1 CPA Harmonized Education Policies A collection of policy directives for the CPA Prerequisite Education Program and the CPA Professional Education Program Effective July 1, 2015 EDUCATION POLICIES CPA Students/Candidates
2 CPA provincial/regional bodies CPA Western School of Business CPA Ontario Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec* CPA Atlantic School of Business CPA Canada International CPA Canada Toronto Head Office CPA PREP and CPA PEP contact information Phone: Phone: Phone:  or  Phone: Phone: n/a Phone: or *For CPA PEP only Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada All rights reserved. This publication is protected by copyright and written permission is required to reproduce, store in a retrieval system or transmit in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise).
3 i Table of contents Introduction Certification requirements Admission Policies Admission requirements International degree holders Examples of degree requirements Currency of education Undergraduate degree definition Conditional admission Additional admission category...6 Mature entrants Admission process Administrative Policies Time limitations Fees/refunds Transfers from other regions Program expulsion or suspension Withdrawals Temporary program withdrawals Permanent program withdrawals Module withdrawals Readmission Module Policies Module enrollment Module exemptions Module audits Module assignments Late assignments Module workshops and in-class sessions Late arrival Workshop absences Failed workshops
4 ii CPA Harmonized Education Policies 3.6 Passing a module Repeating a module Access to modules in Brightspace (D2L) Module Examination Policies Module examinations Module examination deferrals Module examination appeals Module examination feedback Common Final Examination Policies Common final examination format Repeating the common final examination Common final examination deferral Common final examination appeals Common final examination feedback Miscellaneous Policies Academic accommodation Academic integrity and misconduct Professional behaviour Appendix: CPA PREP Module Credit Allocation... 23
5 1 Introduction Certification requirements Candidates must meet experience, education and examination requirements to be eligible for CPA certification. Eligibility for public practice requires specific experience, education, and examination requirements. 1 Candidates are encouraged to complete the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) and experience requirements concurrently. The specific regulations and bylaws of the provincial/regional bodies take precedence over these general guidelines and requirements. CPA candidates are subject to the specific regulations and bylaws of the provincial/regional body with which they have registered. 1 Contact your provincial body for specific requirements.
7 3 1 Admission Policies 1.1 Admission requirements To be admitted to the CPA Prerequisite Education Program (CPA PREP), applicants require: an undergraduate or Masters degree 90 credit-hours or equivalent of education (30 credit-hours 2 /academic year) good character An additional admission category is in section 1.4 Additional admission category. To be admitted to the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP), applicants require: an undergraduate degree or Masters degree completion of prerequisite learning 120 credit-hours or equivalent of education (30 credit-hours 2 /academic year) good character An additional admission category is in section 1.4 Additional admission category International degree holders Only degrees obtained from post-secondary institutions, which are recognized in the International Handbook of Universities published by the International Association of Universities or a similar recognition service, will be accepted. Canadian study permits are required for all international students studying in Canada. International degrees should be assessed for the 90 credit-hours for PREP admission or 120 credit-hours for PEP admission by a recognized qualification assessment service. The qualification assessment service may include nondegree academic credit from an international professional designation to count toward the credit-hour requirement. 2 Credit-hour is an input measure meant to reflect student time required to earn credit for the course. Generally a three credit course requires 33 hours of contact time (lectures etc.) or 132 hours of student engagement time (lectures, tutorials, practice activities, testing or assessment, or preparation).
