Indiana Becomes First State to Recognize Competency-Based Edu. for CPAs

Indiana Becomes First State to Recognize Competency-Based Edu. for CPAs

Indiana is now the first state in the nation to recognize competency-based education as a learning option for CPA license renewal. HEA 1467, which is effective July 1, 2017, passed unanimously in the House and Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Although Indiana began requiring continuing education for CPAs in 1979, there has been no substantive change that recognizes the evolution of learning and available technology (including computers). It started and remained an exclusively hours-based education model … until now.

This new competency-based education will ensure a certain level of the subject material is learned and at the pace that works best for each learner.

In a survey of Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) members, the number of CPAs who advocate for this as an additional learning option was 83 percent in 2016, up from 58 percent in 2012.

“This legislation will enable the Board of Accountancy to write rules that make learning personal and measure what matters,” said INCPAS President & CEO Gary Bolinger, CAE. “Further, it has the potential to expand beyond Indiana and even beyond CPAs by serving as an enhanced professional development model for other licensed practitioners.”

Although his background is in the insurance and financial planning field, Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) introduced and supported the bill as a step toward more licensed professionals logging learning instead of time.

“This legislation can improve the quality of learning and lessons during the renewal process, which is not only beneficial to professionals but also to their employers and clients,” Carbaugh said. “If it proves to be effective, it has the potential to carry over into other licensed professions in Indiana.”

The next steps include working with the Indiana Board of Accountancy to develop the reporting framework, create a learning plan template and promulgate a rule to implement the statute. Indiana CPAs are anxious to incorporate these new options for professional development.

INCPAS is positioned as a leader in competency-based learning. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, the  CPA Center of Excellence®, provides online competency-based courses in six vital business skills plus a competency-based ethics course.