Tax Pre-Approved Program

If your firm provides taxation services to clients, you may be interested in creating a practical experience Tax Pre-approved Program within your office to attract CPA Ontario students. By creating a Tax Pre-approved Program, CPA Ontario students will be hired and have streamlined reporting of their practical experience via the Pre-approved Program Route (PPR). If approved, students will be able to complete their CPA Practical Experience Requirements (CPA PER) over 30 months of employment.

Tax Pre-approved Programs are set up under one of the following specializations:

  • Combined Personal Tax and Corporate Tax (minimum of 12 months in Corporate Tax)
  • Corporate Tax only

To apply for a Tax Pre-approved Program, complete a PPR application and email it to our team

CPA Ontario will review your proposal and contact you with further information.


Students must develop both technical and enabling competencies through their term of qualifying practical experience. Technical competencies fall into six competency areas; future CPAs must develop a range of these competencies in accordance with four requirements: core, depth, breadth, and progression. Enabling competencies fall into five areas; future CPAs must develop all enabling competencies.

Each competency area comprises three or four competency sub-areas. Students must achieve a minimum number of competency sub-areas to achieve the core, depth and breadth requirements. Competency sub-areas are developed over time based on the student demonstrating competency statements that make up each sub-area. Learn more about the practical experience requirements.

In order to achieve a level 2 proficiency in the taxation sub-competency areas, the firm must provide students with a minimum of 20% of their time (minimum 500 chargeable hours) of their time working in each specific competency - this includes tax research, tax compliance and tax planning. For programs with corporate tax work, 17% (425 hours or 5 months) of tax work must have underlying financial statements that are audited or reviewed, providing comfort that students will have exposure to financial statements of sufficient complexity in order to achieve a level 2 usually mapped under Financial Reporting. If 17% is not attainable, then we work with firms to determine what other avenues might be possible such as a rotation to Assurance or Controllership duties.

Students must be exposed to diverse tax clients within several industries – a minimum of 50% of client chargeable hours should be diverse in order to adequately develop a breadth within financial reporting, coupled with their depth in taxation. Employers are expected to provide 1,000 chargeable hours per student, per year.

In a Tax Pre-approved Program, the following competencies will be achieved:

  • Depth: Taxation
  • Core: Financial Reporting and/or Management Accounting
  • Breadth: In addition to the competency areas developed through depth and core, breadth can also be developed through the following areas: finance; strategy and governance; and audit & assurance. The development of breadth depends on the work available to students and how the firm structures their program.

For students whose designated area of depth is a standards-based competency area, such as Taxation, their experience must include at least six months working with the Canadian Income Tax Act.

Chargeable hours

Over 30 months of practical experience, students are expected to gain 2,500 chargeable hours toward their CPA Practical Experience Requirements (CPA PER). Any chargeable hours included in the firms’ Pre-approved Program will count towards certification but not for the purposes of licensure.