Information for Course Providers

  1. General Information
  2. Provider Expectations
  3. Continuing Education Credits
  4. Definitions and Examples
  5. Group Study Course Requirements
  6. Self-Study Course Requirements
  7. Approved Florida CPE Sponsor
  8. Approved Florida Ethics Provider

INFORMATION FOR CPE COURSE PROVIDERS (SPONSORS):  

General Information:

Licensees can obtain Continuing Education through either group study or self-study.

Group study does not have to be taken by an approved sponsor, provided the course content qualifies based on the Board’s CPE Guidelines.

All self-study courses qualifying for Accounting, Auditing, or Technical Business credit must be taken from sponsors approved by NASBA’s Quality Assurance Service (QAS) program.

Provider Expectations:

Course providers are expected to provide an outline (defined as a schedule of activity listing major topics of discussion) that is prepared in advance and retained; the course must be at least one contact hour or half-hour in length; the course must be conducted by a qualified instructor, lecturer, or discussion leader; and a record of registration and attendance is maintained. A signed certificate of completion must be issued to participants completing the course.  The certificate of completion should include:

  • CPE program sponsor name and contact information, the signer’s name
    • Participant’s name
    • Course title
    • Date offered or completed
    • Type of instructional and delivery method used
    • Amount of CPE credit
    • If an Approved Sponsor, the identification number or registration number
Continuing Education Credits:

A course must be at least one contact hour or half-hour in length. Continuing education courses are credited in increments of not less than one-half hour, equivalent to the actual number of contact hours (hours in the classroom which must include at least fifty minutes of continuous participation per contact hour or twenty-five minutes per contact half-hour).

Definitions and Examples:

Group Study CPE programs allow learning in a group environment with real-time interaction that provides the required elements of attendance monitoring and engagement. Group Study courses are attended in classroom settings, live webinars, etc.

Group study course examples include but are not limited to:

  • a classroom setting with a real-time instructor,
  • participation in a group setting and calling into a teleconference,
  • participation in a group setting and watching a rebroadcast of a program
  • participation in a webcast individually,
  • participation in a broadcast of a group live presentation on an individual basis, and
  • participation by calling into a conference call on an individual basis

Group programs must have a real-time instructor presenting during the program. Program participants must have the opportunity to interact with the real-time instructor while the course is in progress (including the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers during the presentation).

Once a group program is recorded for future presentations, it will continue to be considered a group program only when a real-time subject matter expert facilitates the recorded presentation. CPE credit for a recorded live group program facilitated by a real-time subject matter expert will be equal to the CPE credit awarded to the original presentation.

A group program that is recorded for a future presentation that does not include a real-time subject matter facilitator is no longer a live group program and will be classified as a self-study program only if it meets all self-study delivery method requirements with the exception of the basis for CPE credit. CPE credit for a recorded live group program not facilitated by a real-time subject matter expert will be equal to the CPE credit awarded to the original presentation, or it may be determined by either of the two self-study credit determination methodologies described in Standard No. 17 of the Statement on Standards for Professional Continuing Education (CPE) Programs (pilot testing or the prescribed word count formula), at the sponsor’s discretion.

Self-study – a course completed individually without the assistance of a real-time instructor, which includes independent study courses and adaptive learning self-study courses.

Group Study Course Requirements:

Group study does not have to be taken by an approved sponsor, provided the course content qualifies based on the Board’s CPE Guidelines.

However, the Department does offer an Approved Sponsor designation to course providers. A course provider electing to participate in the sponsor system to become an approved sponsor must complete and submit form DBPR 0020-1 Master Organization Application. No fee is required to participate in the sponsor program.

  • You will begin a two (2) year probationary period when you submit your sponsor agreement.
  • You will then be assigned a sponsor ID number that you must include on all correspondence relating to your coursework.
Self-Study Course Requirements:

All self-study continuing education courses qualifying for Accounting, Auditing, or Technical Business credit must be taken from sponsors approved by NASBA’s Quality Assurance Service (QAS) program. Self-study providers offering only Behavioral credit will not be required to register with the QAS program.  Licensees can find sponsors that are approved QAS providers on NASBA’s web site at www.nasba.org or by contacting NASBA at 615.880.4200.

Click here for more information on self-study CPE course requirements and on becoming a NASBA QAS self-study sponsor.

Becoming an Approved CPE Sponsor:

To apply to be an Approved Continuing Education Sponsor, download a CPE Sponsor Package, from the: CPA Forms Center

Continuing Professional Education can be obtained through either group study or self-study. Group study does not have to be taken by an approved sponsor, provided the course qualifies based on the Board’s CPE Guidelines. Below is a list of approved group study providers and their sponsor identification numbers. The letter “P” in parenthesis after the sponsor identification number designates a probationary sponsor, meaning the sponsor is currently in their initial two-year probationary period. This list will be updated periodically, as new sponsors are approved for sponsorship or sponsorships are revoked.

Becoming an Approved Florida Ethics Providers:

To become an approved Florida Ethics Provider, a continuing education Ethics provider must be a:

  • Regionally Accredited Educational Institution;
  • Commercial Educator;
  • Governmental Agency;
  • State or National Certified Public Accounting Professional Association;
  • Certified Public Accountant who has not been disciplined by the Board; OR
  • Certified Public Accounting Firm.

Generally, in addition to the application (Form # DBPR CPA 10), a provider must submit the following additional materials:

  • A description of the ethics course;
  • A description of staffing capabilities;
  • All course materials, to include your exam and answer key;
  • A list of anticipated locations and dates you plan to conduct the courses;
  • A complete course curriculum (table of contents);
  • A description of how the applicant will update the course in response to rule or law changes;
  • Documentation that Ethics course instructors will notify the course provider of any disciplinary action taken against the instructor by the Board.

Provider approval is valid for the biennium during which their application was received and approved. Providers must reapply for approved provider status at the beginning of each biennium. The biennium for continuing education Ethics providers ends on June 30 of each odd-numbered year.

For more information regarding the requirements necessary for CPA Continuing Education Ethics Providers and Courses, please refer to Chapter 61H1-33 of the Florida Administrative Code at https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=61H1-33.

Below is a list of Board-approved Ethics providers:

Need Help?

All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Roger Scarborough, Director
Division of Certified Public Accounting
240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607

Telephone: 850.487.1395
Facsimile: 352.333.2508