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Practical Experience

Practical Experience and PERT

CPA Ontario students must earn practical experience, and report it through the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT), on their way to obtaining their CPA designation

Practical Experience Requirements

In addition to completion of the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP), including the Common Final Examination (CFE), the CPA certification program requires CPA students to complete a minimum of 30 months of relevant practical experience to obtain the CPA designation. The knowledge and competencies gained through practical experience complement those developed through education. All students must have a CPA mentor in order to report practical experience.

Ultimately, the goal of your practical experience is for you to develop both technical and professional skills to set you up as a successful CPA. To learn more, refer to the CPA Practical Experience Competencies.

Please note that while the CPA profession strives for national consistency, provincial regulations and bylaws (including those of CPA Ontario) take precedence over national requirements.

For more information, please refer to the CPA Practical Experience Requirements and CPA Harmonized Practical Experience Policies.

Practical Experience Routes

There are two paths to fulfilling the practical experience requirements:


1. Pre-Approved Program Route (PPR)

  • PPRs are specific training program(s) in an organization approved by CPA Ontario.

  • Your employer works with CPA Ontario to create a program(s) that meets the CPA practical experience requirements.

  • You complete streamlined experience reports.

2. Experience Verification Route (EVR)

  • Work in any position that meets the initial pre-assessment requirements.
  • Submit detailed experience reports which are verified by a supervisor for approval by CPA Ontario.
  • Work directly with CPA Ontario to have your experience assessed as it is gained.

Does My Employment Qualify?

To determine if your current or prospective employment meets the necessary competency requirements, refer to the Does My Job Qualify for EVR and/or complete the Self-Assessment Tool.

Webinars

Register for upcoming practical experience webinars and watch archived videos.

Learn more

Find a CPA Ontario Mentor

Students are required to have a mentor as part of the practical experience requirements. The mentor must be a CPA member in good standing. Students and mentors can access the Mentorship Lifecycle Tool for guidance and tips to support the mentorship process.

There are two ways to find a CPA Ontario Mentor:

  1. If you obtain employment in a Pre-Approved Program (PPR), your employer will match you with a CPA mentor. To go this route please connect directly with your employer.
  2. If you are employed in the Experience Verification Route (EVR), it is your responsibility to find a mentor through your business network or by using the Mentor Match Portal. The Mentor Match Portal is an interactive system within PERT designed to help you find a CPA Ontario mentor. Students automatically gain access to the portal 90 days after they have created their profile in PERT and their employment has been approved for meeting the entrance requirements.

Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT)

Practical experience is captured through the profession's online Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT)

PERT is used by: Students in the CPA program, Legacy CA students who either registered OR started working on, or after, September 1, 2014, any student who began working in a PPR with an approval date of September 1, 2014, or later, and CGA transition students not reporting in CGA PERC.

PERT user guides

The PERT user guides are available to assist you in creating your experience reports within PERT. The guides will enhance your user experience and help you become more effective and efficient when capturing your practical experience.

Legacy Students

If you are a legacy student who is reporting in PERT, you are required to identify a mentor within your profile. If you are a legacy student and not reporting in PERT (but following the legacy reporting pathway) you are not required to have a mentor.

For more information visit Legacy/Transitional Students

Want to Become a CPA Mentor?

Learn how you can become a CPA Ontario mentor.

Learn More