10:15-32-1. Standards for certificate and license holders
(a) All certificate and license holders should participate in learning activities that maintain and/or improve their professional competence.
(1) Selection of learning activities should be a thoughtful, reflective process addressing the individual registrant's current and future professional plans, current knowledge and skills level, and desired or needed additional competence to meet future opportunities and/or professional responsibilities.
(2) Registrants' fields of employment do not limit the need for CPE. Those performing professional services need to have a broad range of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Thus, the concept of professional competence should be interpreted broadly. Accordingly, acceptable continuing education encompasses programs contributing to the development and maintenance of both technical and non-technical professional skills.
(3) Acceptable subjects include accounting, assurance/auditing, consulting services, specialized knowledge and applications, management, taxation, and ethics. Other subjects, including personal development, may also be acceptable if they maintain and/or improve the registrant's professional competence.
(4) To help guide their professional development, registrants may find it useful to develop a learning plan. The learning plan can be used to evaluate learning and professional competence development. It should be reviewed periodically and modified as professional competence needs change.
(b) Certificate and license holders should comply with all applicable CPE requirements and should claim CPE credit only for CPE programs when the CPE program sponsors have complied with the Standards for CPE Program Presentation and Standards for CPE Program Reporting.
(1) Certificate and license holders are responsible for compliance with all applicable CPE requirements, rules, and regulations of state licensing bodies, other governmental entities, membership associations, and other professional organizations or bodies. They should contact each appropriate entity to which they report to determine its specific requirements or any exceptions it may have to the standards presented herein.
(2) Periodically, registrants participate in learning activities which do not comply with all applicable CPE requirements, for example specialized industry programs offered through industry sponsors. If registrants propose to claim credit for such learning activities, they should retain all relevant information regarding the program to provide documentation to state licensing bodies and/or all other professional organizations or bodies that the learning activity is equivalent to one which meets all these Standards.
(c) Registrants are responsible for accurate reporting of the appropriate number of CPE credits earned and should retain appropriate documentation of their participation in learning activities, including:
(1) name and contact information of CPE program sponsor;
(2) title and description of content;
(3) date(s) of program; and
(4) number of CPE credits, all of which should be included in documentation provided by the CPE program sponsor.
(d) To protect the public interest, regulators require CPAs and PAs to document maintenance and enhancement of professional competence through periodic reporting of CPE. For convenience, measurement is expressed in CPE credits. However, the objective of CPE must always be maintenance/enhancement of professional competence, not attainment of credits. Compliance with regulatory and other requirements mandates that registrants keep documentation of their participation in activities designed to maintain and/or improve professional competence. In the absence of legal or other requirements, a reasonable policy is to retain documentation for a minimum of five years from the end of the year in which the learning activities were completed.
(e) Participants must document their claims of CPE credit. Examples of acceptable evidence of completion include:
(1) For group and independent study programs, a certificate or other verification supplied by the CPE program sponsor;
(2) For self-study programs, a certificate supplied by the CPE program sponsor after satisfactory completion of an examination;
(3) For instruction credit, a certificate or other verification supplied by the CPE program sponsor;
(4) For a university or college course that is successfully completed for credit, a record or transcript of the grade the participant received;
(5) For university or college non-credit courses, a certificate of attendance issued by a representative of the university or college; and
(6) For published articles, books, or CPE programs, (1) a copy of the publication (or in the case of a CPE program, course development documentation) that names the writer as author or contributor, (2) a statement from the writer in a format prescribed by the Board supporting the number of CPE hours claimed, and (3) the name and contact information of the independent reviewer(s) or publisher.
(f) Individuals who complete sponsored learning activities that maintain or improve their professional competence should claim the CPE credits recommended by CPE program sponsors.
(g) Registrants may participate in a variety of sponsored learning activities, such as workshops, seminars and conferences,
self-study courses, Internet-based programs, and independent study. While CPE program sponsors determine credits, CPAs should claim credit only for activities through which they maintained or improved their professional competence. CPAs who participate in only part of a program should claim CPE credit only for the portion they attended or completed.
(h) Registrants may engage in independent study under the direction of a CPE program sponsor who has met the applicable standards for CPE program sponsors when the subject matter and level of study maintain or improve their professional competence.
(i) Independent study is an educational process designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject under the guidance of a CPE program sponsor one-on-one. Participants in an independent study program should:
(1) Enter into a written learning contract with a CPE program sponsor who must comply with the applicable standards for CPE program sponsors.
(2) Accept the written recommendation of the CPE program sponsor as to the number of credits to be earned upon successful completion of the proposed learning activities. CPE credits will be awarded only if:
(A) All the requirements of the independent study as outlined in the learning contract are met;
(B) The CPE program sponsor reviews and signs the participant's report;
(C) The CPE program sponsor reports to the participant the actual credits earned; and
(D) The CPE program sponsor provides the participant with contact information.
(3) Retain the necessary documentation to satisfy regulatory requirements as to the content, inputs, and outcomes of the independent study.
(4) Complete the program of independent study in 15 weeks or less.
(j) The credits to be recommended by an independent study CPE program sponsor should be agreed upon in advance and should be equated to the effort expended to improve professional competence. The credits cannot exceed the time devoted to the learning activities and may be less than the actual time involved.
[Source: Added at 20 Ok Reg 1897, eff 7-1-03; Amended at 21 Ok Reg 1981, eff 7-1-04; Amended at 22 Ok Reg 1691, eff 7-1-05; Amended at 27 Ok Reg 1690, eff 7-1-10]