How to become a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA): The CPA certification program

The CPA certification program charts the pathway to becoming a Canadian CPA and incorporates the best of existing CA, CGA and CMA legacy programs. Discover the path that fits your diverse skills, talents, educational discipline and career goals.


The CPA certification program is a comprehensive and rigorous certification process that fully meets the needs of business, public practice and government. It meets or exceeds all International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) standards for education, assessment and practical experience, and the requirements of the leading global accounting bodies. This ensures we can maintain existing Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) and Reciprocal Membership Agreements (RMAs), and provides the foundation to allow new ones to be established in the future.

Our program:

  • appeals to employers for its ability to develop accountancy and business skills in a professional program that combines high quality and cost effectiveness
  • ensures that, as a Canadian CPA, you have the strong foundation of knowledge and skill to succeed in whatever role or position you take on
  • provides an option to be trained as an auditor at the point of qualification

The program consists of:

  • a graduate-level CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP)
  • academic prerequisites for admission to the CPA PEP
  • examinations, including a Common Final Examination
  • relevant practical experience

Certification Diagram


Depending on your educational background, specifically the exemptions you receive based on subject area coverage  through your post-secondary studies, you can take different pathways to gain entry to the CPA PEP.


You must have both an undergraduate degree and specific subject area coverage to be admitted to the CPA PEP.

CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP)

The CPA PEP is a two-year, part-time graduate-level program that prepares you to meet the needs of industry, government and public practice, and culminates in a final examination. Students who meet the 120-credit hour degree requirement (or the equivalent) and have fulfilled all of the prerequisite topics will be eligible for entry into the CPA PEP.

Learn more about the CPA PEP.

CPA Preparatory Courses (formerly CPA PREP)

If you are seeking admission to the CPA PEP but lack some or all of the necessary prerequisites for entry (based on the transcript evaluation conducted by your provincial/regional CPA body), you are able to take the CPA preparatory courses needed to gain the knowledge requirement you are missing. You only have to complete the courses you require.

Learn more about the CPA preparatory courses.


CPA Canada delivers various options throughout the world in the following locations: *Caribbean, China, India and the Philippines.

Our Canadian CPA paths are flexible and competitively priced. Tailor your studies to the career you envision and embrace options within the marketplace.

We provide ongoing support to all students and candidates throughout the program(s) to ensure success.

*Students may select from several options where to sit their exams to ensure diligence over the examination process. Currently, in-person CPA PEP sessions are offered in Barbados, with further locations being added based on demand.


The CPA PEP and CPA preparatory courses are offered multiple times per year, on a full or part-time basis, to allow you the opportunity to build your studies around your personal schedule:

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