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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.

On 8 August 2017, the department published its position paper on the future of ongoing professional development. Celebrants were informed directly by email at the same time. The position paper on OPD is available below:

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 2018 will be amended in early 2019 with the list of approved OPD activities for that year.

Important information for 2019: there will be no compulsory activity in 2019 and marriage celebrants will be required to undertake five hours of elective activities to meet their OPD obligations.

The list of approved OPD activities for 2018 is available to download here.

From 1 January 2018, the four registered training organisations approved by the department to provide these activities are:

You should contact them 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

Only association conferences that have been agreed to by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants can count towards your elective ongoing professional development requirements.

Marriage celebrants must attend the entire conference for it to count towards meeting their OPD obligation for the calendar year.

The list of celebrant association contact details can be found on the Marriage celebrant associations and networks page.

The approved celebrant association conferences have been delivered in 2018.

Associations wishing to apply for the 2019 calendar year should use the following form and submit their application for approval by 4 January 2019:

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

From 1 January 2018, celebrants will be able to choose to complete units from registered training organisations (RTOs) with a Certificate IV in Celebrancy (CHC41015) in their registration scope so that units count as OPD. The units can be undertaken with any RTO with the Certificate IV in Celebrancy.

RTOs will be able to deliver any of the elective units from the Certificate IV in Celebrancy listed on training.gov.au to Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. RTOs do not need to be on the panel approved by the Attorney-General's Department to apply, but they will need to meet some conditions and sign a declaration with the department. RTOs who have signed a declaration with the Attorney-General's Department are listed here.

RTO declaration

RTOs who 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 recognised units from the Certificate IV in Celebrancy so it can be counted towards a celebrant's ongoing professional development.