CPA PEP Modules Overview

CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) modules are delivered using a blended learning model that combines online learning, self-study, classroom learning and teamwork. This page provides an overview of module content and delivery.

For module and examination dates please review the CPA PEP schedule.

This video provides an overview of the PEP program and reviews the series of modules.

Module overview

Visual representation of information provided on modules within content below.

Introduction to PEP

The Introduction to PEP module provides an informative overview for all new students on CPA PEP modules, learning, policies, technology and key resources. It is not mandatory as there are no quizzes or grades, but the content in this course will help set you up to succeed in CPA PEP.

Within the portal, you will need to enrol in Introduction to PEP before you can enrol in Core 1. You will be able to access this module within D2L. You should begin the module at least three weeks before the start of Core 1 to provide yourself enough time to read through the material.

Core 1/ Core 2

The Core 1 and Core 2 common modules are designed to help you build the technical and enabling competencies required of a professional accountant. The core modules focus on financial reporting and management accounting and build upon the remaining four core technical competency areas.

The core modules focus on breadth across the six integrated core competency areas:

  1. Financial reporting
  2. Strategy and governance
  3. Management accounting
  4. Audit and assurance
  5. Finance
  6. Taxation

Core modules can be taken on a regular (eight weeks) or extended (16 weeks) schedule.

Module delivery

Modules include weekly assignments and quizzes and workshops are virtual (online live). Modules are in individual self-study format. To be eligible for examinations, you must get at least 75% in coursework and attend the workshop(s) (Core 1 has two workshops). Currently evaluations are virtual due to COVID-19.

Elective 1/ Elective 2

Students must choose any two Elective modules:  

  • Assurance*
  • Performance management
  • Taxation*
  • Finance

*If you wish to pursue a Public Accounting Licence (PAL) you must select Assurance and Taxation as your Elective modules.

Module delivery

Modules include weekly assignments and quizzes and workshops are virtual (online live). Modules are in individual self-study format. To be eligible for examinations, you must get at least 75% in coursework and attend the workshop.

Which Electives should I choose?

Below is a list of electives recommended for different career paths. This is not an exhaustive list, as there are many positions that CPAs can hold that are not listed here.

  • Controller
    • Elective 1: Performance Management
    • Elective 2: Finance
  • Financial analyst
    • Elective 1: Performance Management
    • Elective 2: Finance
  • Financial management officer, budget advisor, planning officer
    • Elective 1: Performance Management
    • Elective 2: Assurance
  • CRA or provincial government (agent, auditor, financial management officer, tax audit advisor)
    • Elective 1: Taxation
    • Elective 2: Assurance
  • Tax specialist/advisor
    • Elective 1: Taxation
    • Elective 2: Assurance
  • Auditor (public practice)*
    • Elective 1: Assurance
    • Elective 2: Taxation
  • Internal auditor
    • Elective 1: Assurance
    • Elective 2: Performance Management

Capstone 1

The Common Capstone Integrative Module focuses on the application of existing knowledge across all competency areas and on further developing students’ enabling skills. Capstone 1 combines individual and team work to complete a number of assignments, which concludes in the submission of a final Board Report and an Oral Presentation to a panel of CPAs. Enabling competencies such as professionalism, ethics, team work and self-management are critical to the success of Capstone 1.  

Module delivery

Modules include weekly assignments and workshops are virtual (online live). Module formats are individual self-study and teamwork1.To successfully complete Capstone 1, you must have at least 75% in individual coursework and attend the workshop and demonstrate team skills. You must also pass the written report and oral presentation2.

1Teams are selected randomly. The objective is to learn to work with others with different strengths and weaknesses and varying areas of educational and professional experience.

2Students will not have a choice of presentation day/time and specific requests will not be accepted. Students must keep the presentation weekend free until they are notified of their presentation day/time.

Capstone 2

The Common Final Examination (CFE) Preparation Module (Capstone 2) focuses on preparing students for entry into the profession by applying competencies acquired throughout the CPA program in complex and highly integrative cases. Students develop their enabling competencies in situations that simulate real-life projects and assignments that newly certified CPAs may encounter in their careers. The competencies developed in Capstone 2 are:

  • case writing skills, including the ability to integrate technical competency areas
  • enabling competencies such as communication and self-management
  • preparedness for the CFE

Module delivery

Modules include weekly assignments and workshops are virtual (online live). Module formats are individual self-study. To successfully complete Capstone 2 and be eligible to proceed to the Common Final Examination (CFE), you must have at least 75% in coursework and attend the workshop.

Order of modules

Students must follow the path below when completing the CPA PEP modules:

  1. complete Core 11
  2. next, complete Core 2
  3. complete your two Elective2
  4. complete Capstone 1
  5. complete Capstone 2
  6. write the Common Final Examination (CFE)

1Core 1 must precede Core 2 unless the student elects to fast track.

2Two Elective modules can be completed concurrently, but this is generally not recommended due to the high volume of work.

Students can conditionally enrol in a module prior to receiving their examination results for the previous module. Once results are released, if students are unsuccessful they will automatically be withdrawn from the upcoming module and a full refund will be issued.

It is highly recommended that students take the Capstone 1 and 2 modules immediately leading up to the CFE. For instance, if you are planning to write the September CFE, it is recommended that you take Capstone 1 starting in May and Capstone 2 starting in July.

Review important CFE dates here.

Fast tracking or extending Core modules

Core fast track

CPA PEP students may complete the Core 1 and Core 2 modules at the same time if:

  • they enter into the PEP with a minimum grade point average of 75 per cent in the core prerequisite/preparatory courses
  • the workshop and examination dates do not overlap per the CPA PEP schedule

Students electing to fast track must declare their intention when initially enrolling in the Core modules. This approach is best suited for students who are not working and can study full time while taking the modules. Before registering, students should consider the time commitment and rigour of the study requirements. 

Fast track students must successfully complete Core 1 and Core 2 concurrently. If a student decides to withdraw or is withdrawn from the Core 1 module they will no longer be eligible to fast track and will be withdrawn from Core 2. 

Please note students can defer both module examinations, however you are not permitted to defer the Core 1 examination only. You also cannot fast track the Extended Core modules. 

Students interested in pursuing this option should contact our team to confirm their eligibility to fast track.

Extended Core

To better support students’ success in CPA PEP, we offer Extended Core 1 and Extended Core 2 modules twice a year. Extended modules are designed to accommodate students who are not able to dedicate the time and effort required in the regular modules.

The extended modules will include the same content and structure as the regular modules but are approximately twice the duration (16 weeks as opposed to eight weeks), to provide students with additional time to manage the requirements of the modules in addition to their personal commitments. You may take Core 1 or Core 2 or both as extended modules.

Students enrolled in the extended modules are not permitted to switch to the regular modules once the modules begin.