Frequently Asked Questions

Easily find the answers to your questions on membership, professional development programs, certification and JobConnect!

The mark breakdown depends on the course and study option as indicated below. Click here for more information on the study options.

Payroll Compliance Practitioner

Certified Payroll Manager

Classroom and Online
PCL, PF1 and PF2

PCL, PF1 and PF2

Classroom and Online



Final Exam:




Mid-term Exam:


2 Assignments:


Final Exam:


Final Exam:


No. As payroll requirements vary significantly from country to country, to obtain the PCP certification, you must have at least one year of weighted Canadian work experience in payroll.

It is the employer’s responsibility to issue an amended ROE when additional money is paid. Once received by Service Canada, the employee’s Employment Insurance (EI) claim will be recalculated to determine if it affects their benefit rate or duration. It is the employee’s responsibility to report any money to Service Canada to determine if their entitlement for a particular week of benefits is affected.

A bonus earned prior to the period of the leave of absence should not impact the employee’s EI benefits; however, the employer will often be asked by Service Canada to confirm within which periods of time the bonus was actually earned.

Immediately after you post your job on JobConnect, candidates will be able to view it through the Search Open Positions feature. Candidates will be able to send their resume to you directly if you have opted to display your email address or other contact information.

If you have opted to hide your contact information, candidates will be able to submit their Profile to you using the Apply Online option. This will send a copy of the candidate’s profile or a web link to both the email address you have included in the contact information section of your posting and your inbox on JobConnect. You can review the applications by email or login to your account and review them online.

When candidates apply to your posting, you will able to review their Profile, which contains a simple text version of their resume, job match preferences, cover letter (if submitted) and skills information.

When a profile arrives, JobConnect will match it against the criteria you entered when you posted your job. Candidates that match over 75% of your criteria will be designated as an A-list candidate; all others will be designated as B-list candidates.

The CPA conducts random audits of CPE hours to ensure certified members are adhering to the CPE requirement of certification. In the event of an audit, you will be contacted by the Association and asked to provide evidence of CPE fulfilment.

Certification holders are asked to keep a personal record of their CPE activities, along with documentation to prove completion (where applicable) for at least three years, in the event they are chosen for an audit.

You will be sent an acknowledgment email when your Payroll Experience Prerequisite Application (PEPA) is received. You will be advised of the status of your application within 20 business days.

As of January 1, 2013, the minimum pass mark is 65% for all PCP and CPM courses, including challenge exams, started on or after that date. This minimum pass mark applies to courses taken online or through continuing education, as well as through a full-time program at a recognized college, university or private career college.

Courses completed prior to January 1, 2013, do not have to be retaken if a mark of 60% was obtained. However, courses that started on or after January 1, 2013, require both a final overall course mark and a final exam mark of 65%. This policy also applies to all transfer credit courses. 

If you are reinstating your certification, you must obtain a minimum pass mark of 65% on the Payroll Knowledge Evaluator (PKE) assessment you are required to complete as part of the reinstatement process.

If the organization does not have an official job description for the position you would like to submit for the Work Experience Requirement Application (WERA) assessment, you must prepare a detailed job description yourself and submit it to your verifier for approval.

A-list candidates are the candidates that match or exceed 75% of your job posting’s criteria; all others are designated as B-list candidates. Based on the criteria you have entered into your job posting, applications are classified as A-list or B-list candidates.

The Payroll Representative of your organization must add you to your organization’s roster. They can add you by logging into the CPA’s website and clicking on My Profile → Organization Information.

If you have previously been a member of the CPA or have ever had a CPA number, the Payroll Representative will not be able to add you through the website. Instead, they must send an email to with your information to add you.

Be sure to ask the Payroll Representative to include your previous CPA number and email address in the request. If you cannot remember your previous CPA number, let us know that you had a file with us in the past so we do not create two records for you.

Certification holders are required to keep a personal record of their CPE activities, along with documentation to prove completion (where applicable) for at least six plus one years, in the event they are chosen for an audit. Examples of documentation include course receipts, confirmations, transcripts and course outlines.

If you are self-employed, your clients can be your verifiers. Self-employed individuals may be contacted by the CPA for an interview.

The minimum pass mark of 65% applies to all PCP and CPM courses, including challenge exams, started on or after January 1, 2013.