8 4 CPA Harmonized Education Policies The process for determining content equivalency is up to the regional/provincial body in accordance with the CPA national recognition and accreditation standards for post-secondary institutions. International credentials are compared to the competency requirements of the CPA Competency Map Examples of degree requirements CPA PEP applicants can meet the degree requirement, 120 credit-hours, and prerequisite subject area coverage requirements in several different ways. For example, each of the following would be considered to meet the requirements: a four-year undergraduate degree program that includes all the specific prerequisite subject area coverage a four-year undergraduate degree plus CPA PREP or other recognized courses or programs that provide the required prerequisite subject area coverage or a three-year undergraduate degree that includes all prerequisite subject area coverage and is preceded by a year of post-secondary education, such as a Quebec three-year university degree preceded by CEGEP, and equivalent international baccalaureates Achievement in the prerequisite learning must meet one of the following two standards. Effective January 1, 2017 prerequisite learning must meet Standard 1. Standard 1: a) A passing grade or 60%, whichever is higher in each applicable core course, and b) A passing grade or 50%, whichever is higher, in each applicable non-core course, and c) A minimum GPA requirement of 65% or equivalent as calculated by averaging grades across all of a student s core courses. d) Non-core courses include Introductory Financial Accounting, Introductory Management Accounting, Economics, Statistics, Business Law, and Information Technology. e) Core courses are all other prerequisite courses except those identified as a non-core course. If a course is not clearly included as a non-core course it defaults to a core course. Standard 2 (until December 31, 2016): a) A passing grade or 60%, whichever is higher in each applicable course, and b) A minimum GPA of 65% or equivalent as calculated by averaging grades across all of a student s passed courses covering the required subject matter for entry into the CPA Professional Education Program.
9 Chapter 1 Admission Policies Currency of education For exemption from CPA PREP modules or admission to the CPA PEP students/ candidates should have completed at least one applicable course in each of the CPA competency areas of Financial Reporting, Strategy and Governance, Management Accounting, Audit and Assurance, Finance and Taxation within the last 10 years. Students with significant relevant work experience may apply for an exemption from the currency requirement if they successfully completed a relevant course more than 10 years prior to admission to CPA PREP or CPA PEP. Assessments of work experience may result in no exemption, a full exemption, or a partial exemption requiring students/candidates to complete the module examination. 1.2 Undergraduate degree definition The undergraduate degree required for entry into CPA PREP and CPA PEP must be granted by an academic institution that either must be: a post-secondary academic institution that is authorized by the appropriate regulatory authorities in Canada to grant degrees a university that provides post-secondary academic education and is recognized in the International Handbook of Universities published by the International Association of Universities or a similar recognition service a post-secondary academic institution that is a member of the equivalent national association in another country and is accredited by the appropriate regulatory authorities in the other country to grant degrees The academic institution must: be established or accredited by a statute or other governmental approval offer a program(s) of academic study beyond the general and compulsory primary and secondary levels of schooling required by the government of the country, state, or province as the case may be For the purposes of the recognition of prerequisites, the academic institution can accept instruction provided by either: a non-degree-granting institution, on behalf of a degree-granting institution an educational institution outside of Canada that is recognized for credit by an authorized, degree-granting Canadian institution To be acceptable, an international degree must require the equivalent of academic achievement at the level of an undergraduate degree or equivalent, and be granted by a degree-granting institution.
10 6 CPA Harmonized Education Policies 1.3 Conditional admission CPA PREP and CPA PEP applicants must satisfy all admission requirements before starting the program. Applicants who represent that they have satisfied all of the requirements, but their degree has not yet been formally conferred and/or their official transcript for some prerequisite courses is not yet available, will be granted conditional admission to start the first module of their program. CPA PEP candidates are permitted to register for Core 1 and Core 2 while they are conditionally admitted. Examination results for Core 1 will be released, however, examination results for Core 2 will not be released until official documents verifying admissibility to the CPA PEP have been received and processed. CPA PREP students are permitted to register in all eligible (i.e., prerequisite requirements are met) CPA PREP modules within four months of their initial application for admission to CPA PREP while they are conditionally accepted. Modules that start within the four-month period can be completed and examination results will be released. Students will automatically be deregistered from all CPA PREP modules that start after the four-month period. 1.4 Additional admission category Mature entrants A mature entrant into either or both of the CPA PREP or CPA PEP is defined as a non-degree holder who meets the eligibility criteria described below: 1. Completion of at least eight years of relevant experience in any of the CPA technical competency areas Financial Reporting, Audit & Assurance, Taxation, Strategy & Governance, Management Accounting, Finance with any two competency sub-areas developed to at least a Level 1 proficiency as identified in the CPA Practical Experience Requirements standards document (CPA PER). 2. Submission of a comprehensive resume presenting all current and past work experience, community service and volunteer activities 3. Submission of all official transcripts from any prior university or college courses taken 4. Submission of three letters of reference from a: i. current employer ii. colleague who is a CPA or a member of an international accounting body that has a reciprocity agreement with CPA Canada iii. personal character reference
