Graduate Requirements

Becoming a certified payroll professional will provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence you need to be successful. To complete the PCP or CPM program and obtain your certification, make sure you have followed all the steps below!

Have you met all the educational requirements and the payroll experience requirement to become a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) or Certified Payroll Manager (CPM)? Complete the Certification Declaration! You must also become a member of the Canadian Payroll Association, if you have not already done so. 

The online Certification Declaration process confirms you understand the ongoing requirements to obtain and maintain certification with the Canadian Payroll Association. It was included as a link in an email sent to you when you met the educational requirements of certification. If you are eligible to apply for certification, you can also click here to complete the Certification Declaration.

You must have at least one year of weighted payroll work experience to receive the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification. If you are completing courses on a part-time basis, you can obtain the work experience within 5 years before or 5 years after the start date of your first successful attempt of the Canadian Payroll Association’s Payroll Compliance Legislation (PCL) course. If you are completing the PCP courses as part of a full-time private career college or public college academic program, your timeline starts from the end date of the Payroll Fundamentals 2 (PF2) course.

The weighted payroll work experience must be equivalent to one year of experience paying employees accurately and on time, in compliance with legislative requirements, contributing to the full annual payroll cycle.

You are eligible to submit the PCP Work Experience Requirement Application (PCP-WERA) after completing the PCP courses, which includes transferring the Introduction to Accounting course credit into your Canadian Payroll Association profile. Eligible PCP candidates will be sent access to the application once they qualify.

The Association must approve your PCP-WERA before you can submit the Certification Declaration.

In the PCP-WERA, you must indicate the percentage of time you spend and the responsibilities you have in each of the eight categories below. A current or former manager must verify the information.

  • Payroll Administration (e.g., input of hours and earnings, time and attendance)
  • Payroll Information Preparation and Calculation (e.g., deductions, taxable benefits)
  • Payroll Remittances (e.g., federal, provincial, third party, workers’ compensation)
  • Payroll Accounting (e.g., journal entries, account reconciliations)
  • Communication (e.g., payroll reporting, responding to stakeholders’ inquiries)
  • Year-end (e.g., federal and provincial reporting, filing, reconciliations)
  • Terminations (e.g., completing ROEs, calculating final payments)
  • Payroll Management (e.g., budgeting, planning or negotiating contracts)


See the sample application, read the Guide or review the FAQs.

PCP Candidates are students who finish the courses but still have to complete the work experience requirement. Employers value PCP Candidates for many entry-level payroll positions. You can use the PCP Candidate information card to assist with your job search.

View the webinar for the step-by-step PCP Work Experience Requirement Application process.

To receive and maintain your certification, you must be a member of the Canadian Payroll Association through a Professional membership or the Organization membership of your employer (annual membership fees are required).

CPE Declaration

All certified members must submit their CPE Declaration each year. Don’t put your certification at risk!

Declare your hours!

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