Continuing Professional Development Policy

Update: Effective October 11th, 2017, every Active Member shall file his/her report online through mycpawebservices.ca with respect to the Member’s CPD activities during the previous calendar year on or before January 31st of every year.

Non-compliance with the CPD requirements will result in a late penalty fee of $100.00.

Description: Updated; 2nd Release

Originated: CPA New Brunswick 

Reviewed: CPA New Brunswick Staff  

Approved: October 11th, 2017*

To download a copy of the Continuing Professional Development policy, please click HERE. To download a copy of Appendix A, please click HERE.

 

*Update: Effective October 11th, 2017, every Active Member shall file his/her report online through mycpawebservices.ca with respect to the Member’s CPD activities during the previous calendar year on or before January 31st of every year. Each Member shall be responsible for identifying the CPD hours that were completed and enter them with CPA New Brunswick.

*Non-compliance with the CPD requirements will result in a late penalty fee of $100.00.

 

CPA New Brunswick’s Continuing Professional Development requirements are closely aligned with the nationally recommended requirements of CPA Canada and the internationally accepted best practices of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

For the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) reporting, Members are categorized as either “Active” or “Inactive” members.

CATEGORY OF MEMBERS

Active Member

An Active Member with CPA New Brunswick is a Member who is actively employed or self-employed and earns income related to the provision of services that use the skills, knowledge, experience or competencies gained through a Member’s professional training, education or experience as a CPA.

Members will also be considered Active if they serve on a Board or Audit committee (or the equivalent) of:

  • A public company or reporting issuer or other “public interest entity” such as, but not limited to, large charities, foundations, hospitals, health authorities, and publicly funded educational institutions or social service agencies where the financial statements are expected to be widely used by various stakeholders (public, CRA, government, etc.); or
  • Any other organization where they are remunerated in excess of $5,000 per year for their service.

Active Members are required to adhere to all CPD requirements as mentioned in the completion requirements’ section below.

Inactive Member

Inactive Members shall be those persons who are unable to maintain an Active or Active Associate membership due to temporary personal circumstances.  Inactive Members are Members who are no longer involved in any activity (paid or unpaid) where it is reasonable to believe that another party may be relying on the skills, knowledge, experience or competencies gained through the

Member’s professional training, education, development or experience.

It is reasonable to believe that another party may be relying on a Member’s skills, knowledge, experience, or competence where:

Level I Risk:

  • The Member is remunerated, directly or indirectly, for their service irrespective of whether they are involved in accounting fields or other professional areas; or
  • The Member serves on the board or similar governing body, or an audit, finance or similar governance committee of a public company, reporting issuer as contemplated by Rule 204 of the CPA New Brunswick Code of Professional Conduct, or of a large or prominent organization such as, but not limited to, large or prominent charities, foundations, associations, hospitals, health authorities, publicly funded educational institutions and social service agencies; or
  • The Member works in the practice of public accounting or other regulated services.

Furthermore, where a Member does not perform any of the roles outlined above in Level I Risk, it is still reasonable to believe that another party may be relying on a Member’s skills, knowledge, experience or competence where:

Level II Risk:

  • The Member is filling a volunteer role which involves signing financial statements, information returns or other government filings, grant applications or similar documents for an organization; or
  • The Member volunteers on a finance, audit or similar governance committee of an organization; or
  • The Member volunteers as the Chair of the governing body of an organization; or
  • The Member is looked to for financial guidance from other members of the organization, such that the member may be held to a higher level of accountability by the organization and its stakeholders if something went wrong financially.

Permanently Inactive Members

Members who are considered permanently Inactive are those who have no intention of returning to the Active status.  Examples of Permanently Inactive Members include Members who:

  • Are Retired;
  • Are Infirm, in cases where a member is permanently withdrawn from employment and other professional activity due to a long-term critical, terminal or chronic medical condition; and
  • Have other special circumstances.

Retired Members shall be former Active or Active Associate Members who wish to maintain their CPA designation but are no longer working.   Any application to be considered as a Retired Member shall be submitted to the Registrar for approval based on supporting documentation and must be renewed annually for the first five years of retirement.

