The new Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) certification program: Overview

The CPA certification program charts the pathway to becoming a Canadian CPA. It incorporates the best of existing legacy programs and reflects what business, public practice and government require from professional accountants.

Our vision for the new CPA designation is both simple and far-reaching: to be the pre-eminent internationally recognized Canadian accounting and business credential that best protects and serves the public interest.

Our new CPA certification program is the foundation for that vision. We built it carefully, taking and refining the best of existing education programs to create a comprehensive and rigorous certification process that is at least as challenging as all current programs and that fully meets the needs of business, public practice and government.

How comprehensive is it?

It meets or exceeds all International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) standards for education, assessment and practical experience, and the requirements of the leading global accounting bodies. This ensures we can maintain existing Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) and Reciprocal Membership Agreements (RMAs) and establish new ones in the future.

We developed it nationally and it will be delivered by provincial — or, in some cases, regional — bodies across Canada.

The CPA certification program will:

  • appeal to employers for its ability to develop accountancy and business skills in a professional program that combines high quality and cost effectiveness
  • ensure that all CPAs have the strong foundation of knowledge and skill to succeed in whatever role or position they take on
  • provide an option to be trained as an auditor at the point of qualification
  • a graduate-level CPA Professional Education Program
  • academic prerequisites for admission to the CPA Professional Education Program
  • examinations, including a Common Final Examination
  • relevant practical experience

It consists of:

Diagram of implementation of CPA Professional Education Program

A diagram outlining the Qualifying Practical Experience required to become a CPA.