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RULE §523.102CPE Purpose and Definitions

(a) CPAs' fields of employment do not limit the need for continuing professional education. CPAs performing professional services need to have a broad range of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Continuing Professional Education will be referred to herein as CPE.

(b) The fundamental purpose of CPE is to help ensure that licensees participate in learning activities that maintain and improve their professional competence to serve in a competent manner. Courses the board regards as improving the licensee's professional competence include:

  (1) "Technical Courses" are those courses pertaining to the profession of accounting. These courses include but are not limited to accounting, attest, tax, management advisory services, economics, finance, information technology, regulatory ethics, and other technical areas of benefit to a licensee and/or a licensee's employer; and

  (2) "Non-Technical Courses" are those courses not meeting the definition of "technical courses" that increase the licensee's ability to serve in a competent manner, such as but not limited to communications, computer software and applications, behavioral ethics, behavioral science, business management and organization, and advanced courses in foreign languages, all of which must relate and must benefit a licensee and/or a licensee's employer. Refer to §523.118 of this chapter (relating to Limitations of Courses).

(c) Licensees may participate in a variety of sponsored learning programs, such as live, self-study, nano learning, or blended learning programs.

  (1) "Live programs" are those educational processes that are designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject through interaction with an instructor/facilitator and other participants either in a classroom or conference setting or by using the internet, which includes the following:

    (A) Workshops, seminars, and conferences with substantial interaction by a qualified instructor/facilitator.

    (B) "Group self-study" programs that are based on self-study materials presented in a group format with substantial interaction from a qualified instructor/facilitator who is responsible for answering participants' questions or who leads the discussion of individual topics presented in the materials.

    (C) "Webinars" are live online educational presentations during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments.

  (2) "Self-study programs" are those educational processes that are designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject by oneself using books and/or electronic media (internet and DVDs/CDs, for example) without interaction with an instructor/facilitator. This type of program clearly defines learning objectives and manages the participant through the learning processes by requiring frequent response to questions that test for understanding of the material presented, providing evaluative feedback to incorrectly answered questions and correctly answered questions, and requiring the participant to pass a final exam that tests the participant's comprehension of the course materials. Refer to §523.140(e) of this chapter (relating to Program Standards).

  (3) "Nano learning programs" are tutorial programs designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject in a 10-minute time frame through the use of electronic media (including technology applications and processes and computer-based or web-based technology) and without interaction with a real-time instructor. A nano learning program differs from a self-study program in that it is typically focused on a single learning objective and is not paper-based.

  (4) "Blended programs" are programs incorporating multiple learning formats.

(d) "CPE credit" is 50 minutes of participation in a program of learning.

(e) Courses completed at an institution of higher education using semester credit hours shall earn 15 CPE credits for each passing semester credit hour and those institutions using quarter credit hours shall earn 10 CPE credits for each passing quarter credit hour, toward the requirement.

(f) "Sponsor" means an individual or organization offering programs to participants. The sponsor may or may not have developed the program materials. However, the sponsor is responsible for insuring the presentation of the learning objectives, through the program materials and maintaining the documentation required by these program standards.

(g) Staff meetings and other settings cannot be claimed for CPE credit if the programs do not meet program standards.

Source Note: The provisions of this §523.102 adopted to be effective April 7, 2004, 29 TexReg 3476; amended to be effective February 17, 2008, 33 TexReg 1107; amended to be effective February 6, 2013, 38 TexReg 500; amended to be effective February 12, 2014, 39 TexReg 662; amended to be effective March 29, 2017, 42 TexReg 1442

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