General Questions

 

 

How do I begin your program and how do I get registered in the first course?

New students must enroll in the first course of the Payroll Compliance Practitioner program, Payroll Compliance Legislation. This course is available online, in classrooms at post-secondary institutions or through the challenge option. Click here to search for upcoming course start dates.

What is the cost of each course?

The cost depends on the study method chosen; click here for more information.
Note: Classroom students must first register with the post-secondary institution and pay the applicable tuition fees. Students must also register with the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) and pay the CPA registration fees to obtain their course materials and to have access to the course. Students must register for the membership and course together.

How are marks determined?

The mark breakdown differs depending on the course and study option as indicated below. Click here for more information on the study options.

Payroll Compliance Practitioner

Certified Payroll Manager

Classroom and Online
PCL, PF1 and PF2
Challenge
PCL, PF1 and PF2
Classroom and Online
IPM and APM
Communication: 20% Final Exam: 100% Participation: 20%
Mid-term Exam: 30%     2 Assignments: 40%
Final Exam: 50%     Final Exam: 40%

Each course submitted to the CPA's Certification Department must:

  • be equivalent to a Canadian post-secondary level course (high school courses or job-experience will not be evaluated). If the course was not completed in Canada, first receive a course by course (comprehensive) Canadian equivalency assessment from an accredited assessment agency
  • be a minimum of 30 credit hours in length;
  • have a final method of evaluation worth at least 20% of the overall course mark;
  • have been completed with a minimum grade of 65% (Note: all transfer credit courses ending prior to January 1, 2013, must have a minimum grade of 60%);
  • have been completed within the last 10 years.*

*If you hold a related certificate, degree or diploma, the courses required are exempt from time restrictions and may be admitted for evaluation.

How long does each course run and when do the courses start?

Courses offered by, or for, the CPA vary in length depending on the delivery method.

CPA courses offered through most public post-secondary institutions are based on a 14 week (3 hours per week) timeframe for a total of 42 hours, which includes the final exam. This is the typical length of a post-secondary course in Canada.

CPA courses offered directly by the CPA in the online environment are based on a 13 week schedule (estimating 3 hours per week) for a total of 39 hours, which includes the final exam.

Click here to select the course in which you are interested to find out the duration and start dates.

Before I enroll in one of the CPA's Certification Programs, will the CPA evaluate other courses that I have taken?

The CPA only evaluates credentials for those who have successfully completed the first core payroll course, Payroll Compliance Legislation.

Once you have successfully completed Payroll Compliance Legislation, you may submit transfer credits for the non-payroll courses required in the CPA's Certification Programs.

How can I determine if courses that I have previously completed/about to complete are acceptable as transfer credits for the required non-payroll courses?

The CPA publishes an online database of course equivalents offered at more than 180 post-secondary institutions. Click here to search the database.

If a course does not appear on the CPA's online database, it simply means that the CPA has not yet recognized it. A detailed course outline must be submitted to the CPA's Certification Department for its assessment and inclusion in the database.

Each course submitted to the CPA's Certification Department must:

  • be equivalent to a Canadian post-secondary level course (high school courses or job-experience will not be evaluated). If the course was not completed in Canada, first receive a course by course (comprehensive) Canadian equivalency assessment from an accredited assessment agency
  • be a minimum of 30 credit hours in length;
  • have a final method of evaluation worth at least 20% of the overall course mark;
  • have been completed with a minimum grade of 65% (Note: all transfer credit courses ending prior to January 1, 2013, must have a minimum grade of 60%);
  • have been completed within the last 10 years.*

*If you hold a related certificate, degree or diploma, the courses required are exempt from time restrictions and may be admitted for evaluation.

What is the process and fee to transfer a non-payroll course credit to my file?

To transfer a non-payroll course credit, you must have successfully completed Payroll Compliance Legislation. You must mail an original transcript along with the Transfer Credit Application. Click here to download the form.

Do I need to send in an original transcript? Will it be returned to me?

Yes, students must submit an official transcript (grade reports, photocopies, scanned copies, and transcripts printed from the institution's website are not accepted). The CPA will return your official transcript if you indicate this on the Transfer Credit Application and include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your transfer application.

My education was completed outside of Canada. How can this information be transferred into my CPA file?

If the course was completed outside of Canada, first apply for a comprehensive course-by course Canadian equivalency assessment from an accredited assessment agency. The original assessment and the Transfer Credit Application must be mailed to the CPA.

I took a payroll course through another organization. Can I transfer it to the CPA's Certification Programs?

The CPA does not accept external payroll courses for credit. All payroll courses required must be taken through the CPA or its partner colleges.
For those with previous payroll knowledge or experience, a challenge exam is available for each core payroll course in the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) program. In the challenge option, the final exam is worth 100% of the final mark.

Can I apply my work experience for course credit?

The CPA does not evaluate non-academic credentials. Increasingly more post-secondary institutions provide this type of evaluation service, sometimes called Prior-Learning Assessment or Recognition, through their Continuing Education divisions. Contact your local college or university to find out what service they offer. If the post-secondary institution's review exempts you from one of the its course offerings, the CPA may also honour the credit.

Once I have completed all the required courses, how do I obtain my Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) Certificate?

In order to obtain PCP certification, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete all the required courses.
  2. Transfer non-core payroll course(s) to the CPA (e.g. Introduction to Accounting).
  3. Ensure you have an active membership with the CPA.
  4. Complete the Payroll Experience Requirement.
  5. Submit the "Certification Declaration" within the PCP certification timeline.

Once the requirements are met, the Certification Declaration will be emailed to you, which must be completed and submitted online to receive the certification.

Once you have met all the requirements, a certificate will be mailed to you at the address you have indicated as 'preferred' in our database, within 6-8 weeks from the time you submit the Certification Declaration within the PCP certification timeline.

Once I have completed all the required courses, how do I obtain my Certified Payroll Manager (CPM) Certificate?

In order to obtain the CPM certification, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Submit your PEPA Application.
  2. Complete the required courses.
  3. Ensure you have an active membership with the CPA.
  4. Submit the Certification Declaration within the CPM certification timeline.

Once the requirements are met, the Certification Declaration will be emailed to you, which must be completed and submitted online to receive the certification.

Once you have met all the requirements, a certificate will be mailed to you at the address you have indicated as 'preferred' in our database, within 6-8 weeks from the time you submit the Certification Declaration.

Once I am certified as a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) or Certified Payroll Manager (CPM), what are the requirements to maintain the certification?

To maintain your certification, certified individuals must comply with the following three requirements:

What activities will satisfy the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirement?

The principle supporting Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is that payroll professionals should continue learning to ensure that they remain up-to-date in their field. This will provide professionals with lifelong career growth and viability. Certified members are encouraged to consider the following question when selecting their CPE activities: "Does the activity further my abilities as a Payroll Professional?" If the answer is yes, then the activity would satisfy the Continuing Professional Education requirement.

Click here to determine which new learning is best suited to you.

How can I log my CPE hours for volunteering with the CPA as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or reading the CPA's Dialogue magazine?

Please utilize the online CPE tracking system to log any volunteer hours with the CPA as a Subject Matter Expert, or hours spent to read the CPA's Dialogue magazine.
In logging these activities, please enter the following term as the provider for your CPE activity:
"Subject Matter Expert - CPA"
"Dialogue Magazine - CPA"