Understand your Practical Experience

This page is designed to provide an overview of CPA Ontario student practical experience requirements. Here you will learn about:

  • Introduction to Practical Experience: This six-part video series provides an overview of Practical Experience and the PE Requirements.
  • How to Report in PERT: This video series provides an overview of how to prepare, document and report your PE in the Experience Verification Route (EVR) and/or Pre-approved Program Route (PPR).

Included in each section below is a short video, plus a list of relevant resources and guides, to answer your questions at every stage of your practical experience.

If you need any help along the way, reach out to our practical experience team or our mentors email.

Disclaimer

These videos are intended to provide high-level information and guidance. They do not replace your specific requirements and obligations set out in the CPA Ontario By-law and Regulations and Student Code of Conduct (together the “Student Obligations”). In the event of any inconsistencies, the Student Obligations prevail.

Learn about practical experience

What is Practical Experience and why is it important?

Practical experience is your opportunity to apply and develop skills in a real-world work environment. This is the time to put theory into practice to prepare you for the CPA designation.


What are the PE requirements?

There are five main practical experience requirements:

  • Minimum duration of 30 months
    • This gives you plenty of time to learn and progress.
  • Progression across competencies
    • These are technical and soft skills that are vital to your CPA career.
  • Supervision and mentorship
    • You will be supervised and have a CPA coach along the way.

    • Document and report experience
      • You will self-assess your progress and report to us for assessment at specified points in your journey
    • Chargeable hours (if applicable)
      • If you work at a firm, you may have to report your chargeable hours.

    What is PPR and EVR?

    There are two equally rewarding pathways to meet your practical experience requirements. Find out which pathway is right for you.

    In the Pre-Approved Program Route (PPR), you are part of a formal student training program that has been approved by CPA Ontario to meet all the requirements within 30 months. Students are hired directly into the program.

    In the Experience Verification Route (EVR), students have their job position pre-assessed by CPA Ontario before they can begin reporting. You have the flexibility to go at your own pace.


    Reporting experience in PERT

    Learn how and when to report in the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT). You will be expected to:

    • Log in to PERT immediately after you register as a student.
    • Set your PER Start Date if you are currently employed in a qualifying position.
    • Document your progress and meet with your mentor at least twice a year.
    • Submit your verified reports to CPA Ontario for review at specified times.

    If you’re in PPR, you only need to report to CPA Ontario at the end of your training program or when you change employers or move out of the training program.

    If you’re in EVR, you will need to report to CPA Ontario at specific times as well as if you change employers or roles and responsibilities.


    Roles of supervisors and mentors

    Supervision and mentorship are vital to your CPA journey. All students must be supervised and have a mentor to develop their enabling and technical competencies.

    In EVR, supervisors assign you work based on your job description and verify your PERT experience reports to CPA Ontario. In PPR, the supervisor assigns you work according to the program.

    Mentors help guide students on the development of your enabling competencies and meet with you at least twice a year to discuss the progress of your PERT experience reports. In EVR, you are responsible for finding your own mentor from your network. In PPR, your employer assigns you a mentor that works in your organization.


    Create Your PERT Profile

    Make sure you take the first steps to start capturing your experience in PERT. Do it as soon as possible so that you can claim your eligible work experience. Use our checklist to keep track of what you need to do.


    How to report in PERT - EVR

    Introduction

    Watch this video first. This introductory video outlines what will be covered in this series.

    Resources:


    Prepare for PE Reporting

    Save time by preparing properly. Follow these important steps to learn how to prepare for your Practical Experience (PE) reporting including how to map your job duties to the relevant competency areas.

    Resources:


    Documenting Technical Competencies

    Learn how to self-assess and document your technical competencies in the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT).

    Resources:


    Documenting Technical Competencies – Illustrative Example

    Apply your understanding of the technical competency requirements with an illustrative example.

    Resources:


    Documenting Enabling Competencies

    Learn how to self-assess and document your enabling competencies in PERT.

    Resources:


    Documenting Enabling Competencies – Illustrative Example

    Apply your understanding of the enabling competency requirements with an illustrative example.

    Resources:


    More videos in this series coming soon

    • Part 4: Mentor Meetings and Reporting to CPA Ontario 
    • Part 5: Progression 
    • Part 6: Completion

    How to report in PERT - PPR

    Introduction

    Watch this video first. This introductory video outlines what will be covered in this series.

    Resources:


    Prepare for PE Reporting

    Save time by preparing properly. Follow these important steps to learn how to prepare for your Practical Experience (PE) reporting.

    Resources:


    Documenting Technical Competencies

    Learn how to self-assess your progress in the technical competencies according to your PPR competency map in the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT).

    Resources:

    Documenting Technical Competencies – Illustrative Example

    Apply your understanding of the technical competency requirements with an illustrative example.

    Resources:


    Documenting Enabling Competencies

    Learn how to self-assess and document your enabling competencies in PERT.

    Resources:


    Documenting Enabling Competencies – Illustrative Example

    Apply your understanding of the enabling competency requirements with an illustrative example.

    Resources:


    More videos in this series coming soon

    • Part 4: Mentor Meetings and Reporting to CPA Ontario
    • Part 5: Progression
    • Part 6: Completion

    Unauthorized practices

    Members and students are prohibited from providing accounting services to the public, unless working for a firm registered with CPA Ontario (see Bylaw section 1.1.53).

    If you are working for an organization that provides services such as financial statement preparation, tax preparation/planning (excluding mechanical processing of tax returns), forecasting or advice on the treatment of accounting transactions, all of which are considered as providing accounting services to the public, please consult our Firm Directory to ensure it is registered with CPA Ontario. If it is not, we will not be able to recognize your work experience towards the CPA designation. See CPA Ontario Practical Experience Requirements section 2.5.10.3.

     

    For example, organizations acting as part-time CFOs/controllers for their clients may be considered unauthorized. If you are working for such a company, we strongly encourage you to submit a pre-assessment as soon as possible.

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