South Carolina Code of Regulations
Chapter 1 - DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION - BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY
1-08 - Continuing Professional Education.

Universal Citation: SC Code Regs 1-08

1-08. Continuing Professional Education.

A. General Standards

1. Each licensee shall complete Continuing Professional Education (CPE) that contributes directly to his or her professional competence.

a. Each licensee shall earn forty (40) credit hours of acceptable CPE each calendar year as a condition of obtaining a renewal license (''Required CPE Credit Hours'').

b. When a licensee earns more than the required number of CPE credit hours in any calendar year, the excess credit hours, not exceeding twenty (20) credit hours, may be carried forward and treated as credit hours earned in the following year (''Carry-Over Credit''). Certain types of CPE as defined in this regulation may be limited or may not qualify for Carry-Over Credit.

c. Each licensee shall earn CPE credit hours in the subject of Ethics as required in these regulations.

d. No CPE is required and no carryover credit may be earned during the licensing year in which a person obtains an initial license.

2. General Mechanics for CPE - unless otherwise specified in this regulation:

a. One (1) hour of credit shall be granted for each fifty (50) minutes of actual instruction time (''CPE credit hours''). One-half (1/2) credit hour shall be granted for each twenty-five (25) minutes of actual instruction time after the first CPE credit hour has been earned in the same activity. Partial hours will be rounded down to the nearest one-half (1/2) credit hour.

b. CPE credit hours can only be earned for one CPE course during a given time and earning simultaneous CPE credit hours is prohibited.

c. Only class hours, actual hours of attendance, and not hours devoted to preparation, shall be eligible for computing CPE credit hours.

d. As evidence of earning qualifying CPE credit hours, a licensee must obtain a certificate of completion, supplied by the program sponsor, after completion of the CPE course. At a minimum, the certificate of completion must include the following information:

(1) Name and address of sponsor;

(2) Participant's name;

(3) Course title;

(4) Course field of study;

(5) Date of completion; and

(6) Amount of CPE credit hours recommended.

e. No more than ten (10) credit hours of CPE can be earned in a single calendar day.

f. Licensees participating in only part of a CPE program must claim CPE credit only for the portion they attend or complete and only if the credit hours claimed are greater than the minimum required credit hours for that CPE course.

3. Compliance and Reporting

a. Licensees are responsible for compliance with all applicable CPE requirements and accurate reporting of CPE credit hours.

b. Licensees should claim CPE credit hours only when the CPE program sponsors have complied with the requirements set out in these regulations.

c. Licensees must retain evidence to support reported CPE credit hours for at least five (5) years from the due date of the CPE report or the date filed, whichever is later.

d. A licensee or the resident manager of a firm on behalf of a non-licensed owner may apply to the Board for accommodations to complete the required CPE and must show that the accommodation is required as a result of a verifiable hardship which prevents compliance with the CPE requirements.

e. The Board may accept another jurisdiction's CPE credit hours from a licensee to the extent that jurisdiction's requirements for those CPE credit hours are substantially equivalent to South Carolina requirements.

B. Subject Content

1. Personal Development, Non-Technical

a. Personal development subjects are those non-technical areas of study that help achieve career advancement or enhance personal effectiveness at work, and are similar to and include topics such as career planning, leadership, and time management.

b. Not more than twenty (20%) percent or 8 hours of the Required CPE Credit Hours may be in personal development subjects, as approved by the Board. Personal development subjects that exceed this limit shall not be available for Carry-Over Credit.

2. Ethics

a. Ethics is generally defined as a set of moral principles, either at the individual level or in the context of a culture or society as a whole. Ethics is also a philosophical framework used to analyze what constitutes right or wrong courses of action given a particular situation or set of circumstances.

b. By the end of each fixed three (3) year period, six (6) CPE credit hours must be obtained in ethics of which two (2) CPE credit hours must be in a board approved South Carolina Rules and Regulations course as described in these regulations. The dates of each fixed three (3) years Ethics period are defined on the Board website.

c. The Board will designate the approved author of the two (2) hour South Carolina Rules and Regulations course of the Board's website.

d. The two (2) hours South Carolina Rules and Regulations course can be counted only once toward the six (6) hour ethics requirement during each three (3) year period. The remaining four (4) hours of the six (6) hour ethics requirement must be in other ethics topics.

