CPD Policy

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Policy

The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada has implemented the policy of Continued Professional Development for its members and will be in effect starting January 01, 2020. The objective is to maintain the professional competence and to enhance RPAs ability to perform job related requirements.

  1. All members with RPA designation are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and submit a minimum of 20 hours of continued professional education each and every year. Two credit hours must be of Ethics. All members must fulfill this requirement on or before December 31 every year. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the suspension of membership and use of RPA designation. 
  2. If a member failed to comply with CPD requirement, The SPAC will inform the member about suspension of membership. Such member must complete and submit continuing professional education of 30 credit hours within a grace period. 
  3. Grace period is 60 days from the date of suspension of membership.
  4. If a member failed to comply with point 2 & 3 above, membership will be cancelled immediately. Such member will be required to rewrite exam and pass all papers of MPE to use RPA and APA designations.

The SPAC’s Handbook of Code of Ethics is an excellent framework for determining the ethics topics that are acceptable. The focus of ethics topics should include ethical considerations in the area of decision support, planning & control for accounting. The SPAC encourages members to use education sources that address specific scenarios such as manipulation of corporate resources for personal benefits, frauds in financial reporting and disclosure of confidential financial information. Credits for hours of study will be given for programs sponsored by the SPAC, its affiliates, businesses, employers, recognized third party content providers, educational institutions and other accounting organizations. Credits will also be given for home study courses, speeches, publication of technical articles and by examination.

Reporting period

CPD reporting period for all RPAs is Calendar Year (January 01 – December 31). If the required CPD hours are not completed, the RPA becomes delinquent and inactive. His membership may also be suspended.

First reporting period for new RPAs

Reporting period for a new RPA will begin on January 01 following the date of earning RPA title. However, if the new member has passed MPE and still need to submit accounting related work experience, reporting period begins on January 01 following successful completion of MPE. No CPD is required between the period of successful completion and following January 01. Any CPD credits earned during this period can be counted as being earned in the first reporting period subject to CPD credits carry forward limits.

 

CPD credits carry forward

When a certified member completes more than 20 credit hours in a given year, up to five credit hours may be carried forward to the next year, i.e., if 24 hours are completed, 4 may be carried forward; if 28 hours are completed, 5 may be carried forward; if 30 hours are completed, 5 may be carried forward.

Subject Area

The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada will recognize and accept CPD related to following fields of study:

  1. Accounting
  2. Auditing
  3. Business Law
  4. Taxation
  5. Economics
  6. Management
  7. Information Technology
  8. Ethics
  9. Finance
  10. Data Analytics
  11. Marketing
  12. Organizational Behaviour

CPD Credits measurement guidelines

Activity Credit hours Acceptable Document
College or University courses (10 weeks or longer) 15 hours Course assignments and exam result
Short courses 1 hour for each 50 minutes session Course assignments and exam result
Non-credit courses 1 hour for each 50 minutes session Certificate of completion
Professional and Trade Association meetings 1 hour for each 50 minutes session Confirmation of participation
Seminars 1 hour for each 50 minutes session Confirmation of participation
Professional designation Examination 10 hours for each part passed Exam result
Third party contents As approved by the SPAC
Participation on a board or Committee 1 hour for each hour of participation (to a maximum 3 hours) Meeting agenda and letter from organization confirming your role.
Periodicals Hours recommended by sponsoring organization Proof of completion
Computer software packages Exams Hours recommended by sponsoring organization Proof of completion
Technical articles or research papers containing accounting and financial management material
  • Case by case.
  • If published, up to maximum 6 hours.
  • If unpublished, one half of credits for published.
  • No further credit if published at later date.
  • Copy of article or research paper.
  • Proof of publication.
Books
  • Case by case.
  • Up to maximum 18 hours.
  • Copy of book
Service as college teacher
  • Case by case.
  • Up to maximum 16 hours once in 3 years unless material or text book has changed substantially. *
  • Copy of course material.
  • A log of delivery of lectures by date.
Volunteering None unless it includes a verifiable activity. CPD committee will determine considering nature of activity.
Networking None unless it includes a verifiable activity. CPD committee will determine considering nature of activity.
Self study material that does not involve exam None
On the job training None
Any other reading that does not involve exam None

* A teacher needs one hour to prepare lecture for three hours. On average for a 3-credit hours course, a teacher delivers 16 lectures in a semester. SPAC will recognize one hour of preparation equal to one credit hour of CPD.

Retired Status

Any SPAC member who is over 65 years of age and is retired from the profession of accounting / financial management is exempt from the CPD requirements.

CPD Waiver

Exemptions are available for members in special circumstances, such as:

  • Military Service.
  • Serious illness or disability.
  • Severe financial hardship.
  • Maternity, parental or family care leave.
  • Extreme natural disaster.

Exemptions are considered by CPD committee on case by case basis. The request should be sent to CPD Committee accompanied by appropriate documentation. Being too busy at work, changing job or temporary unemployment are not considered special circumstances and will not be entertained.

