PCP - WORK Experience Requirement - Questions and answers

 

What is the PCP Work Experience Requirement?

This is a one-year weighted payroll job experience requirement for Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification that must be obtained within 5 years before or 5 years after the start of the Payroll Compliance Legislation course, for those current and prospective students taking courses through continuing education or online. For all current and prospective students taking the PCP courses through a full-time program at a recognized college, university or private career college, the PCP Work Experience requirement timeline will begin when they complete the Payroll Fundamentals 2 course.

Why is the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) Work Experience  required for the PCP certification?

Similar to other professional bodies such as accounting and human resources, the PCP Work Experience requirement will enhance the quality of PCP graduates; additionally, employers will know that certification holders can step into a payroll position with a limited amount of training because they have payroll experience, in addition to the educational qualifications. The PCP Work Experience requirement elevates the profile and status of the PCP certification program with stakeholders and enhances the recognition of PCP certification as the fundamental requirement for a payroll position.

When does the PCP Work Experience requirement become effective?

The effective date of the PCP Work Experience requirement is January 1, 2015.

Who will be affected by the PCP Work Experience requirement?

  1. Students who have successfully completed the PCP courses prior to January 1, 2015 but have not yet made their Certification Declaration for PCP certification. (Please see question 20 for more details.)
  2. Students who have partially completed the PCP courses prior to January 1, 2015.
  3. Future students who will start the PCP courses after January 1, 2015.

If I start the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) courses after January 1, 2015, how does the PCP Work Experience requirement affect me?

If you start the Payroll Compliance Practitioner courses after January 1, 2015, you will have to complete the 4 educational requirements of the PCP certification within 5 years and obtain at least 1 year of weighted payroll experience obtained within 5 years before or 5 years after the start of the Payroll Compliance Legislation course, if you are a current and prospective student taking courses through continuing education or online. For all current and prospective students taking the PCP courses through a full-time program at a recognized college, university or private career college, the PCP Work Experience requirement timeline will begin when they complete the Payroll Fundamentals 2 course. 

I have completed some of the Payroll Compliance Practitioner educational requirements. How does the PCP Work Experience requirement affect me?

Effective January, 2015, students who have taken some of the PCP courses will have 5 years (until January, 1 2020) to complete the education requirements, satisfy the PCP work experience requirement and apply for PCP Certification Declaration.

I have completed all of the educational requirements of the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) courses, but have not made my Certification Declaration yet. How does the PCP Work Experience requirement affect me?

If you meet the PCP educational requirements, you must obtain/maintain Canadian Payroll Association membership and apply for the Certification Declaration prior to January 1, 2015 in order to be exempt from the PCP Work Experience requirement, otherwise you will be required to satisfy the PCP Work Experience requirement in order to obtain the PCP certification.

I am a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP), how does the PCP Work Experience requirement affect me?

If you are currently a PCP, you will not be affected by the new PCP Work Experience requirement as long as you maintain certification by fulfilling the ongoing certification requirements.  In fact you may benefit from the enhanced status of the PCP program as a result of the PCP Work Experience requirement.

I am a full-time student. When does the PCP Work Experience requirement start for me?

For all current and prospective students taking the PCP courses through a full-time program at a recognized college, university or private career college, the PCP Work Experience requirement must be fulfilled within 5 years from the completion of the Payroll Fundamentals 2 course.  The PCP Work Experience  requirement will not apply to those full-time students who have completed all their educational requirements, obtained Canadian Payroll Association membership and made their Certification Declaration before January 1, 2015.

What is considered approved PCP Work Experience?

It is a one year of weighted payroll experience in the field of payroll by paying employees accurately, on time and in compliance with legislation while contributing to the annual payroll cycle. This experience must be demonstrated to, and approved by, the Canadian Payroll Association using the WERA application process.

How will I know if my position(s) meet the PCP Work Experience requirement?

The Canadian Payroll Association has developed a guide outlining more specifics on the implementation of the PCP Work Experience requirement.  Read the guide carefully, fill out the application and submit it, along with the required information, to the Canadian Payroll Association prior to the timeline of 5 years after the start date of the Payroll Compliance Legislation course. You will be advised of the status of your application within twenty (20) business days from the date it is received by the Canadian Payroll Association.

When should I submit my PCP Work Experience application for assessment?

After January 1, 2015 you are eligible to send your application for assessment when you finish the PCP educational requirements.

If my application has not been approved, when can I apply again?

If your application is not approved, you will be provided with details as to what information/documentation is outstanding. You can reapply once you meet the requirements.

How many years of payroll experience do I need to satisfy the PCP Work Experience requirement?

To satisfy the PCP Work Experience requirement, you must have at least one year of weighted payroll experience in the field of payroll by paying employees accurately, on time and in compliance with legislation while contributing to the annual payroll cycle.

