How to Become CPA PEP in Canada

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How to Become CPA PEP in Canada

CPA PEP is the highest level for CPA holders in Canada. To reach this level, you must have an undergraduate degree with specific subject area coverage to be admitted to the new CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). If you are pursuing a degree in a subject other than accounting, you can get that coverage through CPA preparatory courses (formerly CPA PREP).

CPA preparatory courses were developed nationally by the profession and are delivered part-time through distance learning or in-class sessions by the provincial (or in some cases regional) bodies.

CPA provincial bodies are also working directly with post-secondary institutions to develop specific course requirements for future students.

Entering the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP)

Getting into the new CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) requires an undergraduate degree with specific subject area coverage. Here, we explain the requirements and what to do if you don’t have the necessary prerequisites.

To qualify for the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation, you must demonstrate both the technical and enabling competencies expected of leading professional accountants

The foundation of these competencies is formed as you progress through the CPA program. They build on the prerequisite knowledge and required subject area coverage you gain in your undergraduate degree. If your degree doesn’t include all the required subject area coverage — as in a non-Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degree, for example — you can get it through our CPA preparatory courses (formerly CPA PREP). In addition, CPA provincial bodies are working directly with post-secondary institutions in their provinces to develop specific course requirements.

CPA preparatory courses were developed nationally by the profession. They are delivered by provincial or regional bodies on a part-time basis through distance learning or in-class sessions.

You need to complete only the subject area modules you lack to gain entry to the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). The required subject area coverage is detailed in The CPA Competency Map.

The competencies you gain while earning your undergraduate degree and covering specific subject areas are refined and honed in the CPA PEP and the mandatory practical experience period.

CPA PEP admission for university degree holders: Accounting majors

Most students with an accounting undergraduate degree from an eligible institution will meet the requirements for entry to the CPA PEP. Find those requirements here.

To qualify for direct admission to the CPA PEP, you must:

  • complete an undergraduate degree such as a B.Comm with an accounting major
  • complete the prerequisite learning defined in The CPA Competency Map
  • meet the standards for achievement established by the CPA profession
  • complete at least 120 credit hours or equivalent of education

If you have a degree with fewer than the required credit hours, you may complete CPA preparatory courses (formerly CPA PREP)and make up the knowledge requirements you are missing.

CPA PEP admission for university degree holders with non-business/non-accounting majors

If you didn’t get the required subject area coverage for entry into CPA PEP as part of your undergraduate degree, you can get it after you graduate through CPA preparatory courses or PSI programs.

You must have both an undergraduate degree and specific subject area coverage to be admitted to the new CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).

The CPA profession is committed to helping students meet these entry requirements.

Undergraduate degree holders lacking some or all of the required subject area coverage have several options.

Things to know

  • If you didn’t acquire the required subject area coverage as part of your undergraduate degree [as in a non-Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degree, for example], you can get it through our new CPA Prerequisite preparatory courses (formerly CPA PREP).
  • CPA preparatory courses were developed nationally by the profession and are delivered part-time, either through self-study or instructor-facilitated sessions by provincial or regional CPA bodies.
  • You only have to take the courses you need.
  • You can also acquire the specific subject areas through courses offered by universities or colleges.

Post-secondary institutions (PSIs) offering CPA-accredited programs

Learn which post-secondary institutions (PSIs) in Canada have programs accredited by the CPA profession.

Many accountants complete their training at one of several PSIs across Canada that deliver part or all of the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). These accredited programs feature courses provided through a combination of undergraduate and graduate programs that result in either a graduate diploma or Master’s degree.

Completing your CPA designation

Students enrolled in these accredited programs must complete the following steps to gain the CPA designation:

  1. register with your provincial/regional CPA body
  2. successfully complete your university coursework
  3. if your university program is accredited to deliver only part of the CPA PEP, you will need to enrol in the CPA PEP and complete the module(s) for which you were not exempted
  4. successfully complete the Common Final Examination
  5. complete the CPA practical experience requirements
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