11 Chapter 1 Admission Policies 7 5. Submission of a written personal statement on the individual s desire, capacity and commitment to pursuing the CPA designation 6. For entrance to CPA PEP, successful completion of prerequisite learning 1.5 Admission process To complete admission to either CPA PREP or CPA PEP, applicants must submit the following: 1. a correctly completed application form 2. the appropriate fee remittance 3. all required supporting documentation, which may include official transcripts, international credit equivalency reviews (e.g. International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)/World Education Services Canada), transcripts from other recognized accredited bodies, proof of legal name, and completed student or candidate code of conduct form 4. a study permit, for international, non-resident students studying in Canada, if required
13 Chapter 2 Administrative Policies 9 2 Administrative Policies 2.1 Time limitations CPA PREP students and CPA PEP candidates must finish each program within six years of their initial start. In special circumstances, the appropriate provincial/regional CPA body may grant CPA students/candidates a period of intermission that will not be counted towards their time limit for program completion; this is considered a temporary program withdrawal. See Temporary program withdrawal for more information. For candidates registered in CPA PEP, the maximum duration for completing the CPA certification program (education, experience and examination) must not exceed seven years. In special circumstance, extensions may be granted to candidates who can demonstrate substantial progress towards completion of the CPA PEP and practical experience requirements. 2.2 Fees/refunds Regional/provincial bodies will set program access fees and collect these fees from students and candidates. 2.3 Transfers from other regions On request from the student in CPA PREP or candidate in CPA PEP, necessary records will be transferred from one region/province to another. Transfers should normally occur at the completion of a CPA PREP or CPA PEP module. The student or candidate must be in good standing in the currently enrolled region/province at the time of the request.
14 10 CPA Harmonized Education Policies Receiving regional/provincial bodies will honour the assessment work completed by the sending regional/provincial body. 2.4 Program expulsion or suspension Students in CPA PREP and candidates in CPA PEP will be suspended or expelled from their respective programs for: non-payment of fees failure to comply with regulations of provincial body exhausting module or examination attempts or failure to complete the program within the established time limits Students or candidates may be suspended or expelled from their respective programs for academic or professional misconduct. For more information, see Section 6.2 Academic integrity and misconduct and Section 6.3 Professional behaviour. Students or candidates who are expelled may be considered for reinstatement based on a) whether the applicant merits and qualifies for re-instatement and b) academic and/or experience requirements at the time of re-entry and conditions to be completed if reinstated. 2.5 Withdrawals Temporary program withdrawals In special circumstances, students in CPA PREP and candidates in CPA PEP can temporarily withdraw from each program for a maximum two years in total. While they are withdrawn, students/candidates do not have access to program course material, but may access other benefits (job board, etc.) Permanent program withdrawals Students in CPA PREP and candidates in CPA PEP can permanently withdraw in good standing from either program by submitting a request in writing to their provincial/regional CPA body. If they choose to reapply and get accepted to the program, the time limit will reset Module withdrawals Voluntary module withdrawal requests must be made in writing to the appropriate provincial or regional body by the CPA PREP student or CPA PEP candidate.
15 Chapter 2 Administrative Policies 11 Students withdrawing from a CPA PREP module are subject to the following: After the first day of class and before the final examination, no module attempt is charged. If the student attempts the final examination a module attempt is charged. If the student re-enrolls in the module, they are required to restart the module. Candidates withdrawing from a CPA PEP module are subject to the following: Until the fourth Friday of the module, no module attempt is charged. After the fourth Friday of the module, a module attempt is charged. If the candidate re-enrolls in the module, they are required to restart the module. 2.6 Readmission Students in CPA PREP and candidates in CPA PEP who choose to permanently withdraw from the program can be readmitted based on the requirements at the time of re-entry. Prerequisite courses and professional education program modules previously completed will be evaluated for current relevance. CPA PREP students who withdraw from the program can be re-admitted, but at time of re-admission the student must complete the modules required by the program at date of re-admission. Any completed modules will be accepted within the six-year time frame. Any additional module requirements must be met. Candidates who have exhausted all attempts to pass any module or examination or who have been expelled from the program must apply for readmission and restart the CPA PEP. Prerequisite courses will be evaluated for current relevance. The six-year time limit resets in this situation.
