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CPE Rule Changes Effective January 1, 2020

At the Public Rules Hearing held July 26, 2019, the Board approved changes to five rules and adopted one new rule. The purpose of the rule changes was to incorporate aspects of the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) CPE model rules and reorganize the CPE requirements between the various CPE rule sections for clarity. The rule changes are effective January 1, 2020. The rules affected are:

  • WAC 4-30-010 Definitions.
  • WAC 4-30-132 Qualifying continuing professional education (CPE) activities.
  • WAC 4-30-133 Reporting periods, carry-forward/back, and limitations on continuing professional education (CPE) credit. (New rule)
  • WAC 4-30-134 Continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.
  • WAC 4-30-136 Reporting continuing professional education (CPE) to the board.
  • WAC 4-30-138 Continuing professional education (CPE) documentation requirements.

Please review and familiarize yourself with the rules in their entirety. You can do this now on the Board’s website in the Board Rule Making section. After January 1, 2020, you can review the changes in the Board Rules. The major changes to the rules are:

  • A definition for nano learning has been added to WAC 4-30-010.
    • Nano learning is a stand-alone continuing professional education (CPE) course that is a minimum of ten minutes (0.2 CPE credit hours) but less than fifty minutes (1.0 credit hour) consisting of electronic self-study with a stated learning objective and a minimum of two final assessment questions.
    • The total number of nano learning credits allowed in any three-year CPE reporting period is 12 hours.
  • A CPA must complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPE in each year of the three-year reporting cycle.
    • Board service, first time instructor developer, or authorship of published materials will not count towards the 20 hour minimum.
    • For the next few renewal cycles an overlap between the CPE rules in effect before December 31, 2019 and after January 1, 2020 may exist. Please see the following chart for the minimum annual CPE requirements for those years.

Minimum CPE Hours Required per Year for Renewal
Effective January 1, 2020
Overall 120 Hour Requirement Remains in Effect

Renewal Year CPE Reporting Year
  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
2020 N/A N/A N/A      
2021   N/A N/A 20    
2022     N/A 20 20  
2023       20 20 20


  • No more than 60 hours of CPE credit in the aggregate will be allowed an any three-year CPE reporting period for:
    • First time instructor/developer of a CPE course or college/university course.
    • Authorship of published articles, books, and other publications relevant to maintaining or improving professional competence.
    • Service on the Board, Board committees, or peer review committees.
  • Limitations on non-technical subject CPE increase to 60 hours per CPE reporting period.
    • Examples of non-technical subjects include leadership, personal development skills, and practice development.
  • CPE extension requests are no longer limited to cases of individual hardship.
    • Any individual who fails to complete the required CPE by the end of their CPE reporting period can request an extension prior to their expiration date.
    • An individual is only allowed one CPE extension in any two consecutive CPE reporting periods (six year period).
    • Extension requests will be accepted from January 1 through June 30 of the renewal cycle.
    • The self-reported deficiency (or prelapsed reinstatement) process has been eliminated.   
  • CPE reciprocity will be allowed for Washington licensees who are residents of other states.
    • Nonresident licensees shall demonstrate compliance with the CPE renewal requirements of the state of their principal place of business.
    • If their state has no CPE requirements for renewal, the nonresident licensee must comply with all CPE requirements for Washington.

If you have any questions, please contact the Board by email at or by phone at 360-753-2586.