Qualifying educational activities

Find out about the qualifying criteria and make sure you meet all the requirements by choosing providers who offerqualifying educational activities that match your interests.

Qualifying criteria

To qualify as compulsory continuing education, a training activity must:

  • be directly related to the areas in which you practice the CPA profession;
  • allow you to maintain, update, improve or enhance your skills and knowledge;
  • be relevant, measurable and verifiable.

In short, the activity must enable you to acquire knowledge to help you better practice the CPA profession. The impact of such knowledge acquisition must be observable and measurable.

Area-specific criteria

Public accountancy

To qualify under the specific regulation that applies to CPAs who hold a public accountancy permit, an activity must be related to one of the following subjects:

  • Canadian Quality Control Standards
  • Review engagements
  • Audit engagements
  • Compilation engagements
  • Financial statement presentation and analysis
  • Accounting Standards for the Public Sector 
  • Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises
  • Accounting Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • International Financial Reporting Standards
  • Topics related to fraud prevention and detection in financial statements, internal control, etc.
Professional ethics

The Order is the only organization that offers qualifying educational activities on rules of professional conduct, except for Rule 204 on independence. Training activities on the Code of ethics that are not offered by the Order (except for Rule 204 on independence) do not qualify. The Order will publish information on educational activities on the rules of professional conduct in 2019.

Members may complete professional ethics training activities offered by organizations outside the Order. However, these activities must meet the following qualifying criteria:

  • Exclusively cover one or more of the following topics:
    • identification of ethical dilemmas
    • ethical decision-making, particularly in situations involving conflicts of interest, fraud or corruption
    • ethical leadership
    • creation of an ethical corporate culture
    • whistleblowers
    • Rule 204 on independence (Code of ethics)
  • Address professional ethics issues in general.
  • Include specific examples and complex situations, and lead participants to reflect on professional ethics.
  • Allow members to update, improve or enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Be relevant, and have measurable and verifiable results.

Training activities on a company's code of ethics do not qualify.

Professional ethics training activities qualify under the Public Accountancy Regulation.

Integrated financial planning

Integrated financial planning consists in optimizing the financial situation of individuals based on financial, economic and legal constraints. To be recognized as integrated financial planning, the training activity must cover most of the following subjects:

  • Finance
  • Taxation
  • Legal issues
  • Retirement
  • Succession
  • Investments
  • Insurance

Specific criteria for certain professional activities

  • You can report up to 45 hours for a three-credit course, whether delivered to one or more groups per year, as well as preparation time if you are giving the course for the first time.
  • You can report only college and university level courses.
  • You cannot report examination marking.
  • If you are involved in the national program, a certain number of hours may be recognized.
Speaker and instructor
  • You can report up to 45 hours for a three-credit course. The same course can be recognized only once, no matter how many times it is given, unless it undergoes a major revision. When you give a course for the first time, the preparation time is recognized.
  • The same conference or training session cannot be recognized more than once in the same reference year, regardless of the number of times the course or training is given.
  • When you give a conference or training for the first time, the preparation time is recognized.
  • If you are involved in the national program, a certain number of hours may be recognized.
Author and researcher
  • You can report the actual time you spent on writing published articles or other works, or participating in research projects related to the profession.

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Qualifying educational activities

The Order’s continuing education activities program [PDF] recognizes two categories of activities: structured training activities and self-study activities.

IMPORTANT – Certain types of activities are subject to restrictions. Beyond set limits, continuing education hours completed will not be recognized.

Activities that are marked with the  icon do not qualify under the Regulation respecting compulsory continuing education for Quebec chartered professional accountants who hold a public accountancy permit.

Structured training activities

In general, structured training activities come with a list of specific learning objectives and take place in accordance with a pre-established training plan.

Activities subject to restrictions

Language classes  

To qualify, learning a language must be directly related to the professional activities engaged in. For example, a CPA with a large Mandarin-speaking clientele may be justified learning this language.

Hours recognized per year

Maximum of 14 hrs

Technical study groups, technical committees or discussion groups

Only the technical portion of discussions related to the profession qualify.

