California Board of Accountancy

General Course Requirements

All acceptable continuing education (CE) must be a formal program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of a licensee in public practice.


The CBA does not pre-approve or register providers of CE courses other than the Regulatory Review course. It is the responsibility of the provider to ensure compliance with the guidelines in sections 88, 88.1, and 88.2 of the Accountancy Regulations.


Live Courses

Provider Requirements effective January 1, 2014

In order to qualify as acceptable CE the provider of a live presentation program must:

  • Require attendance and retain for a period of five years a record of attendance, except for Regulatory Review courses, which must be retained for eight years, that accurately assigns the appropriate number of contact hours for participants, including those who arrive late or leave early.
  • Retain for a period of five years, except for Regulatory Review, which must be retained for eight years, written educational goals and specific learning objectives, as well as a syllabus, which provides a general outline, instructional objectives, and a summary of topics for the course. A copy of the educational goals, learning objectives, and course syllabus shall be made available to the CBA upon request.
  • Issue a certificate of completion with verification certified by a program provider representative, such as a signature or seal, to each licensee upon satisfactory completion of the course and retain records of licensees receiving certificates of completion for a period of five years, except for Regulatory Review, which must be retained for eight years. The certificate of completion also must delineate the subject areas for which the licensee may claim credit. The amount of credit reflected on the certificate of completion shall be calculated in accordance with section 88.2(a) of the CBA Regulations.

Program Measurements effective January 1, 2014

In order to qualify as acceptable CE a live presentation program must:

  • Be measured in 50-minute class hours. A program must be at least one 50-minute class hour in length to be acceptable CE.
  • For a program composed of several segments in which individual segments are less than 50 minutes, the sum of the segments, in increments not less than 25 minutes, may be added together to equal a full 50-minute class hour.
  • For a program that is longer than one 50-minute class hour, credit shall be granted for additional 25-minute segments (one-half of a 50-minute class hour).
  • Only class hours or the equivalent will be used to measure the hours of CE, not participant hours devoted to preparation or study time.

Webcast Courses

Provider Requirements effective January 1, 2014

In order to qualify as acceptable CE the provider of a Group Internet-Based Program (Webcast) must:

  • Require and monitor attendance throughout the program by using attendance-monitoring devices such as polling, questions, or surveys. The program shall include a minimum of three monitoring events each hour, at least one of which occurs at an irregular interval.
  • Have a live instructor while the program is being presented and a feature allowing participants to send questions/comments directly to the instructor and receive answers during the program.
  • Retain for a period of five years, except for Regulatory Review, which must be retained for eight years, a record of attendance that accurately assigns the appropriate number of participation hours for participants.
  • Retain for a period of five years, except for Regulatory Review, which must be retained for eight years, written educational goals and specific learning objectives, as well as a syllabus, which provides a general outline, instructional objectives, and a summary of topics for the course. A copy of the educational goals, learning objectives, and course syllabus shall be made available to the CBA upon request.
  • Issue a certificate of completion with verification certified by a program provider representative, such as a signature or seal, to each licensee upon satisfactory completion of the course. Satisfactory completion shall at a minimum require responding to at least 75 percent of the monitoring events described in section 88.1(b)(1) of the CBA Regulations during the period for which continuing education credit is being granted. The certificate of completion also must delineate the subject areas for which the licensee may claim credit. The amount of credit shall be displayed on the certificate of completion and shall be calculated in accordance with section 88.2(b) of the CBA Regulations.
  • Have a written policy to address rescheduling and the granting of partial credit in the event of a technology failure, and make that policy available to the CBA upon request.
  • When rebroadcasting an archived or recorded webcast program as CE, the presence of a live subject matter expert is required to facilitate the program and answer questions. If a live subject matter expert is not present, the webcast must fulfill the self-study requirements.
  • Groups may view a webcast together as CE, but only when a facilitator is present to log into the program to ask questions on behalf of the group, as well as to document and verify group participation and attendance.

Program Measurements effective January 1, 2014

In order to qualify as acceptable CE a Group Internet-Based Program (Webcast) must:

  • Be measured in 50-minute class hours. A program must be at least one 50-minute class hour in length to be acceptable CE.
  • For a program composed of several segments in which individual segments are less than 50 minutes, the sum of the segments, in increments not less than 25 minutes, may be added together to equal a full 50-minute class hour.
  • For a program that is longer than one 50-minute class hour, credit shall be granted for additional 25-minute segments (one-half of a 50-minute class hour).
  • Only class hours or the equivalent will be used to measure the hours of CE, not participant hours devoted to preparation or study time.

Self-study Courses

Provider Requirements effective January 1, 2014

In order to qualify as acceptable CE the sponsor of a self-study course must:

  • Retain for a period of five years, except for Regulatory Review, which must be retained for eight years, written educational goals and specific learning objectives, as well as a syllabus, which provides a general outline, instructional objectives, and a summary of topics for the course. A copy of the educational goals, learning objectives, and course syllabus shall be made available to the CBA upon request.
  • Issue a certificate of completion with verification certified by a program provider representative, such as a signature or seal, to each licensee upon satisfactory completion of the course and retain records of licensees receiving certificates of completion for a period of five years, except for Regulatory Review, which must be retained for eight years. The certificate of completion also must delineate the subject areas for which the licensee may claim credit. The amount of credit shall be displayed on the certificate of completion and shall be calculated in accordance with section 88.2(c) of the CBA Regulations.

Program Measurements effective January 1, 2014

In order to qualify as acceptable CE a self-study course, whether in electronic or paper text format, must grant continuing education credit calculated using one of the following methods:

  • Demonstrating an average completion time, measured in 50-minute continuing education hours, by pre-testing the documentation from a minimum of three current and active certified public accountants simulating the manner in which the course will be completed and showing the length of time spent by each participant to complete the course. Pre-testing participants are required to be independent of the group that developed and/or are offering the course and provide feedback on the level of difficulty of the course. The continuing education credit shall be rounded down to the nearest one-half hour credit when the total minutes of the program are not equally divisible by 50.
  • Demonstrating an average completion time, measured in 50-minute continuing education hours, by dividing the number of words contained in the text of the required reading (excluding any material not critical to the achievement of the stated learning objectives such as the course introduction, author biography, instructions, table of contents, and supplementary reference materials) by 180, adding the actual length of time in minutes of any audio or video segments, adding the number of review questions, exercises, and final examination questions multiplied by 1.85, and dividing the total by 50. The continuing education credit shall be rounded down to the nearest one-half hour credit when the total minutes of the program are not equally divisible by 50.
  • Clearly define lesson objectives and manage the participant through the learning process by requiring frequent participant response to questions that test for understanding of the material presented, providing evaluated feedback to incorrectly answered questions and reinforcement feedback to correctly answered questions. For purposes of this section, evaluated feedback means a response specific to each incorrect answer to the study questions that explains why the particular answer is wrong, as each one is likely to be wrong for a different reason. For purposes of this section, reinforcement feedback means a response to the correct answer of the study questions that restates and explains why the answer selected was correct.
  • Require a passing score on a test given at the conclusion of the course. The test shall not include true/false type questions.
  • With the exception of the Regulatory Review and ethics education courses, CE credit granted for all other self-study courses may now be claimed in one-half hour increments.