CPE or Continuing Professional Education credits are an important component of every professional to maintain their license to practice. One must earn a certain number of CPE credits during fixed time periods as long as they want to keep their license active.
However, the first step to get your CPE is to find a suitable provider. But, there are a lot of them. Actually too many! Who should you choose, and why, is the most daunting question of all.
Let us help you with some essential points to consider that will help you decide.
While looking for the best platform that can give you CPE, ask the following questions:
If you have multiple qualifications, you will need CPE credits for all of them separately. More often than not, professionals end up switching between multiple platforms looking for eligible courses that can provide them the necessary CPE required by the respective regulatory bodies. This hassle can be actually avoided by signing up with a provider whose courses are approved for multiple qualifications. There are several providers with multiple approvals but they are limited to a very finite number of qualifications. For example, platforms having courses for CPAs, Enrolled Agents or similar tax professionals are very common, but what if you are CPA, CMA, CFE, CIA at the same time?
You must take a keen interest in the content library of any CPE provider. Higher the number of courses, the better it is for you. A high number of available courses mean that the content library is constantly updated and contains the latest courses and learning materials. There is a higher likelihood of finding the courses that comply with the fields of study mandated by different boards.
An average CPE provider often features 250 - 500 hours of course content. This is not too small a number but that again leaves a question whether these courses are enough to fulfil your CPE requirements from just one place?
Good instructors are essential to great learning. Without the right instructors, content would be hard to assimilate. Clearly, if a CPE platform has a large number of presenters teaching, then the learners will be able to have a large number of choices in terms of the courses they want to take.
Merely having some content up on the site is not enough, it’s far more important to have diversity in the content. If some professional requires CPE from several different Fields of Study as asked by a regulatory board, then he/she definitely needs a platform with diversity in courses. It adds up when the person holds multiple professional titles.
Attending a whole lot of live webinars is useless if they are not approved for CPE. At the same time one webinar or self-study course may provide suitable continuing education credits for multiple titles, such as CE for tax professionals, CPE for CMA, CIA, CFE, etc provided they have the approval from the respective board. That makes your pursuit of CPE credits very convenient. You must find only those providers that have maximum approvals on their courses from multiple boards.
Often employers pay for the CPE education of their employees, but the firm’s learning manager has a task at hand looking for such platforms that have suitable courses fulfilling the continuing education of every member. Group learning is less expensive, but still providers need to be carefully searched to gauge whether they have all the CPE enabled courses to fulfil the requirements of the whole team under one umbrella.
There could be multiple modes of learning in order to earn CPE, Live webinars, on-demand (self-study courses), ebooks, virtual conferences, podcasts, etc. When it comes to taking CPE credits, the requirements might differ with different bodies. With some, self-study may suffice while many ask that half or more CPE must be taken in live webinars only.
A lot of CPE providers only have self-study courses on their list, that seem to be an easy pick to earn CPE credits but it won’t be enough to fulfil all your requirements and you would be required to look for other platforms where live webinars or in conference CPE is available.
User experience on any CPE provider matters very much. No matter how good the content is or how many of them are available on a platform, it would barely matter if the user experience is not good. Even on the platforms with a high number of courses the user must be able to find the required ones with great ease. There could be a self help filter or a guide that could help them find the desired courses instead of scrolling all the way to the bottom or surfing several pages on the site to find just one or two courses.
The user must also be able to anticipate if the courses are actually useful and supported by other users who would have attended them in the past.
Like said before, different states have different CPE requirements. When you go to a CPE provider, they must have the courses from all the principal subject areas fulfilling the specific requirements of different states. It would be even better if the provider lists those courses packaged according to the state board requirements so that you can complete your requirements in one go.
As part of your continuing learning, you are also required to earn CPE credits in Ethics. Not every provider has these courses on offer and when they do, these courses are expensive. You need to check whether these ethics courses are approved by the state boards and would qualify for the Ethics CPE that you need.
Free courses are quickly available and are easy to earn. But most of the time, the courses come with a price and they are too high. When you look for other providers, there are high chances that similar courses in the same field of study are listed at a different price. So, the place where the courses are available for the least price should be your obvious choice.
Now that you have read through all the points, myCPE trumps all other providers on most of the counts.
Right from having a huge library of 10000+ hrs of courses that are approved by regulatory boards like NASBA, IRS, state accounting boards and several others (including CFP, ACFE, NACVA, AICPA, etc to name a few) myCPE is a top CPE provider for 100+ qualifications recognized in the US and globally.
The courses are created by 400+ real world subject matter experts and eminent presenters and are available as Live webinars, self-study, and multiple other methods that qualify for CPE courses.
If you want to know how myCPE performs on expectations of professionals, you can always check for the online reviews left by the users.
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The author, Nick Branson is a CPA and Co- president of myCPE – Continuing Education Platform for Professionals. He has experience of more than 2 decades in the field educating the top professionals in the field of CPA, CMA, CIA and many more.