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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:

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 (the 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 will be required to undertake five hours of elective activities to meet their OPD obligations. Celebrants must undertake at least one activity from Table 1 of the 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

Only association conferences that have been approved by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants can count towards your OPD obligations. Marriage celebrants must attend the entire conference for it to count towards meeting their OPD obligation for the calendar year.

Celebrant associations that have approved conferences for 2019 are included in the Statement.

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 RTOs with a Certificate IV in Celebrancy (CHC41015) in their registration scope, and that have signed a declaration with the Attorney-General's Department to satisfy their OPD obligation. RTOs that have signed a declaration with the Attorney-General's Department are listed in the 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 recognised 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 Statement early each calendar year. Declarations are no longer being accepted for 2019.