The CPA Competency Map and Knowledge Supplement

Nov 1, 2017

The CPA Competency Map and Knowledge Supplement outline the competencies expected of CPA candidates, from when they enter CPA PEP to after certification. This map also serves as the basis for the module examinations and the Practical Experience Requirements (PER).

Competency Map and Knowledge Supplement Overview

The CPA Competency Map and Knowledge Supplement cover:

  • The competencies expected of candidates enrolled in the CPA Professional Education Program
  • The body of competencies required for certification

CPA competencies are divided into technical and enabling competencies. Technical competencies relate to the knowledge and skills CPAs use, while enabling competencies relate to how they use their knowledge and skills.

The technical competencies

  • financial reporting
  • management accounting
  • strategy and governance
  • audit and assurance
  • finance
  • taxation

The enabling competencies

Candidates must also demonstrate competence in these enabling competencies:

  • professional and ethical behaviour
  • written and oral communication
  • problem solving and decision making
  • self-management
  • teamwork and leadership

Section 1: Path to Certification

The first section of the Map details the path to certification, including the required prerequisite education, CPA Professional Education Program, and Common Final Examination. A period of practical experience must also be completed.

Section 2: Enabling Competencies, Technical Competencies, and Proficiency Levels

The second section of the Map specifies proficiency levels for each competency at entry and in each CPA PEP module.

The table below is an example of the proficiency levels for Financial Reporting, where A is the highest proficiency expected of a candidate. The Knowledge Supplement goes into further detail on the specifics of the requirements for each course and outlines how the proficiency levels in the Competency Map apply to the knowledge component of the competencies.

Section 3: The CPA Enabling Competencies

The third section outlines the enabling competencies in further detail. The enabling competencies reflect the personal attributes of being a CPA. This section breaks down the professional and ethical behaviour, communication, problem solving, and self management that is expected and required of a CPA.

Section 4: Reading the CPA Competency Map by Competency Area

This section is a quick guide to reading the map.

Section 5: The CPA Competency Map by Competency Area

Visual maps for each of the technical competencies appear in Section 5. Use Section 4 to help read the competencies and proficiencies needed for certification.

Section 6: Learning Outcomes by Module

CPA PEP is broken into modules and each module has unique outcomes. This section of the Map presents a view of each module by proficiency levels for each competency. This is the last and largest section of the CPA Competency Map.

The Competency Map is used to ensure that all CPAs have a strong foundation of knowledge and skill that they will use throughout their careers. More information as well as the full CPA Competency Map and CPA Knowledge Supplement can be found on the CPA Canada website.