COVID-19

Although the Order’s offices are closed until further notice, our teams are working hard to keep providing our services remotely.
Follow developments in the situation and its impact on the profession >

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 >


Recent news about the exams - COVID-19

APRIL 30, 2020 – June and July 2020 module exams – Revised CPA assessment format
As we move closer to the June/July examination dates for CPA PEP, we know that candidates have questions about the revised assessment format that will be implemented for the examinations scheduled between June 26 to July 3, 2020. As a follow-up to the email they received on April 17, 2020, the profession is providing additional information on the assessment format for the Core and Elective modules and the release date for the module results.

 

Modules Revised format  Exam length* Results release date
Core modules Two case-based questions 2.5 hours (1 hour/case) July 21
Electives modules Two case-based questions 4 hours (between 80 and 120 minutes/case) July 14
* There will be a 30-minute transition period between cases.
 
On Thursday, June 4, 2020, candidates will receive additional information regarding their examination(s), including instructions, updated exam regulations, and other pertinent information. 

We would like to reiterate that the changes to the assessment format are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. While the formats are different, there are no changes to the testable content as outlined in the CPA Competency Map. Once the restrictions end, the profession will revert to the normal formats for all Core and Elective assessments.

We encourage candidates to continue to review the regularly-updated FAQs document on the CPA Canada website for valuable information that addresses their concerns related to the profession’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
APRIL 17, 2020 – June 2020 CPA PEP assessment calendar
The profession remains committed to keeping you on track in your journey to becoming a CPA. In light of the physical-distancing restrictions in place in some provinces until June 30th, the profession is announcing some changes to the June 2020 CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) assessments, including assessment delivery, the schedule, requirements, and the timing of future communications. 

As previously communicated, these national assessments will no longer take place in-person at exam writing centres but will be delivered remotely. Candidates will write their assessments at home using their own computers on the evaluation dates and times specified below. The assessments will be administered through the D2L DropBox. To prepare to write your assessment, ensure that you have: 
 
  • reliable Internet access  
  • word processor (i.e. “.docx” format) and spreadsheet (i.e. “.xlsx” format) applications installed on your computer
  • the hardware, operating, software, and other computer requirements specified in the Learning management system section of the CPA Canada Professional Education Program Candidate Guide
Previously, the dates scheduled for the assessments were June 29-30, 2020; however, to minimize conflicts for candidates writing multiple assessments during this evaluation period, the assessments will be written over five (5) business days. Each assessment will commence at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
  
Exam dates Modules Duration
Friday, June 26 Core 2 2 hours
Monday, June 29 Taxation 3.5 hours
Tuesday, June 30 Performance Management
Thursday, July 2 Assurance
Friday, July 3 Finance 2 hours
 Core 1

On June 11, 2020, you will receive information on the assessment format that will be used for your particular module. 

We are committed to keeping you informed of updates as we all adapt to this unprecedented situation.  Please continue to review the regularly-updated FAQs document on the CPA Canada website  for valuable information that addresses student concerns related to the profession’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including meeting practical experience requirements, conditional admission for courses, updates to the cases available for Capstone 1 and Day 1 of the CFE, and much more.  

APRIL 3, 2020 – June CPA module exams maintained
We realize that many of you have concerns about your studies and upcoming exams as we navigate through these uncertain times.  We want to assure you that the upcoming CPA PEP assessments scheduled for June will not be cancelled. We do, however, need to make some adjustments based on the extended timeline of the physical-distancing restrictions. The assessments will no longer take place in-person at exam writing centres. Instead we will administer remote assessment alternatives. Closer to the June assessment dates you will be informed of the format that will be used for your particular module.

At this time the profession is expecting to deliver the CFE in September as planned. However, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily and if a change is required, a decision will be made no later than late June. 

The CPA Canada website has been updated with valuable information that addresses student concerns related to meeting practical experience requirements, conditional admission for modules, updates to the cases available for Capstone 1 and Day 1 of the CFE, and much more.  Please continue to review these regularly-updated FAQs on the website for current CPA certification program information and developments related to the profession’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know that this is an unprecedented time and we are working hard to ensure minimal disruption as candidates pursue their CPA designation.
MARCH 16, 2020 – PEP and CFE: Cancellation of upcoming May examinations and modules
Faced with the growing concerns and uncertainties over COVID-19, and our commitment to provide a safe environment for our students/candidates, staff, and volunteers, the CPA profession has cancelled all April CPA PEP and CPA preparatory course examinations and the May 2020 Common Final Examination (CFE). The Capstone 2 module, which precedes the May 2020 CFE, scheduled to start on April 4, 2020 is also cancelled. 
 
Students who were enrolled in the PEP Examinations scheduled for April 1-2, 2020 will be automatically enrolled in the next offerings taking place on June 29-30, 2020. Please note that in light of this situation, all affected students will be allowed to continue to the Spring semester without having met the module pre-requisites, however they must be completed prior to continuing in the Summer semester.
 
Also, all module in-person workshops for the Spring semester will now be delivered through an alternative format.  Once those details have been determined, we will contact all students directly to advise of the new format.
 
The profession is dedicated to supporting students in their pursuit towards the CPA designation with the least amount of disruption as reasonably possible.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and appreciate your understanding during this challenging time. 
 
We are committed to keeping you informed of upcoming changes and will provide you with additional information once the details are available. 

Module examinations

Surpass examination software

You must use the Surpass software (SecureClient) to write the CPA Canada examinations. Surpass (SecureClient) is an application that locks down your computers so that no other programs or files can be accessed during an examination. The application automatically uploads all responses into the Surpass Test Administration system.

For more information on the Surpass software, go to the CPA Canada website.

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 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 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 >

Annual examination pass rates

CPA Canada releases annual examination pass rates for the CPA PEP modules. These rates reflect the annual weighted-average pass rates of first-time candidates.

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.

Cancellation and refund policy

Do you want to cancel your registration or get a refund of some of the fees you paid for a retake exam? See the cancellation and refund policy.

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.

Failed 2nd attempt

  • You must retake Capstone 1.

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

Through the regions, CPA Canada provides reasonable one-time and ongoing accommodations to individuals who have documented disabilities (physical, mental or learning impairments) for all the national examinations administered by the Order (including the Common Final Examination and the module examinations of the national program).

Visit the CPA Canada website to obtain clarifications on the decision and application submission process and consult the fee schedule to find out the special accommodation request fee.

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