Hours recognized per year
Maximum of 25 hrs

Acting as lecturer, instructor, professor (college or university level)

The preparation time is recognized if the presentation is given for the first time. If the same presentation is given to multiple groups, it can be reported only once.

Hours recognized per year
Actual duration of activity (only once per year)

Office suite courses  

E.g. word processing and presentation software.

To qualify, a training activity on the use of software must be directly related to the practice of the CPA profession.

Hours recognized per year

Maximum of 14 hrs

Activities without restrictions

Activities organized by the Order, other professional orders or similar organizations

Hours recognized per year

Actual duration of the activity

Structured activities offered in the workplace

E.g.  receiving management coaching services

Hours recognized per year
Actual duration of the activity

E-learning activity

E.g. webinar (live web-based course) or webcast (repeat broadcast of a webinar, an in-class activity or any other recorded activity)

With knowledge assessment: A minimum grade of 60% is required for the hours to qualify. Training preparation time and studies leading to the examination are not recognized. 

Without knowledge assessment: You must demonstrate that you have followed the training activity by providing, for example, the link to the activity's website, a proof of connection, a certificate, etc.

Hours recognized per year
A reasonable estimate of the hours required to complete the activity and related assessment, as determined by the instructor


Actual duration of the activity

Courses offered by educational or specialized institutions that have access to appropriate professional, technical and educational resources

For example, a three-credit course is equal to 45 hours. The hours of study are not recognized in this category, but can be reported as a self-study activity.

Hours recognized per year

Actual duration of the activity

Symposiums, conferences or seminars

To qualify, the content of the activities must be technical or educational in nature and related to the member’s professional activities.

Hours recognized per year
Actual duration of the activity

Authorship of published articles or works, or participation in research projects related to the profession

The activities qualify provided that the article, work or research results are published during the reference period.

Hours recognized per year
Actual duration of the activity

Other structured training activities

Hours recognized per year
Actual duration of the activity

Self-study activities

Self-study activities are self-learning training activities completed to improve one’s competencies.

Types of self-study activities

Reading of technical articles or publications 

Studies leading to the successful completion of a course or examination (excluding any learning as part of a new job) 

On-the-job software training 

Reading of legislation or regulations 

Hours recognized per year
Maximum of 15 hrs

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Non-qualifying activities

An information-type activity that provides an opportunity to acquire knowledge without the results of such activity being applied, observed or measured in practice, does not qualify as a continuing education activity.

Here are some examples:

  • Webcast on compulsory continuing education requirements for CPAs
  • Webcast on protecting personal information CPAs collect in the performance of their duties
  • Webinar on CPA practical experience requirements

These activities are considered information activities because they come down to presenting information or providing an overview of certain elements to keep participants informed of changes in their field of practice, without any results being directly transferable in the performance of their duties.

Other activities do not qualify as continuing education activity. Here are some examples:
  • Mentoring or coaching 
  • Marking examinations
  • Training on social media (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook)
  • Any training activity for which the final test was failed
  • Any IT training activity that does not focus primarily on a subject that is directly related to the accounting profession (e.g. a course on the everyday use of a tablet does not qualify; however, a course on using Excel on a tablet qualifies) 
A training activity cannot be completed more than once per reference period, unless the content of the course has been revised. Look for the  (new) and Refonte (revised) icons in the Order’s training activities catalogue to identify courses with new or revised content.

Qualified provider

You are responsible for making sure that your educational activities qualify under the regulation you are subject to, regardless of the provider you choose. There is no need to obtain the Order’s pre-approval for training activities you wish to take. 

The Order and CPA Canada are among the training product and service providers, but you can select another provider if the activity meets the qualifying criteria.

Quebec CPA Order

The Order offers close to 750 training activities that qualify under the Règlement sur la formation continue obligatoire des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec

You hold a public accountancy permit? The Order also offer many activities that qualify under the Regulation respecting compulsory continuing education for Quebec chartered professional accountants who hold a public accountancy permit

All the training activities in the Order’s professional development program (except for activities in partnership) are automatically entered in your file.

CPA Canada 

CPA Canada also offers training activities for which you can register.

However, since CPA Canada is a completely separate entity from the Quebec CPA Order, it does not have an obligation to specify whether an activity qualifies under Quebec regulations.