CPD Policy

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)


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 professional competence and to enhance RPA’s 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 the CPD requirement, The SPAC will inform the member about the suspension of membership. Such members 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 points 2 & 3 above, membership will be canceled immediately. Such members will be required to rewrite the 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.

The first reporting period for new RPAs

The reporting period for a new RPA will begin on January 01 following the date of earning RPA designation. No CPD is required between the period of successful completion and the following January 01. Any CPD credits earned during this period can be counted as 50% as being earned in the first reporting period.

CPD credits carry forward

CPD hours cannot be carried forward from one year to the next year. CPD  hours are reported and counted for on a calendar year basis

Subject Area

The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada will recognize and accept CPD related to the 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) 10 hours Course assignments and exam results
Short courses other than RPA 1 hour for each 90 minutes session Course assignments or exam results
Non-credit courses 1 hour for each 90 minutes session Certificate of completion
Professional and Trade Association meetings 1 hour for each 90 minutes session Confirmation of participation
Seminars 1 hour for each 90 minutes session Confirmation of participation
Professional designation Examination 10 hours for successful completion Proof of  Completion
Third-party contents As approved by the SPAC
Participation on a board or Committee 1 hour for each Meeting  Meeting agenda and letter from the organization confirming your role.
Periodicals As approved by the SPAC Proof of completion
Related Computer software packages training 50% Hours recommended by the software company Proof of completion
Technical articles or research papers containing accounting and financial management material
  • Case by case.
  • If published, up to a maximum of 3 hours.
  • Copy of article or research paper.
  • Proof of publication.
Book Published (Related to the profession)
  • Case by case.
  • Up to a maximum of 15 hours.
  • Copy of book
Teaching in college/university
  • Case by case.
  • Up to a maximum of 12 hours 
  • Copy of course material.
  • A log of delivery of lectures by date.
Volunteering related to the profession Maximum 4 Hours Annually CPD Committee will determine considering the nature of the activity.
Networking None  N/A
Self study material that does not involve exam None N/A
On the job training None N/A
Any other reading that does not involve exam None N/A

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.
  • Extreme natural disaster.

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


The Society will provide the following free and paid resources of CPDs:

  1. Seminars:  This will be a paid source where attendees will pay a very nominal fee. Members can attend any seminar and submit the certificate of attendance. SPAC reserve the right to verify a 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 dignitary from the 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 the CPD requirement. There will a set of questions a reader must answer and submit to SPAC. The 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 Society. It is the responsibility of the members to confirm with content providers if their courses are approved by the Society
  5. Free training courses

Third-Party Accredited Courses

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

Other considerations

  1. The courses need to be taken during the current year. (Previous year won’t count in members report, CPD Credits can not be carried forward)
  2. Please Remember that from other institutions you can only obtain a maximum of 50% of the CPD hours and a maximum of 10 CPD credits per course, per year
  3.  You need a certificate of completion for the course that you want to be accredited by RPA.
  4. Volunteer work counts as verifiable hours and can be out 10 hours, however, you need to have at least 20 verifiable hours to be compliant on each year
  5.  There is a fee associated with accrediting credits from other institutions or volunteering CPD with the Society, RPA will not accredit the hours to any member until the fee has been paid.
  6. A member serving on RPA COMMITTEES will qualify to Volunteer CPD hours and only 50% of the meeting time and a maximum of 10 hours per year

Please note that the only courses with 100% recognition on CPD HOURS are the ones that are approved by RPA are the one hosted in WWW.RPALEARNING.CA