bodies for a logo licence and help using their logos on marketing collateral.

  • Annual report submission: An annual report submission will be requested by the Professional Bodies throughout the accreditation period, see an example of the information requested in Template 3
  • Reaccreditation: A full review of accredited programs and a site visit will typically occur every five years. A reminder is issued by the Professional Bodies six months prior to accreditation expiry, complete Template 4.
  • Changes to accredited programs: Providers must notify the Professional Bodies of any material changes to accredited programs throughout the accreditation period, complete Template 2.

Accreditation not granted

If accreditation isn't granted, the Professional Bodies will give feedback to the higher education provider, including the changes required to achieve accreditation in the future.

Appeals process for decisions relating to the professional accreditation of accounting degree programs

The provider may appeal against a decision not to accredit an accounting degree program, or only grant provisional accreditation.

The appeal must be made in writing to [email protected] and/or [email protected] within four weeks of receiving the decision. It must state the grounds for appeal, which are limited to violations of written Joint Chartered Accountants ANZ and CPA Australia Professional Accreditation Guidelines.

Where an appeal applies to a decision made jointly by the Professional Bodies, both bodies will first review the appeal independently and then jointly agree on a final outcome. There may be occasions where an appeal might apply to only one of those bodies, in which case it will be determined by that one organisation only.

Appeals will be reviewed by appeal panels comprised of the Professional Bodies' Academic Governance Committee members. They must have no connection to the appellant and not have participated in the original decision/outcome.

The provider will be notified of the outcome of their appeal in writing within 90 days of the appeal lodgement date including reasons for the outcome.

The decision of the appeal panel is final.

Complaints from accredited program students or staff

If a complaint is received from a student or staff member regarding an issue that violates the professional accreditation standards, such as coverage of required content or qualifications of staff involved in the delivery of an accredited program, the matter is to be referred to the Head, Education Policy at CPA Australia and the Admissions Policy Manager, Chartered Accountants ANZ. They will initiate investigations and determine whether the complaint is justified. If it is, appropriate action will be taken, and a written response given to the person initiating the complaint within 90 days of receipt.

If a complaint is received by a student or staff member regarding an issue that violates broader higher education threshold standards, such as academic governance, student admission criteria or assessment methods, they'll be advised to lodge their complaint formally with the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) or New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as the bodies authorised to enforce the higher education standards in Australia and New Zealand respectively.