CPA Australia Professional Standards Scheme approved for gazettal

On 21 June 2019, the Professional Standards Councils (PSC) approved CPA Australia’s application for a five-year Professional Standards Scheme (Scheme) for gazettal. Before it can take effect, the Scheme application must first be authorised by the relevant Ministers in each Australian state and territory for gazettal. The new Scheme is expected to commence on 23 December 2019 when the current Scheme expires, with the date to be confirmed upon gazettal.

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, limited financial planning, forensic accounting and financial reporting activities. Whereas, it will not apply to a claim relating to the provision of public accounting services including financial planning and advice (Full AFSL), and consumer and commercial credit services (ACL).

A new Scheme eligibility self-assessment tool will become available on the CPA Australia website upon gazettal.

Register now for a complimentary 60-minute webinar on Thursday 12 December to learn more.

Public notification documents

The current Scheme for public practitioners

The CPA Australia Ltd Professional Standards (Accountants) Scheme (PDF) (Scheme) for public practitioners who do not hold a full Australian Financial Services licence (AFS licence), and are not a representative of a full AFS licence holder (including associated as an employee, director or related body corporate), puts a cap on the amount of participant's civil liability. The Scheme will be in place until 23 December 2019 and CPA Australia is currently working on a new Scheme application to replace it.

The Scheme enhances the status of the accounting profession and opens up dialogue between participants, CPA Australia and the regulators, enabling us to work together on risk identification and management to improve the profession and public interest protection outcomes.

You can assess your eligibility to participate in the Scheme by using the self-assessment eligibility tool (PDF).

If you are eligible, CPA Australia will pay the annual fee on your behalf by deriving your eligibility from your member profile, so it's important to keep it up-to-date. You should also continue to monitor your eligibility throughout the year and advise CPA Australia if your circumstances change.

Scheme commencement dates can be found below.

If you are ineligible to participate in the Scheme, you can also use the self-assessment eligibility tool (PDF) to check whether you may be covered by the Chubb Elite Excess Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy (Master Policy) (PDF), which may boost your limited liability cover in some circumstances.

Scheme participant obligations

If you are eligible to participate, you must:

  • ensure your firm maintains a risk management framework, informed by APES 325: Risk Management for Firms
  • continue to monitor your risk management strategies
  • maintain the required minimum level of professional indemnity insurance (PII), which can be identified using the self-assessment eligibility tool (PDF) or by consulting CPA Australia's By-Laws Part 9: Public Accounting Services
  • notify CPA Australia and the Professional Standards Councils (PSC) if a legal claim is made against you that may reach the cap
  • ensure the disclosure statement: "Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation" is displayed in at least eight point Times New Roman font (in any legible colour) on professional collateral including business websites, letters of engagement, advice to clients, newsletters, publications and promotional material, business letterhead, tax invoices and receipts, fax cover sheets and 'With Compliments' slips.



CPA Australia Professional Standards Scheme commencement dates

State or territory Scheme commencement date
NSW 23 December 2017
WA 30 December 2017
QLD 1 January 2018
ACT 1 January 2018
NT 18 January 2018
SA 24 January 2018
TAS 21 February 2018
VIC 19 March 2018