The CPA Competency Map: How to qualify for the Canadian CPA designation

To qualify for the CPA designation, you must demonstrate proficiency in specific technical and enabling competencies.

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The CPA Competency Map describes the knowledge, skills and proficiency levels you must have as a Canadian CPA. The Knowledge Supplement helps post-secondary institutions ensure their programs meet CPA program admission requirements. 

The CPA Competency Map* describes in detail the two types of competencies — technical and enabling — that employers in public practice, industry, and government require of accounting professionals. It was specifically designed by a team of education experts in consultation with accounting academics, practitioners and employers to meet those requirements. It lays the groundwork for the CPA certification program, including its education, evaluations, accreditation, and practical experience requirements. 

The CPA Competency Map specifies required subject areas, but not specific course requirements. These are covered in The CPA Competency Map Knowledge Supplement.*

*The updated CPA Competency Map and CPA Competency Map Knowledge Supplement have been issued and revised for clarification in 2018, retaining their original effective dates of 2013. The updates include minor corrections and revisions to enhance the clarity and currency of the information. 

The technical competencies

  • advanced financial reporting 
  • management accounting 
  • strategy and governance 
  • audit and assurance 
  • finance 
  • taxation 

Financial reporting and management accounting are the key technical competencies, but you must also demonstrate competence in the other four technical areas.

The enabling competencies 

You must also demonstrate competence in these enabling competencies: 

  • professionalism 
  • ethical behaviour 
  • written and oral communication 
  • leadership 
  • problem solving
  • decision-making 

The new Canadian CPA certification program is a fresh start; it does not simply cobble together the requirements of existing programs. Rather, it ensures that all CPAs will have the strong foundation of knowledge and skill they will need as professional accountants to succeed in whatever role or position they choose. 

The 2018 CPA competency map outreach package

The CPA profession has developed an Outreach Package that contains proposed changes for the next iteration of the CPA Competency Map, which is scheduled for release in December 2018.

To learn more about the proposed changes, refer to the section of the 2018 Outreach Package that outlines the changes.

Please note that the Outreach Package is only a draft of proposed changes to the 2018 CPA Competency Map. It is not a representation of the final version.