Financial advisers registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) will have to complete 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) over three years under changes being proposed by the board.
In doing so, the TPB is effectively aligning its CPE regime with the continuing professional development (CPD) regime required by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) which requires financial advisers to complete 40 CPD hours a year.
TPB chair, Ian Klug, said that the alignment of the CPE requirements with those of the FASEA regime were one of the key changes requested in initial feedback provided to the TPB.
He argued that the proposed CPE standard of 120 hours over three years equated to less than an hour per this week.
“This proposal also aligned with the standard of some other professions and matches the requirements of some professional associations,” Klug said.
"Most tax practitioners provide excellent service to their clients. CPE is critical to maintaining skills and competence. The TPB recognises the increasingly complex environment that businesses operate in and constant changes to taxation laws. The scope of services provided by tax practitioners has also expanded over time.
“Other proposed changes that provide for greater flexibility include the ability for tax practitioners to elect either a calendar or financial year basis for their three-year CPE period and to include an amount of educative health and wellbeing activities to count towards their CPE.” Klug said.
Specifically referencing the requirements for Tax Financial Advisers, the TPB exposure draft said:
“The TPB recognises that for various reasons the number of hours of CPE completed by a tax (financial) adviser in a given year may vary. To allow for flexibility in these situations, tax (financial) advisers are able to complete their CPE over a three-year period, and generally in line with the adviser’s registration period.
“This means that a tax (financial) adviser must ensure that at the end of their CPE period (three years) a minimum of 120 hours of CPE has been completed. The TPB considers that not less than 20 hours of relevant CPE should be completed in any given year of a registered tax (financial) adviser’s CPE period.”