What is Required for Certification as a CGA?
To earn your certification as a CGA in BC or elsewhere in Canada, you need to complete the academic component, the degree requirement, and the practical work experience requirement. See Program at a Glance for an overview of the CGA program requirements.
The CGA program comprises 19 courses and examinations approved by CGA-Canada. This consists of Foundation Studies, Advanced Studies and Professional Studies (PACE). In addition, students must complete two Business Cases, which apply financial management concepts in a practical manner. The courses make extensive reference to ethical issues.
All courses and exams are in English only. Many students will need to take Communications 1 (CM1) if they have not taken courses at a university level where English is the main language of study.
Regardless of your prior post-secondary or professional education, all exams at the final PACE Level must be written through the CGA Association.
See CGA Courses and Exams for course descriptions. For details about the course content of all CGA courses, see the Course Syllabus.
A bachelor’s degree is required to be certified as a CGA. The degree may be from most post-secondary degree granting institutions and may be in any field. A degree is not necessary to enter the CGA program, but must be obtained prior to certification as a CGA. CGA has partnerships with post-secondary institutions to allow students to combine their previous education and their studies on the CGA program to earn a bachelor’s degree. See Degree Opportunities.
CGA-BC can evaluate foreign degrees to determine if they meet the program’s degree requirement. However, in some situations an independent evaluation may be required.
Practical Work Experience Requirement
The CGA program is designed to offer individuals the opportunity to study part-time while pursuing full-time employment and career advancement. If you are not currently working in the accounting field, it is strongly recommended that you obtain this employment in order to meet the CGA’s experience requirements for certification—prior to completion of all CGA course requirements.
CGA certification requires a wide range of accounting and financial management experience on the job. In general, a minimum of three years’ work experience is required— approximately two years of this must be at an intermediate to senior level. Normally, a beginning student will start in a clerical/junior position and then progress to an intermediate/senior position. Individuals who have international work experience, even if extensive, will be required to have a minimum of one year Canadian experience at an intermediate or senior level.
Other practical experience considerations:
International work experience may count for up to two of the three years’ practical work experience requirements. One year must be at the intermediate/senior level in Canada. Letters from all employers confirming work experience are required.
CGA students may work in a variety of accounting areas, but they may not be self-employed in the practice of public accounting. However, they may be employees of a public practice firm. Upon admission into membership of CGA-BC, they may become a proprietor or partner of a public accounting firm.
Students may request an assessment of their work experience from CGA-BC at anytime. Complete all sections of the online Practical Experience Assessment Questionnaire (PEAQ) found on the Association’s Website and submit it to CGA-BC for evaluation. CGA-BC will assess your work experience and notify you of any areas in which you require further experience or if your experience satisfies the Association’s requirements.
See Practical Experience.
Public Speaking Requirement
All students must complete a public speaking course prior to graduation.