Start of practical experience
You must declare the start of your period of practical experience to the Order so that the months you will work can be recognized as practical experience in your file.
Before beginning the authorization step, you must:
- register with the Order;
- hold a qualifying position;
- be mentored by a CPA and supervised throughout your employment.
Important: The practical experience start date recognized by the Order cannot be more than 30 days earlier than the date your complete file is received.
Practical experience completed before the registration with the Order
If you have begun a period of practical experience before registering with the Order, you must report it on a separate form when you submit your registration. Therefore, it is recommended that you keep a detailed job description of the position to facilitate the authorization.
The practical experience months completed will be authorized retroactively based on the following rule:
Things to remember:
- You must have accumulated at least 30 university credits for the period of practical experience to qualify.
- A maximum of 8 months of practical experience completed before the registration with the Order may be recognized. You must complete the form Declaration of practical experience completed prior to registration with the Order [PDF].
- You must report your experience in your first practical experience report.
Prepare a request
Discuss with your CPA mentor to identify together the CPA competencies you can acquire and to evaluate the level of proficiency that can be achieved. In this regard, refer to the guide on proficiency levels [PDF] for more information and for tasks example by competency. The Order expects that some of your tasks will be at level 0 at the beginning of your practical experience and that you will progress to more complex tasks of level 2 until the end of the 24-month period.
To submit a request, you must:
- complete the form Declaration of start of practical experience [PDF];
- attach a detailed description of the position and organization1, printed on the employer’s letterhead, including:
- the proportion of time (percentage) per week spent on each group of tasks;
- the date of hire;
- the educational requirements for the position;
- the signature of the CPA mentor;
- the signature of the line supervisor.
Please note that the Order reserves the right to request additional information or verify the information submitted.
1 Under the pre-approved path, you are not required to submit a job description, since your employer has taken the steps to obtain authorization from the Order beforehand. However, your Declaration of start of practical experience Form must be signed and approved by the authorized CPA training principal.
Review of the request
The period of practical experience will be reviewed to determine whether it will enable you, at the end of the 24 months, to develop a sufficient level of proficiency in all the CPA competencies. You will then receive an email confirming the status of your request.
Three decisions are possible. Your period of practical experience may be:
- Authorized for the entire 24-month period.
- Authorized for a limited time. Use this period to progress in your work and increase your level of autonomy and the complexity of your assignments. The Order team will provide guidance to ensure you progress in your position. At the end of the authorized period of practical experience, you can submit an up-to-date job description to have your file re-assessed, or find another position to finalize the development of the CPA competencies.
- Rejected. This decision is very rare. However, if you find yourself in this situation, you must submit a new authorization request for another position.
Once the period of practical experience is authorized, you can access your practical experience log and begin documenting the information required to prepare your first practical experience report.