Professional Standards Scheme

Content Summary

Public practitioners can take part in the Professional Standards Scheme (Scheme) if they conduct public accounting services, hold a CPA or FCPA designation and have a current limited or full public practice certificate. The Scheme may impose a limited liability cap to a civil claim relating to the provision of public accounting services if there is no contrary legislative impediment. 

You can find out more about the Scheme and your obligations by watching our Understanding the Scheme webinar recording on YouTube

Guidance tool
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You can conduct a Scheme eligibility self-assessment using our guidance tool to identify what you need to do to participate.

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) 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 current 2019-2024 Scheme using the Guidance Tool. This will help you understand your obligations and risk profile relating to civil claims.

Participation in the scheme is compulsory if you meet the eligibility criteria, unless you have an exemption. 

You can apply for an exemption by completing a Scheme Exemption Application Form (below) and sending it to: [email protected].

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 on all promotional material as suggested by the Professional Standards Council
  • 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 below or read more about public accounting insurance options
  • Ensure your practice maintains a risk management framework informed by APES 325: Risk Management for Firms
  • Comply with CPA Australia’s Constitution, By-Laws, and all applicable APESB standards
  • Comply with the Best Practice Program and participate when selected
  • Undertake 120 hours of CPD to maintain your professional competencies, and
  • Promptly advise CPA Australia at [email protected], if a civil claim against you is likely to exceed the minimum insurance prescribed by the By-Laws.

CPA Australia: professional indemnity insurance

Find out more about professional indemnity insurance (PII), your choices and obligations.

Civil claims

If you are notified of a claim against your public indemnity insurance you should:

  • Identify the relevant Scheme according to the date of the cause of action in table 1 below.
  • Identify whether you are eligible to participate in that Scheme — 2017-2019 Scheme Eligibility Tool or the 2019-2024 Scheme Guidance Tool — and if eligible, notify your insurer and/or legal counsel of your eligibility.
  • Promptly advise us at [email protected] if the claim is likely to exceed the minimum insurance prescribed by the By-Laws.

Identify whether you are eligible to participate in a Scheme with our self-assessment tool.

Professional Standards Schemes: effective dates

State or Territory 2013-2017 Scheme effective dates inclusive 2017-2019 Scheme effective dates inclusive 2019-2024 Scheme effective dates inclusive
NSW 8 October 2013 – 7 October 2017 23 December 2017 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024
WA 8 October 2013 – 7 October 2017 30 December 2017 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024
QLD 8 October 2013 – 7 October 2017 1 January 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024
ACT 8 October 2013 – 7 October 2017 1 January 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024
NT 8 October 2013 – 7 October 2017 8 January 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024
SA 8 October 2013 – 7 October 2017 24 January 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024
TAS 8 October 2013 – 7 October 2017 21 February 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024
VIC 8 October 2013 – 7 October 2017 19 March 2018 – 22 December 2019 23 December 2019 – 22 December 2024

Chubb Policy Run-Off cover for 5 years: effective dates

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