CPA Practical Experience Requirements

To become a CPA, 30 months of qualifying practical experience is required.  There will be two training routes to get this experience: the Pre-Approved Programs and Experience Verification, which are intended to capture best practices of all provincial bodies that will be joining CPA Canada. Both options require qualifying practical experience to be approved by the profession.

Pre-Approved Program: these CPA Students will be employed in positions offered by offices and organizations in training paths pre-approved by the CPA profession.

Experience Verification: these CPA Students submit their experience for evaluation directly to the profession.

Both Pre-Approved Programs and Experience Verification will be based on the same principles – that is, opportunities for advancement and progression, developing the required technical, ethical and professional CPA competencies, appropriate supervision and mentorship, and the approval of the experience by the profession.

Both paths will require Students to be appropriately supervised and mentored. Resources will be provided to assist with implementation.

There are five common elements of the CPA practical experience requirements:

  Pre-Approved Programs
Experience Verification
 Qualifying  Experience

 Organizations obtain pre-approval for a  defined position/program from the  profession.

 Any position that meets the  entrance requirements is  acceptable.

 Appropriate  Supervision

 Supervisors assign work specified in the  Pre-Approved Program.

 Supervisors attest to accuracy  of factual information.

 CPA  Mentorship

 CPA mentors are assigned to Students  by the organization.

 Students must find a CPA  mentor.
 Reporting and  Self-  Assessment
 Students complete streamlined  experience reports.  Students complete detailed  experience reports.
 Assessment  by the  Profession

 Programs are monitored by the  profession.

 Experience is assessed by the  profession as it is gained.

There are many different types of organizations that have been pre-approved to train students, including:

Firms – some are approved to train students in External Audit (i.e. Students will be eligible for the right to practice public accounting), while others are approved to train students Outside of External Audit, which could include tax, advisory, reviews, engagements, compilations etc. Some firms are pre-approved to train in both areas.

Find a Firm in your area with Pre-Approved Programs in External Audit.

Industry, Not-for-Profits and Government – organizations in these sectors have been approved to train students through areas such as internal audit, financial reporting, corporate tax, treasury, financial planning and analysis, forensic accounting and finance.

Find an organization with a Pre-Approved Program in Industry/Government (e.g. publicly traded, private enterprises, not-for-profit, education, etc.) and Firms Outside of External Audit (e.g. taxation, advisory, mix of assurance/compliance/tax, etc.).

Students using Experience Verification can work in these areas and more.

For more information, check out: CPA Practical Experience Requirements