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Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development

How to fulfil your continuing professional development requirements

As a member of CPA Ontario, you will continue to learn and grow throughout your career. This area outlines how to do that by fulfilling your CPD requirements.

CPD Requirements

Annually, CPAs are required to submit a CPD declaration to remain in good standing with CPA Ontario and CPA Canada. The CPD declaration reflects the previous calendar year Jan.1 to Dec. 31. CPD declarations are due June 1. Declarations received between June 2 and June 30 are subject to late fees. Members with outstanding declarations after June 30 are subject to membership suspension. Learn more.

As a CPA Ontario member you must complete 120 hours of CPD every three years (50 per cent of which must be verifiable — see below) to ensure the maintenance and improvement of your professional competence.

You can set your own schedule to meet the 120 hours. The only condition is a minimum of 20 hours annually (50 per cent of which must be verifiable).

The current three-year period began January 1, 2016, and ends December 31, 2018.


Tracking and Reporting CPD

Every year, in conjunction with the annual membership dues process, all members must submit a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Declaration Form 4-5A/D declaring whether they met, did not meet or are exempt from the CPD requirement. Retain supporting documentation (for example, the course outline) and records of enrolment for possible review or audit by CPA Ontario. You could be selected at any time, and we recommend keeping records for seven years.

To assist with record keeping, update and track your CPD hours in the Online CPD Log or use a paper copy of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Log Form 4-5E. CPA, CMAs may access filed CPD logs from February 1, 2016, and prior using their CPA Ontario Member ID.

Please refer to the CPD Audit FAQs for answers to commonly asked questions about the CPD Audit.


What Qualifies as CPD?

To be recognized toward your CPD requirements, the activity must:

  • be quantifiable, meaning that it must be specifically identifiable and be able to be expressed in terms of a specific time requirement;
  • be directly related to the competencies needed to carry on the member’s employment or practice;
  • be relevant to the member’s current professional needs and/or long-term career interests; and
  • contain significant intellectual or practical content.

Verifiable CPD: at least 50 per cent of hours must be verifiable by a credible source. This may include:

  • Courses, conferences and seminars.
  • Employer-based on-site training sessions.
  • Research or student projects that result in presentations, reports, or similar documentation.
  • Participation and work on technical committees.
  • Contributing to industry publications in the form of academic or technical articles, papers or books (including research).
  • Teaching a course or CPD session.
  • Participating as a speaker at conferences, briefing sessions or discussion groups.
  • Formal study leading to a degree or diploma.
  • Pre-professional re-examination or formal testing.
  • Self-study leading to a designation or successful completion of an examination.

Unverifiable CPD refers to independent and informal learning activities and may include:

  • On-the-job training for new software, systems, procedures or techniques for application in a professional role.
  • Self-study not involving an examination or certification of completion.
  • Casual reading of professional literature that is not part of research for a specific application, reading professional literature or journals.

If you are unsure whether an activity qualifies as verifiable or unverifiable, please refer to our CPD FAQ below.


Exemption or Reduction Requests

Requests for exemption, reduction or special consideration are reviewed on an annual basis. Form 4-5A/D outlines the criteria for the following exemptions:

  • Retirement
  • Unemployment
  • Maternity, parental, family care
  • Medical leave
  • Other compassionate or extraordinary circumstance

The Registrar will not exercise exemption discretion unless a member's ability to practise or earn a livelihood has been interrupted or seriously impaired. Consideration is given to the circumstances, their duration, the member's CPD history and previous requests, their current professional competence and the impact the request may have on their ability to practise accounting.


Failure to Comply

If you have not complied with the CPD requirement, a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Plan of Action Form 4-5B, or an exemption request, must be filed. The plan of action indicates that you agree to complete the minimum verifiable and unverifiable CPD requirement within 120 days of the acceptance of the plan of action and that you agree to notify CPA Ontario once the required CPD has been completed. The plan of action must be completed in sufficient detail to show how the required CPD will be completed. Failure to complete an approved plan of action or file the compliance declaration within 120 days will result in membership suspension.

Track Your Hours With The Online CPD Log

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FAQs - Continuing Professional Development

Answers to your questions on fulfilling your CPD requirements.

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