Recognition of Pre-requisite Courses During The Pandemic

Jun 13, 2020

The profession is dedicated to supporting learners in their pursuit towards the CPA designation with the least amount of disruption as reasonably possible. This includes the recognition of pre-requisite courses and accredited program courses. We understand that many PSIs are making decisions about their courses in response to the COVID-19 threat. The CPA profession will accept any changes made by PSIs to CPA-approved preparatory and accredited courses, including online delivery, alternate assessment methods, etc. The CPA profession will ensure full recognition of these courses and students will receive full credit for these courses for entry into the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). 

Some of the more FAQs that we are getting from students are copied below, along with the CPA profession’s response: 

Q: "For post-secondary institution courses that have been articulated to CPA preparatory courses, does the CPA profession have any requirements on how exams are conducted? For example, does it need to be in-person? Do the exams need to be invigilated, or is invigilation software required if the exams are delivered online?" 

A: The CPA profession has no expectations around assessment requirements. If the post-secondary institution needs to adjust its assessment style (e.g. online assessments), CPA will accept it as long as the institution takes steps to ensure that the academic integrity and rigour of the examinations are maintained. 

Q: “When is the CPA profession’s Special Grades Policy in effect until? In previous CPA communications, it states ‘for COVID-19 affected semesters,’ does this mean it is in effect only for the January to April semester? Is it being applied on a semester-by-semester basis? Or is it in effect as long as COVID-19 is affecting society?” 

A: The CPA profession’s Special Grades Policy will be in effect until December 31, 2021. We will reassess if the policy will be extended after that point in time. 

Q: "Recently my university announced that due to the COVID-19 situation, students will have the option to either receive a grade or take a pass/fail mark without a grade. If I choose the pass/fail option would that affect my admission to the CPA program in the future?" 

A: The CPA provincial bodies and regional schools will honour courses that receive a pass mark as meeting the prerequisite subject area for admission; however, these courses will not be factored in the calculation of applicants’ overall 65% cumulative GPA requirement for entry into the CPA PEP. 

Q: “Unlike other post-secondary institutions, my university has not changed its grading system during the COVID-19 situation and is still assigning percentage grades or letter grades. As CPA is honouring courses that receive a pass mark, how is that fair to me if I do not have that pass/fail mark option? 

A: To ensure fairness for all applicants, for COVID-19 affected semesters, CPAWSB will also accept grades below 60% for core courses, and below 50% for non-core courses completed at post-secondary institutions during the COVID-19 disruption, as long as the applicant gets credit for that course. Grades below 65% will be excluded in the calculation of cumulative GPA for entrance into the CPA PEP. 

Q: “If my university is still assigning percentage grades or letter grades during the COVID-19 situation, and I get a grade that is 65% or above, can that grade be included in my overall cumulative GPA calculation for entry into the CPA PEP? 

A: Yes, as grades that are 65% or above positively affect an applicant’s overall cumulative GPA, it will be included in the calculation. 

For more FAQs related to how the CPA profession is managing the COVID-19 situation, please visit CPA Canada “COVID-19: FAQs for the CPA Certification Program”.  

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding during this challenging time. 

We are committed to keeping you informed of upcoming changes and will provide additional information once the details are available.