Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Policy and Requirements

Given the rapid pace and scope of changes in the profession, Chartered Professional Accountants need continuously maintain, update, improve and enhance their knowledge and skills in the area in which they work.

All CPAs must update their professional knowledge.

Continuing Professional Development is an ongoing program of learning which empowers Members to engage in learning activities to enhance their capabilities and competency in their professional roles. In order to maintain public trust, and to uphold the reputation of the CPA designation, all members must constantly update their professional knowledge.

Download the CPAPEI CPD Policy


  • At least half of the minimum required hours must be verifiable CPD hours (60 hours of CPD every three year period, at least 4 of which must be professional ethics, and 10 hours of CPD hours annually);
  • Verifiable CPD hours means all learning activities that result in evidence that the learning activity was undertaken;
  • Unverifiable learning activities do not result in evidence that the learning exists, such as technical reading, self-study, etc.;
  • All CPD must be reported by January 31st following year in which it was incurred to remain in good standing;
  • All members must have 4 verifiable professional ethics hours in a 3-year rolling cycle (beginning January 1, 2019).

All CPA members shall retain documentation to support the verifiable learning activities. Such documentation shall be retained for five years after the completion of any particular year. The CPD hours could be audited. In those instances the CPA member would have to prove their CPD hours by submitting support documentation.

Professional Business Ethics:

CPAs will be confronted with challenging ethical situations throughout their professional careers, and the pressures of meeting competing objectives can make ethical decision-making difficult. A continuing professional development (CPD) business ethics requirement supports members. CPD provides an opportunity for members to discuss with professional peers the challenges, complexities, and risks faced when ethical dilemmas arise. This learning is such a valuable activity—both from the perspective of members and from the perspective of the public they serve—that many accounting bodies around the globe have adopted a mandatory ethics PD requirement

Professional Ethics CPD is learning that specifically addresses professional ethics matters that are relevant and appropriate to the member. Just like other verifiable learning activities, the four hour ethics requirement can be fulfilled in a number of ways, including coursework - whether through CPAPEI or other sources, and other relevant learning activities (including in the workplace).

Every member must complete a minimum of four verifiable business ethics CPD hours as part of their 60-verifiable-hour requirement in each three-year rolling cycle.  For CPAPEI members, the first deadline to meet this requirement is December 31, 2021, for the three-year CPD rolling cycle of 2019-2021. The four hours of business ethics do not have to be obtained in a single program, and can be accumulated through ethics components from any number of seminars or courses over the rolling three-year cycle. The requirement can be fulfilled in a number of ways, through CPA programs or other structured learning sources, including in the workplace.

Professional ethics CPD can cover a wide range of topics related to ethics and ethical decision making.

Examples of professional ethics topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

•    Regulatory updates covering the CPAPEI Act, Bylaws, Bylaw Regulations and Code of Professional Conduct
•    Regulatory updates that are relevant and appropriate to the member’s role or industry
•    Professional conduct
•    Corporate codes of conduct
•    Independence/conflict of interest
•    Ethical decision making, approaches, thinking  and case studies
•    Ethical business culture
•    Corporate social responsibility
•    Honesty in business practice
•    Bribery and corruption
•    Doing the right thing
•    Reputation and risk
•    Whistle-blowing
•    Anti-money laundering

As of January 1, 2019, members are required to obtain 4 hours of Business Ethics CPD in every 3-year rolling cycle. Therefore, members have until December 31, 2021 to obtain 4 hours of Ethics training for this 3-year cycle. If a member obtained four hours of business ethics in 2019, they must complete the ethics requirement again by no later than 2022, and so on.

If a member accumulates the four hours of business ethics over multiple years in the three-year cycle of 2019-2021, they should remember that any business ethics completed in 2019 will “fall off the table” in 2022. In 2022, they will need to ensure that they have accumulated four business ethics hours in the three-year cycle of 2020-2022, and so on.


Verifiable CPD

Professional development is a required component of CPAPEI membership and verifiable CPD shall:
  • Be relevant to your professional responsibilities as a chartered professional accountant.
  • Be quantifiable, meaning that it must be specifically identifiable and be able to be expressed in terms of a specific time requirement.
  • Contain significant intellectual or practical content.
Examples Include

Continuing Education:

  • Participation in a course, webinar, conference or seminar
  • Enrolment in a formal education program leading to a degree, diploma, certificate, re-certification or designation


  • Teaching a course or session in an area relevant to your professional role
  • Participation as a speaker in a conference, briefing session or discussion group


  • Conducting research in an area that expands your knowledge for a specific application in your professional role that result in a presentation or report
  • Writing or publishing technical articles, papers, books or academic work
Verifiable CPD does NOT include:
  • Language training
  • Volunteering (ie coaching hockey; acting as board treasurer or board member - unless the activity meets the requirements of verifiable CPD above)
  • Self study time (this may be included toward unverifiable CPD)
  • Networking events/hours


Other frequently asked questions:

1. What activities qualify as CPD under volunteer or pro-bono work, such as sitting on a board of directors?

Sitting on a board of directors or on an audit committee does not in itself qualify for CPD.  In order to qualify as CPD, the volunteer activity must help you to develop and maintain professional competence to enable you to perform your professional role.  Such activities may include participation in technical discussions and receiving or delivering presentations that help you make more informed decisions and help you with your oversight responsibility.

When evaluating whether or not a meeting qualifies for CPD, consider the following questions:
•    Were any formal presentations made at the meetings? If so, what was the topic and duration of each of the presentations?
•    Did the presentation contain significant intellectual or practical content that provide for the development of new or existing competencies in areas that are relevant to your professional responsibilities and growth?

2. Does on-the-job learning related to major changes in job responsibilities, involvement in special projects, significant learning of new software, systems, procedures or techniques, qualify as CPD?

The activity must help you develop and maintain professional competency to enable you to perform your professional role. The activities qualify for verifiable CPD subject to supporting documentation being available to verify the learning activity.

3. What qualifies as technical reading and self-study?

The following are examples of items which qualify for technical reading:
•    Professional magazine articles relating to accounting, taxation, finance, management or other technical subjects
•    Newspaper articles relating to your current and/or future field or industry
•    Self-study of published materials
•    Self-study courses