The weighting of the PCP Work Experience  will be determined by the number of hours per week spent completing payroll oriented tasks.  Using a standard of a 35 hour work week, a calculation of the number of months spent completing qualifying work experience can be determined.  For example, if you spend 20 hours per week on payroll oriented tasks and have held the position for 16 months, you would be granted a total of nine months (20 / 35 * 16 = 9.14).  Only a completed month of experience will be counted (no fractions, decimals, or rounding).

Who is considered a verifier?

A verifier is a person who is/was your direct reporting manager and has a professional business relationship with you; for example, your current or past employer. Family members are not eligible to verify your experience.

Who can I use as a verifier if I am a self-employed individual?

If you are a self-employed individual, your clients can be your verifiers. Self-employed individuals may be contacted by the Canadian Payroll Association for an interview.

What is the next step after I submit my application to the Canadian Payroll Association?

An acknowledgment email will be sent to you once your application is received. You will be advised of the status of your application within twenty (20) business days.

Can I combine more than one (1) payroll position in order to fulfill the PCP Work Experience requirement?

Yes. If in your current or past position you have less than one (1) year of applicable payroll experience, you can combine positions to satisfy the one (1) year requirement. You must complete a separate application form for each payroll position being submitted for assessment.

What happens if my experience is not entirely dedicated to payroll (for example, it is combined with Human Resources or Finance)?

Your payroll experience will be assessed based on the following criteria:

Must have at least one year of weighted payroll experience in the field of payroll by paying employees accurately, on time and in compliance with legislation while contributing to the annual payroll cycle.

What happens if I finish the entire Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) courses (including Introduction to Accounting) by the end of 2014 however could not make my certification declaration prior to January 2015 since it takes 4-6 weeks to receive my transcript and to transfer the Introduction to Accounting course into my Canadian Payroll Association file?

The Canadian Payroll Association will take this timeline into consideration. You will not be affected by the new PCP Work Experience requirement if you finish the entire PCP courses by the end of December 2014. Additionally, if you take/pass the Introduction to Accounting course by the end of December 2014, ensure you submit the course into your Canadian Payroll Association file prior to the end of January 2015.

Can I start looking for a payroll position before I start the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) program?

Yes, you can. Your payroll experience must be obtained within 5 years before or 5 years after the start of the Payroll Compliance Legislation course, for those current and prospective students taking courses through continuing education or online.

For all current and prospective students taking the PCP courses through a full-time program at a recognized college, university or private career college, the PCP Work Experience requirement timeline will begin when they complete the Payroll Fundamentals 2 course.

Can the PCP Work Experience be applied towards the CPM Work Experience as well?

Yes, as long as the experience meets the criteria for the CPM certification.

Does Non-Canadian payroll experience qualify toward the one year PCP - Work Experience Requirement?

No, it does not. As payroll requirements vary significantly from country to country, in order to obtain the PCP certification, you must have at least one (1) year of weighted Canadian work experience in payroll.

The payroll function in my organization is split between departments and not all functions are performed by all employees. I am trying to ascertain whether an employee who performs a limited numbers of duties is eligible to qualify for the work experience requirement of the PCP certification.

Not every category of responsibilities on the PCP Work Experience Application is required to be represented, but there are restrictions in instances where a position is only responsible for small portion of payroll function.  For example, in some large companies there may be a payroll role in which the employee enters only the weekly data for all staff, but does little else to do with payroll.  This position would have a very high percentage (likely 90 or 100%) in the Payroll Administration category and thus would be unlikely to qualify.

The majority of payroll positions will typically be a mix of 4 or 5 different categories depending on the role.

Who is considered a PCP Candidate?

An individual who completes the education requirements (Payroll Compliance Legislation (PCL), Payroll Fundamentals 1 (PF1), Introduction to Accounting and Payroll Fundamentals 2 (PF2) for PCP certification but has not yet satisfied the PCP Work Experience Requirement is considered a "PCP Candidate" and can use the qualifier after his/her name on business cards, e-mail auto signatures and on resumes.

If an individual has been out of the workforce due to a health matter or a maternity/paternity/parental/adoption situation, will the 10-year timeline be extended?

Yes, The Canadian Payroll Association will accommodate a health related or maternity/paternity/parental/adoption leave request. An individual will be eligible for one year of maternity/paternity/parental/adoption leave upon providing us with the appropriate supporting documentation. Health related issues will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Examples of appropriate documentation are:

  • Maternity/Paternity/Parental/Adoption Leave – Record Of Employment (ROE)  (Social Insurance Number may be blacked out), doctor's note
  • Health Leave – ROE (Social Insurance Number may be blacked out), Doctor's note specifying leave time, proof of Disability Insurance

What happens if I cannot obtain an official job description for the position I would like to submit for the assessment?

If the organization does not have an official job description for the position you would like to submit for the assessment, you must prepare a detailed job description yourself and submit it to your verifier for his/her approval.