The CPA Competency Map: Qualifications for the Canadian CPA designation

Learn the proficiencies in specific technical and enabling competencies you must demonstrate to qualify for the CPA designation.

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The CPA Competency Map lays the foundation for the CPA certification program, including education, accreditation, examinations, and practical experience requirements, and describes the knowledge, skills and proficiency levels you must achieve to become a Canadian CPA. Effective January 1, 2019, the 2019 CPA Competency Map is the first major update to the original 2013 CPA Competency Map, and now includes the Knowledge Supplement (which is a separate document that helps post-secondary institutions ensure their programs meet CPA program admission requirements).

The 2019 CPA Competency Map still describes in detail the two types of competencies — technical and enabling — that employers in public practice, industry, and government require of accounting professionals. The main changes to the 2019 CPA Competency Map are the:

  • incorporation of data analytics and information systems (DAIS) competencies in each of the six technical competency areas
  • revision to the taxation competency area

Rollout and incorporation of the 2019 Competency Map

To reflect the addition of DAIS and taxation content to the 2019 Competency Map, components of the CPA certification will be updated as follows:

  • CPA preparatory courses (prerequisite courses): Starting in January 2019, the taxation course will be revised and new DAIS content will be incorporated into the core CPA preparatory courses over different semesters during 2019 and 2020.

    Post-secondary institutions (PSIs) that offer prerequisite courses for the CPA Professional Education Program should incorporate the 2019 Competency Map in their formal curriculum by September 2021, but earlier adoption is encouraged.
  • CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP): Starting in January 2019, the curriculum and module-end examinations for Core and Elective modules will incorporate the new competencies. Candidates enrolled in Elective modules, who completed Core modules prior to January 2019, will receive access to DAIS guidance materials, which will contain readings and activities (in a self-study format) from the Core modules.

    PSIs that intend to continue offering accredited CPA PEP modules must incorporate the 2019 Competency Map in their formal curriculum by September 2021, but earlier adoption is encouraged.
  • Common Final Examination (CFE): The first offering of the CFE scheduled to align with the 2019 Competency Map is the September 2020 CFE. Although the September 2019 and May 2020 CFE offerings will remain aligned with the previous version of the Competency Map, candidates are encouraged to apprise themselves of the 2019 Competency Map changes, as they include important knowledge for entry-level CPAs.

    The CPA profession expects PSIs to prepare their students for writing CFEs that incorporate the 2019 Competency Map, starting with the September 2020 CFE.
  • CPA Practical Experience Requirements (CPA PER): In September 2019, the CPA PER will be updated to incorporate the new DAIS and taxation content. Students/candidates working in Experience Verification Route (EVR) positions that have been assessed by the profession, and employers currently offering pre-approved (PPR) programs, will have until September 2020 to adjust their positions/programs to meet the 2019 CPA PER. No adjustments to positions are required if a student/candidate’s practical experience term is completed before September 2020.