17 13 3 Module Policies 3.1 Module enrollment The order in which CPA PREP modules are completed depends on any module exemptions the student receives: Modules 1-4 are prerequisites for Modules Module 2-Introductory Management Accounting may be taken concurrently with but not prior to Module 1-Introductory Financial Accounting. Module 5.1-Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 is a prerequisite for Module 5.2-Intermediate Financial Reporting 2. Module 5.2-Intermediate Financial Reporting 2 is a prerequisite for Module 5.3-Advanced Financial Reporting. Modules 5.1-Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 and 5.2-Intermediate Financial Reporting 2 are prerequisites for Module 7-Audit and Assurance. Module 6-Corporate Finance, is a prerequisite for Module 9-Intermediate Management Accounting. Module 9-Intermediate Management Accounting, is a prerequisite for Module 10-Performance Management. Modules 11 and 12 may be taken at any time. Candidates in CPA PEP must pass Core 1 before starting Core 2 and must pass Core 2 before starting any elective modules. Candidates must successfully pass two electives before starting Capstone 1 and must pass Capstone 1 before starting Capstone 2. Candidates must pass all modules before attempting the common final examination (CFE). 3.2 Module exemptions An exemption will be granted for a CPA PREP module if the student has taken an equivalent course and passed with a mark of at least 60% for a core course or a mark of at least 50% for a non-core course. For more detailed information, see Section 1.1 Admission requirements. Applicants whose academic credits can be sufficiently verified for equivalence through acceptable supporting documentation (for example, official transcripts, course syllabus, etc.) will be provided appropriate module exemptions for the CPA PREP.
18 14 CPA Harmonized Education Policies Academic credits that cannot be sufficiently verified for equivalence through acceptable supporting documentation (for example, official transcripts, course syllabus, etc.) will result in the applicant not receiving module exemptions. The only CPA PEP module exemptions are from a CPA accredited program. 3.3 Module audits Candidates who have passed a CPA PEP module are not permitted to participate in online activities or at face-to-face workshops of subsequent offerings of that module. 3.4 Module assignments To be eligible to attempt a module final examination, students in CPA PREP must submit all of the assignments specified for the module. To be eligible to attempt the module examination, candidates in the CPA PEP must submit a minimum number of assignments as established for the module. Submitted assignments demonstrating little or no effort will be considered incomplete Late assignments No late CPA PREP or CPA PEP assignments will be accepted, however extensions may be granted under extenuating circumstances. 3.5 Module workshops and in-class sessions Attendance is not mandatory for in-class CPA PREP sessions. Students have the option to review distance learning through the online materials. Attendance is mandatory for the entire CPA PEP workshop session. Arriving late (see Section Late arrival) or unapproved workshop absences (see Section Workshop absences) may result in the candidate failing the workshop (see Section Failed workshops) Late arrival CPA PEP candidates who have arrived late will be required to complete a make-up assignment and may be charged a make-up assignment fee.
19 Chapter 3 Module Policies Workshop absences In special circumstances (such as illness or family member death), permission may be granted to miss the CPA PEP workshops, with documented proof of extenuating circumstances required. Candidates will be required to complete a make-up assignment and may be charged a make-up assignment fee. Permission may be granted for a maximum of one workshop absence while the candidate is in the CPA PEP. If special circumstances require further absences the candidate will be required to retake the module at a later offering Failed workshops In the Core and Elective modules, CPA PEP candidates who do not attend the workshop and do not complete the required make-up assignments are not permitted to attempt the module-end examination. This counts as an examination attempt and candidates are required to complete the entire module to be eligible to attempt the examination again. For the Capstone modules, CPA PEP candidates who do not attend the workshop and do not complete the required make-up assignments will fail the module. 3.6 Passing a module To pass a CPA PREP module, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% on non-core courses and a passing grade of 60% on core courses. The final mark on the module, which may be based on various assessments, determines the passing grade. Non-core courses include Introductory Financial Accounting (Module 1), Introductory Management Accounting (Module 2), Economics (Module 3), Statistics (Module 4), Business Law (Module 11), and Information Technology (Module 12). Core courses are all other prerequisite courses except those identified as a non-core course. If a course is not clearly included as a non-core course it defaults to a core course. For more detailed information, see Section 1.1 Admission requirements. To pass the core and elective CPA PEP modules, candidates must achieve competency, as determined by the Board of Examiners, on the module-end examination. To pass the CPA PEP Capstone modules, candidates must successfully meet the components of the passing profile for each module as determined by the Pre-certification Education Directors Committee.
