Indiana Becomes First State to Permit Competency-Based Education for CPAs

Indiana is the first and only state to permit competency-based education to qualify for CPA license renewal. The Indiana CPA Society is cooperating with the Indiana Board of Accountancy on a landmark pilot program, and the change was facilitated through work of the CPA Center of Excellence®. Announced last week, the CPA Center of Excellence® has been established as a source for competency assessment, competency enhancement and intelligent collaboration for CPAs.

The competency-based courses permitted for license renewal include gamification and “nano-learning.” The courses are online, interactive modules and can be taken on-demand. Digital badges, a new concept for the CPA profession, will be earned upon completion. Course offerings cover vital skills for CPAs to be successful in the 21st century and are rooted in the core competencies identified by the AICPA in the CPA Horizons 2025 project. The CPA Center of Excellence® plans to expand offerings over the next 12 to 24 months.

“Our profession has long been in need of innovation and enhancements in the area of professional development and educational activities of CPAs,” said Greg Coy, chair of the Indiana Board of Accountancy. “The Competency-Based Learning Pilot Program is an outstanding development in proficiency based learning. I am proud and excited to see Indiana at the forefront of these changes in the profession.”

The pilot program is in effect through Dec. 31, 2015. Any currently-licensed CPA in Indiana is eligible to participate. As part of the program, each CPA may take up to two online course modules and receive a waiver for 16 hours of CPE credit (eight hours each). The courses themselves must be completed within 90 days, and the time to complete each course will vary from participant to participant. Estimates range from five to 12 hours.

“It is fair to say, with the changes we see in the world, our CPE model needs to improve. Time is valuable, everyone learns in different ways, learns at a different pace, and the pilot program that the Indiana CPA Society proposed and was approved by the Indiana Board of Accountancy addresses these issues,” says John Kane, a member of the Indiana Board of Accountancy.