CPD General FAQs


Q: What are my CPD Requirements?

The minimum amount of continuing professional development that a Member must complete, unless the meet exemption or reduction requirements, is as follows:

  • minimum of 20 hours each calendar year, of which 10 are verifiable; and
  • 120 hours in every rolling three-year calendar period, of which 60 hours are verifiable;
  • Effective January 1, 2017, a minimum of 4 hours of verifiable CPD in professional ethics in each rolling three-year calendar period.
  • If the Member has a PAB license to perform audit engagements, they must undertake CPD related to public accounting, and will be required to complete an annual self-assessment and declaration in accordance with national guidelines which have been established to address IES 8 – Professional Competence for Engagement Partners Responsible for Audits of Financial Statements. 

Q: What is verifiable CPD?

"Verifiable CPD" refers to learning activities that can be verified objectively.  Verifiable CPD documentation should:

  • Describe the learning activity;
  • Identify the provider of the activity, where applicable;
  • Connect the member to the activity;
  • Identify when the activity took place; and
  • Provide a basis for concluding that the number of reported hours is reasonable.

The documents that existed or were created at the time of the CPD activity was undertaken shall support the substance of that activity.  Some examples of verifiable CPD are:

  • CPA Nova Scotia courses
  • CPA Canada webinars
  • In-house teaching or presenting on subject matter that would have resulted in a learning activity and that can be verified in presentation material, research reports or meeting agendas
  • Conferences where there is evidence of attendance and agendas/schedules
  • Research which results in a research paper, presentation or other material delivered external to the member

Q: What is unverifiable CPD?

"Unverifiable CPD" refers to learning activities that cannot be verified objectively (i.e. no documentation) and is up to the member's discretion to determine if it is a learning activity.  Members will not be asked to produce documentation for these learning activities in the event of an audit.

Q: Are CPD hours earned by attending CPA Nova Scotia's CPD events automatically entered in the member's record?

Yes, CPA Nova Scotia will automatically credit the hours earned by attending CPA Nova Scotia's PD events to the member's CPD record.  You must ensure that you name is checked off the attendance list on the date the PD event takes place in order to receive credit.  Please allow 7 -10 business days for courses to populate online after the date of the course.

Q: How do I determine how many hours each learning activity is worth?

You can report the actual number of hours you engaged in learning activities, up to a maximum number of hours as estimated by the course provider for the activity.  For conferences and conventions, report the amount of time that was spent engaged in activities with significant intellectual or practical content.  Marketing, networking or social activities do not qualify as CPD.

Q: I had to leave a seminar early to attend to some other matters.  How many hours am I allowed to report?

You are allowed to report the number of hours you actually engage in a learning activity.  Report the number of hours you actually spent learning at the course in-person.  If you read the seminar materials on your own to learn what you missed, you can report unverifiable CPD for the actual amount of time you spent doing so.

Q: How do I report the CPD hours when I complete presentations?
Verifiable CPD hours can be reported for the preparation and delivery time of courses or educational presentations that are related to the member’s professional role, but only once per calendar year for the same or similar topic.  Preparation time should relate to maintaining and developing new knowledge to share with the audience. There is no formal limit on CPD hours related to presentations; however, the expectation is that the member takes a balanced approach towards CPD, and therefore does not generally derive all CPD hours from the same source or the same topic. 

Q: What activities qualify as CPD under volunteer or pro-bono work, such as sitting on a board of directors?

Sitting on a board of directors or on an audit committee does not in itself qualify for CPD.  In order to qualify as CPD, the volunteer activity must help you to develop and maintain professional competence to enable you to perform your professional role.  Such activities may include participation in technical discussions and receiving or delivering presentations that help you make more informed decisions and help you with your oversight responsibility. 
When evaluating whether or not a meeting qualifies for CPD, consider the following questions:

  • Were any formal presentations made at the meetings? If so, what was the topic and duration of each of the presentations? 
  • Did the presentation contain significant intellectual or practical content that provide for the development of new or existing competencies in areas that are relevant to your professional responsibilities and growth?

Q: Does on-the-job learning related to major changes in job responsibilities, involvement in special projects, significant learning of new software, systems, procedures or techniques, qualify as CPD?

The activity must help you develop and maintain professional competency to enable you to perform your professional role. The activities qualify for verifiable CPD subject to supporting documentation being available to verify the learning activity.

Q: What qualifies as technical reading and self-study?

The following are examples of items which qualify for technical reading:

  • Professional magazine articles relating to accounting, taxation, finance, management or other technical subjects
  • Newspaper articles relating to your current and/or future field or industry
  • Self-study of published materials
  • Self-study courses

Q: If I qualify for a reduction in my membership dues, do I automatically qualify for an exemption from CPD?

No.  The criteria for a dues waiver and a CPD exemption are not the same; therefore, qualifying for one does not mean you automatically qualify for the other. You have to apply for each separately.