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STEPS TO SUPPORT YOUR CPA STUDENTS
Employers can offer one or multiple Pre-Approved Program(s) to help future CPAs complete the requisite practical experience requirements of the CPA certification program.
If you employ CPA students and are interested in a Pre-Approved Program, we recommend you take the following steps:
- Watch this CPA Practical Experience Overview Video to learn more about the Practical Experience Requirements for CPA Students.
- Read the information below to find out whether a Pre-Approved Program is the right fit for your organization.
- Prepare and submit your application if you decide a Pre-Approved Program might work for your organization.
IS A PRE-APPROVED PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION?
- Does my organization plan to consistently employ at least one CPA Student?
- Can my organization commit to providing senior-level ownership of the training program?
If the answer to both these questions is 'Yes', then your organization could benefit from adopting a Pre-Approved Program.
WHAT WOULD MY RESPONSIBILITIES BE?
As a part of the approval process, an organization offering Pre-Approved Programs must commit to meeting the following responsibilities:
- Maintain senior-level ownership of the program by appointing a Pre-Approved Program Leader(s)
- The Program Leader ensures the organization is providing a working environment that prepares CPA students for their future as certified CPAs through supervision, guidance and instruction on practical ethical issues through on-the-job training and progress reviews.
- Offer structured training positions
- Training positions must provide a sufficient range of progressively complex assignments and increasing responsibility to allow the future CPA to achieve the required practical experience Technical and Enabling Competencies within 30 months of employment.
- Ensure your CPA students are documenting their developing competencies in the profession's online reporting tool (PERT).
- Provide a supervisor and CPA mentor for all students within the program.
- Provide time away from the office for students to write weekday examinations.
Prepare for the application. Before beginning the process your will need to consider the following:
- Determine your ideal approval limit
The number of CPA students you would like to be approved to train at any given time (for example, the expected duration is 30 months so if you intend to hire three each year, the total at any time is approximately nine students).
- Identify contact(s) in your organization who will take the following roles:
- Pre-Approved Program Leader: A senior CPA who will provide oversight of the program and ultimately confirm that students have completed your Pre-Approved Program.
- Program Manager: Someone who will manage the day-to-day administration of the program by maintaining the student roster and ensuring participants of the program are meeting their reporting requirements.
- Identify the departments and roles in your organization that you want included in the program.
Complete the Pre-Approved Program application form and submit to CPA Ontario.
Work with CPA Ontario to develop your Competency map & program Executive Summary
Finalize application and submit final documents to CPA Ontario for approval.
If you have a registered firm, consider applying for one of our most common programs:
EXPERIENCE VERIFICATION ROUTE
If your organization cannot accommodate a Pre-Approved Program you can still support CPA students to complete their practical experience in the Experience Verification Route (EVR).