The importance of Continuing Professional Development

Last year the TPB announced that they had commenced auditing registered tax agents (including BAS agents) to confirm that their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) obligations were being met. In support of our members, AAT Australia commenced an internal audit process to assist in the education, management and completion of appropriate CPD opportunities to ensure compliance with the AAT Constitution and By-Laws; as well as the TPB’s requirements under the Tax Agents Services Act (TASA) 2009.

What is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development occurs when a professional undertakes further education or training that improves or refreshes their understanding of technical matters related to the tasks they undertake. In the case of BAS agents, relevant CPD would pertain to further training enhancing their knowledge around BAS related services, assisting their clients to meet their obligations under the relevant laws, understanding the TPB Code of Conduct etc.

Why is CPD important?
As BAS agents and Accounting Technicians we operate in a highly regulated environment where legislation is constantly changing and being updated. There is also a great volume of facts and figures to remember! Due to the dynamic regulatory
framework and the fact that the provision of BAS services is relied upon by business owners to make accurate and compliant lodgements to the ATO about their liabilities and other obligations, it is imperative that your knowledge is up to date.

What are the CPD requirements?
The TPB requires that a registered BAS agent completes 45 hours of CPD in a three-year period, with a minimum of 5 hours in any given year. This CPD activity can come from structured or trainer facilitated learning or un-structured learning such as research or reading relevant newsletters and updates (like this one!). Un-structured allowable CPD is limited to a total of 25% of your CPD allocation. Your membership with AAT Australia requires that you complete 15 hours of relevant CPD in any renewal year, that is from 1 July to 30 June of the following year. What are the record keeping requirements? In the event of any audit, you would be required to produce records of the CPD events you have attended or any un-structured learning should be logged. There is a CPD register in your member profile on the AAT Australia website that you can populate, click here to view. For further information from the TPB about their CPD requirements, please visit their website here.