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State Board Report

October 2014

The concepts of gamification and nano learning were among the educational innovations discussed at this year’s National Registry Summit. In keeping with the biennial review of the “Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education Programs,” which is appended to the Uniform Accountancy Act, the 2014 NASBA National Registry Summit, held September 17-19 in Nashville, focused on changes being proposed for CPE programs. This year there were over 150 conference registrants, including representatives from nine Boards of Accountancy, 12 state CPA societies, and many CPA firms and course providers. Participants were given an overview of the revisions to the Standards under consideration and in breakout sessions their input was collected to aid in the Standards’ further development.

The CPE Standards Working Group has 13 members including educators, course developers, CPE vendors and State Board, NASBA and AICPA representatives. Recommended revisions to the Statement on Standards will be presented by the Working Group to the NASBA CPE Committee, which will then present them to the joint NASBA/AICPA CPE Standards Committee. Once they meet with the joint committee’s approval, the revised standards will be presented to the NASBA and AICPA Boards of Directors who will determine if they are ready for public comment. While the Standards are being developed, another 14-member task force is working on a proposed CPE Model Rule that would work with the new Standards and recommended to the UAA Committee, NASBA Compliance Services Director and Chief Legal Officer Maria Caldwell explained.

CPE Committee Chair John Dailey, Jr. (NJ) said they hope to have the revised Standards ready for the Boards of Directors of NASBA and the AICPA to consider in April 2015, with exposure for comment by the member Boards and other interested parties to conclude by September 1, 2015. If all goes according to plan, new finalized standards would be approved in October 2015 for implementation in January 2016. A recommended new CPE Model Rule would be sent to the Uniform Accountancy Act Committee in October 2015 and be ready in January 2016 for approval by the NASBA Board for exposure through the 2016 Regional Meetings. The Model Rule could become effective in late summer or early fall of 2016. It would then go out for the States to consider for adoption into their law.

Besides “nano learning,” the Summit’s participants were told that the working draft of the Standards currently includes: blended delivery methods for courses; clarification of the definition of “group live” and “group internet-based delivery” methods; qualified assessment of self study programs to occur throughout the program and not just at the end; and an element of engagement for group live programs. A panel that included members of the CPE Standards Working Group highlighted some of the proposed revisions to the standards and discussed the rationale behind the modifications.

Greg Cole of BKD, LLP, a Standard Working Group member, said: “We want to look at technology, which has been a game changer.”

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