What does being a candidate entail?

Being a candidate for the practice of the CPA profession

Values and principles of the profession

As a future Order member, you must uphold the core values and principles of the CPA profession throughout your path as a candidate.

Professional conduct

Always conduct yourself in a manner that upholds public confidence and the profession’s reputation.


Act honestly and ethically at all times.


Develop and maintain skills and a high level of competence in relevant practice areas, and practise your profession with reasonable care.


Maintain confidentiality and professional secrecy.


Exercise sound professional judgment, free of any influence or bias, and which translates into applying stringent independence requirements for assurance engagements.

Ethical obligations

These values and principles are at the core of the ethical obligations that apply to CPAs. Make sure you are familiar with them, because they apply to you even if you don’t have your designation yet.

What do you call yourself?

Throughout your path, you must meet certain conditions when you present yourself as a candidate. The purpose of these conditions is to prevent the use of wordings that could mislead the public and suggest that you already hold the CPA designation.

What is prohibited?

You cannot:

  • claim to be a chartered professional accountant, or use the designation or its abbreviation (CPA) until you are an Order member;
  • call yourself a public accountant (the use of this title is prohibited to all);
  • call yourself a specialist, unless you have the appropriate certificate.

What is permitted?

You can identify yourself as a candidate for the practice of the CPA profession:

  • on social media (including LinkedIn);
  • on business cards*;
  • in signature blocks (emails, printed communications, etc.)*;
  • in advertising or marketing material.

* Your practical experience position title can be used on business cards and signature blocks related to your job.

What services can you offer?

As a candidate for the practice of the CPA profession, you may offer services to third parties, i.e. services to clients who are not part of the organization where you are employed.

However, you need to remember that:

  • As you are not yet an Order member, you must not offer public accountancy services.
  • You must meet the ethical obligations that apply to you at all times, regardless of:
    • the nature of the services you provide in the practice of the profession;
    • whether or not you are compensated;
    • whether your clients are friends or family members.

Learn more about the services CPAs can offer and the restrictions that apply.