frequently asked questions

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13. Pervasive Qualities & Skills


Pervasive Qualities and Skills are the professional qualities and skills that CAs are expected to bring to all tasks. These are the hows of a CA’s work. Combined with the Specific Competencies the Pervasive Qualities and Skills produce the technical excellence, integrity, objectivity and commitment to public interest for which the CA profession is known. These Pervasive Qualities and Skills are detailed in The UFE Candidates’ Competency Map and focus on the competencies and proficiency levels CA students are expected to demonstrate by the time he/she writes the UFE. These same competencies of a) ethical behaviour and professionalism; b) personal attributes; and c) professional skills are expected to be demonstrated and developed in the workplace.

CA students are expected to demonstrate the highest level of proficiency, for all the Pervasive Qualities and Skills. At the end of the term of practical experience, CA students must have had the opportunity, through his/her work experience, to demonstrate all of the Pervasive Qualities and Skills with the clear expectation that CA students demonstrate at all times the Ethical Behaviour and Professionalism, strong Personal Attributes and Professional Skills expected of a CA.


Unlike the Specific Competencies, CA students must have had the opportunity to acquire and demonstrate ALL of the Pervasive Qualities & Skills by the end of their term of practical experience, as listed below.

I-Ethical Behaviour and Professionalism

I-1 Protects the public interest

I-2 Acts competently with honesty and integrity

I-3 Carries out work with a desire to exercise due care

I-4 Maintains objectivity and independence

I-5 Avoids conflict of interest

I-6 Protects the confidentiality of information

I-7 Maintains and enhances the profession’s reputation

I-8 Adheres to the rules of professional conduct

II-Personal Attributes

II-1 Self-manages

II-2 Demonstrates leadership and initiative

II-3 Maintains and demonstrates competence and recognizes limits

II-4 Strives to add value in an innovative manner

II-5 Manages change

II-6 Treats others in a professional manner


III-Professional Skills

III-1 Obtains information

III-2 Examines and interprets information and ideas critically

III-3 Solves problems and makes decisions

III-4 Communicates effectively and efficiently

III-5 Manages and supervises

III-6 Understands how IT impacts a CA’s daily functions and routines

III-7 Considers basic legal concepts


Q: What is meant by integrity?

Integrity means:

  • acting ethically and honestly
  • carrying out all work with an objective frame of mind
  • maintaining independence, in fact and in appearance, where appropriate.

Integrity also means that you raise and address issues regarding stewardship — that is, the discharge by management of its stewardship responsibilities to those who have provided resources to an entity. You monitor whether management is being accountable and honest in addressing issues of stewardship and when making decisions or reporting information. It is this strong commitment to integrity in everything that CAs do that earns them their reputation for trustworthiness, and the confidence of clients, employers and the public at large. As a result, clients and employers seek to involve CAs in their most significant financial and business decisions.

Q: What’s the relevance of the professional skills?

These skills encompass the creation, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information and ideas; problem-solving and decision-making skills; communication and management skills; and proficiency in technology. They are vital to your professional success. Professional judgement is a required element in the development of these professional skills. As you gain real-life experience, your professional skills will grow in breadth and depth.

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Chartered Professional Accountants/ Comptables professionnels agréés

Welcome to CPA Canada!

CPA Canada is the national organization established to support unification of the Canadian accounting profession under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. CPA Canada provides services to all CPA, CA, CMA and CGA accounting bodies that have unified or are committed to unification.

Our integrated CPA Canada website is currently in development and will launch in fall 2014. Until that time, all our existing resources, services and information are available through the CICA, CMA Canada and CGA-Canada legacy websites, or through newly developed microsites designed to provide specific CPA content.

Bienvenue à CPA Canada!

CPA Canada est l’organisation nationale établie pour soutenir l'unification de la profession comptable canadienne sous la bannière du titre de comptable professionnel agréé (CPA). CPA Canada fournit des services à toutes les organisations comptables de CPA, de CA, de CMA et de CGA qui se sont déjà unifiées ou qui sont engagées dans le processus d’unification.

Le nouveau site de CPA Canada est actuellement en développement et sera mis en ligne à l’automne 2014. Entre-temps, toutes nos ressources et tous nos services sont accessibles sur les sites d’origine de l’ICCA, de CMA Canada et de CGA-Canada, ou sur des microsites nouvellement créés afin de donner accès à du contenu spécifiquement CPA.