4 reasons why upskilling is vital to your career's health


Learn. Get recognised. Thrive.

It’s safe to say that change and disruption are the new normal. So, it’s imperative you keep your finger on the pulse and effectively make yourself indispensable as a professional.

In the tax world, upskilling and achieving the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) designation indicates you've reached the pinnacle of the tax profession. A respected mark of technical excellence and professional integrity, Australian tax professionals who attain the CTA designation are regarded for their leadership and expertise at home and abroad.


Here are four reasons why completing the CTA program can be your career's lifeline.

1. It connects you with like-minded professionals

Networking is the name of the game no matter which industry you work in, and even more so in tax.
CTAs belong to an extensive, network of more than 12,000 tax advisers and agents, specialist accountants, lawyers, analysts, policy developers and other practitioners. The Tax Institute’s many events, discussion groups, and social media channels provide excellent opportunities to network, connect and discuss ideas, issues and trends that affect the tax profession.

“I get to talk about issues with other tax professionals; they might have a view on something that I hadn’t even considered,” says James Collacott, CTA.

“From a technical aspect, I have that fantastic input from other CTAs in Australia and they’re not even the ones that are in my firm.”

2. It’s badge of honour

To achieve CTA status, applicants undergo a rigorous testing process and participate in 30 hours of structured continuing professional development (CPD) each year. The CTA designation helps to delineate specialist tax expertise from general accounting or legal services. When clients consult with a CTA, they know they’re not dealing with someone for whom tax is just an ‘add-on’ skill.

Iain Cooper, Group Manager Taxation at Sinclair Knight Merz, says, “I’ve done five postgraduate qualifications and it’s the toughest one by far … It’s the only one I’ve ever failed and it’s because it’s tough that it represents a gold standard in tax education and tax capability.”


3. The CTA designation is recognised for its credibility

With a prestigious CTA designation, you’re no longer a self-professed tax expert.

“You’ve got an independent standard that you’ve had to conform to that demonstrates your expertise is in tax,” explains Chrystal Kimber, Advisor at Bowden Liberatore.


“The Tax Institute has enhanced the reputation of the profession tremendously and the CTA designation has topped that off,” adds Vince Bailey, CTA, Principal – Vince Bailey Lawyers.

Scott Treatt, CTA Partner, Taxation – Pitcher Partners, says, “It’s certainly been easier to be recognised among corporates and clients.”

4. You’ll have a voice in the tax profession

To undertake the CTA program, you must be an Institute member, which means you can contribute to the integrity and reputation of the tax profession. This can be through publishing, presenting, supporting the Institute’s education program and supporting the development of continuing professional development programs.

The CTA “illustrates the esteem in which The Tax Institute’s programmes and the reputation of its members is held internationally,” says Ken Schurgott, former President of The Tax Institute.

The Tax Institute also advocates on Australian tax policy issues, and we welcome your contribution to our submissions. In this way, you can have your say in tax policy debates. Your membership status also gives you the opportunity to nominate for positions on our various counsels and committees.

Find out more about professional development opportunities and structured education at The Tax Institute.

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