C. Program Delivery Methods

1. Sponsored Program Delivery Methods

a. Live Instruction

(1) Live Instruction is a program in which participants engage simultaneously through interaction of a real-time instructor or discussion leader and includes the required elements of attendance monitoring. Live Instruction CPE Programs meeting the requirements contained in this regulation qualify for CPE credit.

(2) On-Site Live Instruction Program consists of Live Instruction at a specific location.

(3) Online Live Instruction Program consists of Live Instruction using technology and/or remote access, whether or not broadcast at the same time the program is created, but offered at a scheduled date and time.

(4) CPE Instructors or Discussion Leaders

(a) CPE for instructing or leading discussions includes only those instructors or discussion leaders of qualified CPE programs.

(b) CPE credit hours will be granted equal to twice the number of CPE participation hours in the course. For repeat presentations, CPE credit hours can be claimed only if the licensee can demonstrate the learning activity content was substantially changed and such change required additional study or research.

b. Self-Study

(1) A Self-Study program is a program in which the participant has control over time, place and/or pace of learning and is completed without the assistance or interaction of a real-time instructor or discussion leader.

(2) Not more than fifty (50%) percent (20 hours) of the Required CPE Credit Hours may be in Self-Study programs.

(3) Self-Study CPE credit hours are not available for Carry-Over Credit.

(4) Only Self-Study courses registered under Quality Assurance Services (QAS) of NASBA will qualify for CPE credit hours.

(5) As evidence of completing qualifying Self-Study course, the sponsor provided certificate of completion must include the information required in Regulation 1-08(A)(2)(d) and the registration QAS sponsor number.

(6) Each Self-Study course claimed on an annual renewal must be accompanied by the Self-Study certificate of completion as defined in these regulations.

c. Nano-Learning

(1) A Nano-Learning program is a program designed to permit a participant having control over time, place and/or pace of learning to learn a given subject in a minimum of 10 minutes 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.

(2) One-fifth (1/5) hour of credit shall be granted for ten (10) minutes of a single Nano-Learning program, exclusive of the qualified assessment.

(3) Not more than five (5%) percent (2 hours) of the Required CPE Credit Hours may be in Nano-Learning programs.

(4) Nano-Learning CPE credit hours are not available for Carry-Over Credit.

(5) In order for a Nano-Learning program to qualify as a CPE course, it must include the following:

(a) The learning objective(s) of the program;

(b) Any instructions that participants need to navigate through the program;

(c) A qualified assessment; and

(d) A certificate of completion supplied by the Nano-Learning program sponsor containing the required information in Regulation 1-08(A)(2)(d), after satisfactory completion of a qualified assessment.

2. Non-Sponsored Delivery Methods

a. Higher Education

(1) Non-Sponsored Higher Education CPE credit hours are not available for Carry-Over Credit.

(2) Participant

(a) Course for Credit

(i) Courses for Credit include only accredited university or college courses that have been successfully completed by the licensee for credit.

(ii) Each semester hour university or college credit completed shall equal fifteen (15) CPE credit hours. In the case of universities or colleges on the quarter system, each quarter hour university or college credit completed shall equal ten (10) CPE credit hours.

(iii) Each Course for Credit claimed on an annual renewal must be accompanied by a transcript issued by the university or college, showing successful completion.

(b) Not-for-Credit Course

(i) Not-for-Credit Courses include only accredited university or college courses successfully completed without receiving any credit.

(ii) CPE credit hours for a Not-for-Credit Course are determined in the same manner as a Course for Credit.

(iii) Each Not-for-Credit Course claimed on an annual renewal must be accompanied by documentation showing attendance at the course or documentation showing successful completion of the course with a final grade equal to a pass rating or higher.

(3) Professors and Instructors

(a) For purposes of this section, Professors and Instructors are those that teach university and college undergraduate and graduate level courses.

(b) Professors and Instructors shall be granted CPE credit hours at the rate of ten (10) credit hours for each three (3) semester hour (or prorated equivalent) course taught.

(c) CPE credit hours for teaching university, college, and graduate level courses shall be limited to twenty-five (25%) percent (10 hours) of the Required CPE Credit Hours.

