Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here you will find a list of the most common questions (and answers) associated with CPD.

Are there any mandatory courses?

The CPD program does not mandate areas of study, other than four hours of professional ethics every three year rolling cycle.  Note however that you must meet the professional competence requirement of Rule 203 of the CPA New Brunswick Code of Professional Conduct. You should choose learning opportunities that are relevant to your professional role. 

Take an inventory of your skills and consider whether you allocate sufficient time to building or refreshing the various skills and competencies needed to do your job well. Qualifying CPD is not limited to accounting, assurance, tax or other technical areas. Consider, for example, whether you have the range of soft skills (leadership, communication, etc.) and sufficient knowledge about your particular industry.

Selection of learning activities should be a thoughtful, reflective process addressing your current and future professional plans, current knowledge and skill level, and desired or needed additional competence to meet future opportunities and/or professional responsibilities.

How do I know whether a course offered by a third party will qualify for verifiable CPD credit?

Provincial bodies do not accredit course providers.  As long as the course allows you to develop and maintain professional competency to enable you to continue to perform your professional role, it will qualify for CPD. Any learning and development that is relevant and appropriate to your work and professional responsibilities and growth will qualify for CPD.

What type of support do I need for verifiable CPD?

Verifiable CPD should be supported by certificates of completion, confirmation of registration, attendance records, or such other evidence that can objectively verify completion of the learning activity.

At a minimum, supporting documentation should:

  • Describe the learning activity;
  • Identify the provider of the activity, if 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.

Although supporting documentation need not be submitted with the annual CPD declaration, it should be retained, as a sample of members are requested to provide further documentation for CPD Audit each year.

Please check the CPD Audit Summary (Appendix A) Documentation requirements within the CPD Policy.

How long do I need to keep my CPD records?

You are required to maintain documentation supporting the completion of your Verifiable CPD learning activities for five years after each reporting year. For example, for 2015 CPD, you are required to retain CPD documentation until December 31, 2020 for all learning activities undertaken in 2015.

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 to develop and maintain professional competency to enable you to continue to perform your professional role. Hours related to the above activities may qualify for CPD, and for Verifiable CPD subject to supporting documentation being available to verify the learning activity. Please check the CPD Audit Summary (Appendix A) Documentation requirements within the CPD Policy.

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

I no longer perform traditional accounting work. Do I still need to do CPD?

Yes.  “Professional role” is defined in the broadest sense. You should engage in learning activities that are relevant to your current or future professional roles. Those learning activities do not necessarily have to include accounting, tax or assurance courses.  Take an inventory of your current skills and competencies and consider whether you allocate sufficient time to building or refreshing the various skills and competencies you need to do your job well.  Consider whether you have the range of enabling skills (leadership, communication, etc.) and sufficient knowledge in your particular industry.  The time you spend acquiring these skills and industry knowledge all count towards your CPD requirements.

Selection of learning activities should be a thoughtful, reflective process addressing your current and future professional plans, current knowledge and skill level, and desired or needed additional competence to meet future opportunities and/or professional responsibilities.

What does not qualify?

CPD activities are expected to develop and maintain professional competence to enable you to continue to perform your professional role. Any learning and development that is relevant and appropriate to your work and professional responsibilities and growth as a CPA will qualify for CPD.

What may not qualify is difficult to generalize, as relevance may be a question of perspective and therefore needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Based on these criteria, examples of activities that would not qualify for CPD include:

  • Coaching sports teams
  • Acquiring new skills that are not directly related to your professional role, such as sports and skills relating to physical fitness, recreation and hobbies. It is acknowledged that these skills may be an important part of your life and your “balance,” however they do not count towards CPD.

I am a member of another provincial CPA body in Canada. Are all the CPD requirements identical now?

All provincial bodies in Canada have adopted international CPD standards and for the most part have harmonized CPD requirements and administration.  However, certain differences may remain at a more detailed level, sometimes due to differing legislation.   If you are a member of more than one provincial CPA body, please contact the other bodies to ensure that you meet all CPD requirements. .

Can I carry forward my verifiable CPD hours?

Members will be permitted to carry over a maximum of 40 verifiable CPD hours in excess of the minimum requirement in one year to the next.  The 40 hours can only be carried forward to the next succeeding year. A carry over will only be permitted once in a three-year rolling period. 

Examples of how the carry forward would work are provided in the Completion Requirements section of the CPD Policy

What happens if I do not comply with the CPD requirements?

Under CPA New Brunswick By-Laws and Regulations, non-compliance with CPD requirements leads to suspension of membership. This is necessary to ensure that we maintain public trust and uphold the reputation of the CPA designation. Having said that, there are a variety of CPD exemptions available – please check our website for a description of exemptions.

Further, if you believe you have a valid reason for not complying with the CPD requirements, you should submit a written request to CPA New Brunswick to consider your circumstances. 

I became a new member part-way through the calendar year, when do I start taking CPD?

New members joining the provincial body through a Canadian certification program will be required to complete full CPD requirements in the year of admission to membership. However, new members will be permitted to report learning activities that occurred within the reporting year, prior to registration as a member, including PEP modules.

Are there any limitations on learning activities that qualify for CPD?

No, there are no formal limits or maximums on learning activities. It is up to the member to determine the learning activities that best suit their professional role. However, the expectation is that the member take a balanced approach towards CPD, and therefore not generally derive all CPD hours from the same source or the same topic.

Do I have Ethics requirements?

Yes. Effective January 1st, 2017, members are required to take 4 hours of verifiable professional ethics each 3 year rolling cycle, unless you are exempt from CPD requirements.

Do I need to take a specific CPA PD Ethics course, or can I fulfill this requirement through other sources?

Just like all verifiable learning activities, the 4 hour ethics requirement can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, including coursework, whether through a CPA body or other sources, and other relevant learning activities including verifiable structured ethics training in the workplace. The 4 hours can be accumulated from a variety of sources; it does not have to come from one single program.

Why does CPA have a mandatory ethics requirement?

A CPD ethics requirement encourages members to uphold the CPA New Brunswick Code of Professional Conduct and continuously evaluate their professional ethics. 

One way to help is through CPD whereby we can discuss with professional colleagues the challenges, complexities, and risks faced with ethical decision-making.