CPE is short for Continuing Professional Education. Education boards for professional education - prominently the education board for CPAs - has identified the need to continuously train a professional, so that he or she may be up-to-date in the knowledge of his or her field, and remain abreast of the contemporary topics in his occupation. As such, CPE ensures that the quality of professional education and their work remains top class.
CPE - like I said before, is short for continuing professional education. The most important word in this definition is perhaps 'professional'. CPE credits are primarily required for professionals like lawyers or medical professionals or teachers. CPE classes are held for these professionals in their respective fields, and attending these courses earn them CPE credits. One CPE credit is given for every 50 minutes of teaching. So, its definition is that, it is a credit which is earned as a result of 50 minutes of extra education.
There are several CPE courses available in each field. And the number of CPE credits depends upon the number of hours that the classes are held for. So, the more hours you have to sit in a class in order to complete your CPE course, the more credits you stand to gain. So, it can be said that the credits are a function on the number of hours of class a professional attends.
Importance of CPE Credits
Credit requirements vary from one professional course to the other. While earning a required number of CPE credits in accounting every year is mandatory for CPAs, the same rule may or may not be enforced on other professions.
Earning CPE credits is very simple. It is a very telling characteristic of professional education to be dynamic and ever-changing. The thing with most professional courses is that, there is a lot of innovation or basic changes that take place in the subject matter of their study. Take for example the occupation of tax professionals. Tax laws change marginally almost every year, and hence, a good tax professional ought to be aware of these changes. This makes CPE credits and continuing education extremely essential in his field. Other courses too, such as medicine, undergo several changes over a year, and hence, it is essential that a good accomplished professional knows about it. As such, professional education almost never end. It is virtually always a continuous process of learning.
CPE courses facilitate just that. They are aimed at ensuring that the knowledge base of professionals does not stagnate. By making professionals attend CPE courses and earn credits, the overall level of professional education can be improved. A good professional always keeps pace with the changes around him, and makes sure that he can incorporate these changes within himself to become a better professional overall!
As was mentioned earlier, attending CPE courses and earning the credits is evidently a great way of making yourself a better professional. Hence, make sure that after the completion of your professional course, you earn these credits for enrolled agents, and keep yourself up-to-date!