20 16 CPA Harmonized Education Policies Supplemental examinations will not be offered for CPA PEP. Candidates who fail a module examination must wait for a subsequent regional offering to attempt it again. 3.7 Repeating a module Students in CPA PREP have up to a maximum of three attempts to pass each module. A student who fails the first attempt at a module with a mark above 50% can attempt the supplemental or make-up examination. If the student fails the second attempt, the student is required to retake the module in order to have a third and final attempt at the examination. A student who fails the first attempt with a mark less than 50% must retake the module before a second attempt at the examination is permitted. If the third attempt is unsuccessful, students must complete that module at a post-secondary institution to continue with the CPA certification program. Candidates in CPA PEP have three attempts to pass a core module-end examination, after which they are expelled. Candidates can attempt each elective module-end examination up to three times. After the third unsuccessful attempt, no further attempts for that module or examination can be made without withdrawal from the program (refer to Section Permanent program withdrawals) and successful readmission to the CPA PEP (refer to section 2.6 Readmission). Candidates who are unable to successfully complete two of the electives are expelled. Candidates who fail a module-end examination may be eligible to attempt a subsequent regional offering of that examination with or without taking the associated module offering. Candidates who have failed a module examination twice may be required to retake the module before attempting the examination again. Candidates should check with their province/ region if they are unsure of what options are applicable to their situation. Candidates who are unsuccessful completing Capstone 1 or Capstone 2 are required to repeat the module. 3.8 Access to modules in Brightspace (D2L) Students in the CPA PREP and candidates in the CPA PEP will have access to their modules in Brightspace (D2L) for six months from the date of registration. At that point, modules will be retired and students/candidates will no longer have access. The six month window is sufficient to allow students/candidates to complete each module. In special circumstances, access beyond the six month time limit can be arranged if the regional/provincial staff approves the request. A fee may be applied for extended access.
21 17 4 Module Examination Policies 4.1 Module examinations Students in CPA PREP and candidates in CPA PEP must comply with the examination writing rules, and all applicable provincial/federal laws. Students in CPA PREP and candidates in CPA PEP may be provided with access to reference material during all module summative examinations. The nature and volume of reference material will be adapted to each module s assessment objectives. 4.2 Module examination deferrals CPA PREP students who have completed the module assignments can choose not to write the module-end examination and defer writing the examination until the next regional examination offering. If they do not attempt the examination at the next regional offering, they fail the module and an attempt is charged. Deferral requests should be made to the appropriate provincial/ regional body within three business days after the examination. CPA PEP candidates who have completed the module assignments and completed the workshop in the core and elective modules can choose not to write the module-end examination and defer writing the examination until the next regional examination offering. If they do not attempt the examination at the next regional offering, they fail the module and an attempt is charged. Deferral requests should be made to the appropriate provincial/regional body within three business days after the examination. 4.3 Module examination appeals Only CPA PREP module final examination results are subject to appeal. A fee may be applied to appeals.
22 18 CPA Harmonized Education Policies Only CPA PEP module-end examination results and common final examination results are subject to appeal. Appeals must be made within three business days after the examination. A fee may be applied to appeals. It is possible that appeals results will not be available before the next module begins. In this event and where one module is a prerequisite for a subsequent module, candidates may choose to enroll in and begin the next module. If the appeal is unsuccessful, candidates must leave the module. The following process will apply for appeals by failing candidates for the core and elective summative examinations: i) Objective Format Portion: When the style of objective format includes a written component (e.g., short answer or fill in the blank), the responses will be reviewed. If there is a combined score (objective and case portions combined), the score will be re-tabulated to verify its accuracy. However, since the responses to most objective format questions will be input and marked electronically, there is no need to re-tabulate. ii) Case Portion: A marker s judgment should be accepted in the absence of evidence strongly supporting that their judgment was in error. A change to the candidate s results should be made only if one or more of the following errors occurred, the markers: misapplied the marking guidelines failed to consider a relevant section of the candidate s response (e.g. the markers missed a relevant discussion somewhere in the paper, etc.) exhibited poor application of judgment 4.4 Module examination feedback Feedback on performance for the summative examinations will be provided to failing candidates through a results report, adapted to the nature of each examination.
