search question-circle-o log-in megaphone arrow-right2 facebook twitter youtube linkedin2 phone plus-circle2 minus-circle2 play2 menu3 cross

Qualifying CPE

The VBOA accepts CPE obtained through a variety of forums, providing that the licensee is able to demonstrate that learning objectives were met. The VBOA does not currently require licensees to obtain CPE from specific or approved sponsors, except for the VBOA-approved ethics course.

All licensees, excluding those approved for the Inactive status, are required to obtain on an annual basis two hours of a VBOA-approved ethics course. In addition, individuals who release or authorize the release of reports on attest, compilation, or financial statement preparation services provided for persons or entities located in Virginia must obtain a minimum of eight hours annually of CPE related to attest, compilation, or financial statement preparation services.

Subject Matter Experts
Acceptable CPE must be instructed, developed or peer reviewed by subject matter experts. These are individuals or teams having expertise in the subject matter. Expertise may be demonstrated through practical experience or education, or both.

A variety of CPE is acceptable, including:

  • Attending a seminar or educational conference. Instructors must have up-to-date knowledge of the subject matter and use appropriate teaching materials.
  • Earning course credit at an accredited college or university. One semester-hour of credit for completion of courses at an accredited college or university constitutes 15 hours of CPE and one quarter-hour of credit constitutes 10 hours of CPE. 
  • Completing a course through nano-learning or incremental CPE. Nano-learning is known as learning and absorbing information in smaller increments of time. The VBOA accepts nano-learning CPE. Nano-learning are tutorial programs designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject in a no less than 10-minute time frame through the use of electronic media (including technology applications and processes and computer-based or web-based technology) and without interaction with a real-time instructor. The learning activities must be reviewed and approved by subject matter experts. Nano-learning certificates are required and no less than 10 minutes is accepted. A 10-minute nano-learning program certificate would reflect: .2 CPE
  • Completing a self-study course. The learning activities must be reviewed and approved by subject matter experts and supported with documentation that meets VBOA requirements.
  • Making a presentation. The licensee may present at a professional seminar, educational conference or classroom setting, if up-to-date knowledge of the subject matter is demonstrated and appropriate teaching materials are used. The topic must be relevant to the development of being a CPA. Credits for presentation and preparation time can be earned, with preparation limited to twice the total presentation time. For example, if a program is presented for four contact hours, the instructor could receive up to 12 hours of credit (eight preparation and four contact hours). No additional credit will be given for repeat presentations of the same material.

    The definition of presentations made in a classroom setting includes teaching courses at an accredited college or university. College and university instructors, at accredited institutions, may count first time preparation and presentation of a course for CPE. CPE is only permitted the first time the course is prepared and offered by the instructor. One semester-hour of credit constitutes 15 hours of CPE; one quarter-hour of credit constitutes 10 hours of CPE. A copy of the syllabus and a statement certifying it was the licensee’s first time preparing and teaching the section is required.  Documentation needs to include a letter from the Department Head or Chair confirming that information. 

    During each 3-year period, a maximum of 30 hours for preparing and making presentations or teaching courses is allowable.
  • Published articles, books, or CPE programs. Licensees may receive CPE credit for their research and writing time to the extent it maintains or improves their professional competence. Topics must be relevant to the development of CPAs performing professional services or improve their professional competence.  Materials must be formally reviewed by an authoritative independent party and must be published in a book, magazine or similar publication. CPE can be claimed upon publication. Revisions of published materials are not eligible for additional CPE. 

    Self-study guides and training materials that are produced for a training library and written by a licensee may be counted as CPE. The curriculum must contribute to the accounting profession in providing services to the public or to or on behalf of an employer. As a rule, training materials written and presented by a licensee will be considered for CPE under the presentation guidelines and cannot be claimed under this provision.  An independent party, who is a subject matter expert, must formally review all written materials.

    During each rolling 3-year period, a maximum of 30 hours CPE is permitted for published materials. CPAs must document the actual time spent.

    Please note: Changes related to maximum hours for published materials will be effective July 1, 2022.


  • CPE credit for certifications/exams/licensures. VBOA has approved CPE hours for studying and passing certain exams and professional certifications or licenses. CPE is awarded based on the length of the exam with five CPE awarded for each hour of the exam. For example, a one-hour exam would constitute five hours of CPE. As a general rule, licensees cannot earn additional CPE for passing certifications/exams/licensures if they were awarded CPE by the sponsor of an exam preparation course. View all accepted certifications/exams/licensures.

    During each rolling 3-year period, a maximum of 60 hours for certifications/exams/licensures is allowed.

The VBOA will determine on a case-by-case basis the acceptability of other forms of CPE.

The VBOA has also approved that Continuing Education (CE), Continuing Education Units (CEU), Continuing Legal Education (CLE), Quality Assurance Service (QAS) and semester and quarter-hour credits are acceptable as CPE credits.

Documentation requirements

Required documentation can generally be satisfied by providing:

  • Certificates of completion from the CPE sponsor including the sponsor’ name, participant’s name, course/content name, date taken and hours of CPE earned.
  • Official transcript of the college or university for earning course credit at an accredited college or university.
  • Official syllabus/agenda and signed statement indicating the length of the presentation when making a presentation.
  • A statement certifying it was the licensee’s first time preparing and teaching the section is required and a letter from the Department Head or Chair confirming that information.
  • A statement from the writer supporting the number of CPE hours claimed. The name and contact information of the independent reviewer(s) or publisher. A copy of the published article, book or written material (or proof of publication), or in the case of a CPE program, the final course documentation. Copies of materials must list the name of the licensee as author or contributor.

The VBOA has restrictions on the types of documentation it regards as acceptable. The VBOA will not accept receipts, registration confirmations, cancelled checks, outlines, PowerPoint presentations or sign-in sheets, etc., as valid CPE documentation.