Checkpoint Learning Review

Pros

  • Checkpoint Learning offers more than 600 on-demand courses.
  • Multiple webinars offered each week on a variety of topics.
  • Three packages are available, offering flexibility in pricing and commitment.
  • CPE compliance tracker included with all three packages.
  • IRS-approved continuing education (CE) provider.

Cons

  • Some courses are simply repurposed webinars followed by an exam.
  • Price structure is rather complicated, with three levels and a different pricing for each level based on the length of contract.
  • While the website itself is mobile friendly, the learning platform is not.
  • Only offers CPE for CPA and EA, no other certification types.
  • Limited firm offerings.

Verdict

Thomson Reuters’s Checkpoint Learning platform offers a robust course catalog, regular webinars, a handful of micro-certifications, and a compliance tracker. Downsides are that you only get all the features and benefits at the highest tier, which starts at $519 per year (lower prices available with longer contract terms). There are no written course reviews available, though there are plenty of ratings on a five-star scale. While the ‘marketing’ website itself is mobile-friendly, the actual learning platform isn’t, which is disappointing for those who need to learn on the go.
  • 600+ on demand courses.
  • More than 450 webinars a year.
  • 37 Ethics courses available (minimal state-specific).
  • CPE compliance tracking is included in all package levels.
  • No written course reviews, but plenty of ratings available
  • $519/year for unlimited courses, webinars, and learning plans, with lower per year price with multi-year commitment. Additional packages available for less per year, but they offer fewer features including limited webinars and courses.
  • Learning platform isn’t mobile friendly
  • No instructor feedback loop/Q&A for on-demand courses

Intro

Checkpoint Learning is offered by Thomson Reuters, a global news platform that also offers training for legal, tax and accounting professionals. The platform is a compelling option with a robust on-demand course library and a large number of live webinars, as well as micro-certifications, and multi-tier package choices.

Courses/CPE – Solid Options

The platform currently has over 500 on-demand courses available. Courses are available on the online platform, print-based, or print-based with online grading. The style of the course varies based on which option you choose. They offer more than 100 webinars, which provides a good variety of topics. They range from basic 1-hour webinars to full-day webinars lasting 8 hours, though the longer webinars aren’t included in all package levels. CPE is available for CPA, CTEC, CFP, and EA, and although they have a fair number of on-demand ethics courses, few of them are state-specific (meaning you may need to go elsewhere if your state requires its own unique ethics course).

Platform/Features – Simple

The website is fairly simple, with multiple ways to sort and filter courses and webcasts. While both courses and webcasts feature a product rating option, there are no written reviews, so it can be hard to zero in on a precise fit. There is not an option for direct instructor Q&A for courses. We also couldn’t locate any instructor bios. The platform offers CPE tracking and compliance management for all three package levels.

UX – Mixed

Accessing purchased courses and webinars is pretty straightforward, though the “Homeroom” set up isn’t quite as easy to use as one might hope. The overall look is a bit dated but does the job well enough. The biggest concern is that it appears you can’t actually take a course on the Checkpoint Learning platform. You can access all your data, see the title and information of the course, but to take it, you must click on a very small “Launch” button that can be found on the left side bar or the far right of your course screen. There’s a note that “Clicking the ‘Launch’ button below may open a new window which points to a third-party website.” Which could be a concern for some companies with very restrictive internet use policies. Once you make it to the actual learning platform, though, it’s fairly smooth sailing. The course is easy to use, and the progress bar at the bottom of the screen makes it easy to see how far you are in the course. There are additional resources like a calculator, bookmark feature, search bar, and option to print that make the actual learning platform one of the better ones we’ve seen.

Cost - Lower with Commitment

The platform offers a variety of purchase options. Individual courses can be purchased a la carte and run from ~$50-$300, depending on the course. Most users would probably choose from one of the three Professional CPE Packages. The basic package simply called Professional CPE starts at $289/year, though with a 2-year commitment that goes down to $265, and down to $249 with a 3-year contract. This package offers a limited selection of courses and CPE tracking and compliance monitoring, but no webinars. The mid-tier package is Premier CPE starts at $359/year, going down to $325 and $309 with 2- and 3-year contracts, respectively. This package is more robust and includes access to courses, 1 -4 hour webinars, CPE tracking and compliance monitoring. The ‘unlimited’ option, Premier Plus CPE, starts at $519/year, down to $469/year and $439/year for 2- and 3-year contracts. It includes access to all online and downloadable courses (500+), as well as unlimited webinars (no cap on length), CPE tracking and compliance monitoring, nano-learning options, a free year-end virtual conference, and learning plans to help you design a personalized CPE. If you’re prepared to commit to Checkpoint Learning for the next 3 years, it’s reasonably affordable and well-featured. But with no free trial to explore the platform, it’s a big leap to make.

Team/Firm Capability – Solid

The platform offers general firm solutions like group rates and custom CPE requirements to track user’s education requirements. It also offers administrators the ability to track firm personnel records so CPE compliance can easily be confirmed and to answer user questions about CPE compliance within the platform. It also offers the option to create ‘in-firm’ CPE requirements to track minimum educations requirements established by your firm. However, the website does not note things like corporate LMS integration or SSO (single sign-on). It also doesn’t mention offering custom curriculum, internal (client) course creation and CPE for client-built courses, or creation and calendaring of internal CPE events/webinars.

Summary

Checkpoint Learning comes from a well-respected, global company and has some strong features. It provides a good number of on-demand courses, plenty of live webinars, and a powerful compliance tracker. Mobile experience seems not so good and the platform is on the high side of average when it comes to pricing for unlimited learning. Also, committing to a multi-year contract can be a bit daunting, especially without a free trial option. But with solid features, and an easy-to-use ‘desktop’ experience, it’s a good choice for CPAs and EAs — but not for other professionals, as their CPE is limited to CPA and EA.