Latest news on the Professional Standards Scheme (Scheme)

On 21 June 2019, the Professional Standards Councils (PSC) approved CPA Australia’s application for a five-year Professional Standards Scheme (Scheme) for gazettal. The NSW Minister has authorised the Scheme, ahead of other States and we anticipate a commencement date of 23 December 2019 across Australia.

The new Scheme will be more inclusive than the current Scheme and will enable all public practitioners who conduct public accounting services, hold a CPA or FCPA designation and have a current limited or full public practice certificate to participate. However, the scope of eligibility will depend on the services provided. A limited liability cap will apply to a claim relating to the provision of public accounting services including accounting, bookkeeping, taxation, audit and assurance services, insolvency and corporate reconstruction, management accounting, management consulting, forensic accounting, valuation services and transactional accounting or financial reporting activities.

Whereas, it will not apply to a claim relating to the provision of public accounting services including financial planning and advice (Limited and Full AFSL), consumer and commercial credit services (ACL) and services performed as an Authorised Representative or Responsible Manager.

You can prepare for the new scheme by conducting an eligibility self-assessment using our guidance tool (PDF) and find out more about your compulsory professional indemnity insurance requirements by watching our video below:

You can also register now for a complimentary 60-minute webinar on Thursday 12 December to learn more about the Scheme and your obligations.

What is the scheme

The Scheme is not insurance, it’s a legal instrument that limits civil claims to the level of professional indemnity insurance (PII) that public practitioners are required to hold in accordance with our By-Laws.  The Scheme’s objectives are to protect, improve and help consumers and professionals by preserving the viability of the accounting profession by continually encouraging improved professional standards.  

Scheme eligibility and exemptions

If you are a CPA Australia public practitioner, you will need to find out whether you are eligible to participate in the new 2019-2024 Scheme using the Guidance Tool (PDF) or the current 2017-2019 Scheme using the Eligibility Tool (PDF) so that you understand your obligations and risk profile relating to civil claims.

If you are eligible to participate in the Scheme, it is compulsory unless you have an exemption, which you can apply for by completing a Scheme Exemption Application Form and sending it to: publicpractice@cpaaustralia.com.au.

Scheme obligations

If you are eligible to participate in the Scheme you must:

Civil Claims

If you are notified of a claim against your PII you should:

  • Identify the relevant Scheme according to the date the cause of action relates to.
  • Identify whether you are eligible to participate in that Scheme, using the 2017-2019 Scheme Eligibility Tool (PDF) or the 2019-2024 Scheme Guidance Tool (PDF) and:
    • if eligible, advise your insurer that you are eligible for the limited liability Scheme
    • if ineligible, you may still leverage the Chubb Master Policy (see table below), which may boost your PII level.

Professional Standards Schemes – effective dates

State or territory 2017-2019 Scheme effective dates inclusive 2019-2024 Scheme effective dates inclusive
NSW 23 December 2017 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024
WA 30 December 2017 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019** – 22 December 2024
QLD 1 January 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019** – 22 December 2024
ACT 1 January 2018 – 22 December 2019  23 December 2019** – 22 December 2024
NT 18 January 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019** – 22 December 2024
SA 24 January 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019** – 22 December 2024
TAS 21 February 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019** – 22 December 2024
VIC 19 March 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019** – 22 December 2024

Chubb Elite Excess Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy (Chubb Master Policy) and guidance note (PDF)
State or territory Policy Number: 02PI000965 (PDF) Policy Number: to be determined
All states 8 October 2017 – 8 October 2019 ***Insurance yet to be negotiated with Chubb

** These are preliminary dates to be confirmed by gazettal in each State in due course.
*** CPA Australia has commenced negotiations with Chubb Insurance Australia Ltd – if you have any questions about the Chubb Master Policy insurance please contact publicpracticecompliance@cpaaustralia.com.au.