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Practical Experience

Practical experience is a mandatory component of the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program. As a CPA student, you must complete a minimum 30 months of paid practical experience to enhance your studies.

Practical experience is where you take your academic knowledge to the next level. Candidates get to apply their CPA academics with actual work experiences, integrating both academics and experience to become a successful and professional CPA.


In  order for candidates to complete the CPA certification program, and receive their CPA designation, candidates must successfully complete ALL 3 components:

  1. Complete the CPA Professional Education Program

  2. Complete a period of practical experience

  3. Pass the Common Final Examination (CFE)

All candidates completing the practical experience requirements must:

  • Gain a minimum of 30 months duration of relevant experience

  • Demonstrate progression and complexity within their reports and through-out their duration

  • Meet specific sub-competencies that compile to complete their Core, Depth and Breadth

  • Maintain mentorship throughout their duration

Your 30- months of required practical experience can be taken prior to, during, and up to seven years after your CPA PEP studies. This should be within a seven (7) year rolling window of when you began and ended your CPA PEP studies.

When a candidate’s registration has been fully processed, the candidate will receive email notification with instructions on accessing the academic platform: Desire2Learn (D2L) and the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT).


There are two ways a candidate can complete their practical experience requirements:


Candidates completing their experience through a pre-approved program will be assigned a mentor through their employer and complete specific competencies that have been approved by the CPA profession and employer.

View CPA Atlantic's organizations and companies listed as Pre-approved Program. This includes employment through public accounting firms, government and corporate business.

Are you an employer interested in becoming a PPR office? Click here to find out how to become a PPR.


  • Candidates must be employed in a position that is deemed relevant through the CPA profession

    • A relevant position for entrance is based on complexity and the ability to show progression within the first 12 months within the required competencies to meet core, depth and breadth within 30 months 

    • Candidates must be able to achieve a minimum of two level 1’s to begin reporting

  • Candidates will have their position assessed and approved by CPA Atlantic School of Business once the registration process is complete. Candidates will receive an email with instructions on completing their employment confirmation

  • Experience verification candidates are responsible on finding their own mentor

    • A mentor must be:

      • a CPA in good standing with their governing body,

      • and preferably within the candidates same province

We would encourage candidates and future candidates to review documents and resources available from CPA Canada here: 

  • CPA Canada Resources for Practical Experience


Mentorship is a crucial part of a candidate’s practical experience. As a mentor you will provide support and guidance to your candidate(s) on their development and progress through the CPA program. Emphasis on ethical and professional behaviour of a professional CPA.


In order to mentor a CPA candidate, you must be a CPA in good standing with your provincial governing body.

  1. Watch the informative 12-minute CPA mentor orientation video to gain an understanding of mentorship expectations and requirements.

  2. Register with your provincial/regional CPA body to become a CPA mentor.

  3. Await approval before officially starting your mentoring relationship.

Once you have been approved as a CPA mentor, you can start mentoring three ways:


  • Through the Mentor Match Portal
    * mentors must choose the ability to be part of the Mentor Match portal in order to receive requests from candidates that cannot find a mentor on their own. Mentors should choose ““I want to be added to the Mentor Match Portal” if they would like to be included in the pool of professional CPA’s for mentoring

  • Have a CPA student/candidate identify you as their CPA mentor or 

  • Contact us directly, and we would be happy to match you with a candidate actively seeking a CPA mentor,


Each and every mentor have their own unique way of mentoring. We would encourage you to review documents and resources available to you from CPA Canada on CPA Mentorship.

For more information of Practical Experience Requirements, please contact the Practical Experience Team for CPA Atlantic School of Business.