The CPA offers the core payroll courses through the following study options:
For those who want online instruction, the core payroll courses are offered online through the CPA. The online courses are instructor led and begin on the following days each month:
Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP)
- Payroll Compliance Legislation (PCL) - 1st of the month
- Payroll Fundamentals 1 (PF1) - 20th of the month
- Payroll Fundamentals 2 (PF2) - 10th of the month
- Challenge - 15th of the month
- French - Online courses are offered every other month. Check the course schedule for a listing of our upcoming courses
Each online course for the Payroll Compliance Practitioner certification is 13 weeks in duration. Students with previous payroll experience should test or refresh their knowledge as preparation before enrolling in an online course through the easy-to-use online tool, the Payroll Knowledge Evaluator (PKE).
Students are required to:
- follow the course outline for each week which includes participation in the weekly discussion boards
- complete two written assignments
- complete the midterm exam during week 6 and the final exam during week 13 (these dates are NOT flexible)
Books are mailed to the student within 10 days from their registration. You will receive an email invitation 1-2 business days prior to the course start date that will allow you to enroll in the online portion of the course. The online access consists of:
- chapter material, quizzes and PowerPoint presentations for each chapter
- tax tables, glossary and resource links
- online pre-test and post-test
- instant feedback on your results for each pre-test, post-test and chapter quiz (Report Page)
- Ask the Instructor tool to ask the online instructor questions by e-mail
The study time a student should expect to spend on the course depends on the student. For example, some students access the online course daily, while other students may choose to access the online course once a week. Students are not required to log into the online course at specific times. However, students must submit their discussion board posts and assignments by the due dates and write the midterm and the final exam within the specified exam periods.
*Students are required to register a proctor for their final exam. A proctor is someone who supervises the student's exam and is in a position of authority. The proctor cannot be a personal friend or related to the student by birth or marriage and must have a business email address. If the student is unable to find a proctor, the student may book their exam at an exam centre at a post-secondary institution. The exam must be completed within the time frame stated in the course. Please note that the student is responsible for the proctor fee and exam centre fee.
Students will receive their transcript 4 to 6 weeks after the official end date for the course.
Registration closes 10 days prior to the start of each course.
Click here to register for an online course.
Certified Payroll Manager (CPM)
- Registration for the PCP and CPM online courses close 10 days prior to the start date of each course.
Course material will be shipped to you within 10 business days of your registration. Access information will be emailed one to two business days prior to the start date. If the access information email is not received, please check your email junk/spam folder.
Click here for online registration.
- Offered according to college/university term schedules
For those who want guided classroom instruction, the core payroll courses are offered at selected colleges and universities across Canada. The classroom environment offers payroll practitioners the opportunity to learn in a supportive environment that encourages networking. Students must register with the college/university and also register with the CPA. Please contact the college/university of your choice for term start dates.
Click here to find a course in your area.
Challenge courses are only available for the following courses:
- Payroll Compliance Legislation
- Payroll Fundamentals 1
- Payroll Fundamentals 2
Individuals who feel they have the necessary knowledge to write the exam, without taking the complete course, may choose the challenge option. Students should test their knowledge using our online tool, the Payroll Knowledge Evaluator (PKE), prior to taking the challenge. Challenge students do not have access to a facilitator or online review tools, but are provided with full printed course material to be able to prepare for the exam.
Each challenge course is 2 months in length. The online exam must be written in the presence of a proctor at any time during the two month period prior to the official end date of the course.
A proctor is someone who supervises the student's exam and is in a position of authority. The proctor cannot be a personal friend or related to the student by birth or marriage and must have a business email address. If students are unable to find a proctor, they may book their exam at an exam centre at a post-secondary institution. The exam must be completed within the time stated in the course. Please note that students are responsible for the proctor fee and exam centre fee.
Students will receive their transcript 4 to 6 weeks after the official end date for the Challenge course regardless of the date they write their exam.
Students registered for a Challenge course do not have the option to transfer or withdraw from the course.
Registration closes 10 days prior to the start date. To register for a Challenge course click here and under location choose online and select the course you wish to challenge.