Western CPE is a solid choice for firms looking for bulk CPE. With more than 400 on-demand courses, regular live webinars, and plenty of ethics options, it offers a good variety of options. However, individuals are likely going to balk at paying a la carte for each separate CPE, which can add up quickly. Overall, Western CPE might work for a firm that’s willing to buy in bulk or for an individual who just needs to earn a few hours here or there.
Western CPE offers a solid variety of on-demand courses and a fair number of live webinars, but their lack of subscription options is a big drawback compared to similar platforms and their content is limited to text or recorded webinars.
Courses/CPE – Reasonable
The platform currently has more than 400 on-demand courses available, including more than 50 ethics courses (some of which do meet state-specific requirements). Courses are available in a few different formats, including video (previously recorded webinars, not purpose-built videos), online or print materials mailed to you. However, don’t let the “online” version fool you. There is no actual online platform — you simply download a PDF and take an interactive quiz. What does set Western CPE apart here is that while the delivery of the material is rather outdated, you can download all the materials, including the videos. Quizzes are graded immediately, so you get access to your certificates right away after completing a course. It’s unclear exactly how many webinars they offer a year, but they appear to offer a good variety of topics, days, and times, including weekends. The live webinars offer online chat to interact with instructors. They offer CPE for a handful of certifications including CPA, CFP, CTEC, EA.
Platform/Features – Sufficient
Western CPE doesn’t offer a standalone course platform. As we mentioned above, courses must be downloaded (if text) or downloaded/viewed (if video) on the website itself. While the website is technically mobile-friendly, it isn’t very convenient to learn on the go unless you have already downloaded the materials from a computer. There appear to be no course ratings or reviews, so you can’t see what others have thought about a course before you decide to take it. We also couldn’t find any firm/corporate user reviews on vetted 3rd party platforms like Capterra. Western CPE’s dashboard allows you to see your earned CPE certificates with an CPE tracker, though there is no “compliance tracker/monitor” that knows the CPE rules and helps inform you about how you're doing against your CPE requirements. They don’t offer any micro-certifications, though they do offer custom webinars and live events for firms/companies.
UX – Adequate
Western CPE Review’s user experience is fine, though it is rather difficult to determine what your buying options are initially. The website (and platform, as it’s part of the website) is mobile enabled. As we mentioned above, this means the courses are technically mobile-enabled although actually taking a course on your mobile device is difficult. With multiple ways to filter and sort courses and webinars, it’s fairly easy to find what you’re looking for. Logging in to your account and accessing your dashboard is also easy. The dashboard is where you can access your courses, webinars, and earned CPE certificates.
Cost - A la carte only
The platform does not offer any sort of subscription or membership to individual users. They previously had one but discontinued it. (Something that you only learn by contacting the platform directly — currently, the website does not make it clear what your purchase options are). Instead, you can buy any on-demand course, webinar, or other CPE offering a la carte only — at least for individuals. They do offer some firm/corporate options like buying bulk credits for a lower per-credit price. For on-demand courses only, firms can purchase 250 credits for $2,250 ($9/credit), 500 credits for $4,000 ($8/credit), or 1,000 credits for $7,000 ($7/credit). If your employees need access to on-demand courses and webinars, the price goes up to 250 credits for $3,000 ($12/credit), 500 credits for $5,500 ($11/credit), and 1,000 for $10,000 ($10/credit). These credits can be distributed to team members as you see fit. A set number of credits can be assigned to each employee, or unrestricted access can be provided to your staff members, allowing them to use what they need. They provide an online course credit tracker to easily keep track of how and when your credits are utilized, which also includes a monthly utilization report for your records.
Team/Firm Capability – Good
The platform appears to be shifting to appeal to team and firms as opposed to individuals, based on their multiple offerings for teams/firms like the bulk credit offers, private webinars, and in-house events. However, it’s unclear if they offer additional features like custom company on-demand courses, custom user groups, LMS integration, SSO (single sign-on), usage reporting, user management, or creation and calendaring of internal CPE.
Western CPE is a solid choice for firms looking for bulk CPE. With more than 400 on-demand courses, regular live webinars, and plenty of ethics choices, it offers a good variety of options. However, individuals are likely going to balk at paying a la carte for each separate CPE credit, which can add up quickly. Overall, Western CPE might work for a firm that’s interested in buying in bulk or for an individual who just needs to earn a few hours here or there.