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Ask an Expert about the CPA Certification Program

Series of student questions on CPA education and practical experience was answered by a panel of experts. This webinar does not address questions relating to the legacy CA, CMA and CGA programs.

Getting Started in PERT – CPA Mentors

This webinar offers an overview of the CPA Mentorship Program and how Mentors can use the new CPA Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT). It also provides a walkthrough of the Centre for Mentoring Resources followed by a helpful question and answer period.

CA to CPA Student Transition Fact Sheet

To assist students in transitioning their legacy CA experience to the new CPA competencies.

Practical Experience Requirements for CPA Students 

Students are required to report their relevant work experience through the online Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT). PERT facilitates discussion of your progress with your CPA mentor and is the mechanism CPA Ontario will use to assess your practical experience.

A brief overview of the requirements and processes involved in completing the practical experience requirements can be found in the following PDF and webinar below: 

CPA Practical Experience Competency Requirements (PDF) 

Does My Job Qualify?

To determine if your current or prospective job meets the necessary requirements to start the qualifying period of practical experience, refer to the Does my Job Qualify for Experience Verification? factsheet and complete a Self Assessment

How to Gain Access to the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT)

STEP 1: Students must be registered as a student with CPA Ontario to access PERT. If you are not yet registered, please visit Get Started on Your CPA Path Today.  Students who are in a co-op program should follow the steps outlined in the Practical Experience Reporting Requirements for Co-op Students  factsheet.

If you previously indicated that you were unemployed and your employment status has now changed after you have registered, complete the PERT Access Form and submit it to

STEP 2:  Once your student registration has been processed, you will receive an email directly from Brightspace (D2L), CPA Ontario’s online learning platform, with your login information. Log into D2L and complete the mandatory orientation course with a minimum grade of 60% to gain access to PERT.  One business day after you have successfully completed the course and passed the quiz, you will be able to log into PERT. Students are permitted multiple attempts at the quiz until they have passed.  

STEP 3: Once you have gained access to PERT you will be required to update your profile. Students in the pre-approved program route must submit an "experience report", while students in the experience verification route will be required to submit a "pre-assessment".

  • Pre-Approved Program Route - confirmation of employment will be provided by the Program Manager at your organization. A form is no longer required to confirm your employment. You are required to create an experience report in PERT with a start date that is equal to your start date in the Pre-approved Program. Please ensure that you have indicated the correct employer, location and program name within your PERT profile.
  • Experience Verification Route - a job description of your current position on your employer’s letterhead must be attached to your pre-assessment report in PERT. You must also indicate your employment start date on your job description (hand-written is acceptable).

The PERT User guides are available to assist you in creating your experience reports within PERT. The guides will enhance your user experience and help you become more effective and efficient when capturing your practical experience.

  1. PERT User Guide for Students in the Experience Verification Route (EVR)
  2. Guide to Completing Experience Verification Reports
  3. PERT User Guide for Students in the Pre-approved Program Route (PPR)
  4. Quick Reference Guide for PERT Tasks 

Finding a CPA Ontario Mentor

STEP 4: It is the responsibility of the student to identify their mentor in PERT profile. 

There are two routes that can apply:  

Pre-Approved Program Route (PPR): in this route, it is the responsibility of the employer to match a student with a CPA Ontario mentor. A student who has not been matched with a mentor should connect directly with their employer.

Experience Verification Route (EVR): in this route, it is the responsibility of the student to find a mentor through their business network or by using the “Mentor Match Portal”.  The portal is an online interactive system designed to help students find a CPA Ontario mentor.  Students will automatically gain access to the portal 90 days after they have created their profile in PERT and their employment has been approved for meeting the entrance requirements.

  • If you are a legacy student who is currently reporting in PERT, you will be required to identify a mentor within your PERT profile.
  • If you are a legacy student following the legacy reporting pathway, and not reporting in PERT, you are not required to have a mentor.

For more information, visit the CPA Ontario Mentorship program or contact

Start Reporting in PERT

STEP 5:  You may start to report in PERT once your Practical Experience Requirement (PER) status has been set to "in progress".  The Reporting & Assessments factsheet will provide you with information depending on the program route you are reporting. Legacy CA students will be required to submit a "catch up report" using the steps found in the CA to CPA transition fact sheet.  If you are a legacy CA student who is transitioning to the CPA practical experience requirements, please follow the steps outlined in the CA to CPA transition fact sheet.

  • Pre-Approved Program: only students in an external audit program will be required to attach the "Chargeable Hours" form to their experience report before submitting an experience report in PERT.  Students who are claiming any prior experience will be required to submit a "prior experience report" for experience gained prior to their PER effective date.  Instructions on how to submit a current and prior experience report can be found in the Quick Reference Guide for PERT Tasks.  Legacy students will be required to submit a "catch up report" using the steps found in the CA to CPA transition factsheet
  • Experience Verification: once CPA Ontario has completed your pre-assessment you will be advised of when your first profession assessment is required.

Below are two supplemental videos that will assist you with understanding the Technical and Enabling Competency requirements: 

Supplemental Guidance – Technical Competencies
Supplemental Guidance – Enabling Competencies

CPA Ontario will commence recognizing your CPA practical experience on the latter of: (a) the date we approved your employment (your PER status in PERT will change to “In Progress”) and (b) the date you entered an approved CPA Mentor in your PERT profile.  You then will be required to regularly report and self-assess your experience according to the pre-determined timelines – see CPA Practical Experience Reporting & Assessments Requirements.

Note: the required 30 months of CPA Practical Experience cannot commence until your employment has been successfully pre-assessed through PERT.

Legacy CA students who are reporting in RQE can visit the Experience Requirements for CA Legacy Students website for more information.

For additional information on the CPA practical experience requirements see: