Our friends in Canberra emailed all Aussie celebrants with the good news that our OPD – our ongoing professional development obligation – is now online on the Marcel Portal.

The department is delivering the two (2) activities free of charge and they are set out in the statement Marriage (Celebrant Professional Development) Statement 2024 (legislation.gov.au).

The compulsory activities are:

  • Real Consent (Including Capacity) — Compulsory, 60-minute duration
  • Knowledge of the Law No 1 — Compulsory, 60-minute duration.

And if you were unsure if OPD was for you …

Your obligations

You must complete all your compulsory activities by 11.59PM on 31 December 2024 (Canberra local time).

Under s39G(1)(b) of the Marriage Act 1961 it is a legal obligation for registered marriage celebrants to undertake all professional development activities required by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants. Failure to do so (subject to any exemption granted) may result in disciplinary measures being taken, which may include a caution, additional professional development activities, suspension or deregistration.

Exemption applications

If you have an exceptional circumstance that will prevent you from undertaking this important obligation for a significant period of the professional development year, you may apply for an exemption: Guidelines for exemption from ongoing professional development requirements | Attorney-General’s Department (ag.gov.au).

And who per-chance would you call or pay or ask to do your OPD in 2024?

Marriage Celebrants Portal

Information on accessing the marriage celebrants portal is available at: Marcel Portal (ag.gov.au).

Haven’t logged into Marcel in sometime?

Please note that celebrants accessing the portal for the first time since 30 June 2023 will need to set up multifactor authentication using their registered email address.

Some celebrant have reported logging in issues to me and my best advice is to click the “forgot password” link or if that doesn’t work, then to contact the AGD’s MLCS section on [email protected].

What is OPD about in 2024?

There are two topics being taught and assessed in 2024’s ongoing professional development program:

  • Real consent
  • Knowledge of the law

If you know your Marriage Act, Guidelines, and Marriage Regulations Act, then you’ll be set to go.

Our best advice is to stop, breath, and read the topics and questions; download the workbooks linked in the questions; and ahead of time, download the PDFs or Word documents of the:

Pour a coffee, schedule up to two hours of solitude, and head on over to marriage.ag.gov.au/mcportal now to get started.

How do I know I’ve met my obligation?

Your portal will reflect your completion, and as an added advantage, there will be some emails in your inbox.