New Minimum Continuing Professional Development Requirements

As approved by a member vote in September 2007, new uniform minimum continuing professional development (CPD) requirements have been adopted. These changes were recommended by the CA profession’s Public Trust Task Force.


Increased CPD requirements, harmonized across the country, are necessary to maintain the already high reputation of the profession, and to protect the public trust. Another major factor contributing to the decision to review minimum CPD requirements was the adoption of a new international CPD standard by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

New minimum CPD Requirements

These new harmonized CPD requirements meet the IFAC standard. Beginning April 1, 2008 members are required to:

  • Complete a minimum of 120 hours of CPD over a three-year cycle (current year and prior two years), including at least 60 hours of verifiable study
  • Complete at least 20 hours of study annually, of which 10 are verifiable
  • Choose learning opportunities that provide for the development of new or existing competencies that are relevant to the individual member’s overall professional responsibilities and growth

Examples of Qualifying Study

Areas of study are not mandated by the new requirements—members complete study in areas they identify as relevant to their practice or employment.

Examples of verifiable study include:

  • courses, conferences, seminars and in-house training
  • formal study, professional re-examination/testing
  • reading/research leading to presentations, reports and articles, or for a specific application in a professional role
  • formal study and/or self-study leading to an examination or attainment of a designation, diploma or degree
  • participation on committees or boards that contributes to professional growth
  • publication of articles, papers or books
  • relevant teaching and speaking

Examples of unverifiable study include:

  • • on-the-job training
  • • self-study that does not involve an examination or other objective certification of completion
  • • reading of professional journals or magazines that is not part of research for a specific application in a professional role

Reporting and Monitoring

The standard requires an annual report to confirm that a member has met the minimum CPD requirements. The three-year reporting cycle is rolling—that is, it continues to re-start or roll over every year. The Institute can also request additional information to verify selected annual reports at their discretion.

Did you know?

  • CPD does not have to be accounting related—you choose the area of learning. CPD only has to be relevant to your particular employment, business situation, or career aspirations.
  • CPD does not have to be taken through Institute course offerings—it does not even have to be taken in Canada. CPD may be completed through any learning institution, organization and/or an employer.
  • The entire CPD requirement does not have to be verifiable (e.g., courses, conferences, etc.). One-half of the CPD requirements may be met through unverifiable means, for example through private reading, self-study or on the job training.