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 Ongoing professional development

OPD requirements

As a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant, you must complete five hours of ongoing professional development (OPD) activities each calendar year. This includes compulsory and elective activities, or in years where there is no compulsory activity, up to five hours of elective activities.

Disciplinary measures may be imposed if you fail to complete these requirements.

OPD in 2019

In accordance with subsection 53(6) of the Marriage Regulations 2017, the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants is required to publish a list of professional development activities as soon as practicable after the start of each calendar year. The list is a legislative instrument, tabled in Parliament and published on the Federal Register of Legislation. The Marriage (Celebrant Professional Development) Statement 2019 (OPD Statement) has been published with the list of approved OPD activities for 2019.

Important information for 2019: there is no one compulsory activity in 2019 and marriage celebrants must undertake five hours of elective activities to meet their OPD obligations. Celebrants must undertake at least one activity from Table 1 of the OPD Statement. If celebrants require more hours to complete their five hour obligation, they can choose an activity from Table 1 or Table 2.

The four registered training organisations approved by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants to provide OPD activities are:

You should contact providers directly for information. There are face-to-face and distance education options.

More information about OPD is also available in the following fact sheet:

Celebrant association conferences

Association and network conferences that have been approved by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants to count towards your OPD obligations for 2019 are included in the OPD Statement. Some conferences may be held over two or more days. Contact the conference organisers to confirm which day/s you should attend for your attendance to count as OPD in 2019. If you are unsure, please contact the Marriage Law and Celebrants Section at marriagecelebrantssection@ag.gov.au.

Information about applying for a conference to count as OPD from 2020 is available in the fact sheet:

Applications for conferences to count as OPD in 2020 must be made by 13 December 2019 using the following application form:

Seeking an exemption from OPD requirements

To seek an exemption from OPD requirements you must meet the criteria outlined in the guidelines below.

Eligible celebrants can access an exemption application form in the self-service portal. Applications for an exemption can only be considered where they are accompanied by the fee and made by 31 December in the relevant year.

Declaration – RTOs with Certificate IV in Celebrancy unit as OPD

Registered Training Organisations delivering units of the Certificate IV in Celebrancy (CHC41015), and that have signed a declaration with the Attorney-General's Department for the units to count as OPD are listed in the OPD Statement.

RTO declaration

RTOs that wish to provide the Certificate IV in Celebrancy units to count as OPD are required to sign a declaration. It is a formal undertaking to report the completion of any of the units from the Certificate IV in Celebrancy so it can be counted towards a celebrant's OPD. The declaration must be submitted to the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants prior to the publication of the OPD Statement early each calendar year. Declarations are no longer being accepted for 2019.

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