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 Scheme has been authorised by NSW, VIC, SA and WA ahead of other states and we anticipate a commencement date of 23 December 2019 across Australia.

The new Scheme 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 application of the limited liability will depend on the services provided and any legislative impediments. A limited liability cap will apply to a claim relating to the provision of public accounting services if there is no contrary legislation. Accordingly, the Scheme may not limit liability for those practitioners who are required to hold adequate professional indemnity insurance as part of a statutory license or condition of registration.

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 13 February to learn more about the Scheme and your obligations or watch a webinar recording  on YouTube.

What is the Scheme

The Scheme is not insurance, it’s a legal instrument that may limit 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 should review your eligibility 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:

Scheme obligations

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

  • Continue to display the notification of limited liability statement “Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation” in at least 8 point font Times New Roman.
  • Continue to hold the correct amount of professional indemnity insurance (PII) suitable for the services you provide and your practice’s income in accordance with the By-laws (9.8) as explained in our short video above or read more about your options at public accounting insurance.
  • Ensure your firm maintains a risk management framework informed by APES 325: Risk Management for Firms and learn how to use CPA Australia’s Risk Management Framework Tool by watching a short video
  • Comply with CPA Australia’s Constitution, By-Laws, and all applicable APESB standards.
  • Comply with the Quality Review Program and participate when selected.
  • Undertake 120 hours of CPD to maintain your professional competencies, and
  • Promptly advise CPA Australia at a civil claim against you is likely to exceed the minimum insurance prescribed by the By-Laws.

Civil Claims

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

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
**These are preliminary dates to be confirmed by gazettal in each State in due course.

Chubb Policy (PDF) Run-Off cover for 5 years

NSW  8 October 2017 – 21 December 2017 NT 8 October 2017 – 17 January 2018 
WA  8 October 2017 – 29 December 2017 SA 8 October 2017 – 23 January 2018 
 QLD  8 October 2017 – 31 December 2017 TAS 8 October 2017 – 20 February 2018
 ACT  8 October 2017 – 31 December 2017 VIC 8 October 2017 – 18 March 2018