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 elements:

  1. Education – Complete the CPA Professional Education Program CPA PEP
  2. Experience – Complete a period of practical experience
  3. Examination – 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
  • Demonstrate competency in technical competencies through core, depth, and breadth
  • Demonstrate competency in enabling competencies
  • Maintain mentorship throughout their duration

Your 30-month of CPA practical experience must be gained within a seven-year rolling window of when you begin and end your CPA PEP studies.  

Access to CPA’s Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT)

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

Practical Experience Routes

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 relevant position
    • A relevant position to begin reporting CPA PER is a position that allows a candidate to gain experience in at least two technical sub-competency area at least a Level 1 proficiency.
  • Candidates will have their position assessed and approved by CPA Atlantic School of Business once the registration process is complete.
  • 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 available from CPA Canada 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.

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

  1. Watch the short informative CPA mentor orientation video to gain an understanding of mentorship expectations and requirements.
  2. Register with  CPA Atlantic School of Business 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
  • 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,

We would encourage you to review documents and resources available to you from CPA Canada on CPA Mentorship.

PERT Guide for Future CPAs Technical Competency Guide Enabling Competency Guide Public Accounting Chargeable Hours Submission Form PERT Spotlight Video Series Schedule a Meeting Contact the Practical Experience Team
The CPA designation gives you the set of skills to do anything.
Lindsay Power, CPA, CMA, MBA
Senior Business Analyst - Strategic Projects, StandardAero
You have this massive family of CPAs on which you can lean on and use as much as you can, as often as you can.
Craig Farewell, CPA
Co-owner & Director of Operations, Banished Brewing & Brewdock
The skills you acquire through the CPA program prepare you to lead in any organization and in any industry.
Courtney Burns, CPA
President and CEO, Greater Moncton International Airport Authority Inc.
It’s the differentiator when someone has a stack of resumes. People with a CPA designation will stand out.
Leah Boody, CPA, CMA
President, Pineapple Bytes
The CPA designation first ignited my entrepreneurial spirit. It certainly helped me get to where I am right now.
David Arsenault, CPA
President, Arsenault Properties

How can we help?

Contact an Advisor

Plan your CPA Path Now!

Complete the form below to contact a Student Recruitment Advisor in your region for advice on eligibility for CPA pre-certification programs.

To contact your student recruitment advisor directly ​​for program-path planning and preparing to join CPA as a student/candidate:

Britt Fernandes
t. 902.334.1174

​Camille Ferland
t. 506-800-0725

Lori-Lydia Loveless
t. 709.753.3090

Register Now

Get a full overview of the benefits of becoming a CPA, the CPA pre-certification programs, and your next steps to start your CPA path.

Contact an Advisor