(d) CPE credit hours shall not be granted for teaching accounting principles, basic financial accounting, basic managerial accounting, or any other introductory accounting course, either undergraduate or graduate level.

(e) CPE credit hours shall be granted only for the first presentation within a two (2) year period. Repeated presentations during the two (2) year period do not qualify for CPE credit hours.

b. Authoring Published Works or CPE Programs

(1) General Standards

(a) Authoring published articles/books or authoring CPE programs (''Authored Works'') includes only those that contribute to the professional competence of the licensee.

(b) CPE credit hours for preparation of Authored Works may be given on a self-declaration basis up to twenty-five (25%) percent (10 hours) of the Required CPE Credit Hours. The Board has the final determination of the amount of CPE credit hours so awarded.

(c) CPE credit hours for Authored Works is not available for Carry-Over Credit.

(d) Each Authored Work claimed on an annual renewal must be accompanied by a copy of that work that names the licensee as an author.

c. Participation in Quality Verification Reviews and Peer Reviews

(1) Quality Verification Reviews (QVRs) are technical reviews by licensees appointed by the Board, of professional work submitted to the State and of publicly available professional work of licensees.

(2) Participation in QVRs or service on a peer review acceptance body which qualifies under Reg. 1-09, qualify for CPE hours at the rate of one CPE hour for each hour spent performing these duties.

(3) No more than 16 hours of CPE credit may be claimed per year for performing these duties, and these CPE credit hours are not eligible for carry-over credit.

d. Staff Meetings

(1) Only the portion of a staff meeting that is designed as a program of learning and complies with the requirements in this regulation qualifies for CPE credit hours.

e. Participation in technical sessions at meetings of recognized national and state accounting organizations.

(1) No more than 16 hours of CPE credit may be claimed per year for performing these duties, and these CPE credit hours are not eligible for carry-over credit.

f. Programs offered by other recognized professional organizations, industrial or commercial firms, proprietary schools, or governmental entities may qualify for CPE credit hours, provided all other requirements of this regulation are met.

D. Standards for CPE Program Sponsors

1. General Standards for CPE Program Sponsors

a. CPE sponsors are expected to present learning activities that comply with course descriptions and objectives.

b. CPE sponsors must employ an effective means for evaluating learning activity quality with respect to content and presentation, as well as provide a mechanism for participants to assess whether learning objectives were met.

c. The Board shall accept only Other Qualifying Programs that provide written documentation showing that the work in the attended program has actually been accomplished by the licensee.

2. Live Instruction Sponsors

a. General Standards for Live Instruction Sponsors

(1) Live Instruction must be conducted by persons whose background training, education and experience qualify them in the subject matter of the particular CPE program (a ''subject matter expert'').

(2) An outline of the Live Instruction program presented must be prepared in advance and shall be maintained by the sponsor.

(3) Live Instruction must be at least one (1) CPE credit hour (fifty minutes) in length and the sponsor must calculate the course CPE credit hours.

(4) When a meal is scheduled during a CPE program, no credit will be allowed for the meal period unless the schedule provides for fifty (50) minutes of uninterrupted instruction.

(5) A certificate of attendance as described in these regulations must be given to each participant at the end of the Live Instruction program.

(6) Records showing compliance with this section must be preserved and maintained by the sponsor for a period of at least five (5) years from the presentation date of the Live Instruction program.

(7) At the beginning of the Live Instruction program, the sponsor should read the following statement or a statement very similar: ''It is the responsibility of the licensee to be accountable for the hours earned during the CPE course. The licensee should not engage in any other activities that would denigrate the learning objective of the course to the licensee or others. If the other activity is unavoidable, then that time should be subtracted from the overall CPE credit.''

3. Self-Study Sponsors

a. Self-Study courses shall qualify for CPE credit hours, provided the course has been approved by QAS.

b. The sponsor of Self-Study courses must provide the licensee with a certificate of completion that includes the information state in Reg. 1-08(C)(1)(b)(5).

HISTORY: Added by State Register Volume 31, Issue No. 5, eff May 25, 2007. Amended by State Register Volume 34, Issue No. 6, eff June 25, 2010; State Register Volume 36, Issue No. 5, eff May 25, 2012; State Register Volume 36, Issue No. 6, eff June 22, 2012; SCSR 44-6 Doc. No. 4923, eff June 26, 2020.

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