CPD Reporting

CPAs must continually enhance their knowledge and expertise to remain at the forefront of today’s competitive market.

CPA Alberta recognizes that all members must take relevant and appropriate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to develop and maintain their competence, in order to provide high quality service to their clients, employers or other stakeholders.

CPA Alberta follows the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) criteria for CPD, and is working towards harmonizing exemption and qualifying activities for verifiable and non-verifiable CPD with provincial CPA organizations across Canada.

To complete your CPD reporting by the March 1 deadline, log in to CPA Alberta.

Login to CPA Alberta

CPD Requirements

Requirements Hours
Annual Minimum 20 - 10 must be verifiable
3-Year Rolling Cycle Total 120 - 60 must be verifiable
  • Each member must complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPD annually of which 10 hours must be verifiable; and
  • Each member must complete 120 hours over a three-year rolling cycle (current year and prior two years), of which 60 hours must be verifiable.

Reporting Requirements

  • All members are required to make a CPD Declaration annually, regardless of any previously declared exemptions relating to Continuing Professional Development or membership fees.
  • CPD reporting period is based on the calendar year (Jan 1 - Dec 31).
  • Reporting will consist of Comply, Non-comply, or Exempt declaration.
  • A declaration will need to be made for both annual and three-year rolling total requirements.
  • Members are required to retain CPD records for no less than five years. CPA Alberta may request these records at any time.

Three-year Rolling Cycle

The three-year rolling cycle is comprised of the current reporting year and the prior two years in which you have not received an exemption.

If you received an exemption within the last three years, that year is excluded from your rolling total.

For example:

  • 2013 Comply (Year 1)
  • 2014 Comply (Year 2)
  • 2015 Exempt (Exclude)
  • 2016 Comply (Year 3)

In this case, you must include 2013 in your three-year rolling total as 2015 is excluded due to the exemption. Please note that if any CPD was taken during the exemption year it is eligible to be counted toward the three-year rolling total.

CPD Learning Activities

Learning activities allow for the development of new or existing competencies in areas that are relevant to a member’s overall professional responsibilities and growth. Every member requires different professional competencies; therefore, each member should determine whether the content of a learning activity contributes to his or her professional development. The following factors should be considered:

  • Is the learning activity quantifiable (expressed in terms of a specific time range)?
  • Is the learning activity directly related to the competencies needed to continue your employment or practice?
  • Is the learning activity relevant to your current professional needs and/or long-term career interests? 
  • Does the learning activity contain significant intellectual or practical content?

Verifiable and Unverifiable CPD

Verifiable learning activities refer to measurable learning activities that can be objectively verified. Examples of verification may include, but are not limited to, attendance records, presentations, publications, reports, tests or exams.

Examples of verifiable studies include:

  • Participating in, or acting as a lecturer, instructor or preparer for learning activities, symposiums, conferences, seminars, workshops, presentations, technical committees or discussion groups (only initial offering hours or instances where significant subject area changes have occurred can be recognized);
  • Research projects in areas that expand professional knowledge of the member and that result in presentations, reports or similar documents;
  • Organized employer-based in-house training sessions;
  • Formal study, including computer based or e-learning of courses leading to a designation, degree, certificate, or diploma, and e-learning from CPA Canada; and
  • Writing and publishing of professional, technical or academic articles, papers or books.

Unverifiable learning activities are those learning activities which do not result in a product or for which no other evidence of the learning exists.

Examples of unverifiable study include:

  • On-the-job learning related to a major change in job responsibilities, major involvement in special projects, and/or significant learning of new software, systems, procedures or techniques for application in a professional role;
  • Learning activities gained through volunteer and community leadership contributing to professional competencies;
  • Technical reading, self-study of published materials, self-study courses; and
  • Casual reading of professional journals or magazines.

Reporting Timelines

  • Members will have until March 1 of the following year to report CPD.
  • Failure to report CPD by March 2 will result in a penalty ($150).
  • Failure to report CPD and pay penalty within 30 days will result in the member being suspended (April 1).
  • Failure to report CPD and pay penalties within 60 days of suspension will result in membership being cancelled and ineligibility for continuing registration (May 31).

Exemption from CPD learning activity

A member will be eligible to make an annual exemption declaration if they meet one of the following:

  • Permanently withdrawn from gainful employment such that active earnings from all types of employment or business are nil and there is no reliance on accounting skills by a third party.
  • Significant health concerns (member or immediate family) with 15 weeks continuous leave from workforce
    • Maximum length of exemption under this category – 2 years
  • Maternity/Parental leave
    • Maximum length of exemption under this category – 1 year
    • Where leave spans over two reporting years, member may choose year in which exemption is to be granted
  • New graduate
    • Exemption granted until December 31 of the year of admission

CPD Audit / Monitoring

CPA Alberta will conduct a random audit of members' CPD reporting each year. The selection will be 2% of the reporting membership or 500 members, whichever is greater. Members may be 'manually' (individually) selected for an audit of their CPD learning activities. Manual selection may be directed by the Registration Committee, Practice Review Committee, Registrar, Professional Standards or other means.

Of those members randomly selected for audit of their CPD compliance:
  • 25% will be required to produce source documentation evidence of CPD.
  • 75% will be required to report on learning activity details.

Of those members manually selected for audit of their CPD compliance, 100% will be required to produce source documentation evidence of CPD. Members are required to retain CPD records for no less than five years. CPA Alberta may request such records at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Reporting Activities Exemption

For other questions relating to CPD Reporting please contact us at: CPDReporting@cpaalberta.ca

Share this page