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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 

CPD Requirements

Retired Members

Exemption or Reduction Requests

Tracking and Reporting CPD

Failure to Comply

Complimentary CPD


CPD Requirements

The minimum amount of continuing professional development that a Member must complete, unless the Member is exempt, shall be:

  • 20 hours annually; and
  • 120 hours in every three-year period
  • If the Member is licensed the mandatory continuing professional development must be completed in activities directly related to the competencies needed to provide public accounting services.

Fifty percent of the annual and triennial hours must be verifiable.

The current three-year period for Legacy CA Members began January 1, 2013 and ends December 31, 2015.

What Learning Qualifies as CPD

Each Member should undertake continuing professional development relevant and appropriate to the Member’s work and professional responsibilities to develop and maintain the Member’s competence necessary to provide high quality service to clients, employers, and other stakeholders. To be recognized towards your CPD requirement the activity shall:

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

A licensed public accountant must ensure that their CPD activities directly relate to the competencies needed to provide public accounting services.

Verifiable CPD (Regulation 4-5, s.1.6)

Verifiable continuing professional development means that the learning can be objectively verified by a competent source and may include:

  • participation in courses, conferences and seminars;
  • organized employer-based in-house training sessions;
  • research or student projects in areas that expand professional knowledge of the Member and that result in presentations, reports or similar documentation;
  • research, including reading professional literature or journals for specific application in a professional role;
  • participation and work on technical committees;
  • published professional writing or academic work;
  • writing technical articles, papers or books;
  • teaching a course or a continuing professional development session in an area that is relevant to a professional role;
  • participation as a speaker in conferences, briefing sessions or discussion groups;
  • formal study such as leading to a degree or diploma;
  • pre-professional re-examination or formal testing;
  • self study involving successful completion of an examination or leading to a designation.

Unverifiable CPD (Regulation 4-5, s.1.5)

Unverifiable continuing professional development means 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 that does not involve an examination or other objective certification of completion, such as conference reference material or self-study by electronic media or device;
  • casual reading of professional journals or magazines that is not part of research for a specific application in a professional role.


If you are not sure if an activity may qualify as verifiable or unverifiable CPD, please refer to our CPD FAQ.

Tracking and Reporting CPD

Each year, in conjunction with the Annual Membership Dues process, Members must submit a CPD Declaration form, declaring whether they met the CPD requirement, did not meet the requirement or are exempt from the requirement. Members are required to retain professional development supporting documentation (for example, the course description or outline) and records of enrollment. It is recommended that records be kept for a total of seven years for possible review or audit by CPA Ontario.

There is an online tracking tool to assist Members in keeping track of CPD hours. At any time during the year Members may enter, update and track their professional development information and save it in the Online CPD Log. Alternatively, Members may use a paper copy of Form 4-5E: CPD Log to track their professional development hours.

On an annual basis CPA Ontario will select Members to be audited for compliance with the CPD requirements.

Failure to Comply

If you did not comply with the CPD requirement, a plan of action form 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. Failure to complete an approved plan of action within 120 days or failure to file the compliance declaration within 120 days of the plan’s acceptance date will result in membership suspension. In order to apply for reinstatement, the applicable reinstatement fee and compliance declaration attesting to having completed the required amount of CPD must be provided to CPA Ontario. CPA Ontario’s bylaws regarding reinstatement also apply.

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