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:
| 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.
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