frequently asked questions
3. Approved CA Training Programs
"CA Training Program" is defined in the glossary of the CA Practical Experience Requirements (PER). The requirements for CA Training Programs are set out in Section 2.3.
The purpose of defining and approving a CA Training Program is to ensure that every CA Training Office offers a sufficient quality and quantity of experience opportunities, through a variety of assignments and progression to increasing levels of responsibility, for CA students to develop the competencies required of an entry-level CA.
All CA Training Offices are required to provide CA students with a CA Training Program, developed specifically for CA students, approved by the applicable Provincial Institute/Ordre, and featuring:
- Structured training positions with a sufficient range of progressively complex assignments, increasing responsibility and high-quality practical experience in the required CA competencies;
- The systems, programs and people needed to supervise, monitor and counsel the CA students in the development of the CA competencies; and
- Compliance with the reporting and ongoing monitoring requirements of their Provincial Institute/Ordre/Region.
CA students working in the external audit path of a CA firm are guaranteed to obtain all of the chargeable hour requirements to practice public accounting during their term of practical experience. These chargeable hours are in addition to all other requirements set out in the CA Practical Experience Requirements (PER). Positions outside of the external audit career path satisfy the practical experience requirements for qualification, but may not fulfill the requirements to practice public accounting. For more information on Practical experience requirements for the practice of public accounting, please see FAQ section 6 and 7.
Q: The new requirements indicate “three years” of practical experience. Is this new?
No. Three years of practical experience is not a new requirement, though provinces have traditionally measured the period differently. The three-year period will continue to be measured as 30 months of “field” experience (24 months in Quebec), allowing time for study periods, vacations, personal days, etc. within the three years in addition to the completion of the post-graduate professional education programs. Co-op placements also count towards qualifying practical experience. Extended leaves of absence may extend this three-year requirement beyond the expected completion date. Any questions or concerns should be discussed directly with your Provincial Institute/Ordre/Region (See Section 4: Ensuring sufficient quality and quantity of practical experience opportunities to develop the competencies expected of a newly qualified CA).
Q: How is the proposed CA Training Program assessed?
The proposed CA Training Program is assessed according to its ability to provide sufficient quality and quantity of experience opportunities for the CA student to develop the required CA competencies with sufficient depth and breadth to meet the competency expectations of a newly qualified CA. The Provincial Institute/Ordre/Region will work closely with potential employers to ensure these expectations are understood and to develop an appropriate program. Any deficiencies in an application will be discussed with the prospective CA Training Office in a timely fashion. Guidance on the development of a CA Training Program can be provided through your regional CA Training Office Liaison.
Q: How is the CA Training Office expected to document its program?
Your regional CA Training Office Liaison will help you document all of the required information that must be submitted for approval.
Q: Who determines whether a CA student has completed the CA Training Office’s CA Training Program?
The CA Training Office is responsible for ensuring the CA student completes the CA Training Program in accordance with the CA Training Office’s expectations. The Training Principal is required to confirm completion in the Certification Signoff to the profession. The Counselling Member is responsible for informing the Training Principal if a CA student is NOT progressing according to CA Training Office expectations. A Sample Certification Signoff is available in the PER.
Q: What if there is a dispute between the CA student and the CA Training Office?
The profession relies entirely on the CA Training Office Certification Signoff, which should be signed only if the CA Training Office is confident that all aspects of the CA Training Office’s approved CA Training Program have been met. The profession encourages CA Training Offices to develop dispute mechanisms within their policies and procedures to ensure fairness to all parties. Given the ongoing mentoring by the Counselling Member during semi-annual meetings, such disputes should be rare.
Q: As the profession moves to a competency-based model, will CA Training Offices be required to track and report on study leave, vacation, sick leave, etc., during the student’s practical experience term?
Yes, this requirement continues.
Q: Are there special provisions for grandparented CA Training Offices?
Yes. All CA Training Offices are required to have a CA Training Program approved by their Provincial Institute/Ordre. The training processes provided by grandparented CA Training Offices meet all new practical experience requirements. There are, however, new supervisory and reporting requirements that grandparented CA Training Offices are required to meet for all CA students registering with a Provincial Institute/Ordre/Region after September 1, 2009 (See the Grandparented CA Firm Information Sheet).