CPA practical experience: Pre-approved program information for employers

Is the pre-approved program the right fit for your organization as your CPA students/candidates complete their practical experience requirements? Assess your options, consider the benefits of the pre-approved program and learn more about your responsibilities as an employer.

Employers can choose to offer a pre-approved program to support training future CPAs as they earn their practical experience requirements in the CPA certification program.

To assess whether a pre-approved program is suitable for your organization, ask these two key questions:

     
  1. Does my organization hire at least one future CPA each year?
  2. Can my organization commit to providing senior-level ownership of the training program?

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then your organization should consider adopting a pre-approved program.

Benefits of a pre-approved program:

 
  • Efficiency. There are significantly fewer reporting requirements in the pre-approved program for future CPAs and their employers than in the verification route for organizations that regularly hire future CPAs.
  • Certainty. Practical experience is completed within 30 months (24-months in Quebec).
  • Oversight. Your organization has control over who is in the program.
  • Recruitment. The program can act as a powerful recruitment tool for hiring future CPAs.
  • Cost. There is no direct cost to obtain and maintain approval status.

An employer’s responsibilities within a pre-approved program

If you pursue the pre-approved program route for your CPA students and candidates, you must commit to meeting the following responsibilities:

     
  • Maintain senior-level ownership of the program by appointing a pre-approved program leader(s).
  • Provide a working environment that prepares future CPAs to become certified CPAs by providing supervision, guidance and instruction on practical ethical issues through on-the-job training and progress reviews.
  • Offer structured training positions which provide a sufficient range of progressively complex assignments and increasing responsibility to allow future CPAs to achieve the required practical experience in the technical and enabling competencies within 30 months of employment.
  • Ensure future CPAs are documenting their developing competencies in the profession's online reporting tool (PERT).
  • Provide a supervisor and CPA mentor for all future CPAs within the program.
  • Provide time away from the office for future CPAs to write any weekday examinations.

The Pre-approved Program: Does It Work for My Organization? provides more information for employers about CPA Canada’s pre-approved program.

If you think a pre-approved program is right for your organization, please contact your provincial/regional body to schedule a meeting.

 

Highlights

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) annually offers its views on priorities for the federal budget. Review past submissions of pre-budget briefs and consultations, and post-budget release opinions and commentary.

Our Firm Directory allows you to search for Canadian CPA firms using our interactive map as well as other criteria.

Jointly presented by CPA Canada and CPA Ontario, The ONE is the must-attend, multi-track event of the year, designed for all CPAs who want to be at the top of their game.