Section 5: Frequently asked questions
No, we acknowledge the obligations of the accrediting bodies in those countries to ensure adequate rules for advanced standing.
No, we acknowledge 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.
CPA Australia’s expectation is that at least 50 per cent of the overall assessment marks for each subject meeting the required competency areas, should be invigilated, which means that a student’s identity is confirmed, and they are observed when completing assessment activities that contribute to at least half of their overall grade. This provides CPA Australia with assurance that graduates of accredited programs have demonstrated pre-requisite knowledge and skills, which the profession has highlighted as important and will be further developed in the professional program.
CPA Australia relies on the university’s or other higher education provider’s academic expertise and internal governance processes to ensure that academic integrity is maintained and to determine the most appropriate assessments for subjects and/or students. Invigilated assessment activities can include, but is not limited to, in-person or online examinations undertaken under the observation of a human or online invigilator. Activities such as in-person presentations, written in-class quizzes or question and answer sessions may also count toward this minimum 50% invigilated assessment requirement as long as the student is observed whilst completing the assessment activity.
An assessment hurdle usually requires the candidate to achieve at least 40% or 50% of the overall marks in a particular assessment (for example an exam), and some universities and higher education providers include this requirement as part of their assessment strategy or policy. While we welcome the inclusion of an assessment hurdle, CPA Australia does not require an assessment hurdle.
CPA Australia accredit programs of universities and other higher education providers who have already been registered with the local authority of their respective countries. We therefore draw your attention to academic integrity as one of the sector-wide issues and stress the importance of Higher Education Providers being vigilant in protecting the integrity of their higher education system.
We also draw your attention to International Education Standard 6 (IES 6) found in the International Accounting Education Standards Board’s Handbook of International Education Standards for information on the assessments if required. The Explanatory Material noted in IES 6 clearly explains the principles of assessment (Refer Paragraphs A9 – A20) and the need for verifiable evidence (Refer Paragraphs A21 – A22).
- We will only accredit programs that lead to a higher education award (for example, a bachelor’s or master’s degree).
For twinning arrangements, assessment of the program will focus on the:
- program approval by relevant higher education agencies
- equivalence of curriculum
- quality of instruction
- reliability of assessment
- adequate and accessible facilities.
See Appendix 4: Twinning arrangements for further information on these factors.
For twinning arrangement accreditation submissions, providers are to use Template 1.
We require all accredited programs to apply for reaccreditation every five years. In order to be reaccredited, the program must meet the accreditation standards and criteria current at the time.
We reserve the right to review a program or conduct a site visit outside the standard accreditation cycle.
- We expect that the software will be a commercial accounting package (there are many on the market, including MYOB and Xero). Use of a spreadsheet or database package, or software specially developed for teaching accounting, won't normally meet this requirement.
- There are no fees payable by a higher education provider to apply for accreditation by CPA Australia. We invest in accreditation as part of our broader academic commitments.
We’ll conduct a site visit for the first program accreditation submission by a new provider and the reaccreditation review (if required) which occurs every five years. We reserve the right to conduct a site visit outside the standard accreditation cycle.
If an initial site visit can’t occur prior to accreditation, accreditation may still be granted on a case by case basis, but will be subject to the outcome of a future site visit.
At the site visit, our CPA Australia representative will identify any areas of concern and the provider must address these areas before the application will be considered for accreditation. If the provider is operating a twinning arrangement, and we haven’t 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.
- If a provider introduces a new accredited program during their five-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 five years ago. This is to streamline processes for all stakeholders and align subsequent review cycles to the same period.
Once a program is accredited by CPA Australia, we request that the provider:
- provides confirmation/update of subject tables annually. We’ll 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 our website
- inform us of any proposed significant changes to the program via submission of Template 2.
Major changes will be reviewed by our Accreditation Committee. Changes may impact the accredited status of the program.
Should CPA Australia accreditation standards not be met, the program won't be reaccredited. Similarly, should we become aware of a significant change to an accredited program that results in the accreditation standards not being met, we can withdraw this program's accreditation.
A major change is anything that impacts on how the provider or accredited program complies with CPA Australia's 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 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.
If a program is accredited, you will receive an accreditation certificate to display on campus and allowed to use our logo on marketing material for the program (in accordance with respective guidelines). The accredited program will also be listed on our website.
We publish a dynamic list of accredited programs on our website. In order to provide accurate information to members, potential members and the broader community about accredited programs available, we require 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
In support of developing well-rounded, work-ready graduates, we welcome the inclusion of WIL 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
- site visits, field observations and shadowing.
We also welcome opportunities to promote these activities to our members and invite their involvement.
WIL may also contribute towards the practical experience requirement for the CPA Program.
- Higher education providers are encouraged to invite members and representatives of CPA Australia to input into the program development process via program advisory committees or review panels. Ideally, the appointed persons would include employers of program graduates to provide a "marketplace" view of the education needs of the industry, as well as feedback on the accounting programs offered and the standards achieved by graduates.