The current CPA Professional Standards Scheme, which operates in all mainland jurisdictions, will expire naturally, after four years on 7 October 2017. The scheme participants include 69631 members who have a CPA Public Practice Certificate.
The CPA have made an application for a new scheme but for reasons of concern about conflicts of interest arising from the establishment and structure of CPA Australia Advice, and other elements of consideration for approval of a Professional Standards Scheme, the Professional Standards Councils (the Councils) did not direct that the CPA’s draft scheme instrument progress to public notification.
What does this mean for CPA Professional Standards Scheme participants?
Unless a new scheme is made and approved by all governments beforehand, all public practitioner members of the CPA will lose the protection of their Professional Standards Scheme on the 7th October 2017. A new scheme cannot now be made in time for CPA practitioner members in Victoria, and likely in other mainland states and territories, to avoid a lapse in their Professional Standards Scheme’s continuity. This means that on the 8th October, all practitioner members will need to cease to use any letterhead or business documents that carry the statutory disclosure statement (or risk potential breaches of Australian Consumer Law); and that, amongst other things, they advise their insurers of changed circumstances regarding limitation of liability and potentially be forced to purchase new insurance policies.
The Councils are concerned for the CPA members and their clients, and have directed the Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) to continue to work with the CPA to minimise the effect and the duration of the lapse in coverage, noting that these matters are essentially ones for the CPA to resolve.
They have also directed the CPA to communicate with all effected members and advise them of options and actions they are required to take.
Any member of CPA or member of the public with questions should first contact CPA Australia Ltd.
CPA’s contact details are:
Phone: 1300 73 73 73
What is the Professional Standards Scheme?
A Professional Standards Scheme is a legal instrument developed by a professional association and approved by the Councils. A scheme protects consumers of professional services by requiring that professionals have specified consumer compensation mechanisms, including professional indemnity insurance and a limitation on liability, and requiring their professional association to develop, monitor, enforce and improve the professional standards of their members.
Professional Standards Councils
The Councils are independent statutory bodies. Their role is to assess and approve applications for a Professional Standards Scheme. The Councils do not licence, accredit nor approve the profession or the professional association.
The Councils have received an application for a new Professional Standards Scheme from CPA Australia Ltd. A new scheme cannot be approved by the Councils in time to guarantee continuity of the Professional Standards Scheme.
The Councils and the Authority are committed to protect consumers of the services provided by professional and others.
If you are unclear on who to contact or would like to contact the Councils or the Authority, please fill out the enquiry form.
- What are Professional Standards Schemes?
- Download a copy of the expired CPA Professional Standards Scheme
- Download the Professional Standards Legislation
1 unaudited scheme membership numbers as at 14 June 2017