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8. Supervising the CA students

Requirements for the supervision of CA students are set out in CA Practical Experience Requirements (PER), Section 4.


The primary purpose of the supervision requirements is to ensure that all CA students are properly supervised and that their period of practical experience is under the overall direction of a Chartered Accountant.


Supervision as used in this document deals specifically with the processes in place to monitor and review a CA student’s progress towards becoming a Chartered Accountant.

The new requirements identify three distinct supervisory roles:

  • The Training Principal, who must be a member in good standing with a Provincial Institute/Ordre (and in Quebec must be a member of the Quebec Ordre);
  • The Counselling Member, who must also be a member of a Provincial Institute/Ordre or a member of an accounting body with whom the Canadian profession has a Mutual Recognition Agreement; and
  • The Line Manager, who is approved by the Training Principal as an appropriate supervisor for the specific task or assignment.

One CA may perform one or more of these supervisory roles.

The key requirement that all CA students must be under the overall supervision of a member in good standing in a Provincial Institute/Ordre is unchanged.

  • Counselling Members, who are first and foremost CA mentors, are required to meet with CA students at least semi-annually to discuss their CA student’s progress in the CA Training Program. However, these meetings can be integrated into the CA Training Office’s performance review process.
  • Reporting requirements have been modified. In addition to signing off on the chargeable-hour requirements, the CA Training Office’s Training Principal is required to sign off that:
    • the Counselling Member has met with the CA student at least semi-annually,
    • the CA student has met the CA Training Office’s progression expectations in the CA Training Program; and
    • the CA student is of good moral character (a long-standing requirement in most provinces).

A CA Training Office may employ up to three CA students for every CA in the office, which is generally sufficient for most employers. Should you wish to hire more students than otherwise allowed by this provision, please contact your CA Training Office Liaison. Counselling Members should restrict the number of students for whom they are responsible to ensure that they can provide reasonable support.

Guidance on the responsibilities of Training Principals and Counselling Members is provided to all CA Training Offices.

Q: Does each of the Training Principal, Counselling Member and Line Manager have to assume that role for the entire period of practical experience?

The Line Manager will depend on the work assigned to the CA student based on the CA Training Program approved by the Provincial Institute(s)/Ordre. If there are different rotations and/or clients built into the particular CA Training Program, then it is likely the Line Manager will change throughout the term of practical experience.  While it is preferable the role of Training Principal and Counselling Member not change throughout a CA student’s term of practical experience, there is no requirement to do so.  The structure will depend on the CA Training Office

Q: Is the CA Training Office expected to submit the names of Training Principals to the Provincial Institute/Ordre/Region?

Yes. All CA Training Offices are required to submit the name(s) of Training Principal(s) to their Provincial Institute(s)/Ordre/Region to ensure that there is a pathway for communication between the CA Training Office and the Provincial Institutes/Ordre/Region.

Q: Is the Counselling Member expected to be a member of the Provincial Institute/Ordre in which the CA student is seeking membership and is the CA Training Office expected to submit the names of Counselling Members to the Provincial Institutes/Ordre/Region?

The preference is for a Counselling Member to be a member in good standing with the Provincial Institute/Ordre in which the CA Training Office is located. If this is not possible, the Counselling Member must be a member in good standing of a Provincial Institute/Ordre.

A CA Training Office may request that a member in good standing with a foreign professional accounting body with which the Canadian CA profession has a Mutual Recognition Agreement, and who is eligible to become a member of a Provincial Institute/Ordre under that Agreement, be approved as a Counselling Member. 

CA Training Offices should refer to the regulations of the appropriate Provincial Institutes/Ordre for specific details in their jurisdiction of the requirements of a Counselling Member.

Q: Must the student be under the overall supervision of a CA in all practical experience paths?

Yes, the CA student must be under the overall supervision of a CA in all practical-experience paths. The purpose of this requirement is to provide the CA student with the necessary access to a CA, a requirement which the profession believes is critical to the development of well-rounded, high-quality CAs. A CA student may, however, be under the direct task or assignment supervision of a Line Manager who is not a CA, as long as that Line Manger is senior to the CA student, is competent in supervision, and technically competent to undertake and supervise the specific task or assignment. In these situations, the Counselling Member should take on a more active mentoring role.



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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.