Skip to main content

Beginning of Main Content

Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development

How to fulfil your continuing professional development requirements

CPD Requirements

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is intended to ensure that, as a CPA, you are well prepared to navigate through disruptive changes in business. CPD equips you to stay relevant and to learn and grow in your field of practice.

What is CPD?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and it’s really all about learning. It’s a required component of CPA Ontario membership, and as a CPA, ongoing professional development activities enable you to:

  • enhance your abilities as a CPA and strategic business partner
  • contribute to the acquisition of new knowledge
  • build familiarity with issues relevant to you, in your role
  • maintain and improve the skills the public expects from you as a CPA

It’s Easier Than You Think

CPD is about more than taking financial reporting courses. We know that CPA Ontario members are diverse not only in their interests, but also their roles — from the financial sector, to entertainment, public service and the world of entrepreneurship. What this means practically speaking is that you can meet your CPD requirements doing what means the most for you and your career, to help you evolve as a leader in business regardless of your practice.

A Simple Guide to CPD Requirements

For your convenience you can download the full Guide to CPD Requirements

Download Now

How Many CPD Hours Must I Complete and When Do I Report?

CPD Declarations are made as part of your Annual Membership Dues payment process which begins in April of each year. Specifically, you will be asked to declare that you have met the minimum CPD hours as set out below.

*A late fee will be applied to submissions received June 2–30. Members with outstanding declarations after June 30 will be subject to membership suspension.

What Are Verifiable Hours?

At least 50% of your declared hours must be “verifiable”. What does that mean? It means you must have documentation to support your professional development. This chart will help you determine if your hours would count toward your 50% requirement and help ensure you maintain the documents needed to support your CPD declaration.

How Do I Track my Hours?

It is important to keep track of all your CPD hours and to keep documents to support the hours that are verifiable. To help record, update and track your hours, you can use

CPD Exemptions


You are considered retired if you meet any one of the following:

  • You have ceased full-time work and the sum of your age and years of membership is 70 or more
  • Prior to April 1, 2014, you were a retired member of CMA Ontario, older than 55 years of age
  • Prior to July 2, 2014, you were a retired member of CGA Ontario

If you are retired, you must still complete CPD if you hold a Public Accounting Licence and/or provide reliance services.

*As defined in Regulation 4-5 Continuing Professional Development

Other Exemptions

A full CPD exemption may also be granted in cases where your ability to practise or earn a livelihood has been interrupted or seriously impaired for over six months in any one calendar year. This includes:

  • Unemployment
  • Maternity, parental, or family care leave
  • Medical leave
  • Compassionate or extraordinary circumstances

Can My CPD Declaration Be Audited?

Each year, CPA Ontario performs CPD audits of selected members. You may be audited at any time, so it is important to keep records and supporting documents related to your CPD activity. If audited, you will be asked to provide them. You will be given written and electronic notice, with 30 days to provide the required documentation.

What If I’m Unable to Meet the Requirements?

  1. If you did not complete the minimum annual CPD requirements by the end of the 2017 calendar year, you will need to complete the online Plan of Action Form 4-5B  which sets out the steps you will take to complete the CPD requirements. This Plan is due on the same date as your CPD Declaration, and you must provide sufficient detail, including names and providers of any planned learning activities, as well as hours and end dates.
  2. Within 120 days of filing the above Plan, you must complete your required CPD and submit Form 4-5C attesting to the CPD completion. If the Plan is incomplete or the learning activities set out in the Plan are not met within 120 days, your membership may be suspended. You may only submit one Plan of Action during a triennial period.