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Prescribed Practical Experience Requirement 

Pursuant to Section 20 of Regulation 6-2, the Registrar shall assess the proof of practical experience provided by the Applicant against the required competencies of an entry-level Chartered Professional Accountant. The determination to be made by the Registrar is whether the Applicant has acquired as a result of his or her previously acquired experience in accounting, the competency development required for the entry-level CPA at the time of admission to membership in CPA Ontario.

The Registrar’s determination shall be based upon an assessment of the totality of the Applicant’s previous professional accounting experience completed for the purpose of qualifying for admission to membership in the particular accounting body and subsequent to admission to membership in that body. The assessment should take into account:

• the Applicant’s depth and breadth of competency development;
• the duration of the period(s) of accounting experience (i.e. the number of months or years);
• the nature of the place(s) of employment or practice in which the accounting experience was obtained;
• the position(s) held by the applicant; and
• the progression of the applicant’s career in professional accounting.

Depth and Breadth of Competency Development

The entry-level competencies are grouped into the following six categories:

• Performance Measurement and Reporting
• Assurance
• Taxation
• Governance, Strategy and Risk Management
• Management Decision-Making
• Finance

Depth of competency development must be demonstrated in any one of the competency areas. Breadth of competency development must be demonstrated in two areas.

Depth
To meet the depth of competency development requirement, an applicant must satisfy the Registrar that he or she:
• has gained sufficient direct working experience in all or most of the specific competencies listed for any one of the competency areas
• if depth is achieved in any one of the following areas:
     o Taxation
     o Governance, Strategy & Risk Management
     o Management Decision-Making or Finance

one of the breadth areas must be in Performance Measurement & Reporting. Within this breadth area, Level Two proficiency (see below) must be achieved in the following three specific competencies:
     o Evaluates the impact of alternative and/or new accounting standards/policies
     o Reviews, proposes or accounts for the entity’s transactions, including complex transactions
     o Prepares and/or reviews financial statements and accompanying notes
• has demonstrated an awareness of emerging topics in his or her areas of depth, either independently or as part of a team with little direction or supervision

For qualifying practical experience in an area of depth, an applicant must demonstrate a Level 2 proficiency in the majority of the competencies in the area, and a Level 1 proficiency in the balance of the depth requirement.  

Breadth
To meet the breadth of competency development requirement, an applicant must satisfy the Registrar that he or she has gained sufficient direct working experience in at least half of the specific competencies listed in two of the other competency areas, excluding the competency that fulfills the depth of competency requirement, and demonstrates the ability to work at a Level 2 proficiency in at least half of those.

Proficiency levels
For the purposes of demonstrating depth and breadth of competency development, the proficiency levels are as follows:

Level 1 (works under supervision): The Applicant has the basic knowledge and skill required to complete the task assigned but does not complete the task without supervision or assume responsibility for its execution. The Applicant requires supervision and direction in completing the tasks as he/she begins applying their education to practice.

Level 2 (works independently): The applicant can apply the underlying knowledge and skill in a practical setting and is able to complete tasks independently or as part of a team with minimal direction or supervision. The Applicant assumes responsibility for execution of the task and performs all work with diligence and due care. The Applicant treats each situation as an opportunity to further develop their professional judgement and/or expand their knowledge base.

Duration of professional accounting experience
The duration of professional accounting experience required for admission to membership in CPA Ontario is a minimum term of three years of experience acceptable to CPA Ontario. An Applicant who has not obtained at least three years of previous professional accounting experience acceptable to CPA Ontario is required to fulfill a period of experience in accounting as prescribed by the Registrar such that the applicant will have obtained by the date of admission to membership in CPA Ontario an amount of acceptable accounting experience that in aggregate is at least three years in duration.

Nature of the place(s) of employment or practice
The factors that should be considered by the Registrar in respect of the nature of the place of employment or practice are:
• As applicable,
     o The nature or line of business (for example, financial services, manufacturing, natural resources, retailing, information technology) and examples of the major clients, customers or recipients of the products or services, or
     o The nature of the professional services provided, including whether the services were public accounting or related areas (for example, assurance/attestation, taxation, advisory services) and examples of the major clients, customers or recipients of the products or services

• The size of the business or practice, with reference to such matters as total number of staff, number of partners, total annual revenues or budget
• The corporate structure (e.g. for-profit corporation, not-for-profit corporation, public sector/governmental organization, academic institution, partnership, proprietorship) and in respect of a corporate entity, whether it is/was a publicly listed or publicly traded entity or a privately owned/not publicly listed entity.

The position(s) held by the applicant
In respect of the positions(s) held by the Applicant, the Registrar should consider:
• the title of each position held;
• the level or seniority of the position within the place of employment or practice, with reference to such matters as to whom (position) the Applicant directly reported or was accountable and the placement of such position within the overall management or governance structure;
• the breadth and complexity of the responsibilities assigned to the Applicant in the position held;
• the breadth and depth of competency development during the period in which the Applicant held the position.

The progression of the applicant’s career in professional accounting
Position-specific indicators that should be considered by the Registrar when determining an Applicant’s progression through his or her career in professional accounting include demonstration of work functions or the provision of professional services in defined positions that:
• require increasing competency development;
• require the ability of the applicant to handle increasingly complex tasks;
• involve increasing levels of responsibility;
• provide increased ability and opportunity to supervise, manage and mentor others and decreased level of supervision of the applicant throughout his or her career path, which may be measured by
    o number of supervisors;
    o number of direct reports;
    o changes in position or job titles;
    o changes to job responsibilities and accountabilities;
• provide opportunities for the applicant to learn from supervisors who are deemed experts in their field (exposed to or mentored by other professionals).

Progression to successively more senior positions and/or demonstration of progressively higher levels of proficiency over the course of the Applicant’s employment or practice with a particular entity or throughout the Applicant’s total period(s) of accounting experience should also ordinarily indicate greater breadth and depth of competency development. An Applicant who has achieved through their previous employment or practice a position or level as a partner, senior executive, director or officer should ordinarily be considered to have achieved a higher level of proficiency as well as greater breadth and depth of competency development than an Applicant who would have held a less senior position.