Professionals trained in Canada or abroad

Every year, the Order receives an increasing number of training equivalence applications from professionals who were trained abroad or in Canada and want to become CPAs. In response to the high demand and given the fact that these individuals make up a significant portion of the future CPAs who will work in all regions of Quebec, the Order has implemented a substantial action plan to achieve three main goals:

  • streamline the prior learning and professional experience recognition process for these individuals in view of acquiring the CPA designation;
  • improve the current evaluation process;
  • ensure that individuals who acquire the designation in this way meet the highest standards of the profession and possess the same skills and knowledge as their fellow CPAs when they acquire their CPA designation.

5 profiles for training equivalence applicants

The Order has identified 5 profiles, each with its own steps that must be taken to acquire the CPA designation, depending on the province or country of origin and the training of the applicants concerned.

1. Training equivalence

Your employees have been trained outside of Quebec or Canada, but do not have one of the bachelor’s degrees recognized by the Order required for admission to the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP)? They were trained or acquired professional experience in finance, accounting or another field, in Quebec or elsewhere, and would now like to study to become a CPA? In such cases, their file will be reviewed by the Order to determine the comparable training qualifications and the qualifying courses they will need to take to achieve the equivalent of one of the bachelor’s degrees recognized by the Order. Once they have completed the courses, they may begin the PEP and fulfill their practical experience requirement. In some cases, certain types of past work experience or training may even be recognized as equivalent to a portion of the PEP or the practical experience requirement.

See the details >

After the Order has reviewed their file, foreign-trained professionals who have experience or training that demonstrate their current or past proficiency in some of the competencies required of CPAs may be offered one or more sessions of our new upgrading program instead of or in addition to certain university prerequisite courses for the PEP. If they have more than 8 years of in-depth, wide-ranging accounting experience, they may be offered to go through the prior learning and professional experience recognition process. In this process, their experiential and academic knowledge will be thoroughly reviewed to properly assess their competencies and suggest a personalized path.

Learn more about the upgrading program (in French only) >
Learn more about the prior learning and professional experience recognition process (in French only) >

2. Recognized bachelor’s degree update

Your employees who have obtained one of the bachelor's degrees recognized by the Order five or more years ago and/or did not achieve the required academic average may have to take upgrading courses. They must have their skills and knowledge assessed by the Order in order to begin the PEP.

See the details >

3. Reciprocity agreement

If you have employees who are members of an accounting body in one of the following countries, their access to the Quebec CPA designation is governed by a reciprocity agreement.

  • South Africa
  • England and Wales
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Scotland
  • United States
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Zimbabwe

See the details >

4. Quebec-France mutual recognition agreement (MRA)

In case you have employees who are members of the Ordre des experts-comptables de France, there is an agreement regulating their access to the CPA profession in Quebec.

Learn more >

5. Quebec-Tunisia professional qualifications recognition agreement (PQRA)

In case you have employees who are members of the Ordre des Experts Comptables de Tunisie, there is an agreement regulating their access to the CPA profession in Quebec.

Learn more >

Financial assistance

Government of Quebec – Financial Assistance Program for Skills Recognition Refresher Training (PAFFARC)
Thanks to this program, your employees could receive financial assistance for some of the training costs involved in the process of obtaining their CPA designation and for other related costs. 

Find out more >
Windmill Microlending
In order to help foreign-trained professionals obtain the CPA title, the Quebec CPA Order has partnered with Windmill Microlending. Windmill Microlending is a Canadian charity offering low interest microloans for skilled newcomers who need financial support to pay for the cost of licensing and credentials.

Learn more >
Assistance towards success scholarships
This scholarship program is intended for students registered for or who are preparing to register for the Professional Education Program (PEP), either the university graduate program or the national program delivered by the Order. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate that they need financial aid to help them cover all the costs involved in continuing the PEP.

See the eligibility requirements and application process >
Microcrédit Montréal (ACEM)
Microcredit Montréal offers funding to internationally trained professionalsneed to get their skills recognized and upgraded.

Learn more >
Programme d'accompagnement et de soutien à l'intégration (PASI)
This financial assistance program from the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) is aimed at organizations that wish to support immigrants in their integration process and their installation procedures so that they can participate fully, in French, in Quebec collective life.

See the details of this program (in French only) >

A simpler process

Below are the steps in the general process, which vary based on each applicant's profile.

Step 1: Applicants determine their profile and create an equivalence application

Thanks to the short questionnaire on our interactive site, applicants can quickly determine which of the 5 profiles matches their situation. They will find out which steps they have to take for their particular profile when they create their application on the site.

Step 2: Applicants have their prior learning and experience evaluated

In this step, applicants who are not eligible under the Quebec-France MRA, the Quebec-Tunisia PQRA or under a reciprocity agreement will be invited to submit all documents required by the Order's personnel to determine exactly which training requirements they will be exempted from, the additional courses they will need to take, and the remaining steps toward the CPA designation.

Step 3: Applicants apply for a CPA permit

This is the final step for all applicants, except those who have applied for admission by affiliation, after they have met all the prerequisites of their particular applicant profile.

Once their permit application is approved, applicants may be officially registered on the roll of the CPA Order and may use the CPA designation in Quebec.