Details of the Canadian CPA Certification Program
The CPA certification process will include individual evaluations and team-based assessments throughout the professional education program:
All module evaluations and the common final evaluation will be nationally developed and nationally marked.
All areas of the CPA competency map will be subject to evaluation.
While the program’s structure will be modular, it should be viewed as a continuous build of knowledge and skill over a two-year time frame. Moving from module to module will allow for a change in the context or emphasis, as well as for checkpoints at which progress can be evaluated; each module will end in an evaluation. Candidates must successfully complete each evaluation to proceed to the next module.
Note that the program includes both common and elective modules. Two common core modules ensure all candidates develop and demonstrate the ‘must have’ competencies of the new CPA: financial reporting, strategy and governance, management accounting and certain elements of audit and assurance, finance and taxation. The elective modules allow candidates to develop deeper skills in their areas of career interest. Four electives will be offered: assurance, taxation, finance and performance management. Candidates interested in practicing public accounting upon certification will develop the ‘must have’ competencies required of all CPAs in the common core modules, and then must build on that knowledge and skill by completing elective modules in assurance and taxation.
The program’s capstone integrative module, which will focus on professional leadership and the application and integration of all of the competency development to that point, will also be common. Candidates work on cases in small groups, sharing the various competencies learned in the previous common and elective modules, and developing additional critical professional skills such as team management and communication in a professional environment. Assessment for this module will include presentations and team-based assignments, and culminate in a business case completed as part of a team.
Upon successful completion of all required modules, all candidates will be required to pass a common final evaluation. An evaluation-preparation program will be offered by the profession. Candidates will be required to demonstrate breadth across all six competency areas, and depth in management or financial reporting and in at least one elective area. Candidates who want to practice public accounting will be required to demonstrate depth in financial accounting and assurance.
All evaluations, including the case-based evaluation at the end of the capstone integrative module and the common final evaluation, will be nationally developed and nationally marked