If you completed a course prior to January 1, 2013, a pass mark of 60% is acceptable. If you are transferring a credit to the PCP or CPM certification program, a minimum pass mark of 60% applies to courses completed before January 1, 2013, and a minimum pass mark of 65% applies to courses started on or after January 1, 2013, for the CPA to accept the course(s) for transfer credit.

If you are reinstating your certification, you must obtain a minimum pass mark of 65% on the Payroll Knowledge Evaluator (PKE) assessment you are required to complete as part of the reinstatement process.

Not every category of responsibilities on the PCP Work Experience Requirement Application is required to be represented, but there are restrictions in instances where a position is only responsible for small portion of the payroll function. For example, in some large companies, there may be a payroll role in which the employee enters the weekly data for all staff but does little else related to payroll. This position would have a very high percentage (90-100%) of experience in the Payroll Administration category and would therefore be unlikely to qualify.

The majority of payroll positions are typically a mix of 4 or 5 different categories depending on the role.

Representatives and other employees are covered under Organization membership. The Organization Membership is for an organization and can cover two or more people depending on how many people you wish to add under the organization’s roster. The fee for this membership depends on the number of employees the organization has in total. Please refer to the pricing chart.

Organization Membership includes:

  • Membership for two main representatives who receive all of the CPA publications and communications and can enjoy all of the benefits the membership has to
  • The two main representatives include a primary Payroll Representative and a Second Payroll Representative.
  • Organization membership includes the option to add additional representatives at $130 plus applicable taxes, and other employees.  

Payroll Representative:

The primary Payroll Representative is the main contact person for the organization and the only person that has the authority to make changes to the membership, such as:

  • Adding or removing an employee from the roster;
  • Changing the name, address or contact information of the organization or any other information pertaining to the organization’s membership.

The Payroll Representative will receive the annual membership renewal notice, the receipt for membership dues paid, a membership card, a  printed copy of DIALOGUE Magazine and has voting rights during the Annual General Meeting and CPA’s Board of Director’s Election.

Second Payroll Representative:

The Second Payroll Representative can only act on behalf of the organization to advise us if the Payroll Representative is no longer with the organization and provide the new payroll representative contact information.

The Second Payroll Representative will also receive a printed copy of DIALOGUE magazine, a membership card, but will not have voting rights as our membership policy only allows one Representative per organization to vote during election occasions.

Additional Representatives (Not mandatory: You can add as many employees as you wish at no extra cost):

Additional Representatives can be added to an organization membership at a fee of $130 plus taxes and will also receive the printed copy of DIALOGUE magazine and a membership card. Like the Second Payroll Representative, the Additional Representative can only act on behalf of the organization if the Payroll Representative and Second Payroll Representative are no longer with the organization to provide the CPA with new contact information. Additional Representatives do not have voting rights.

Other Employees: 

You also have the option to add other employees to the membership roster to receive our electronic communications and e-newsletter, and gain access the electronic version of DIALOGUE magazine. They do not, however, receive a membership card though they are still considered members.

These are employees that can be added under the organization roster as Other Employees. They will receive the member rate to attend all CPA events and/or to take our certification courses. They also have access to all other benefits of membership.

If you have any difficulty with sign-up or application process, or have any other questions about JobConnect, contact Customer Service: email or call 1.844.864.7355. We are available between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET Monday to Friday.

Please contact the Customer Service number or email above before contacting the CPA, as the CPA cannot help you with the technical aspects of JobConnect. 

A verifier is a person who is, or was, your direct reporting manager and has a professional business relationship with you, such as your current or past employer. Family members are not eligible to verify your experience.

To obtain the PCP certification, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete all the required courses.
  2. Transfer non-core payroll course(s) to the CPA (e.g., Introduction to Accounting).
  3. Complete the Work Experience Requirement Application (WERA).
  4. Ensure you have an active membership with the CPA.

Once these requirements are met, the Certification Declaration will be emailed to you. You must read and submit the declaration online within the PCP certification timeline to receive the certification.

The PCP certificate will then be mailed to the preferred address in your file 6-8 weeks after your declaration is processed.

The weighting of the PCP Work Experience Requirement is determined by the number of hours per week spent completing payroll-oriented tasks. Using the standard 35-hour work week, the number of months spent completing qualifying work experience can be calculated. For example, if you spend 20 hours per week on payroll-oriented tasks and have held the position for 16 months, you would be granted a total of nine months (20 / 35 * 16 = 9.14). Only a full completed month of experience will be counted (no fractions, decimals or rounding).

If payroll is only one of your functions, you may require more than one year in the position to meet the requirement.