Professional Conduct and CPA Education

Oct 3, 2018

Professionalism is one of the hallmarks of the CPA designation (after all, the ‘P’ stands for ‘Professional’). But what does that mean for those participating in CPAWSB-delivered education? Learners enrolled in CPAWSB-delivered education are expected to demonstrate professionalism by being actively engaged, being prepared, and communicating respectfully.  

The CPA Harmonized Education Policies states: 

Professional behaviour includes but is not limited to: adhering to provincial and regional codes of conduct, behaving ethically, demonstrating integrity and honesty, and exhibiting respect to others including all written and oral communication with students, candidates, facilitators, session leaders, educational staff, and provincial, regional, and national administrative staff. 

CPAWSB’s Professional Conduct Policy 

How you present yourself through written communication and in person plays a key role in your representation of the profession. The updated CPAWSB Professional Conduct Policy outlines that anyone participating in CPAWSB-delivered education, including students in CPA preparatory courses, candidates in the CPA PEP, Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) national exam writers, and anyone enrolled in the Post-Designation Professional Accounting (PDPA) modules or Chartered Professional Accountants Reciprocity Examination (CPARE) are expected to behave and communicate professionally during their interactions with other CPAWSB learners, staff, or contractors. 

What is professional misconduct? 

CPAWSB does not condone or tolerate any conduct, comment, gesture, or contact that may be considered derogatory, discriminatory, or harassment. 

While the CPA education requirements are demanding and place increased pressure on learners, all are expected to behave professionally in all interactions.  

Behaviour that is considered a breach of the CPAWSB Professional Conduct policy includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Using profanity or making demeaning, offensive, or insulting written or verbal comments 
  • Behaving unprofessionally at any CPAWSB event or activity 
  • Yelling or shouting 
  • Acting in an intimidating or aggressive manner. 

See something? Say something. 

Unprofessional behaviour can create a toxic environment for everyone but addressing this type of behaviour can be challenging, be it in person or online. If someone is behaving in a way that is not aligned with the CPAWSB and provincial Professional Conduct policies, or is creating a toxic learning environment, what do you do? Review Sections 4.3.3 and 4.3.4 of the CPAWSB Candidate Resource Guide or Section 13.3 of the CPA Preparatory Courses Student Guide for guidance on addressing concerns with your learning experience or a facilitator.

You can always share your concerns about the conduct of another learner to your facilitator or session leader. Include any specific details that may identify the issue such as date and time, the context of the misconduct (e.g. online discussion board, email communications, or in-person at a workshop), and who was involved so that the facilitator or session leader can follow-up as needed.