CPAs must continually enhance their knowledge and expertise to remain at the forefront of today’s competitive market. It is imperative that CPAs remain knowledgeable and current in all areas in which they practice or work in order to best serve the interest of clients, employers and other stakeholders.
Selection of learning activities should be a thoughtful, reflective process addressing your current and future professional plans, current knowledge and skill level, and desired or needed additional competence to meet future opportunities and/or professional responsibilities.
Under CPABC’s Bylaws, the membership of those who do not comply with the CPD requirements will be suspended and/or cancelled. This is necessary to protect the public and ensure that we maintain public trust and uphold the reputation of the CPA designation.
Members who believe they have a valid reason for an exemption from the minimum CPD requirement may submit a written request to the Membership Committee to consider their circumstances using the online reporting website. Members who submit a request related to a medical condition must attach a CPABC Medical Form completed by their medical practitioner. The Committee will review each request on a confidential basis. Based on the information submitted, a determination will be made and forwarded to the member. Download CPD Medical Form.
The CPD program does not mandate areas of study, other than the four hours of professional ethics in every rolling three-calendar year period (special requirements apply to new CPA, CGA graduates – see next FAQ). Note, however, that members must meet the professional competence requirement of Rule 203 of the Code of Professional Conduct. They should choose learning opportunities that are relevant to their professional role. Take an inventory of your skills and consider whether you allocate sufficient time to building or refreshing the various skills needed to do your job well. Qualifying CPD is not limited to accounting, assurance, tax or other technical areas. Consider, for example, whether you have the range of soft skills (leadership, communication, etc.) and sufficient knowledge about your particular industry.
Selection of learning activities should be a thoughtful, reflective process addressing current or future professional plans, current knowledge and skill level, and desired or needed additional competence to meet future opportunities and/or professional responsibilities.
Sitting on a board of directors or on an audit committee does not in itself qualify as CPD. In order to qualify as CPD, the volunteer activity must help members to develop and maintain professional competence to enable them to perform their professional role. Such activities may include participation in technical discussions and receiving or delivering presentations that help them make more informed decisions and help with their oversight responsibility.
When evaluating whether or not a meeting qualifies for CPD, consider the following questions:
- Were any formal presentations made at the meetings? If so, what was the topic and duration of each of the presentations?
- Did the presentation contain significant intellectual or practical content that provide for the development of new or existing competencies in areas that are relevant to the members professional responsibilities and growth?
The activity must help CPAs develop and maintain professional competency to enable them to perform their professional role. The activities qualify for verifiable CPD subject to supporting documentation being available to verify the learning activity.
- Professional magazine articles relating to accounting, taxation, finance, management or other technical subjects
- Newspaper articles relating to your current and/or future field or industry
- Self-study of published materials
- Self-study courses
The reporting deadline is January 31 for the previous calendar year.
Members are required to report their CPD activities on CPABC’s Online Services secure website. Members may report their completed CPD activities throughout the year. If you encounter any difficulties signing in to the secure website, please contact email@example.com.
The seven-hour introductory course on the privileges, obligations and ethics of the profession (i.e. Gateway to Membership: Welcome to the Pros, or formerly, You and Your Designation) is still required to be completed prior to admission to membership. As there is no change to this course requirement, there is no carryover of Gateway to Membership: Welcome to the Pros or You and Your Designation for CPD credit to a subsequent year.
The Gateway to Membership course will qualify for seven verifiable CPD hours for those candidates who take the course in the same calendar year that they are admitted to membership. If the course is taken outside of the calendar year of admission to membership, it will not qualify for CPD credit.
Verifiable CPD should be supported by certificates of completion, confirmation of registration from providers, attendance records, or such other evidence that can objectively verify completion of the learning activity. For online learning such as a webinar or an online course, a certificate of completion or an assessment with a passing grade must be obtained in order to qualify for verifiable hours – otherwise the webinar or course would only be eligible for unverifiable hours.
CPABC in-person seminars that have been converted to an online virtual offering (“Live Webinar”) will qualify as verifiable CPD as attendance calls will be carried out by the CPABC coordinator. CPABC’s PD Department will not issue certificates of completion for these live webinars.
At a minimum, supporting documentation should:
- Describe the learning activity;
- Identify the provider of the activity;
- Connect the member to the activity;
- Identify when the activity took place; and
- Provide a basis for concluding that the number of reported hours is reasonable.
- Certificate of completion or official transcript
- Confirmation of participation by provider or employer (e.g. registration confirmation)
- Attendance record (e.g. sign-in sheet)
- Course assignment and exam results
- Copy of course outline/agenda
- Copy of course payment/invoice
Only new learned skills in the performance of the position would qualify as CPD.
Marking: If you mark the same question for multiple students, you can only report verifiable CPD for the particular question once (i.e., only for one student). Report verifiable CPD for the time it takes you to read the test question, review the answer key and mark your first paper. If you mark more than one question, then report CPD once for each new question you mark.
Facilitating: You can report verifiable CPD once for each unique task that you facilitate per year. Report verifiable CPD for your preparation and facilitation time with the student with whom you spent the most time on a particular task. If you facilitate more than one student on a particular task in a module, you are limited to reporting verifiable CPD for the time spent with only one student.
Bylaw Regulation 600/2(2) states that “… every member must complete … a minimum of 120 qualifying hours of continuing professional development during each rolling three-calendar year period, including at least 60 verifiable qualifying hours, of which at least 4 are ethics hours.”
