Posted April 21, 2020
Posted By Meghann Cannon
Prepared by Catherine Evans
We have had a number of queries about whether there is any CPD relief for advisers given the current circumstances. The answer is, not really.
The TPB has relaxed the 25% technical and professional reading cap that applies to CPD, which must be undertaken by tax agents and tax (financial) advisers, until 30 September 2020. However, the 25% cap can only be exceeded if suitable online courses have been undertaken.
FASEA has confirmed that licensees cannot continue to require advisers to attend face to face CPD courses and should instead be assisting advisers with online alternatives. Licensees should take a practical approach to enable the adviser to meet their obligations in circumstances where, for example, access to internet or remote working is a barrier. CPD policies must include relief provisions to assist advisers that are affected by extenuating circumstances (including where an adviser is sick due to Covid-19).
It is not clear whether non-compliance with CPD requirements would still need to be reported to ASIC, so on this basis we recommend that you proceed with CPD in an online environment. If any staff need significant sick leave due to Covid-19 then you would need to re-assess what a practical approach looks like at that point.