Temporarily Inactive Members

Members who are considered temporarily Inactive are those who have a reasonable expectation of returning to the Active status at some point in the future. Examples of Temporarily Inactive Members include Members who:

  • Are on Maternity/Paternity leave;
  • Are caring for a child or children;
  • Are caring for a family member with a critical, terminal or chronic medical condition;
  • Have a Personal medical illness or condition (needs to be evidenced by a medical certificate or other supporting documentation), for a continuous period not to exceed 5 years; and
  • Have other Special circumstances.

Any application to become an Inactive Member shall be submitted to the Registrar for approval based on supporting documentation and must be renewed annually.

EXEMPTIONS/REDUCTIONS OF CPD REQUIREMENTS

a)    Permanently Inactive Members are exempt from CPD requirements and are exempt from reporting CPD.

b)    Temporarily inactive members are granted on a yearly basis a temporary exemption from CPD requirements as appropriate for their circumstances. Temporarily Inactive Members who remain Inactive for a period greater than 5 years are deemed to return to the Active status for at least one year and accordingly must complete at least the annual CPD requirements for one year (20 hours, of which at least 10 hours must be Verifiable).

c)    Members who are otherwise Inactive but serve in a capacity listed under Level I Risk, must comply with CPD requirements.  (See Appendix A)

d)    Members who are otherwise Inactive and are not involved in any Level 1 Risk activities but  are involved in Level II Risk activities, are granted a reduction in CPD requirements of ½ of the annual and 3 year requirements (other than the professional ethics requirement where no reduction is granted). Accordingly, the minimum requirements are 10 hours annually, of which at least 5 hours must be Verifiable; and 60 hours every 3 year rolling cycle, of which at least 30 hours must be Verifiable, including at least 4 hours of professional ethics.

e)    Unemployed members seeking employment are not Inactive Members and therefore must comply with the CPD requirements.

Please review the CPD criteria model in Appendix A to determine if you are an Active Member or an Inactive Member.

COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS

CPD is learning that develops and maintains professional competence to enable members to continue to perform their professional roles.

Any learning and development that is relevant and appropriate to a member’s work and professional responsibilities and growth as a CPA will qualify for CPD.

CPD includes Verifiable and Unverifiable learning activities.

REQUIREMENTS

Every CPA Active Member shall complete a minimum of 120 hours of CPD every three year rolling period including a minimum of 20 hours annually.   

At least half of the minimum required hours must be represented by verifiable CPD hours (60 hours of CPD every rolling three year period and 10 hours of CPD hours annually).

In addition to this, effective January 1st, 2017, Members, unless otherwise exempt, must complete a minimum of four hours of verifiable CPD in professional ethics in each three year rolling cycle. Please note that there are no requirements for years prior to that date.  

Furthermore this three year rolling period is independent of your current rolling period.  For example, if you became a member in 2015 your 3 year rolling cycle to complete your 120 hours of CPD is January 2015 to December 31, 2018.  However, your rolling cycle to complete the 4 hours of Ethics will be January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020.

CPD hours may not be carried over from one period to the next to cover the minimum requirement hours.  

An Active Member could be eligible for CPD hours reduction under special circumstances. See the CPD criteria model in the Appendix A for more details.

VERIFIABLE VERSUS UNVERIFIABLE HOURS

For the purpose of qualifying CPD hours the learning activities must offer significant intellectual or practical content that provides a Member the opportunity to develop new or existing competencies in areas that are relevant to a Member’s professional responsibilities and growth. Learning activities that result in evidence that the learning activity was undertaken are considered to be “Verifiable”. Examples of these are listed below. Any uncertainty should be discussed with CPA New Brunswick. “Unverifiable” learning activities do not result in evidence that the learning activity was undertaken.

Appropriate learning activities are circumstance-specific and each Member requires different professional competencies. Therefore, the choice of relevant learning activities must be considered in the context of each Member’s own professional responsibilities. According to Section “Fundamental Principles Governing Conduct – Professional Competence” of the CPA New Brunswick Code of Professional Conduct “Chartered Professional Accountants maintain their professional skills and competence by keeping informed of, and complying with, developments in their area of professional service.”

VERIFIABLE CPD HOURS

Verifiable CPD refers to learning activities that can be verified objectively.  Examples of Verifiable CPD hours include:

  • Volunteer and community leadership contributing to professional competency;
  • Participation in professional courses, conferences, and seminars;
  • Self-directed learning to prepare for an exam without a structured study program, and passing the exam;
  • On-the-job training; major change in job responsibilities, major involvement in special projects, significant learning of new software, systems, and procedures;
  • Developing or delivering a course or CPD session, whenever there is a new or refreshed learning experience;
  • Formal study of courses leading to a degree, certificate, or diploma;
  • Participation as a speaker in conferences, briefing sessions, or discussion groups;
  • Writing articles, papers, or books of a technical, professional, or academic nature;
  • Professional re-examination or formal testing; or
  • Providing or receiving professional development support as a facilitator, mentor, or coach.

