Continuing Professional Education for NAIPFA Professional Members
The Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Public Finance Advisors has approved Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements for Professional Members. The adopted CPE requirement is at least 36 hours over a three (3) year period, an average of twelve (12) hours per year.
A number of activities qualify to meet the CPE requirement, including:
- Attendance at the NAIPFA Annual Conference
- Other NAIPFA conferences or seminars
- NAIPFA committee activities
- GFOA classes dealing with topics such as capital finance, debt management, cash management, financial management, accounting, auditing and financial reporting
- State GFOA seminars which are approved for CPE credit
- Bond Buyer seminars which are approved for CPE credit
- Bar Association courses or other legal education on municipal finance topics
- Other related seminars or courses approved for CPE credit
- Speeches or presentations at professional seminars
- Professional papers, including those published in the NAIPFA newsletter
Because of the size of NAIPFA’s membership, we will utilize other organizations’ CPE approvals as much as possible. Activities that do not already have CPE credits assigned can be approved, and credits established, by a Member Firm CEO or by the Standards, Ethics and Certification Committee. The Committee approved CPE assignments for certain activities:
- NAIPFA Annual Conference: 12 hours.
- NAIPFA committee activities: actual time, but not more than 6 hours per year.
- Speeches and/or presentations: 2 times the length of time of the presentation, but not more than 4 hours; no credit for subsequent delivery of the same presentation within one year.
Standards for CPE Credit
A CPE activity qualifies for credit if the committee or the firm determines that the activity conforms to the following standards:
- The activity is an organized program of learning (including a workshop, symposium or lecture) which contributes directly to the professional competence of the CIPFA.
- The activity deals primarily with substantive issues directly related to the practice of municipal financial advisor activities or includes consideration of any related issues of ethics or professional responsibility.
- The activity has significant intellectual or practical content.
- The activity has its primary objective to increase the participant’s knowledge of financial, legal or other topics related to the practice of independent financial advisory service.
- The activity must be offered by a sponsor having substantial, recent experience in offering CPE programs.
- The activity itself must be taught and conducted by an individual or group qualified by practical or academic experience.
- In-house activity may qualify for accreditation if the basic standards for accreditation are met. Such programs may be approved on an individual program basis; they must be submitted to the CIPFA’s firm or the Committee for approval in advance.
- Teaching or participating as a panel member or seminar leader in an approved activity is also eligible for CPE credit, provided the subject matter meets the basic criteria outlined above.
Reporting of CPE Credits
To maintain and be eligible to use the CIPFA designation, an individual must comply with the continuing education requirements delineated here and report compliance to the Committee by March 31 of the year subsequent to the end of each designated three-year reporting period. The first reporting period will end on the fourth December 31st following when the individual achieved CIPFA status, unless the individual is otherwise informed in writing by the Committee (example: an individual achieving CIPFA status September of 2006 would first be required to report credits earned during the period through and including December 31, 2009. The reporting would be due by March 31, 2010). Reporting must be done on the official reporting form for CPE Credits established by the Committee.
If an individual fails to complete and/or report credits as required above, they shall receive written notice of such failure, designating the period of time during which they must cure the failure. The time permitted will be a period not to exceed 60 days from the date of written notice. Continued failure to report will result in notification that the individual has been placed on “restricted status,” during which time they may not use the designation “CIPFA”. Restricted status will remain in effect until the individual receives written notice that i) the failure has been cured and they are no longer on restricted status, or ii) that they have lost the CIPFA designation due to failure to comply with NAIPFA’s Certification Eligibility Standards. If an individual has been placed on restricted status and has not, within 90 days of the written notice, affected a cure, that individual will be notified in writing that they are no longer certified and must discontinue any direct or indirect representation that they are a Certified Independent Public Finance Advisor (or “CIPFA”) effective the date of the notification. Restricted status shall be effective for a period of not less than one year from the date of notice and only upon provision of proof of completion of the required number of credits to satisfy the CPE requirement for the period since last filed may an individual be re-designated as a CIPFA. In the event that the lapse of certification exceeds a period of four years, the individual may regain certification by retaking and passing the NAIPFA Certification Test. To regain certification, the individual must fulfill the eligibility requirements including, but not limited to, retaking the certification exam. Actions of the Committee in this regard are final in all respects, with the exception that an individual may appeal directly to the NAIPFA Board of Directors at their own initiative. During such time of appeal, any disciplinary action taken by the Committee will remain in full effect until such time as the Board may act to modify it.
The designated representative of the individual’s respective Member Firm will receive copies of all written notices relative to the CPE procedures outlined above.