Frequently Asked Questions

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

If you are self-employed, your clients can be your verifiers. Self-employed individuals may be contacted by the CPA for an interview.

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

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

Students must submit an official transcript. Grade reports, photocopies, scanned copies and transcripts printed from the institution's website are not accepted.

We 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.

Yes, as long as the experience meets the criteria for the CPM certification: 2 years of weighted payroll experience where you are responsible for the payroll function of an organization, including being accountable to management for the accuracy of employees' pay and statutory remittances, or equivalent experience, obtained within the past 5 years. Even if you previously submitted a PCP Work Experience Requirement Application (WERA), you must still submit the CPM Payroll Experience Prerequisite Application (PEPA) to apply for the CPM certification. 

As of January 1, 2013, the minimum pass mark is 65% for all PCP and CPM courses, including challenge exams, started on or after that date. This minimum pass mark applies to courses taken online or through continuing education, as well as through a full-time program at a recognized college, university or private career college.

Courses completed prior to January 1, 2013, do not have to be retaken if a mark of 60% was obtained. However, courses that started on or after January 1, 2013, require both a final overall course mark and a final exam mark of 65%. This policy also applies to all transfer credit courses. 

If you are reinstating your certification, you must obtain a minimum pass mark of 65% on the Payroll Knowledge Evaluator (PKE) assessment you are required to complete as part of the reinstatement process.

With a Candidate Membership, you receive:
  • Access to Payroll Infoline. Our team of experts who staff Payroll Infoline have a combined 250-years of payroll experience. If you ever have a question or are unsure of how to apply even the most complex legislated requirements, you can give them a call and if we don’t know the answer, WE do the research for you.
  • Access to numerous guides and tools, to help you tackle even the most complex payroll, including:
    • Payroll Best Practice Guidelines
    • Getting Ready for a Payroll Audit Best Practice Guidelines
    • New Hire Payroll Best Practice Guidelines
  • Exclusive member communications, including DIALOGUE magazine (electronic version) and eSource newsletter, allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of the payroll industry and be an essential, professional resource for your employer.
  • JobConnect, our member-only job board, helps you find and apply for rewarding payroll opportunities right across Canada.

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.

The mark breakdown depends 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

PCL, PF1 and PF2

Classroom and Online



Final Exam:




Mid-term Exam:


2 Assignments:


Final Exam:


Final Exam:


The minimum pass mark of 65% applies to all PCP and CPM courses, including challenge exams, started on or after January 1, 2013.

If you completed a course prior to January 1, 2013, a pass mark of 60% is acceptable. If you are transferring a credit to the PCP or CPM certification program, a minimum pass mark of 60% applies to courses completed before January 1, 2013, and a minimum pass mark of 65% applies to courses started on or after January 1, 2013, for the CPA to accept the course(s) for transfer credit.

If you are reinstating your certification, you must obtain a minimum pass mark of 65% on the Payroll Knowledge Evaluator (PKE) assessment you are required to complete as part of the reinstatement process.

The Student PCP Membership category has been discontinued. The Canadian Payroll Association is there for you every step of the way during your payroll career. That’s why we are investing in your career by introducing the NEW Candidate Membership, exclusively for those who are investing in themselves by starting the journey towards a payroll certification.

To obtain the 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. Complete the Work Experience Requirement Application (WERA).
  4. Ensure you have an active membership with the CPA.

Once these requirements are met, the PCP certificate will then be issued and mailed to preferred address in your file 6-8 weeks after you complete all the requirements..

A Candidate Membership is a new membership category available only to those individuals who are working towards obtaining a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification. The Canadian Payroll Association is investing in individuals who are making a significant investment in their education by completing the certification courses or working toward satisfying the PCP Work Experience requirement.  A Candidate Membership provides access to the same valuable member benefits as our other membership types for the affordable annual fee of $99 plus applicable taxes.

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

The annual fee for a Candidate Membership is $99 CAD plus applicable tax.

The annual membership fee depends on the membership category. Click here for current fees.

To obtain the CPM certification, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a PCP certification in good standing. 
  2. Submit your Payroll Experience Prerequisite Application (PEPA).
  3. Complete all the required courses.
  4. Ensure you have an active membership with the CPA.

Once these requirements are met, the CPM certificate will then be mailed to the preferred address in your file 6-8 weeks after your declaration is processed.

Individuals with a Candidate Membership will receive access to the electronic version of DIALOGUE magazine and the annual rate sheets, while Associate members will receive hard copy versions of these resources. Candidate members will not receive a printed member card. The annual cost for an Associate Membership is $240 plus applicable taxes while the cost for a Candidate Membership is $99 plus applicable taxes.

There are four types of membership:

  • Professional Member: You are certified as a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) or Certified Payroll Manager (CPM).
  • Candidate Member: You are completing PCP certification courses and/or working towards obtaining one year of weighted Payroll Work Experience.
  • Associate Member: You would like to take advantage of the benefits of memberships, and you are not certified nor is your company a member. This is also an option if you are a student pursuing the PCP certification.
  • Organization Member: Your organization operates, is responsible for or has an interest in Canadian payroll. Member benefits can be enjoyed by all relevant employees.
To view a detailed description of each type of membership, please click on Types of Membership.

An official transcript is a copy of a student’s permanent record. It is printed on secure paper and/or has the college seal. It is usually signed by the registrar. Only the official transcript will be accepted; copies and scans of the official transcript are not acceptable.

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