Resources

SPAC will provide following free and paid resources of CPDs:

  1. Seminars:  This will be paid source where attendees will pay a very nominal fee. Members can attend any seminar and submit certificate of attendance. SPAC reserve the right to verify certificate.
  2. Webinar:  This will be a free source where Professional Development Committee will arrange to broadcast a live talk with a guest. The guest speaker will be a subject specialist, industry leader, business personality, professor or a dignitary from business and finance community.
  3. Articles: SPAC will publish selected articles written by our members or accounting academics on its website. All member will get access to this library and can use this free source to fulfill CPD requirement. There will a set of questions a reader must answer and submit to SPAC. Passing score is 70%.
  4. Third Party courses: Members can buy third party CPD courses.  However, such courses should be approved or recognized by The SPAC. It is responsibility of the members to confirm with content provider if their courses are approved by the SPAC.
  5. Free training courses
  6. : The SPAC will arrange free training programs for one year as introductory duration for its members. We need to train our members for data analytics and professional practice rules and regulations.

Third Party Accredited Courses

SPAC will charge a very nominal fees to third party content providers for CPD approval valid for 3 years. All requests received will be forward to CPD Committee Chair to evaluate the course contents. 

Record keeping

Professional Development Committee:

  1. Develop and maintain a database of CPD record of all members.
  2. Be responsible to ensure that all members have complied with CPD requirement.
  3. Send a CPD reminder to all members at least 60 days before the date of AGM.
  4. Send list of non-compliant members to Registrar/Secretary to suspend membership.

 

CPD Credits measurement guidelines

Activity Credit hours Acceptable Document
College or University courses (10 weeks or longer) 15 hours Course assignments and exam result
Short courses 1 hour for each 50 minutes session Course assignments and exam result
Non-credit courses 1 hour for each 50 minutes session Certificate of completion
Professional and Trade Association meetings 1 hour for each 50 minutes session Confirmation of participation
Seminars 1 hour for each 50 minutes session Confirmation of participation
Professional designation Examination 10 hours for each part passed Exam result
Third party contents As approved by the SPAC
Participation on a board or Committee 1 hour for each hour of participation (to a maximum 3 hours) Meeting agenda and letter from the organization confirming your role.
Periodicals Hours recommended by sponsoring organization Proof of completion
Computer software packages Exams Hours recommended by sponsoring organization Proof of completion
Technical articles or research papers containing accounting and financial management material
  • Case by case.
  • If published, up to a maximum 6 hours.
  • If unpublished, one half of credits for published.
  • No further credit if published at later date.
  • Copy of article or research paper.
  • Proof of publication.
Books
  • Case by case.
  • Up to maximum 18 hours.
  • Copy of book
Service as college teacher
  • Case by case.
  • Up to maximum 16 hours once in 3 years unless material or text book has changed substantially. *
  • Copy of course material.
  • A log of delivery of lectures by date.
Volunteering None unless it includes a verifiable activity. CPD committee will determine considering nature of activity.
Networking None unless it includes a verifiable activity. CPD committee will determine considering nature of activity.
Self study material that does not involve exam None
On the job training None
Any other reading that does not involve exam None

* A teacher needs one hour to prepare lecture for three hours. On average for a 3-credit hours course, a teacher delivers 16 lectures in a semester. SPAC will recognize one hour of preparation equal to one credit hour of CPD.

Retired Status

Any SPAC member who is over 65 years of age and is retired from the profession of accounting / financial management is exempt from the CPD requirements.

CPD Waiver

Exemptions are available for members in special circumstances, such as:

  • Military Service.
  • Serious illness or disability.
  • Severe financial hardship.
  • Maternity, parental or family care leave.
  • Extreme natural disaster.

Exemptions are considered by CPD committee on case by case basis. The request should be sent to CPD Committee accompanied by appropriate documentation. Being too busy at work, changing job or temporary unemployment are not considered special circumstances and will not be entertained.

Resources

SPAC will provide following free and paid resources of CPDs:

  1. Seminars:  This will be paid source where attendees will pay a very nominal fee. Members can attend any seminar and submit certificate of attendance. SPAC reserve the right to verify certificate.
  2. Webinar:  This will be a free source where Professional Development Committee will arrange to broadcast a live talk with a guest. The guest speaker will be a subject specialist, industry leader, business personality, professor or a dignitary from business and finance community.
  3. Articles: SPAC will publish selected articles written by our members or accounting academics on its website. All member will get access to this library and can use this free source to fulfill CPD requirement. There will a set of questions a reader must answer and submit to SPAC. Passing score is 70%.
  4. Third Party courses: Members can buy third party CPD courses.  However, such courses should be approved or recognized by The SPAC. It is responsibility of the members to confirm with content provider if their courses are approved by the SPAC.
  5. Free training courses
  6. : The SPAC will arrange free training programs for one year as introductory duration for its members. We need to train our members for data analytics and professional practice rules and regulations.

Third Party Accredited Courses

SPAC will charge a very nominal fees to third party content providers for CPD approval valid for 3 years. All requests received will be forward to CPD Committee Chair to evaluate the course contents. 

Record keeping

Professional Development Committee:

  1. Develop and maintain a database of CPD record of all members.
  2. Be responsible to ensure that all members have complied with CPD requirement.
  3. Send a CPD reminder to all members at least 60 days before the date of AGM.
  4. Send list of non-compliant members to Registrar/Secretary to suspend membership.