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A program for the future

Promoted by CPA Australia.

Sponsored Features CPA Australia 21 January 2020
— 3 minute read

CPA Australia has just launched its new pathway to public practice certification. Based on industry research, it will help prepare public practitioners for the challenges of the future.


The public practice profession is transforming in the face of rapidly advancing technology and growing demand from customers for value-added advisory services. If practitioners are to build a successful business today, they must be equipped with the tools for tomorrow, and that’s what CPA Australia’s new Public Practice Program aims to deliver.

Aligned to member insights from its recent My Firm. My Future. research report, CPA Australia has just launched its new pathway to public practice certification. Flexible, practical and more cost effective, it is designed to prepare public practitioners to meet the challenges of the future.

A new pathway to success

The My Firm. My Future. report was released in November 2019 and draws on insights from more than 500 public practitioners about the evolving landscape of public practice. 

CPA Australia’s Head of Public Practice, Keddie Waller, says the new Public Practice Program is designed to help practitioners develop practical business models for sustainable firms. 

“We completed a holistic review of the Public Practice Program content and have used key themes from the My Firm. My Future. report to shape the new pathway,” she says. 

“We also engaged members and subject-matter experts to review the content to ensure we are hitting all the key areas required to help set our members up for success,” she says. “It is a much more practical and cost effective program.”

Future-focused and flexible

The new Public Practice Program has two components – a flexible eLearning program, which includes five online modules [see breakout] that members can complete at any time, and a 2-day practical workshop.

“The eLearning program replaces the former semester-long subject and aims to provide the flexibility and agility that members need, especially if they are looking to start their own firm,” says Waller.

The five eLearning modules are available on-demand from mid-January 2020 and members can choose to complete them before or after the workshop.

The workshop is based on insights from the CPA Australia’s My Firm. My Future. report, which identified four key themes: ‘leveraging technology’; ‘specialisation’; ‘incorporating advisory services’; and ‘doing better business’.

Along with themes from the My Firm. My Future. report, the workshop has also been developed with insights from CPA Australia members to create a new Public Practice Framework.

“We drew on the experience of members who are SMEs in these areas,” says Waller. “A key strength of the new program for members is that it has been developed with insights from their peers.”

“This includes culture and leadership, marketing, governance and compliance, practice management and service offerings that consumers and SMEs are demanding. The aim is to deliver all the things practitioners need to set up a future-focus plan for their business.”

Practical insights

Waller explains the program’s new eLearning modules and workshop provide practical insights for members to apply to their business.“As an example, we have a dedicated technology section in the workshop that focuses on the efficiencies, the benefits and how to leverage technology in your business,” she says. 

Waller describes the new Public Practice Program as a valuable starting point for ensuring practitioners have all they need to set up a successful firm.

“The My Firm. My Future. report uncovered valuable themes for the future of public practice,” she says. “Our new Public Practice Program builds on these themes to help practitioners meet the challenges and create a successful, sustainable firm.”

For more details about CPA Australia’s new Public Practice Program, visit the CPA Australia website.


Snapshot of CPA Australia’s new Public Practice Program

CPA Australia’s new Public Practice Program includes two components and participants must be either a CPA or FCPA to enrol.

  1. eLearning program:

The program includes five eLearning modules available on-demand from mid-January 2020. Each module contains content and a multiple-choice assessment (open book).

  • Public Practice Certificate
  • Public Accounting Services
  • Ethics
  • Quality Management
  • Risk Management

Price: $300 plus GST for all five modules.

  1. Workshop

The workshop runs over two days and is based on CPA Australia’s My Firm. My Future. model. Its purpose is to introduce the new Public Practice Framework and enable participants to develop a future-focus plan that will form the basis of an optional peer visit up to 12 months post certification.

The workshop includes two facilitators to enable the group to be split, if required (e.g., between sole practice and partnership).

During enrolment, members will complete a short survey to provide input to help tailor the workshop


A minimum of 14 workshops will be offered across Australia and New Zealand (this will vary depending on the uptake of the Public Practice Program).

Two workshops will also be run as a pilot residential in NSW and Victoria only.


Workshop: $800 plus GST

Residential workshops: $1,200 plus GST (NSW and Victoria only)


A program for the future
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