Bylaw Regulation 600/1 defines ethics hours as “verifiable qualifying hours in professional ethics satisfying criteria approved by the Membership Committee.”
As required under Rule 203 of the CPA Code of Professional Conduct, “A member shall sustain professional competence by keeping informed of, and complying with, developments in professional standards in all functions in which the member provides professional services or is relied upon because of the member’s calling.” In addition to this, members, unless otherwise exempt, must complete a minimum of four hours of verifiable CPD in professional ethics in each rolling three-calendar year period.
Just like other verifiable learning activities, the professional ethics requirement can be fulfilled through CPABC or other sources. The four hours can be accumulated through various separate professional ethics learning activities over the three years. Professional ethics learning activities must go beyond an awareness of the law, standards or guidelines. The learning activity must address the application of ethical principles or theories to the laws, standards or guidelines relevant to the member’s work and professional responsibilities.
Professional ethics CPD can cover a wide range of topics related to ethics and ethical decision making. Examples of professional ethics topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- CPABC regulatory updates covering the CPABC Act, Bylaws, Bylaw Regulations and Code of Professional Conduct
- Regulatory updates that are relevant and appropriate to the member’s role or industry
- Professional conduct
- Corporate codes of conduct
- Independence/conflict of interest
- Ethical decision making, approaches, thinking and case studies
- Ethical business culture
- Corporate social responsibility
- Honesty in business practice
- Bribery and corruption
- Doing the right thing
- Reputation and risk
- Anti money-laundering
When you report verifiable activities in the CPD online reporting system, you will be prompted to confirm whether the activity contains any hours that meet the ethics requirement. If the activity has an ethical component, you will indicate ‘yes’, then enter the amount of professional ethics hours for the verifiable activity.
For your convenience, CPABC PD seminars containing structured professional ethics content will pre-populate with the number of hours of qualifying ethics content. All you need to do is confirm that you were in attendance for the entire duration of the seminar and the ethics component, or edit the pre-populated hours as appropriate for the actual time you were in attendance.
For CPABC PD seminars with structured ethics content, please visit CPABC’s PD website. Find ethics courses by using the ‘Ethics Hours’ search criteria under Search PD Offerings.
CPA Chapters throughout BC provide ethics seminars. Please visit CPABC’s Chapter website.
CPABC’s Pacific Summit held each spring and fall provides an ethics course. Visit the Pacific Summit webpage to learn more.
CPABC offers web-based PD seminars:
- Various titles of Live webinars (4 hours)
- Anti-Money Laundering: An Interactive Overview (1 hour)
- Asking the Tough Questions: Ethics and Biases in AI (1 hour)
- Client Acquisition: Ethical Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Great Clients (2.5 hours total; 1 hour ethics)
- Conflicts of Interest Unpacked (1.25 hours)
- Conversations in the Boardroom, Conversations in the Hallway (2.5 hours)
- Emerging Ethical Challenges for CPAs (1.5 hours) (Free)
- Ethics: Mission Control, Not Damage Control (1.25 hours)
- Ethical Tax (1.5 hours)
- Lies, Alternative Facts and Professional Skepticism (2 hours)
- PD Nexus: Business and Leadership Insights (7.5 hours total; 1 hour ethics)
- PD Nexus: Business and Innovation Insights (5.5 hours total; 1 hour ethics)
- PD Nexus: Financial Planning Insights Series (7.5 hours total; 1.5 hours ethics)
- The Bernie Madoff Investment Scandal (0.75 of an hour)
CPA Canada offers online courses:
- Applied Ethics in a Professional Setting (4 hours)
- Corporate Social Responsibility & Ethics (4 hours)
- Ethical Principles and the Accounting Profession: Code Decoded (4 hours)
- Ethics and Governance Podcast Series (2 hours total, 1 hour ethics)
- Ethics and Tax (4 hours)
- Ethics for the Auditor (4 hours)
- Ethics for the CFO (4 hours)
- Ethics for the Consultant (4 hours)
- Ethics in the Public Sector (4 hours)
- Upholding Professional Integrity (1 hour)
CPA Canada offers 1- hour free webinars that qualify as 1 hour of verifiable professional ethics:
- Managing Cybersecurity Risk: How to get started (1 hour)
- Not-for-profit board oversight of cybersecurity (1 hour)
- Scenario analysis and TCFD climate risk disclosure: The next frontier in corporate reporting? (1 hour)
For online courses to count as verifiable, you must complete the test component and keep the certificate of completion for your records.
As CPA Canada operates separately from CPABC, you must report completion of the online course by emailing a PDF copy of the Certificate of Completion to firstname.lastname@example.org (Attention: Lisa Murray)
This requirement must be completed on or before December 31 of the full calendar year following the year of admission to membership. Completion of the mandatory seven-hour course will count towards the annual verifiable CPD requirement in the year of completion and qualifies as verifiable professional ethics for the first rolling three-calendar year period.
If you have any questions regarding this requirement, please contact Lisa Murray, CPD Administrator at 604-488-2614 or email email@example.com.
CPABC encourages members to volunteer in the community. The unpaid work that you do for the charitable organization would not in itself cause you to be required to comply with the mandatory CPD requirements. However, you are reminded that under the Code of Professional Conduct, you must sustain professional competence by staying informed of, and complying with, developments in professional standards in all functions in which you provide professional services or are relied upon because of your calling, even if you are not remunerated for your services.
Please note that, if you do not meet all of the criteria of the Members in Retirement exemption, you would be required to comply with the mandatory CPD requirements.