18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD

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The new .cpa will create a new generation community-based gTLD serving the interests of CPA Australia’s membership of accounting, finance and business advisory professionals across the world, as well as internet users more generally. CPA Australia Ltd (CPA Australia) intends to create and control an authoritative .cpa domain space where information, services and resources regarding CPA Australia, its members, services and products will be provided to the Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) community and consumers. CPA Australia intends to offer personalised domain names to its members, as well creating second and third level domains to market CPA Australia’s products and services, including CPA programs, events and careers. The .cpa gTLD allows CPA Australia to align a digital .cpa identity with members’ professional CPA identity.

Registrations for domain names under .cpa will be available to the CPA Australia community, which consists of full CPA members, Associate members currently enrolled in a CPA program, students currently registered in CPA Australia’s Passport program and reciprocal members who have applied for membership of CPA Australia. This will ensure that .cpa presents an authoritative information source for the accountancy profession and the general public. The .cpa gTLD will digitise the CPA designation and professional identity to a wider audience via the online forum. Members who register a .cpa domain name will enjoy global recognition and consumers looking to utilise the professional services of a CPA can be confident of the quality and integrity of a .cpa business.

CPA Australia is one of the world’s largest accounting bodies with a membership of over 139,000 accounting, finance and business professionals across 114 countries. CPA Australia’s core services to members include education, training, technical support and advocacy. CPA Australia and members work together with other international accounting bodies to represent the views and concerns of the profession to governments, regulators, industry, academia and the general public. Members volunteer their time and expertise for the benefit of CPA Australia and the accounting profession as a whole, helping to make it a leading global accounting body and a dynamic and influential organisation. The original accounting body was founded in 1886 and CPA Australia was formed in 1990. CPA Australia’s vision is to become the global professional accountancy designation for strategic business leaders. In this regard, brand reputation and consumer trust are paramount considerations in all its activities. The .cpa gTLD will provide an exclusive domain space and online community for CPA professionals, strengthen and grow the CPA Australia brand globally and provide users with improved navigation and searches for CPA Australia members, programs and services.

Since the inception of the current domain name system, business activities conducted on the internet are constantly changing and evolving with increased complexity. The volume of commercial transactions over the internet is growing and bringing benefits of simplicity and lowered transaction costs to businesses and consumers. However, at the same time, criminal activities over the internet including data breach, hacking and phishing activities have also become more sophisticated resulting in loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary harm. .cpa will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with CPA Australia online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.

CPA Australia’s mission and purpose of the gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. CPA Australia is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
-consumer trust: .cpa will only allow members of the CPA community, who meet the eligibility requirements, to register under the gTLD, as specified in the .cpa registration policy. .cpa will strengthen public awareness in the CPA Australia brand and the CPA community, resulting in increased consumer trust in information provided under the .cpa domain space. As .cpa domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under CPA Australia’s control, this limits the possibility of malicious conduct within .cpa. The content provided under. cpa will be professional in nature;
-competition: .cpa is intended to promote competition and consumer choice among prospective registrants in the accountant, finance and business advisory professions, who will have a choice of gTLDs with which to register. Increased trust in .cpa will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
-consumer choice: the gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations, with specific relevance to the accounting industry and related services, with second and third level domains to be registered by CPA Australia community. This will allow consumers more choice for interacting with CPA Australia and its members, as well as encouraging competition between members of the profession to interact with consumers in a professional and user friendly manner. As CPA Australia has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .cpa, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.

The projected number of registrations in .cpa is likely to be about 14,000 domain names in the first year. However, over the next three years the number of registrations is estimated to increase to around 39,000 as CPA Australia implements new services and marketing campaigns and the .cpa gTLD becomes well known in the community. CPA Australia is committed to complying with all of ICANN’s operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. CPA Australia will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .cpa including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.

CPA Australia intends to create product and services domain names under .cpa. In accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, CPA Australia will use geographic names to localise its websites in countries relevant to its community’s operations. The use of geographic names is intended to connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory and comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.

CPA Australia is a well-recognised global brand with its CPA logo and⁄or combined word trademarks registered in 16 countries and territories and pending trademarks in 13 countries and territories. CPA Australia’s “CPA” trademark is registered in Australia for categories including: Information stored in or on electronic and⁄or optical means (9); Paper goods and printed matter (16); Advertising and business services (35); Insurance and financial services (36); Education services (41); and Computer services (42).

CPA Australia believes that the .cpa gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. CPA Australia trademarks are a strong global brand with significant reputation in Asia and Australia. CPA Australia has used the term CPA in conjunction with its accountant businesses for almost 22 years. As such, the CPA Australia brand is well known for providing globally-recognised professional accountancy certifications and programs.

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