Effective Elective Planning: Part 1

By Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA
Jan 14, 2022
Photo credit: VectorMine/Depositphotos.com
In Part 1 of Effective Elective Planning, I will discuss the registration elements, including the “order of operations” of pre-and-co-requisites for CPA PEP’s education program. In Part 2, I will continue the Effective Elective Planning mini-series to discuss things to consider when selecting which electives to register in. I will end the series in Part 3 by discussing FAQs specific to elective modules and licensure. 

In Core 1, candidates spend much of the Orientation Workshop planning a schedule to complete their CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) studies. During that time, candidates use various resources to help them determine their path from Core 1 to the CFE. 

The CPA PEP education path is as follows:

I frequently hear from candidates who are preparing to register in CPA PEP elective modules. I have collected the most frequently asked questions below: 

1. Should I fast-track? 

If you have already started Core 1, you won’t be able to add Core 2. However, after you complete the standard offerings of Core 1 and Core 2, you can choose to fast-track your elective modules. Not sure what fast-tracking is, or if it’s for you? Check out my blog post on module fast-tracking

2. How many elective modules do I need to take? When can I take them?

You need to pass Core 1 and Core 2 before starting your first elective module and you need to pass at least two electives before starting Capstone 1.

3. When do I register for my elective modules? 

If you plan to take modules “back-to-back”, you will need to register for the next module before finding out if you have passed your current module. If you are unsuccessful in your current module’s exam, and that module is a pre-requisite for the next one (for example, Core 2, which you need to pass before starting an elective), you will be withdrawn from that module. CPAWSB (cpamodule@cpawsb.ca) will email you to discuss your registration options. 

Consider using CPAWSB PEP’s schedules to plan out your path. This way, you won’t accidentally book something that conflicts with a module weekend or examination date. You can make a note of key registration dates. 

4. What happens if I fail a core module?

You need to be successful in both core modules before starting the elective modules. If you fail Core 2 and are registered for an elective module, you will be withdrawn from the elective module and contacted by CPAWSB (cpamodule@cpawbs.ca) to discuss your registration options. 

5. What happens if I fail an elective module?

You can either retake it or switch to another elective. You can handle your registration matters on your candidate portal or by contacting cpamodule@cpawsb.ca.

6. What happens if I fail an elective three times?

Each module can only be attempted three times. Typically, if you were unsuccessful in any of the education steps of CPA PEP three times, you would be expelled from CPA PEP and need to re-apply. If accepted, you would start at Core 1. 
That is not necessarily the case with the electives. If you are unsuccessful in one elective three times, you can register for another elective. You have four elective modules to choose from, so you have some choices until you are unsuccessful in three electives three times each. If you find yourself struggling with any module multiple times, please consider reaching out to our Learner Support team (learnersupport@cpawsb.ca) to craft a study plan tailored to your needs. 

Next steps 

We have just discussed the operational elements of registering for CPA PEP elective modules in Part 1 of Effective Elective Planning. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this mini-series where I will discuss the strategic factors to consider when selecting your elective modules. 

Do you have feedback on this post or a question you’d like answered by an experienced CPAWSB educator? Please contact your facilitator or send a question to the General Topic in the Candidate Discussion forum. 

Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA, is an educator and lead policy advisor for CPAWSB and a Senior Instructor of accounting at Dalhousie University. She is on a mission to understand and enable learner efficacy while eliminating doldrums occasionally associated with accounting education. Read more of Sam’s posts at the CPAWSB blog.