Varied Registration Model: Potential Impact on CPA Candidates


As of October 1 of this year, CPA Alberta moved to a new method of registering all Professional Accounting Firms (PAFs). This change may have an impact on current CPA candidates who are seeking to obtain practice rights in the future.

In addition to the CPA Practical Experience Requirements required for certification, CPA candidates must meet specific criteria to obtain practice rights when they become members. As well, the new Varied Registration Model includes requirements for Alberta CPAs that are seeking to register a PAF, become a partner in an existing firm, or have responsibility for an entire accounting engagement in a specified area of practice.

This communication will outline how those seeking practice rights in the future can meet the duration and hours portions of the experience requirements under the new Varied Registration Model.


The Varied Registration Model:

Effective October 1, 2017, all Professional Accounting Firms (PAFs) are registered with CPA Alberta through the new Varied Registration Model. With the Varied Registration Model, PAFs are registered based on an “approvals” basis: the areas of service a firm provides.

The Varied Registration Model contains four categories. A PAF is registered in one or more of the following categories depending on the training, qualifications, and experience of the CPA members of the PAF.

  1. Audit
  2. Review
  3. Compilation
  4. Other regulated services (including public accounting practice services)

Each of these categories has education, experience and examination requirements established that must be met by a CPA member in order to be eligible to supply the service; this document focuses specifically on the experience requirements. Click here for full details on all requirements and more information on the Varied Registration Model.

Options for meeting the experience requirements under the Varied Registration Model

A CPA candidate who wants to have practice rights in the future will need to meet the requirements detailed below to engage in that area of service. The requirements are dependent on two factors. The first is the date that the CPA member is seeking practice rights. Practice rights are when a CPA member is seeking to:

  • register a PAF;
  • become a partner in a PAF; or,
  • have responsibility for an entire accounting engagement in a specified area of practice on behalf of a PAF.

The second determinant is the path in which the CPA member completed their practical experience: either via the Pre-approved Program Route (PPR) or the Experience Verification Route (EVR).

The following diagrams by practice area provide details of requirements.


Note: CPA members must also demonstrate depth in audit and assurance and core in financial reporting (pursuant to the Practical Experience Requirements) to be granted practice rights in audit.

Note: CPA members must also obtain a core in financial reporting and experience in at least two competency sub-areas, both at Level 2, from the audit and assurance competency area (pursuant to the Practical Experience Requirements) to be granted practice rights in review.

The requirements for CPA members seeking to practice in the areas of compilation and other regulated services of the Varied Registration Model are not reliant on the December 31, 2018 date. As a reminder, those requirements are:

Next Steps

If you have a CPA candidate in the Experience Verification Route, and you wish to explore becoming a PPR in order to streamline your candidate’s experience, please contact ppr@cpaalberta.ca.

For questions relating to the Varied Registration Model, please contact paf@cpaalberta.ca.

Share this page  
Still have questions?
Attend a CPA Info Session