It’s OK that you’re not OK: CPAWSB Learner Support 

By Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA
Dec 1, 2023
Photo credit: oleg_katya_yd/
It’s OK that you’re not OK. That sentiment pretty much sums up my 2023. Between major injury, month-long forest fire evacuation, and my mom’s death, I have not been OK. My friend and colleague, a psychologist, suggested It’s OK that you’re not OK by Megan Devine when I asked what book she recommended to help me heal. In that book, Ms. Devine starts by discussing how death and grief are the great human equalizer. When you look in the eyes of another person who has lost a loved one, you see each other more deeply.  

Through this post-loss lens, I now see the challenges candidates may face differently –inside and outside – of CPA PEP. As such, I would first like to share CPAWSB learner support resources and end with what I have learned in 2023.

CPAWSB resources 

  • Learner support 

    Have you failed an exam? Are you struggling with case writing or technical material? Unsure of how to schedule your upcoming modules? The Learner Support team offers personalized support to help craft your plan toward CPA PEP success.  

  • Mental health and wellness 

    CPAWSB has compiled a list of each province’s mental health support.

  • English language services

    There is a plethora of resources offered for students of all English language proficiency, including typing speed, language assessment, speed reading, and building vocabulary, to name a few.

  • Assignment extensions & make-up workshops

    CPAWSB provides extensions for extenuating circumstances. While they do not publicly define this, I know that CPAWSB considers all types of health (physical, mental, and emotional) when determining whether to grant an extension. If you find yourself needing more time to complete the assignments, please consider requesting one, two, or more extensions.  

    Similarly, if circumstances prevent you from attending the workshop(s), review the policies and request a workshop accommodation

  • Course and exam accommodation 

    In today’s age, inclusivity better be more than part of an acronym organizations tout in their value statement. Instead, it is the action of the organization that proves their commitment to inclusivity. Whether your modified ability is temporary or permanent, please consider discussing your access to equitable measures emailing

    Access information about exam accommodations

    Not sure which resource applies to your situation? Please email to find a solution tailored to your needs.

  • Exam deferral 

    CPAWSB offers exam deferral for all students via their My CPA Portal. If the reason for exam deferral is due to an extenuating circumstance (see above for more on these), then email to request a refund of the exam deferral fee. 

  • Online Facilitator and Session Leader  

    If you feel comfortable, consider telling your online facilitator and session leader about your circumstances. There may be extra support and understanding they can offer, and it may make you feel better knowing someone knows a bit more about your situation.  

Personal thoughts 

It has been four months since I downloaded Megan Devine’s book. And, as the title advises, it’s been OK. It’s OK that my first public speaking event “back” left me exhilarated and then exhausted for three days. It’s OK that I cried over coffee with an alumnus. It’s OK that I haven’t made it past the first few pages of that book…and it will be OK when I pick it back up.  

Parting words  

Using resources designed to support us in our journey is appropriate and encouraged. Then, when you have minutes and hours when you do feel OK, consider directing your efforts that may contribute to the well-being of others, ideally within organizations or environments that support you.

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

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.

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