Exemptions for the CPA Program may be available if you have completed prior learning of equivalent level, content and depth.
Members who have completed the CPA Program and who wish to undertake further postgraduate studies may be able to obtain exemptions on the basis of their CPA Program studies.
Exemptions into the CPA Program
Exemptions may be granted at any time during your CPA Program studies, except for Global Strategy and Leadership.
CPA Australia deems the ‘knowledge currency’ of subjects to be valid for a period of 10 years. This is in accordance with best practice standards for recognition of prior learning. For prior learning to be considered, it will need to be postgraduate tertiary education or an equivalent professional qualification, completed within 10 years of the application.
Exemptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis and will be provided at the time of your membership application, or via an update where you have new learning to claim if you are eligible. Some recognised exemptions are included below.
Exemptions in elective subjects are only available if you have met CPA Australia’s educational requirements for the knowledge areas of taxation and auditing prior to starting the CPA Program.
Studies accredited by CPA Australia and those completed below Australian postgraduate level, including the Diploma of Financial Planning or RG146 program, cannot be used toward exemptions from the CPA Program.
You may also gain recognition of prior work experience toward the practical experience requirement.
The Taxation Institute of Hong Kong
CPA Australia and The Taxation Institute of Hong Kong (TIHK) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which is effective until 31 December 2022.
The MOU enables candidates who have completed the Hong Kong Tax Paper or PRC Tax Paper of the Chartered Tax Adviser Qualifying Examination (formerly Certified Tax Adviser Qualifying Examination) conducted by TIHK (the CTA Examination) to receive a non-specified elective exemption in the CPA Program.
The MOU recognises the successful completion of the Hong Kong Tax Paper or PRC Tax Paper of the CTA Examination within two years prior to a candidate’s commencement of the CPA Program.
CPA Australia members who have commenced the CPA Program can obtain the exemption by completing the CTA Examination while undertaking the CPA Program.
Candidates can apply for an exemption within one year after the end date of the MOU.
To apply for an exemption, upload a colour scanned copy of the official transcript from TIHK showing a pass in the Hong Kong Tax Paper or PRC Tax Paper of the CTA Examination when you apply for membership.
Details of the CTA Examination can be found on the TIHK website.
Ministry of Finance of Vietnam
Applicants who have successfully completed the Vietnamese Tax Segment in the annual Auditors’ exam organised by the Ministry of Finance with a minimum result of 6.5 for this subject alone, may be eligible for an exemption in an elective subject of the CPA Program. This arrangement is only applicable to candidates who have completed the Vietnam Tax segment from 2014 onwards.
For candidates who wish to complete the annual Auditor’s exam in Tax through the Ministry of Finance Vietnam, please contact CPA Australia’s Vietnam office for further information, including semester dates.
Fiji – The University of the South Pacific
CPA Australia has signed an agreement with the University of the South Pacific, relevant for candidates who have completed the subject AF439 Advanced Issues in Contemporary Taxation. This subject is offered both within the Postgraduate Diploma of Commerce with a major taken in Professional Accounting and the Master of Commerce and Professional Accounting.
Candidates who have undertaken AF439 Advanced Issues in Contemporary Taxation will be granted an exemption for an elective subject in the CPA program. This means they will be required to complete only the four core subjects and one elective subject. If candidates with this exemption still wish to build their competencies in Australian taxation, they may study Advanced Taxation as an elective.
Other professional bodies
If you are a member of a professional body not listed above, see our international affiliations for information about mutual recognition agreements and other affiliations with CPA Australia. You may be eligible to apply for CPA Program exemptions or reciprocal membership.
Credits for your postgraduate degree
Many higher education providers offer credits into their postgraduate degrees to members who have completed the CPA Program
Find out more