UNVERIFIABLE CPD HOURS

Unverifiable CPD refers to learning activities that cannot be verified objectively.  Examples of Unverifiable CPD hours are:

  • Technical reading, self-study of published materials, self-study courses; or
  • Research, including reading professional literature or journals, for application in the
    professional accountant’s role.

ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE

  • Volunteer or pro-bono work may only qualify as verifiable or unverifiable CPD to the extent it meets the above definitions.
  • Members are advised to maintain a file of their CPD activities and are required to provide, on request, documentation supporting the CPD reported for a period of 5 years.

Following are the categories and limits when reporting CPD hours online.

 

NEW MEMBERS

New members joining the provincial body through a Canadian certification program will be granted an exemption from CPD requirements for the calendar year in which they join as a member, provided they have completed their period of study in the same year, or the immediately preceding year, of admission to membership.  Effective on January 1 for the calendar year following admission to membership the annual and three year rolling CPD requirements will commence.  

TRANSFER MEMBERS

A new Member joining CPA New Brunswick, shall complete the minimum of 120 hours of CPD every three-year rolling period including the minimum of 20 hours annually. However, all CPD hours completed during the three year rolling period and prior to the transfer from another province could be considered by CPA New Brunswick.  Supporting documentation of the CPD hours completed will need to be provided.

EXEMPTION FROM REQUIREMENTS

An application for exemption from CPD requirements by Temporarily Inactive Members must be completed in writing and such application must be approved by CPA New Brunswick. Upon change of status, such that a member no longer qualifies for exemption, the Member must resume reporting immediately.

It is important to note that Members who are Inactive are also governed by the concept of reliance on CPA skills. Where such reliance exists (see Level I Risk and Level II Risk in Category of Members section above) during the period of leave, a Member who might otherwise be exempt would no longer be eligible for exemption from minimum CPD requirements.  

CPD exemptions are established as separate and distinct from fee waivers.

MEMBERS RETURNING TO THE WORKFORCE

Members who return to the workforce after claiming an exemption from minimum CPD requirements for more than one year for any reason must prepare and submit for approval to CPA New Brunswick, and execute in a timely manner a plan which will develop the current competencies necessary to support the Member’s reintegration into the workforce.

COMPLIANCE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

On or before January 31st of every year, every Active Member shall file his/her report online through mycpawebservices.ca with respect to the Member’s CPD activities during the previous calendar year. Each Member shall be responsible for identifying the CPD hours that were completed and enter them with CPA New Brunswick.

Every Active Member shall retain documentation to support the verifiable learning activities that were reported on the Member’s detailed compliance report made either electronically or in paper form for at least 5 years from date of reporting.

Verifiable CPD documentation should:

  • Describe the learning activity;
  • Identify the provider of the activity, where applicable;
  • Connect the member to the activity;
  • Identify when the activity took place; and
  • Provide a basis for concluding that the number of reported hours is reasonable.

Such documentation shall be retained for five years after the completion of any particular year and may include certificates of completion, transcripts, evidence of attendance at conferences and seminars, published work, presentations, reports or other such documentation or evidence of completion as may be available.

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH CPD REQUIREMENTS

In the event of non-compliance, the following steps will be followed:

  • A notice of non-compliance will be sent advising the Member that should they remain non-compliant, they will be suspended.  Furthermore it would indicate the timing of suspension and the ramifications of such suspension. The deficiency may be reported by the Registrar to the Complaints Committee as a complaint (see By-Law 23.02).  The notice will also advise the Member of the deadline to become compliant.

  • In the event that the person who received the notice of non-compliance fails to provide the required compliance report within two months after the date of notice as mentioned in the section above, a suspension letter will be sent to the Member, which describes the ramifications of being suspended and what needs to be done to be reinstated. The Member shall be suspended from membership. The suspended Member may be returned to membership in good standing by filing the required compliance report accompanied by the required reinstatement fees (see By-Law 23.04).

Non-compliance with the CPD requirements will result in a late penalty fee of $100.00.