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CPA Designation (as of November 15, 2012)​

At its October 19th meeting, the Institute’s Council made the strategic decision to issue the CPA designation to its members, effective November 1, 2012. Allowing to:

  • Protect the use of both the CA and CPA designations in Ontario; and

  • Participate fully in the CPA initiative, which is progressing quickly across the country.

The New CPA Competency Map Now Available for Download

The Canadian CPA Certification program is a competency-based framework that integrates academic study, a CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP), evaluation and practical experience. CPA Competency Map (the Map), which describes the entry-level knowledge, skills and proficiency levels expected of CPA candidates, provides the basis for the development of the new CPA PEP, as well as evaluations, practical experience requirements and accreditation standards for post-secondary institutions. All provincial bodies that will be joining CPA Canada, once it is incorporated, have now approved the Map.

Concurrent with the publication of the Map, a CPA Knowledge Supplement was developed to help academics interpret the Map so as to ensure that post-secondary programs meet or exceed the entrance requirements for the new CPA PEP. Together, these documents also ensure that the new CPA certification program is at least as rigorous as existing programs and that it meets the needs of industry, government and public practice, as well as the requirements of the International Federation of Accountants and our current Mutual Recognition Agreements.

National Implementation Plan for the New CPA Certification Program

The national implementation timeline for the new CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) is as follows:

  • The new CPA PEP will launch on a pilot basis in Western Canada in September 2013.

  • It will then be launched across the rest of Canada, including Ontario, in September 2014.

  • The first CPA Common Final Evaluation (CFE) will be in September 2015.

  • The final full offering of the Uniform Evaluation (UFE) will be held in September 2014, with a supplemental UFE being offered in June 2015, primarily for repeat writers.

  • CA students who have not completed all of their education and evaluation requirements by June 30, 2015 will be bridged to the new CPA PEP and its evaluations, as appropriate.

The new nationally-developed, regionally-delivered CPA PEP is a graduate level program. It will be offered part-time over two years, while students work full time at relevant employment. An overview of the program, along with details related to Ontario’s anticipated transition in respect of specific cohorts, such as 2013 and 2014 university graduates, can be found on the microsite. As noted, these transitional details are subject to change as more details about the CPA PEP become known and, ultimately, require the appropriate approvals by the Institute’s Council.


Changes to the practical experience requirements, including the rollout of the new Experience Verification Model, are expected to be communicated next year. A high-level overview of the CPA Practical Experience Requirements can be found at Practical Experience.


General Information on the Eligibility to Receive both the CPA and CA Designations

To be fair and equitable to students whenever significant change in the qualification process is introduced, it has been a longstanding Institute policy to establish the effective date of the significant change relative to a student’s date of registration with the Institute. Council approval of an effective date of registration for the new CPA certification program is anticipated by the end of the year. Students who register before the effective date will be eligible to receive both the CPA and CA designations upon successful completion of the certification program subject to certain conditions/restrictions, while those who register after will receive only the CPA. A communication will follow shortly thereafter to clearly articulate the conditions for a student’s eligibility to receive both the CPA and CA designations.


What this Means for Ontario

In addition to offering the new nationally-developed, regionally-delivered CPA PEP, which will be particularly attractive to those who decide to pursue the CPA designation later in life while working full time, the Institute remains committed to working with its university partners to continue offering accredited programs that are attractive to those who decide early in their educational careers to pursue the CPA designation.


Universities currently offering CA-accredited programs will have the opportunity over a five-year transitional period to evolve them into CPA-accredited programs leading to advanced access to the new CPA PEP for their graduates. The Institute will begin working with its currently accredited university partners to help facilitate this transition as soon as the new nationally-developed, regionally-delivered CPA accreditation criteria and accreditation options are finalized and approved. During a maximum transition period of five years, graduates of currently accredited programs will continue to have the opportunity to complete all of their CPA education and evaluation requirements within one year of commencing employment, much like is currently the case. It is anticipated that the new accreditation program and advanced access options will also be available to other interested universities.


Ultimately, this will be a win for both prospective students and employers as Ontario will offer two attractive pathways, thereby providing greater access and more flexibility to those who wish to pursue their CPA designation: a national graduate-level, part-time program delivered by the profession, and CPA-accredited programs delivered by university partners that lead to advanced access to the new CPA PEP for graduates. Ontario expects to begin offering the new CPA PEP in September 2014.


Staying Informed

Visit the CPA Ontario website for more information on the designation and the requirements to become a Certified Professional Accountant in Ontario.

There will be a new CPA Update early in the new year. A list of announcements of upcoming on-campus presentations and webinars will be published on the microsite. If you have any questions, please forward them to

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