The Illinois Public Accounting Act is silent with respect to what qualifies for “professional ethics.” The only reference to the requirement is in Section 16(c) of the Act which says:
(c) Every application for renewal of a license by a licensed certified public accountant who has been licensed under this Act for 3 years or more shall be accompanied or supported by any evidence the Department shall prescribe, in satisfaction of completing, each 3 years, not less than 120 hours of continuing professional education programs in subjects given by continuing education sponsors registered by the Department upon recommendation of the Committee. Of the 120 hours, not less than 4 hours shall be courses covering the subject of professional ethics.
Most CPAs interpret “courses covering the subject of professional ethics” to include only those courses related to the Code of Professional Conduct and not to include courses such as harassment, diversity in the workplace, etc. If you desire further clarification, please contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) at 217.785.0800.