FAQs - Pre-Approved Programs

Yes, a firm could offer a Pre-Approved Program to train students in many paths including:

  • Audit Path (AP)
  • Review Path (RP)
  • Assurance, Compilation and Tax (ACT)
  • Compilation, Tax, and Advisory (CTA)

The firm could be approved for one or more students in each path. For more information, see Pre-approved Program and/or contact Sherry Fung.

In addition, there are customized pre-approved paths covering work such as tax, risk management, internal controls and financial advisory services. These paths could be offered in public practice firms, industry or government organizations. For any questions on customized pre-approved paths, please also contact Ella Bohinska.

There is guidance on the website on how to apply and some general criteria about qualification. However, assessment is done on a case by case basis.

The basic qualification requirements are:

  • Meeting the criteria set out in the CPA Practical Experience Requirements (PER) guide
  • This means providing practical experience necessary to meet the core, depth and breadth requirements for certification, in an environment which supports learning and professionalism.
  • If a public practice firm wishes to apply and qualify for training students in a pre-approved program, please complete the CPABC Pre-Approved Program Application and submit it to Robyn Campbell.
  • If an industry/government organization wishes to apply and qualify for training students in a pre-approved program, please contact Ella Bohinska.

If a public practice firm is already approved to train students in a pre-approved program and wishes to increase/decrease the number of students to train within that existing pre-approved program, please complete the Student Experience Questionnaire form and submit it to Sherry Fung.

Yes, a firm can continue to train students through an Experience Verification Route (EVR). If this route is going to provide students with some but not all the practical experience competencies required for certification, the firm should communicate this to the student. Furthermore, it is important for firms to advise students that EVR positions do not lead to obtaining licensure for assurance post-certification.  

If a firm is providing experience which will enable the student to meet all the practical experience requirements necessary for certification, then the firm should consider applying for one or more pre-approved paths.

No, a firm with no assurance work can train CPA students. 

There are Pre-Approved Assurance Programs and Other Pre-Approved Programs.

Pre-Approved Assurance Programs are:

  • Audit Path (AP)
  • Review Path (RP)
  • Assurance, Compilation and Tax (ACT)

Other Pre-Approved Programs are:

  • Compilation, Tax, and Advisory (CTA)
  • Direct to Tax
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Financial Advisory services
  • Other customized pre-approved paths

If a student training in Other Pre-Approved Programs would like to apply for a Compilation licensure post certification, the student may be able to if they have met the experience requirements under the Compilation licensure category. Details on licensure.

The CPA student may qualify for an assurance licensure post certification but the assessment is done on a case by case basis and bridging may be required (see below).

If a firm trains a CPA student through the ACT Path, the student may be able to bridge and “top up” the assurance hours and competency requirements post certification and, hence, be able to qualify for public practice in an Assurance licensure category. Details on CPA Post-Designation Bridging.

If the student wishes to qualify for Audit or Review licensure in the future, the firm would need to have a pre-approved program for the student’s assurance hours to count towards the minimum requirements.

If the student wishes to qualify for Compilation or Tax licensure in the future, the firm could train under either a pre-approved program or Experience Verification Route.

Please see the CPA Paths to Public Accounting and Other Regulated Services Licensure Guidance for further guidance. 

  • For an audit licence, you must obtain at least 625 chargeable hours in the audit of historical financial statements.
  • For a review licence, you must obtain at least 625 chargeable hours in the audit or review of historical financial statements.
  • The following engagements may qualify for the balance of assurance hours to make up the total minimum 1,250 assurance hours requirement if the requirement is not met through the audit or review of historical financial statements (all references are from areas of the CPA Canada Handbook):
    • CAS 805 - Audits of single financial statements and specific elements, accounts or items of a financial statement.
    • 8500 - Reviews of financial information other than financial statements (replaced by CSRE 2400 after Dec. 24, 2017).
    • AuG-6 - Examination of a financial forecast or projection included in a prospectus or other public offering document.
  • The following engagements would not qualify towards the 1,250 chargeable hours in assurance  (all references are from areas of the CPA Canada Handbook):
    • Section 9100 - Reports on the results of applying specified auditing procedures.  This would include Law Society, Real Estate Council and Other Specified Procedures Reports.
    • Section 9200 - Compilation engagements.
    • AuG-16 - Compilation of a Financial Forecast or Projection.
    • 7600 - Reports on the application of accounting principles.
    • 7200 - Auditor assistance to underwriters and others.
    • 9110 - Agreed-upon procedures regarding internal control over financial reporting.
    • 5815 - Audit reports on compliance with agreements, statutes and regulations.
    • 5025 - Standards for assurance engagements other than audits of financial statements and other historical financial information (replaced by CSAE 3000 and 3001 for attestation engagements where the assurance report is dated on or after June 30, 2017)
    • CSAE 3000 - Attestation engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information (post-June 30, 2017).
    • CSAE 3001 - Direct engagements (post-June 30, 2017).
    • CSAE 3410 - Assurance engagements on greenhouse gas statements.
    • CSAE 3416 - Reporting on controls at a service organization.
    • 8600 - Reviews of compliance with agreements and regulations.
    • PS 5300 - Auditing for compliance with legislative and related authorities in the public sector.
  • PS 5400, 6410 & 6420 - Value-for-money auditing in the public sector.