National examinations

The CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) includes four individual and one team-based evaluations. All areas covered by the CPA Competency Map, which sets out the knowledge, skills, and proficiency levels expected of candidates at qualification, are evaluated. Note that the national examinations must be written in locations determined by the Order.

Module examinations [+]
Allowable and prohibited items [+]
Module examination deferrals [+]
Retest policy [+]
Appeals of examination results [+]
Special accommodations [+]


Module examinations

Core and elective modules

Each core and elective module of the national program ends with an individual examination. These examinations include objective format questions and short cases. To pass, you must achieve “Competency”, as determined by the board of examiners, on the module-end examination. Note that passing the examination is generally a prerequisite for moving on to the next module.

See the examples made available to you [+]
Learn more about the prerequisites for each module [+]
Consult the 2015 Module and examination calendar [+]

Capstone modules

The Capstone 1 examination will be completed in a team throughout the eight weeks of the module. The team will be required to write a three-part report to a board of directors and, at the end of the module, deliver an oral presentation before a board of examiners composed of CPAs. To pass this module, you must attain an acceptable level in these three components:

• Individual contribution to teamwork
• Preparation of the group report 
• Oral Presentation

See the examples made available to you [+]
Consult the 2015 Module and examination calendar [+]

Capstone 2 does not have an examination. Once the module is completed, you can challenge the Common Final Examination (CFE).

Consult the Final examination section [+]

Allowable and prohibited items

You will be permitted to bring to the national examinations only the items authorized by CPA Canada. Unless otherwise indicated, they must be placed in a clear plastic bag on your desk, in clear view of the writing centre presiding officer and invigilator.

See the list of allowable and prohibited items [+]

Module examination deferrals

Once you have completed the module assignments and completed the workshop in the core and elective modules, you can defer writing the module-end examination. However, you must attempt the next examination offering, otherwise you will receive a “Fail” for this module and an attempt will be charged.

Deferral requests should be submitted to the Order in writing at examens@cpaquebec.ca within three business days after the exam.

Retest policy

You have three attempts to pass each examination. If you received a “Fail,” read the scenarios below to find out what steps to take depending on your situation. If you fail the summative examination, you will receive feedback on performance (through a results report) adapted to the nature of each examination.

Consult the regulations and procedures to learn more about the CPA harmonized education policies, which include a collection of policy directives for the examinations in addition to the governing regulations and procedures.

What if you fail?

Core or elective modules

Failed 1st attempt

  • Program: You do not have to retake the core or elective module (it is recommended, but not required).
  • Examination: You must write a scheduled examination.

Failed 2nd attempt

  • Program: You must retake the core or elective module.
  • Examination: You must write a scheduled module examination.

Failed 3rd attempt

  • You are expelled from the CPA program, and you may not re-enrol in any module unless you submit your file for review and are granted re-entry into the program.

Capstone 1

Failed 1st attempt

  • You must retake Capstone 1 since you will have to use the Capstone 1 case during Day 1 of the CFE.

Failed 2nd attempt

  • You must retake Capstone 1 since you will have to use the Capstone 1 case during Day 1 of the CFE.

Failed 3rd attempt

  • You are expelled from the CPA program, and you may not re-enrol in any module unless you submit your file for review and are granted re-entry into the program.

Appeals of examination results

For a fee, you may submit an appeal of examination results for which the overall assessment is “Fail”. The Review request - Examination results form must be sent to the Order at examens@cpaquebec.ca within three business days of the release of the examination results. Note that you cannot apply for a partial review of your examination results.

If you undertake this process, it is possible that the appeals results will not be available before the next module begins. In this event and where one module is a prerequisite for a subsequent module, you may choose to enrol in and begin the next module. However, if the appeal is unsuccessful, you must leave the module.

Special accommodations

Candidates who have documented disabilities (physical, mental, or learning impairments) can request test accommodations for all the examinations of the Order. For more information [+]

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