23 19 5 Common Final Examination Policies 5.1 Common final examination format The common final examination (CFE) will be a three-day examination. One of the three days will be an individual response to a large case that is linked to the large case that was worked on in groups in Capstone 1. One of the three days will be a large case that will evaluate a candidate s ability to demonstrate depth of competency in either Financial Reporting or Management Accounting (will depend on the case), and in one Elective area of choice. Most candidates can choose any role (they are not limited to their electives) and must declare their choice when they register for the CFE. Candidates intending to practice public accounting must choose the Assurance role. One of the three days will be a mix of smaller cases that will evaluate the breadth of competency development and provide additional opportunities to demonstrate depth in Financial Reporting and Management Accounting. All candidates will play the same role in each case. The examination will be computer-based. Candidates will be provided with access to reference material for the CFE. 5.2 Repeating the common final examination Candidates are allowed three attempts to pass the common final examination (CFE). A fourth attempt may be granted with special permission. The Capstone 1 case will be linked to Day 1 of the CFE, and will be used twice before being retired. Candidates who fail Day 1 of the CFE for the first time can re-attempt the next Day 1 offering of the CFE. Candidates who fail Day 1 of the CFE for a second time will need to repeat the Capstone 1 module before attempting Day 1 of the CFE a third and final time.
24 20 CPA Harmonized Education Policies Candidates failing either of the two remaining days of the CFE must reattempt both days. Candidates who fail all three days must attempt the entire CFE again. 5.3 Common final examination deferral The CFE will be offered at least once a year. After completing the capstone modules, candidates can defer attempting the CFE until the next offering. Candidates who do not attempt the next offering will need to redo Capstone 1 before attempting the CFE. 5.4 Common final examination appeals Candidates who fail the CFE can appeal their results. A review of the results will be conducted only for the portions of the CFE that received a unsuccessful result (Day 1, Days 2 and 3 combined, or all three days). A fee will be applied for appeal requests and will be refunded if the appeal is successful. To appeal the results, candidates must submit their appeal request to the provincial/ regional body in which they are registered within 15 days after the exam results have been publicly released. 5.5 Common final examination feedback Once a year, a CFE report will be published in two parts, with commentary from the Board of Examiners, as feedback on candidates performance one report for Day 1 of the CFE and another report that combines Days 2 and 3. The report for Days 2 and 3 will be published after the sitting of the CFE, and the Day 1 report will be published after the next sitting.
25 21 6 Miscellaneous Policies 6.1 Academic accommodation Students in CPA PREP and candidates in CPA PEP may request academic accommodations in the case of a documented health condition or similar disability that may affect their ability to participate in a module or attempt its examination. Appropriate documentation must be provided and additional information may be requested to approve the requested accommodation. 6.2 Academic integrity and misconduct The CPA profession takes academic integrity and misconduct seriously. Academic misconduct in CPA PREP and CPA PEP includes plagiarism, the enabling of plagiarism, theft of another or former student or candidate s work, or unethical behaviour such as lying or cheating. Submissions will be monitored for evidence of plagiarism. Penalties may include suspension or explusion from the program. 6.3 Professional behaviour Students in the CPA PREP and candidates the CPA PEP are expected to behave professionally throughout the programs. Professional behaviour includes but is not limited to: adhering to provincial codes of conduct, behaving ethically, demonstrating integrity and honesty, and exhibiting respect to others including all written and oral communication with students, candidates, facilitators, session leaders, educational staff, and provincial, regional, and national administrative staff. Penalties for unprofessional behaviour may include suspension or expulsion.
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