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Public Accounting (Registration/Licensure) - FAQ

When you apply for and are admitted to membership to a provincial CPA body after successful completion of the Professional Education Program (PEP), CFE, and practical experience requirements, we refer to this as Certification.

After admission into membership, a member may be required to apply for a license, permit, and/or appropriate registration with your local provincial CPA body before providing public accounting services. We refer to this as Registration (some provinces use term Licensure). It is also important to note that meeting the requirements for certification under the public accounting stream does not mean the requirements for registration (licensure) are met. Consult your local provincial CPA body for information on these requirements.

The CPA Western School of Business provides education for registration/licensure. The Provincial CPA Bodies approve the practical experience. Successful completion of the educational requirements for registration does not automatically provide eligibility to provide public accounting services or eligibility for registration.

Once you have obtained your CPA designation and are a member with a provincial CPA body and you decide to provide public accounting services either as a proprietor, partner or authorized employee in a firm, you must apply for a public practice license and/or appropriate registration with your governing provincial CPA body. It is important to consult with your provincial CPA body for more information about licensing and registration requirements for the different public accounting and other regulated services licenses.

The educational requirements for the Audit and Review public accounting licenses are the following:

  • Successful completion of the Taxation Module
  • Successful completion of the Assurance Module

The examination (evaluation) requirements for the Audit and Review public accounting licenses are the following:

  • Selection of the Assurance Role in the Exam
  • Demonstration of depth in Financial Reporting
  • Demonstration of depth in Assurance

Please consult your provincial CPA body for more information about additional education requirements and practical experience requirements for different types of public accounting and other regulated services licenses/registration.

The successful completion of the Taxation and Assurance modules are required in order to be eligible to obtain registration/license to provide Audit and Review public accounting. You are permitted to take these modules even if you are not working in public accounting at this time. We do note that for candidates who are not working in public accounting, these modules may be more challenging as you are completing the modules without obtaining the practical experience.

Candidates should contact their governing body for the eligibility requirements to provide Compilation public accounting services.

Some jurisdictions have tiered licensure (different categories of public practice licenses or registration) and in order to be eligible for registration to provide compilations you are required to demonstrate a depth in Financial reporting however may not be required to choose the Assurance role. Contact your CPA body for more information.

Depending on the province that you are planning on doing the work, you will need to check with that provincial body to see if you will require a licensee or registration to do the Contract Controller or CFO-for-hire work.

For Other Regulated Services, there are no mandatory modules that must be taken. However, consult with your governing provincial body, as regulations may change.

Most likely, you will be required to take the Taxation module. Please check your provincial body to see what type of license will be required to provide tax consulting to the public.

The Post-Designation Public Accounting (PDPA) module and examination is available. Successful completion of this module and examination will allow you to meet the requirements for education for an Audit license of Review license, if you did not meet them through your education program. You can take the PDPA module after you have completed the PEP program and have passed the CFE exam.

You will need to check with your provincial body to see what the best course of action is in your particular situation. Depending on the province and whether the province has tiered licensing, you may have to take either the Post-Designation Public Accounting Module (PDPA) or the Post-Designation Public Accounting Tax Module (PDPA Tax).

The PDPA program offers members who qualified without public accounting practice rights an efficient education and examination option. It comprises a mandatory education module and examination in assurance, taxation, financial accounting, finance, and strategy and governance. It is mandatory for members seeking post-certification public accounting registration in jurisdictions with no tiered registration, and for audit and review registration in jurisdictions offering tiered registration.

The PDPA module covers the technical knowledge required for public accounting registration, including tax, assurance, financial reporting, finance, and strategy and governance. It is a self-study module that consists of reading resources, practice problems and multiple-choice questions covering the CPA Competency Map at the elective level. There are no deadlines, submissions or face-to-face components (for example, workshops) to the module.

Members seeking registration for compilation in jurisdictions offering tiered registration are required to complete the taxation elective of the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) and meet their jurisdiction’s practical experience requirements for compilation. Members seeking compilation registration/license post certification do not require completion of the PDPA program.

Please note that the course materials and content are the same as those in the PEP Tax module. However, the name of the module is different to distinguish enrolment from candidates or members.

For provinces with tiered licensure, if candidates are looking into obtaining a license in other regulated services, they must consult with their provincial CPA body.

Contact a CPAWSB academic advisor at, and we would be happy to assist you with your PEP module selection.