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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 38, ISSUE 14
ISSUE DATE: JULY 17, 2006
RULE PROPOSALS
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
New Jersey State Board Of Accountancy

Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:29-6.6

Criteria for Continuing Professional Education Sponsors

Authorized By: New Jersey State Board of Accountancy, William Mandeville, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:2B-48, 45:2B-68 and 45:1-15.1.

Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.

Proposal Number: PRN 2006-228.

Submit comments by September 15, 2006 to:

William Mandeville, Executive Director
New Jersey State Board of Accountancy
124 Halsey Street
P.O. Box 45000
Newark, New Jersey 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Consistent with the general rulemaking authority set forth at N.J.S.A. 45:2B-48(b), 45:2B-68(d) and 45:1-15.1, the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy (the Board) is proposing to amend N.J.A.C. 13:29-6.6(c), which sets forth requirements for continuing professional education sponsors who wish to offer courses on New Jersey law and ethics. Currently, subsection (c) provides that a sponsor must apply to the Board in writing for prior approval of any course on New Jersey law and ethics. As part of this process, sponsors must submit a course outline documenting the instruction that they will provide in State law. The proposed amendment requires that a sponsor must apply to the Board for approval of its New Jersey law and ethics course in each triennial renewal period in which the course will be offered. The Board believes that the proposed amendment is necessary in order to ensure that the content of the New Jersey law and ethics courses that are offered to its licensees and that are reflected in the submitted course outlines, reflect the current state of the law in New Jersey as it relates to the practice of accountancy.

The Board is also proposing to amend subparagraph (c)2i to provide that approved New Jersey law and ethics courses must include both a pre-test and a post-test component. The proposed amendment requires program sponsors to submit, as part of their application for course approval, documentation that demonstrates that the course will include both a pre-test and a post-test. The Board believes that this additional requirement will help to ensure the effectiveness of the law and ethics course by providing feedback to both licensees and course sponsors.

The Board is also proposing to amend subsection (c) to provide a cross-reference to the continuing professional education sponsor fee that must be submitted for all program or course evaluations conducted by the Board. Currently, the requirement to remit this $ 100.00 fee is only found in the fee schedule at N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.5(e). The Board believes that amending subsection (c) to include a cross-reference to this fee is necessary to ensure that all application requirements for continuing professional education sponsors of New Jersey law and ethics courses are accurately reflected in N.J.A.C. 13:29-6.6(c). The Board also notes that an amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.5(e) was recently proposed in the New Jersey Register at 38 N.J.R. 2020(a) for public comment. The proposed amendment would require continuing professional education sponsors to pay the $ 100.00 fee on a triennial basis, as opposed to the biennial basis currently referenced in the rule. The proposed amendment would make the imposition of this fee consistent with other Board fees which are collected on a triennial, not a biennial, basis.

The Board has determined that the comment period for this proposal shall be 60 days. Therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The Board believes that the proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:29-6.6(c) will have a positive impact upon members of the regulated community, as well as upon consumers who utilize the services of Board licensees, by ensuring that the content of the continuing professional education courses licensees are required to take in New Jersey law and ethics reflect the current state of the law in New Jersey as it relates to the practice of accountancy.

Economic Impact

The proposed amendments may have an economic impact upon continuing professional education sponsors who wish to offer courses on New Jersey law and ethics. These sponsors may incur increased administrative expenses associated with applying to the Board for course approval in each triennial renewal period and with restructuring their courses to ensure that the courses include both pre-test and post-test components. However, the continuing professional education sponsor fee set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.5 will also be incurred on a triennial basis. The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any economic impact upon licensees, although it is possible that continuing professional education sponsors may increase the cost of the New Jersey law and ethics courses they offer in order to offset any increased administrative expenses they may incur as a result of the proposed amendments.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendments are governed by N.J.S.A. 45:2B-42 et seq., and the proposed amendments are not subject to any Federal requirements or standards.

Jobs Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will result in the creation or the loss of jobs in the State.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the agriculture industry of the State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Currently, the Board licenses approximately 20,000 accountants and has approved numerous providers of continuing professional education courses in the State. If Board licensees and sponsors of continuing professional education courses are considered "small businesses" within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., then the following analysis applies.

The proposed amendments will not impose any reporting, recordkeeping or compliance requirements upon Board licensees. The proposed amendments will, however,impose compliance requirements upon sponsors of continuing professional education courses who wish to offer courses on New Jersey law and ethics. Sponsors must apply to the Board in writing for course approval in each triennial renewal period in which they seek to offer the course. The proposed amendments also require sponsors to structure their courses to include both pre-test and post-test components.

No additional professional services will be needed to comply with the proposed amendments. The costs of compliance with the proposed amendments are discussed in the Economic Impact statement above. The Board believes that the proposed amendments should be uniformly applied to all continuing professional education sponsors who offer courses on New Jersey law and ethics in order to ensure that such courses reflect the current state of the law in New Jersey as it relates to the practice of accountancy and, therefore, no differing compliance requirements for any continuing professional education sponsor is provided based upon the size of the business.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact upon the achievement of smart growth or upon the implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus):

13:29-6.6   Criteria for continuing professional education sponsors

(a)-(b) (No change.)

(c) A continuing professional education sponsor who wishes to offer a course on New Jersey law and ethics, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:29-6.3A, shall apply to the Board in writing for prior approval of the course in each triennial renewal period in which the course will be offered. As part of the application, the program sponsor shall submit the continuing professional education sponsor fee set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.5, and the following:

1. (No change.)

2. Information documenting that the course shall be:

i. A formal course of learning that includes both a pre-test and a post-test, which contributes directly to the maintenance of professional competence of a licensee;

ii.-iii. (No change.)

3. (No change.)

(d) (No change.)



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