Hiring a CPA Ontario Student
Gaining relevant practical experience is an essential component of earning the CPA designation. There are two ways you can hire a CPA Ontario student as part of the practical experience requirement:
1. Pre-Approved Program Route (PPR)
If you hire CPA Ontario students often (at least one student each year in the same business area/role) and can commit to providing senior-level oversight of the program, you should consider setting up a program. PPR employers have pre-approved role(s) that meet the CPA practical experience requirements. The program doesn’t mandate the level of support you may choose to provide for the student’s education and examination requirements other than committing to time of to write exams within the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).
What that means for you is a recruiting advantage for the top talent — that is, students know your program provides all of the required practical experience — a key component to earning the CPA designation. Other benefits include:
- Less administration: streamlined experience reporting as an employer and for your students.
- No cost: There is no direct cost to obtain and maintain approval status.
Who Can Offer Pre-Approved Programs?
Any organization that can provide the required competencies for entry-level CPAs. This includes public accounting firms, government employers, corporate business or those in the not-for-profit sector. Refer to fact sheet The pre-approved program: does it work for my company? fact sheet.
How Do You Get Pre-Approved?
In order to offer the PPR to students, you must be able to provide the following:
- senior-level ownership and oversight of the program by appointing a pre-approved program leader(s).
- a working environment that prepares future CPAs to become certified CPAs with supervision, guidance and instruction on practical ethical issues through on-the-job training and progress reviews.
- structured training positions with a sufficient range of progressively complex assignments and increased responsibility.
- assurance that future CPAs are documenting their developing competencies in the profession’s online reporting tool.
- a supervisor and CPA Ontario mentor for all future CPAs within the program.
- time away from the office for future CPAs to write examinations.
Interested in creating a pre-approved program? Email Employer Relations to find out how.
2. Experience Verification Route (EVR)
In the EVR, students may earn practical experience through the role they are employed in. Each role requires assessment and approval by CPA Ontario in order to be recognized toward practical experience requirements. Throughout the practical experience term, each student is required to submit a pre-assessment and at least two detailed experience reports, verified by their supervisor, in order for CPA Ontario to assess their role and progression towards meeting the practical experience requirements. Students must also complete self-assessment and meet with their mentors on a semi-annual basis. Students in EVR may ask any CPA in good standing to be their mentor.
Keep in mind: a CPA Ontario mentor must be approved by CPA Ontario before the student can have their practical experience recognized. Employers can support their EVR students helping them find CPA mentors within their organizations, providing them time away from their work to write examinations, and/or providing them with work opportunities to develop the required competencies that may be outside of their current roles/responsibilities.