Frequently Asked Questions

Easily find the answers to your questions on membership, professional development programs, certification and JobConnect!

If you are in payroll or in accounting or HR with payroll-related responsibilities, you should be a member of the CPA to stay up to date and compliant, through an individual membership or your organization's membership. Any employer that processes a Canadian payroll can benefit from becoming an Organization member. Learn more about the CPA and who should be a member.

To see if a seminar is available in a city near you, click here to open the seminar calendar. You can use the search tool to search for upcoming seminars by topic or keyword, or by city or region. You can also view seminar topics for each broad learning category by clicking on the appropriate link from the learning menu or from the learning landing page. Once you are on the course description page for your selected topic, you may see a list of cities where that seminar will be offered.

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

The PCP and CPM certifications are the hallmarks of quality for payroll professionals, exemplifying your expertise, commitment to the profession and capacity to perform at the next level. To help you ensure your knowledge and skills remain at this high level, the CPA requires that all PCP and CPM certification holders commit to continuous learning as one of the requirements to maintain certification:

The PCP Work Experience Requirement is a one-year weighted payroll job experience requirement for the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification that you must complete within 5 years before or 5 years after you start the Payroll Compliance Legislation course if you are completing the program online or through continuing education.

For 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 begins once you complete the Payroll Fundamentals 2 course.

Before you enroll in the CPM certification program, you must be a certified PCP and send your Payroll Experience Prerequisite Application (PEPA) for assessment to the CPA. Once you are approved for the program, you will have 5 years from your first successful Introduction to Payroll Management course to complete the education requirements and submit your Certification Declaration.

JobConnectTM is the Canadian Payroll Association's exclusive job board. It is designed to assist members seeking new job opportunities and help employers solve staffing needs. Employers can post jobs whether or not they are a Canadian Payroll Association member. Find out more here.

Payroll InfoLine is a member service that offers fast, efficient answers to your most pressing payroll questions, staffed by Payroll Compliance advisors with more than 250 years of combined payroll experience. To access the service call toll-free: 1-800-387-4693 x 772 or 416-487-3380 x 772 or email Email: Have your CPA member number ready and ask your question. It’s that simple to use.

JobConnectTM is the Canadian Payroll Association's exclusive job board. It is designed to assist members seeking new job opportunities and help employers solve staffing needs. Employers can post jobs whether or not they are a Canadian Payroll Association member. Find out more here.

The Quebec Taxation Act considers employer-paid medical and dental group insurance premiums paid on behalf of employees as a taxable benefit subject to QPP and Quebec provincial income tax and must be reported on the Quebec tax form relevé-1 (RL-1) using boxes A and J.

However, as per the federal Income Tax Act, employer-paid medical and dental group insurance premiums are not a taxable benefit and therefore not reported on the T4 slip.  

Yes, students who are non-residents of Canada should provide a SIN if they have one. If you don’t have a SIN and are a non-resident, it’s not required.

As a CPA member, you get:

  • Unlimited access to Payroll InfoLine, a toll-free telephone and email hotline staffed by payroll experts.
  • Valuable resources such as our Payroll Best Practices Guidelines, eSource newsletter with legislative updates and DIALOGUE member magazine to stay up to date and informed.
  • Discounted rates for CPA events, professional develop seminars and webinars, certification courses, networking events and more.
  • Access to JobConnect, our online job bank, where you can post your resume for free or advertise a job at a reduced member rate.

For the complete list, see the Benefits of Membership.

CANCELLATION OR SEMINAR TRANSFER: Requests must be received in writing at least five (5) business days prior to the seminar date. Please note a cancellation fee or transfer fee in the amount of $50 plus applicable taxes per day/per registrant for all sessions cancelled or transferred will apply. Cancellation or transfer requests received less than 5 business days prior to the seminar date are not eligible for transfer or refund.

If you have any questions or need help, contact

Payroll courses offered by or for the CPA vary in length depending on the delivery method.

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

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

The CPE Declaration is an online form that requires certified members to declare annually that they have fulfilled the required CPE hours to maintain certification. When a PCP or CPM has completed the requisite number of CPE hours in their given cycle (14 hours for a PCP and 21 hours for a CPM), they must submit CPE Declaration to affirm their CPE compliance, by December 31 each year.

Approved PCP work experience is one year of weighted experience in the field of payroll involving 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 CPA through the PCP Work Experience Requirement Application (PCP-WERA).

The CPA provides a detailed guide to completing the application and a sample application on its website. Please note this application is an example only. Eligible PCP candidates will be provided with access to the application once they qualify. You will be advised of the status of your application within 20 business days of the date it is received by the CPA.

Effective January 1, 2017, you must complete the CPM courses and submit your Certification Declaration within 5 years of the start date of your first successful Introduction to Payroll Management (IPM) course.

As a CPA member, you can access the exclusive payroll job opportunities posted on JobConnect, upload and store multiple resumes so you can easily apply to postings online and enable employers to find you, and set your desired level of confidentiality for your information. There are absolutely no fees for this member service.

Employers can securely and easily post, edit and delete jobs; be notified instantly of potential qualified candidates; search our extensive resume database; and take advantage of extremely competitive pricing plans.

Paid time off from work is a benefit enjoyed by employees in Canada, legislated by employment standards in all jurisdictions. This legislation allows for both vacation time and vacation pay. The purpose of vacation time is to provide each employee a minimum of two weeks’ time off work, whereas vacation pay ensures continuity of remuneration throughout the vacation period.

Vacation time is earned over a 12-month period, commonly referred to as the vacation entitlement year. This vacation entitlement year can be the calendar year, a company-established year, or the employee’s anniversary (seniority) date. Depending on the jurisdiction, vacation time must be taken within 4 to 12 months of it being earned. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the legislated vacation time is taken, and as such, with adequate notice, the employer has the right to schedule vacation time for employees. In addition, many jurisdictions allow for the fractioning of vacation time. Time may be taken as a single two-week period, two one-week periods, or broken down into one-day increments in some jurisdictions, such as Ontario, with written consent from both the employee and employer. Generally, employees cannot forego their right to the minimum legislated vacation time, nor can they ask to be paid in lieu of vacation time.

Vacation pay, on the other hand, accrues as a percentage of vacationable earnings in the vacation entitlement year. These vacationable earnings vary by jurisdiction. Rather than being paid regular wages, an employee will receive vacation pay when taking vacation time. At the end of the year, an employee who has taken their full vacation time entitlement should have exhausted their vacation pay accrual. However, since some jurisdictions include additional earnings paid throughout the entitlement year as vacationable earnings (for example, overtime pay and a work related bonus), an employee may have accrued more vacation pay than they have been paid for at their regular rate of pay. This type of situation reinforces the need for a reconciliation of vacation pay owed versus vacation actually paid. Any and all outstanding balances must be paid to the employees affected within the legislated timeframe of the jurisdiction in question.

Such reconciliation should also be performed upon termination of an employee. Any unused vacation pay accrued must be paid to the terminated employee. An employer may allow employees to take vacation time prior to it being earned. Such a policy creates the possibility of vacation overpayment, particularly in the event of an employee terminating employment with the company after having taken more vacation time than has been earned. Although some jurisdictions allow for deductions from an employee’s pay for vacation overpayments, including vacation advances, it is considered a good standard of practice to get the employee’s authorization for such deductions in writing.