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Continuing Professional Development FAQs

Continuing Professional Development FAQs

Find the answers to your most frequently asked CPD questions below

  • What CPD requirements am I required to meet following unification?

    You are now required to meet all CPA Ontario requirements.

    The current three-year period for all members began January 1, 2016 and ends December 31, 2018.

  • Why "20/120 hours"?

    120 hours over three years is an accepted industry standard (the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the International Federation of Accountants) to ensure the maintenance and improvement of professional competence.

  • What qualifies as CPD?

    Learning that is relevant and appropriate to your work and helps you develop and maintain your competence. The activity must:
    • be quantifiable — identifiable and countable in terms of hours;
    • be directly related to the competencies needed to carry on your employment or practice/or to long-term career interests; and
    • contain significant intellectual or practical content.
  • How do I determine the hours a learning activity is worth?

    Report the number of hours you spent engaged in the learning activity (verifiable or not verifiable). For a full-day course all hours are counted excluding refreshment and lunch breaks unless denoted as a "working lunch." Contact the CPD provider for confirmation of the hours of learning.

    Contact the CPD provider for any information need regarding the length of the course or activity.

  • How do I know if a course sponsored by a third party will count towards my verifiable CPD requirement?

    If the course meets our CPD requirements and you can provide written evidence of completion, it may be counted as verifiable CPD hours. CPA Ontario does not "approve" providers of CPD programs, nor must all courses be taken through CPA Ontario.

    Keep all supporting documentation for completed CPD to provided to CPA Ontario if requested (in accordance with Regulation 4-5, Sections 7 and 8).

  • Our auditors provided training to our corporate team on new accounting standards. Does this qualify as verifiable learning?

    Yes it does. Keep a record of the agenda, minutes or other available documents to verify your participation if requested (in accordance with Regulation 4-5, Sections 7 and 8.)

  • I already have a mandatory CPD requirement for another designation. Can this be applied to my CPA requirement as well?

    If the courses are relevant and appropriate to your work and professional responsibilities, and contain significant intellectual or practical content, they may be counted towards CPA Ontario's verifiable mandatory CPD requirement.

    If you hold membership in more than one provincial body, then your CPD requirement should be reported to the provincial body where you hold prime membership. Members not residing in Canada or Bermuda, who hold membership in a Recognized Professional Accounting Body, which has CPD requirements substantially similar to those of CPA Ontario, must meet and report them using a Form 4-5A/D CPD Declaration.

  • I was unable to complete the CPD requirement, am I eligible for an exemption?

    An exemption from the annual requirement may be available if you did not work for a total of 6 months or more between January and December and were not involved in any activity where another party was relying on your skills as a Chartered Professional Accountant.

    Members may complete Form 4-5A/D to submit a request for exemption. A member who holds a Public Accounting Licence (PAL) or is applying for a PAL, must complete the CPD requirements in Regulation 9-1, Section 1.2.

  • After reviewing the request for exemption or reduction, what can the Registrar decide?

    The Registrar may:

    • Exempt the member from all or a portion of the CPD requirement;
    • Require the member to provide additional information;
    • Require the member to file a Plan of Action (Form 4-5B) and a date by which to file Form 4-5C: Plan of Action Compliance;
    • Approve a Plan of Action or other proposal by a member to remedy any contravention to Regulation 4-5 or to complete CPD; and
    • Take steps necessary to ensure the compliance with Regulation 4-5 and the integrity of the CPD program is maintained.
  • Can members be exempt from CPD if they leave full-time employment to parent or provide full-time care to a family member?

    Yes they can. If:

    • the member's net equity is less than $200,000; and
    • the member's gross income from all sources (including employment insurance benefits, investments, etc.) is less than $32,364; and
    • the member provides full-time care for a child who is six years of age or less at April 1st of the current membership year, or who is over six and suffering from a disability or illness; or
    • the member provides full-time care for an elderly or ill family member who is unable to care for themselves.

  • I recently became a member. Do I have to comply with the CPD requirement in the year I was admitted?

    Members are required to submit a CPD declaration for the year they became a member. Both the annual minimum and a prorated amount of the overall three year cycle must be met.
  • I was granted an exemption from CPD this year. Does this impact my triennial CPD requirement?

    The requirement is pro-rated for members granted an exemption. If you are exempt from one year of the three-year period, the triennial CPD requirement is reduced to 80 hours, of which at least 40 must be verifiable.
  • Who is considered a retired member?

    A member is considered retired if they have ceased full-time practice, full-time employment or full-time business activity, they are over 55 years old and the sum of their age and the total years of membership in CPA Ontario (or a legacy body) equals or exceeds 70.
  • Which retired members are considered exempt from CPD?

    Members who are retired from full-time employment, full-time practice or full-time business activity, do not hold a public accounting licence, do not provide reliance services and earn less than $25,000 gross annual income providing other professional service(s), are exempt from the continuing professional development requirements.

    If this describes you, you may be eligible for three free full-days of CPD courses each year. Register for a complimentary CPD course by completing the registration form and indicate Complimentary — Retired in the payment section or send an email to

  • I am retired and provide reliance services, how does this affect my CPD requirements?

    If you provide reliance services, you may be required to comply with the CPD requirement. “reliance services” means that another party is relying on the member’s skills as a Chartered Professional Accountant and includes, but is not limited, to:

    • serving on the board or governing body of a reporting issuer as defined in Rule of Professional Conduct 204;
    • serving on the board or governing body of a public interest entity;
    • providing accounting services to the public; and
    • providing other professional service(s) for which the member is remunerated and the gross annual revenue from such service(s) exceeds $25,000.
  • Under what conditions do retried members need to declare their CPD?

    Members who:

    • serve on the board or governing body of a public interest entity;
    • provide accounting services to the public or other professional services and the gross annual revenue exceeds $25,000 but not $75,000;
    • Are licensed to practice public accounting.
  • Which retired members must still meet full CPD requirements?

    A member who is:

    • licensed to practise public accounting;
    • serves on the board or governing body of a reporting issuer as defined in Rule of Professional Conduct 204; or
    • provides accounting services to the public or other professional services and the aggregate gross annual revenue from such services exceeds $75,000.
  • I sit on a few not-for-profit boards and committees. Does attendance at these meetings qualify as verifiable learning?

    Routine matters on the agenda do not qualify as learning. However, if an item is relevant to your responsibilities and adds to your competencies, it is likely to qualify. Keep documentation to support your participation, such as the agenda, a copy of the minutes or your notes from the meeting.

    If you are part of the board or governing body of a reporting issuer or a public interest entity, you may be providing reliance services and therefore the activities require you to comply with the CPD requirement.

  • What if there is a disagreement between the retired member and the Registrar as to the CPD requirements?

    If the retired member claims not to be subject to the CPD requirements and the Registrar of CPA Ontario determines they are applicable, the member may apply in writing to have the matter reviewed by the Membership Committee. The committee’s determination is final.
  • Can a member that has been granted a parenting or family care dues reduction be eligible for free CPD?

    Yes. Two free professional development days are granted to every member who qualifies for a parenting or family care reduction. Courses must be taken within the membership year that the reduction is granted.

    Send an email to for information on how to make a request for reduction.

    Members will be informed in writing whether their request has been granted or not granted.