Professional body relaxes educational requirements

A key professional body has relaxed a number of its educational and registration requirements and provided updated guidance to industry educators in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

In a series of announcements last week, the Tax Practitioners Board announced it was relaxing some requirements around continuing education and the requirement to complete annual declarations for this year.

“We've temporarily waived the requirement to complete annual declarations for some tax practitioners. If your annual declaration is due on or before 31 December 2020, you do not have to complete it until 2021, or 2022 if your registration renewal is due in 2021,” the TPB said.

The board also said it had “temporarily revised” its approach to what activities would meet continuing professional education requirements.

Its 25 per cent cap around technical reading would be removed until September, the board said, although the number of hours needed to complete CPE requirements would remain unchanged.

“You must first and foremost explore and undertake online CPE offerings, as these online activities are becoming more readily available, [and] you must keep a log book detailing all the CPE activities undertaken,” the TPB said.


Commenting on the relaxation of rules, the Tax Institute president Peter Godber said allowing flexibility in meeting education requirements was crucial in the current environment.

“Maintaining ongoing CPE requirements for all tax professionals is critical, even while we are being tested at present with our resources,” Mr Godber said. 

“The Tax Practitioners Board’s response to this is pragmatic and sensible.”

The board also gave guidance to educators around how to facilitate exams in board approved courses, given the TPB’s requirements were that approved courses needed to be at least 40 per cent assessed through supervised exams.

The board said that where possible, exams should be conducted remotely online or through software, although consideration would be given to situations where this was not possible.

Professional body relaxes educational requirements
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