25 July

We wish to provide you with an update on the operation of limited liability schemes for public practitioners. The current CPA Australia Professional Standards Councils (PSC) scheme which operates across mainland Australia expires on 7 October 2017. There is currently no scheme in Tasmania.

Further to our communication with you on 27 June, we can advise that the PSC has confirmed a new scheme will not be in place prior to 8 October 2017. This will affect CPA Australia public practitioners nationally.

Please be assured that CPA Australia continues to work on an active application with the PSC.

Additionally, we are currently finalising planning for a national roadshow to engage with members on risk management and professional indemnity insurance, as well as alternative support strategies. More details about these activities will be provided in due course.

It is important to note that the PSC scheme, while providing a cap for civil liability, does not replace or reduce the obligation for public practitioners to hold appropriate levels of Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Public Practitioners will be aware that it is a requirement of holding a Public Practice Certificate to have Professional Indemnity Insurance coverage that meets the requirements of CPA Australia’s By-Laws. The PSC announcement does not affect this requirement.

CPA Australia recommends you review the level of insurance protection you have based on the nature of the client services you are providing and your clients’ profile. Depending on the services you provide and your clients’ profile you may also need to speak to your broker/insurer.

Please take the time to look again at the Limited Liability Scheme Guidance Note we circulated on 27 June as it provides further detail on the implications of this change.

Attend a complimentary Public Practice Forum: Insurance and risk management.

We will provide you with further information as available. If you have any questions please contact publicpractice@cpaaustralia.com.au

Jeff Hughes
Chief Operating Officer Member Services

Peter Docherty
General Manager Public Practice


27 June

You may have seen media coverage in the last week relating to the operation of our limited liability schemes for public practitioners. The below and the Limited Liability Scheme Guidance Note (PDF) will provide you with more information on this issue.

The current CPA Australia PSC scheme which operates across mainland Australia expires on 7 October 2017. There is currently no scheme in Tasmania.

CPA Australia lodged an application for a new Professional Standards Scheme in January 2017, which has been assessed by the Professional Standards Council (PSC) of New South Wales.

Last week, the PSC advised that it is unable to direct the proposed new scheme be published for public notification at this time, however the application is still active. The PSC is seeking additional information in relation to CPA Australia’s status as an occupational association as a result of the establishment of the subsidiary CPA Australia Advice Pty Ltd. 

CPA Australia is continuing to work with the PSC on this active application by providing any additional information required including in relation to CPA Australia’s governance structures. CPA Australia appreciates the PSC’s commitment to working with us as we progress our application.

As a result of the timing, there will be a gap in the operation of the Victorian scheme. Depending on the timing of the PSC’s consideration of further information, there is the possibility that other states and territories where a scheme is in place may also be affected.

Assuming that you have compliant Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) cover in place, you should already be adequately insured against liabilities in the likely range to which you are exposed. In light of a potential gap, CPA Australia recommends you review the level of insurance protection you have based on the nature of the client services you are providing and your clients’ profile. Depending on the services you provide and your client profile you may also need to speak to your broker/insurer.

The Limited Liability Scheme Guidance Note (PDF) provides detailed information relating to how any gap in the scheme may affect you and further information for you to consider as you assess your individual risk profile.

As we continue to progress our application with the PSC we will provide you with updated information and additional guidance as relevant.

If you have any questions please contact publicpractice@cpaaustralia.com.au

Jeff Hughes
Chief Operating Officer Member Services

Peter Docherty
General Manager Public Practice

22 June

The current CPA Australia PSC scheme which operates across mainland Australia expires on 7 October 2017. There is currently no scheme in Tasmania.

CPA Australia lodged an application for a new Professional Standards Scheme in January 2017, which has been assessed by the Professional Standards Council (PSC) of New South Wales.

This week, the PSC advised that it is unable to direct the proposed new scheme to be published for public notification at this time, however the application is still active. The PSC is seeking additional information in relation to CPA Australia’s status as an occupational association as a result of the establishment of the subsidiary CPA Australia Advice Pty Ltd.

CPA Australia is continuing to work with the PSC on this active application by providing any additional information required, including in relation to the independent review our Chair announced last week.

CPA Australia appreciates the PSC’s commitment to working with us as we progress our application.

As a result of the timing, it is highly likely that there will be a gap in the operation of the Victorian scheme. Depending on the timing of the PSC’s consideration of further information, there is the possibility that other states and territories where a scheme is in place may also be affected.

Since receiving this advice from the PSC on Monday evening (19 June), CPA Australia has been developing detailed information for our members that will provide them with guidance for risk management and how to determine appropriate levels of professional indemnity insurance cover.

CPA Australia is in continuing consultations with the PSC on our application and is reviewing the communications strategy advising members of any potential gap in continuity and how to manage their individual risk. The PSC and CPA Australia are working together on this to ensure members are provided with timely, consistent and accurate information.

CPA Australia’s Public Practice Advisory Committee and Insurance Working Group was briefed on Monday and is meeting again on Monday, 26 June to sign off the communication materials developed as a result of these consultations.

More detailed communication with members will occur from Tuesday, 27 June onwards.

This communication will include advice in relation to usage of limited liability disclosure statements and guidance on other appropriate risk management strategies.

It is important to note that regardless of the timing of this process, there will be no impact on consumers.

PSC schemes do not replace or reduce the obligation of professionals to have established risk management frameworks and hold appropriate levels of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

PII is a safety net to protect a member’s practice if risk management systems fail. PSC schemes provide an additional layer of security in a practice’s risk management framework in that there is capped liability for the provision of certain services.

Jeff Hughes
Chief Operating Officer Member Services

Peter Docherty
General Manager Public Practice


9 June

The Financial Review article today claiming that the NSW Government is threatening to deregister CPA Australia is false. The NSW Government has no authority to deregister the company, CPA Australia Limited.

It is critical that CPA Australia members are made aware of the facts of this situation, and to that end we have been active in the national media today seeking to correct the misinformation that was published.

CPA Australia has a current limited liability scheme in place for our public practitioners under the Professional Standards Act (PSC). We have made an application to the PSC for a new Scheme to commence later this year to replace our existing scheme that expires on 7 October.

The PSC is an independent statutory authority and we are in commercial in-confidence discussions with them in relation to that application. CPA Australia has been, and will continue to be, working with the Professional Standards Council to have a new scheme approved.

In this context, the comments in the article attributed to NSW Minister Matt Kean are not appropriate in view of the ongoing process. We have written to the NSW Premier to this effect.

Irrespective of the outcome of this process, our members will continue to be able to access appropriate options for Professional Indemnity Insurance cover, and we will continue to provide the necessary guidance in relation to risk management.

Jeff Hughes
Chief Operating Officer Member Services
CPA Australia


Peter Docherty
General Manager Public Practice
CPA Australia