Public Practice Program eLearning

Content Summary

About the course

This course is designed to be taken on demand, on any device, at any time. Each module will be assessed, but the modules can be completed in any order.

Successful completion of the eLearning course is one of the prerequisites for obtaining a public practice certificate to offer public accounting services in Australia or New Zealand.

The program may also be suitable for members based outside Australia or New Zealand who are interested in learning more about the professional and ethical requirements of working in public practice in Australia and NZ.

Course structure

There are five modules:

  1. Offering a Public Accounting Service (PAS)
  2. Public practice certificate
  3. Ethical standards
  4. Quality management (APES 320)
  5. Risk management (APES 325)

Each eLearning module has a corresponding multiple-choice question assessment which requires a 75 per cent pass mark to succeed.

To achieve a CPA public practice certificate, you must successfully compete the eLearning program and the Public Practice Program workshop.

Learning objectives

Offering a Public Accounting Service (PAS) (45 minutes)

  • List the general CPA Australia By-Law requirements for the provision of PAS
  • List the requirements of a specific PAS
  • List the requirements of the APES 210 Conformity with Auditing and Assurance Standards
  • List the requirements of the APES 215 Forensic Accounting Services
  • List the requirements of the APES 220 Taxation Services
  • List the requirements of the APES 225 Valuation Services
  • List the requirements of the APES 230 Financial Planning Services
  • List the requirements of the APES 330 Insolvency Services

Public practice certificate (60 minutes)

  • Define Public Accounting Services (PAS)List the requirements of a specific PAS
  • List the requirements to hold a public practice certificate
  • List the features and requirements of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) to meet the obligations for public practice certificate holders
  • List the requirements of branding as a CPA Australia practice
  • Detail the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements of professional accountants
  • Describe the Professional Standards Scheme and its benefits for accountants
  • Describe CPA Australia’s complaints and disciplinary process

Ethical standards (45 minutes)

  • Explain why ethical behavior is important to a profession
  • Define the five fundamental principles of ethics
  • List the three steps in the conceptual framework
  • State the reporting requirements for Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR)
  • Apply the conceptual framework to identify, evaluate and address threats
  • Describe the scope, application and requirements of five further ethical standards

Quality management (APES 320) (1 hour 45 minutes)

  • List the requirements of APES 320 Quality Control for Firms
  • Describe the nature and scope of CPA Australia’s Quality Review Program
  • Identify common breaches of professional standards, legislative or regulatory requirements identified by the Quality Review Program

Risk management (APES 325) (30 minutes)

  • List the requirements of APES 325 Risk Management for Firms
  • List the steps in the risk management process
  • Describe how managing client expectations reduces risk
  • Describe how terms of engagement can manage risk


You must have CPA or FCPA status or have a non-member agreement with your CPA Program status set to completed.


Each module will be separately assessed through a multiple-choice assessment which requires a 75 per cent pass mark. The exam will be open book.

Study materials

There are no additional study materials provided with the eLearning modules. All relevant information will be included in each of the modules to help you complete the assessment.

Rules and policies

When you enrol in CPA eLearning, you are agreeing to abide by the rules and policies of the program. 

Read our Public Practice Program rules and policies

Enrol now to get started