Information for CPE Vendors
Connecticut places the responsibility on the holder of an individual Connecticut CPA License to find, take and report acceptable continuing professional education.
Simply said, there is no provision which allows the staff of the Connecticut Board of Accountancy to approve or pre-approve a continuing professional education course.
Six criteria or provisions must be met in order for a continuing professional education course to be considered acceptable.
- Acceptable sponsorship of the course
- Acceptable subject matter
- Course development according to standards
- Course presentation according to standards
- Acceptable measurement and credit
- Records keeping requirement
The following is a list of authorized sponsors as outlined in Section 20-280-26(b) of the Board's Regulations:
- Professional development programs of recognized national and state accounting organizations.
- Technical sessions at meetings of recognized national and state accounting organizations and their chapters or other subdivisions.
- Courses in acceptable subject matters taken at universities or colleges which are accredited by the Regional Accrediting Commission subcribing to the national policies and procedures established by the Federation of Regional Accrediting Commissions of Higher Education, or a university or college of equivalent accreditation as determined by the Board.
- Formal organized in-firm educational programs.
- Programs of other accounting, industrial or professional organizations which are recognized by the Board. (No formal list, and broadly interpreted)
- Formal correspondence or other individual study programs which require registration and provide evidence of satisfactory completion.
2. The second criteria for judging whether a course is acceptable is the subject matter.
The following is a list of acceptable subjects as outlined in Section 20-280-26(c) of the Board’s Regulations.
- Accounting and Auditing
- Management Science
- Computer Science
- Communications Arts
- Mathematics, Statistics, Probability, and Quantitative Applications in Business
- Business Law
- Functional Fields of Business, including Finance, Production, Marketing, Personnel Relations, and Business Management and Organization
- Behavioral Science
- Social Environment of Business
- Specialized Areas of Industry;
- Management of an Accounting Practice; e.g., Engagement Letters, Fee Structures, Personnel, etc.
- Courses in such other disciplines as may be acceptable to the state board of accountancy. Areas other than those listed above may be deemed acceptable if the applicant can demonstrate to the board that they contribute to his professional competence. The responsibility for substantiating that a particular program is acceptable and meets the requirements of these regulations rests solely upon the applicant.
3. The Third criteria for judging acceptable continuing education would be the standards under which the course was developed.
The following is a list of course development standards as outlined in Section 20-280-26(d) of the Board’s Regulations:
- The program should contribute to the professional competence of participants.
- The objectives of the program should be stated and should specify the level of knowledge the participant should have obtained or the level of competence he should be able to demonstrate upon completing the program.
- The education or experience prerequisites for the program should be stated.
- Programs should be developed by individuals qualified in the subject matter and in instructional design.
- Program content should be current.
- Programs should be reviewed by a qualified person(s) other than the preparer(s) to ensure compliance with the above standards.
- Sponsors are the organizations responsible for presenting programs but are not necessarily program developers. It is the responsibility of sponsors to see that their programs comply with all the standards of these regulations.
4. The fourth criteria for judging acceptable continuing education would be the standards for course presentation.
The following is a list of the standards for presentation of the course in Section 20-280-26(d) of the Board’s Regulations:
- Participants should be informed in advance of objectives, prerequisites, experience level, content, advance preparation, teaching methods, and CE contact hours credit.
- Instructors should be qualified both with respect to program content and teaching methods used. A qualified instructor or discussion leader is anyone whose background, education or experience makes it -appropriate for him to lead a discussion on the subject matter of the particular program. The program sponsor has the obligation for selecting and assigning qualified instructors for the continuing education credits claimed by participants to be accepted by the board.
- Program sponsors should encourage participation only by individuals with appropriate education and/or experience.
- The number of participants and physical facilities should be consistent with the teaching method (s) specified.
- All programs should include some means for evaluating quality.
- In order to support the reports that may be required of participants, the sponsors of group or self-study programs should retain for three years
- Appropriate records of attendance or participation,
- Outline of the course,
- Instructor (s), and
- Number of CE contact hours.
The following is how different courses are appropriately measured as outlined in Section 20-280-26:
- All programs should be measured in terms of fifty-minute contact hours. The shortest recognized program should consist of one contact hour. Only contact hours are allowed. Preparation time can be claimed only if the participant was required to provide evidence of having completed the advance preparation and the program sponsored monitored and collected such evidence and recorded such fact on the attendance record. Travel time cannot be claimed. A participant must attend substantially an entire course to be granted entire credit for the course. If a record of registration and attendance is not maintained by the sponsor, the participant must be able to prove registration and attendance.
- When an instructor or discussion leader serves at a program for which participants receive CPE credit and at a level that contributed to his or her professional competence, credit should be given to him for preparation and presentation time measured in terms of contact hours. For the first time they present a program, instructors or discussion leaders should receive contact hour credit for actual preparation hours up to 2 times the class contact hours. For repetitious presentations the instructor or discussion leader should receive no credit unless he can demonstrate that the subject matter involved was changed sufficiently to require significant additional study or research. Credit for presentations and/or preparations may not exceed twenty (20) hours in any CPE year.
- The amount of credit to be allowed for formal self-study programs, as defined in subsection (a) of this section, including taped study programs, is to be recommended by the program sponsor based upon the average completion time under appropriate "field tests". Applicants claiming credit for such formal self-study programs are required to obtain evidence of satisfactory completion of the program from the sponsor. Credit will be allowed in the CPE year in which the program is completed.
- Credit may be claimed for published articles and books provided they contribute to the professional competence of the applicant. The amount of credit so awarded will be determined by the board. Credit for preparation of such publications may be given on a self-declaration basis up to ten (10) hours in any CPE year. In exceptional circumstances an applicant may be allowed additional credit by submitting the article(s) or book (s) to the board with an explanation of the circumstances which may justify a greater credit.
- Credit for courses at accredited universities or colleges will be allowed as follows
- Graduate-level credit courses:
- Fifteen (1 5) hours for each credit hour of a semester course.
- Twelve (12) hours for each credit hour of a trimester course.
- Ten (10) hours for each credit hour of a quarter course.
- Graduate-level credit courses:
- Undergraduate-level credit course:
- Seven and one-half (7 1/2) hours for each credit hour of a semester course.
- Six hours for each credit hour of a trimester course.
- Five (5) hours for each credit hour of a quarter course.
- Non-credit courses: credit shall be allowed provided the course meets the standards set forth in subsection (2) above.
6. The sixth criteria for judging for judging acceptable continuing education would be the requirement for record keeping.
The following is a list of the requirement for record keeping as outlined in section 20-280-27 of the Board’s Regulations:
- All holders of licenses issued under chapter 389 of the general statutes shall file with the board by July 31 (should read December 31) of each year, a statement, signed under penalty of false statement, on forms prescribed by the board, listing the continuing professional education programs completed and the number of credits claimed, showing for each program:
- Sponsoring organization.
- Address of location of program.
- Title of program or description of content.
- Dates attended.
- Type of program.
- CPE hours claimed.
Applicants must retain, for at least three (3) years from the date the program is completed, documentation of their participation in and satisfactory completion of all programs claimed.
- In order to support the reports that may be required of participants, the sponsor of group or self-study programs should retain for at least three years
- appropriate records of attendance or participation,
- outline of the course (or equivalent),
- names and qualifications of instructors, and
- number of CPE contact hours.