Bridging to public accounting registration (licensure) after certification

Learn how members who qualified as a CPA through a route other than public accounting can qualify to practice public accounting post certification.

The new CPA certification program is very flexible. Students/candidates can customize the program by choosing the appropriate education, evaluation and experience requirement options to meet their career goals.

The most prescribed career path for CPAs is public accounting, the requirements for which are determined by provincial regulation and legislation. Many students/candidates meet these requirements when they earn their CPA designation by making particular choices within the certification program:

  • education: completing the assurance and taxation electives
  • evaluation: writing the Common Final Examination from the audit perspective
  • experience: meeting the specific chargeable hour requirements for public accounting within the mandatory 30 months of qualifying practical experience

Registration requirements for public accounting can also be met after certification as a CPA, ensuring all CPAs offering public accounting services meet the profession’s competency standards and the regulatory requirements in their jurisdiction.


The PDPA program offers members who qualified without public accounting practice rights an efficient education and examination option. It comprises a mandatory education module and examination in assurance, taxation, financial accounting, finance, and strategy and governance. It is mandatory for members seeking post-certification public accounting registration in jurisdictions with no tiered registration, and for audit and review registration in jurisdictions offering tiered registration.

Requirements for members seeking public accounting registration (licensure) post certification
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Members seeking registration for audit and review are required to complete the CPA PDPA program and meet the practical experience for requirements in their jurisdiction.


Members seeking registration for compilation in jurisdictions offering tiered registration are required to complete the taxation elective of the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP), and meet their jurisdiction’s practical experience requirements for compilation. Members seeking compilation registration post certification do not require completion of the PDPA program.


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