CPE Depot provides an affordable option for earning CPE with simple, text-based, on-demand courses and live webinars. It’s well rated on a third-party site, and fairly easy to use. Downsides are dated website, limited course and webinar options, and no micro-certifications. There are no on-site ratings and reviews and no way to interact with instructors. Overall, a solid platform as long as you don’t want any bells or whistles.
CPE Depot is a no-frills CPE platform that offers a solid variety of courses, a handful of live webinars, and plenty of state-specific ethics options.
Courses/CPE – Plenty of Ethics
The platform currently has nearly 300 on-demand courses available. These courses are all traditional PDF reading style with up to hundreds of pages to read prior to taking the exam. The actual learning platform is easy to use, though not mobile-friendly. They appear to offer a handful of webinars each month, but they only have 5-8 available for signups at a time, which makes it hard to schedule in advance. They offer a good variety of CPE for: CPA, EA, and RTRP. They do have many on-demand ethics courses, including some for state-specific ethics needs.
Platform/Features – Basic
The platform is fairly easy to use, though trying to browse the courses can be a little tricky. They feature the third-party reviews their platform has received, which are high (9.1/10, although on a site that doesn’t confirm the reviews), but don’t offer on-site ratings or reviews of the courses themselves. There is not an option for direct instructor Q&A for courses, and as no instructor bios are provided, it's unclear who created each course. There is not a CPE compliance tracking option, and the platform is not mobile friendly for on-demand courses — or even just browsing the website. There is no free trial option and only one free course available to sample. It would be nice to have a limited option to try before you buy the full packages. They also do not offer any micro-certifications.
UX – Dated but Simple
The learning platform, like the website itself, is rather dated. That’s because the learning platform is within the website. When you access a course (which isn’t the easiest feat), the learning platform is a simple page on the website with quick links (to a table of contents, options to print the page, review questions and final exam questions, view the course PDF, and go to the review or final exam questions) introduction, and buttons to go to the next page or previous page. The learning platform itself is fairly easy to use because it is so basic. Courses are all text based, so you must view (or print) the PDF with the lessons to read it before attempting the review or final exam questions. Unlike some platforms, there’s nothing to stop you from jumping straight to the questions and coming up with the answers by looking at the PDF (something that we do NOT recommend, as it is against ethical policies of all organizations). The review and final exams are online, so you can choose to have them graded immediately.
Cost - Middle of the Road
The platform offers the ability to buy courses a la carte or as an annual unlimited on-demand course package. This package does not include webinars, but more importantly, it doesn’t include any ethics courses. If you want to take any ethics courses, you must buy them individually or pay an extra $49 a year. An unlimited webinar package is an additional $149 for the handful of webinars they offer, which compared to other platforms, is a fairly high cost per webinar. There is no discount for buying all three packages, so if you want truly unlimited access, it’s a total of $347 annually. Still a fairly low number compared to some other platforms, but higher than it initially appears.
Team/Firm Capability – Minimal
The platform appears to offer no team/firm options outside of reduced price group plans. There are clearly no options for things like corporate LMS integration and SSO (single sign-on), user management or reporting, or custom user groups. It also doesn’t mention offering custom curriculum, internal (client) course creation and CPE, or creation and calendaring of internal CPE events/webinars, or not that we could find any mention of on the site.
CPE Depot is a solid no-frills CPE platform that offers a decent variety of text-based courses (and ethics) and webinars for an affordable price. Unfortunately, there’s no micro-certifications, no compliance tracker, and limited features. It will get the job done but isn’t the prettiest or most convenient option on the market.