Surpass (SecureClient)

Welcome to the Surpass (SecureClient) download page, the lockdown software you must install and test on your laptop to write CPA examinations.

Surpass (SecureClient) is an application that locks down your computers so that no other programs or files can be accessed during an examination. The application automatically uploads all responses into the Surpass Test Administration system.

Surpass (SecureClient) will enable you to:

  • answer multiple choice questions (MCQs)
  • input your responses using a word processor and a spreadsheet
  • access reference material to search the CPA Canada Handbook and the Income Tax Act (for applicable examinations)

*If your examination contains only MCQs, you will not have access to a word processor or a spreadsheet.

If you do not have the Surpass (SecureClient) preinstalled on your computer by your employer’s IT staff, follow the instructions below to download the software.

If you do not have administrative rights, contact your employer’s computer help desk.

Surpass (SecureClient) guide

For detailed installation and operating instructions, troubleshooting tips and information on what to expect during an examination, download the Surpass (SecureClient) User Guide. We strongly recommend that you review it before installing and running the software.

Surpass (SecureClient) download


To download and install the Surpass (SecureClient) software, follow these steps:

  1. Unless you have version or greater, uninstall any previous versions. Instructions are available here
  2. Terms
  3. Click the download button above and save the installation package to your computer.
  4. Open the installation package and follow the set-up instructions to install Surpass (SecureClient). A Surpass (SecureClient) icon will appear on your desktop.
  5. Double-click the Surpass (SecureClient) icon to start the program.

Validation examination

In order to take a CPA examination and to make sure the Surpass (SecureClient) software works properly on your computer, you must test the software by performing a validation examination. Your provincial/regional CPA body will email you instructions on how to perform a validation examination within three weeks of the start of each semester. 

Update Surpass (SecureClient) before taking an exam

The day before an examination, you must open Surpass (SecureClient) and ensure the software is up to date. Any updates can take up to 20 minutes to perform and extra time is not provided at the examination centre for those who have not updated their software in advance.


  • If you have difficulty installing Surpass (SecureClient) on your employer laptop, please contact your employer IT department.
  • If you are unable to resolve your issue, please submit a ticket to the CPA Student Support Web Portal. Please note that you are required to provide your Candidate ID (i.e. seven-digit number that begins with 4) when submitting a ticket.