Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

Appendix 6: OPD legal requirements

Key Points of OPD legal requirements for marriage celebrants

A compulsory unit is not mandatory under the Regulations (Sect 37M (2).
  • This is at the Registrar of Celebrants discretion.
  • At least 2 professional development activities must be undertaken in each registration year A total of not less than 5 hours is required
Reference: Section 37M Marriage Regulations 1963 as amended.

“Section 37M Professional development (Act s 39G)

(1) For paragraph 39G (b) of the Act, as soon as practicable after the beginning of a registration year, the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants must publish on the Internet a list of professional development activities for that year.

Note In addition to publishing the list of activities on the Internet, the Registrar may publish the list in any other way the Registrar considers appropriate.

(2) The list must indicate which activities (if any, up to a maximum of 2) are compulsory for that year.

(3) At any time during a registration year, the Registrar may add another professional development activity (other than an activity that is to be compulsory) to the list for that year.

(4) Subject to sub regulation (6), a marriage celebrant must undertake, in each registration year, at least 2 professional development activities listed for that year.

(5) For sub regulation (4), the activities undertaken by a marriage celebrant in a registration year:

(a) must include any activity that is compulsory for that year; and
(b) must not include any activity (other than an activity that is compulsory for that year) that the marriage celebrant has already undertaken in the previous 5 registration years; and
(c) must take a total of not less than 5 hours to complete.


A marriage celebrant may undertake other professional development activities. However, any activity undertaken in a registration year in excess of the minimum requirements will not count towards the marriage celebrant’s obligation under this sub regulation for other registration years.

(6) A marriage celebrant need not comply with sub regulation (4) for a registration year if:

(a)the marriage celebrant becomes registered after 31 January in that year; or

(b) the marriage celebrant:

(i)  has successfully completed a formal course of training in the 6 months immediately
before his or her registration; and
(ii) becomes registered in the 12 months immediately before 31 January in that year; or

(c) before the end of that registration year, the marriage celebrant applies, in writing, to the Registrar for exemption from undertaking any professional development activity required by sub regulation (4) in that registration year, and the Registrar, being satisfied that granting the exemption is justified because of exceptional circumstances, grants the exemption.

(7) Before 31 October in each registration year, a marriage celebrant must give to the Registrar an annual return in accordance with Form 12C relating to the professional development activities undertaken by the marriage celebrant in the previous registration year”.
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