Report CPD FAQs
Simplified Non-Verifiable CPD Reporting
Q: Why is CGA-BC moving from a detailed non-verifiable CPD reporting process to a non-verifiable hour entry process?
A: The majority of members complete a considerable amount of qualifying accounting-related technical reading and other non-verifiable activities each year. After conducting sample selection audits over the 2008 – 2010 cycle, it was determined that simplified non-verifiable hour reporting would be less onerous for members.
Q: When will the new process be implemented?
A: The new process will be implemented for the 2012 reporting year which runs from January 1 – December 31, 2012.
Q: Do I need to provide detailed non-verifiable activity information for the 2011 reporting year?
A: Yes, the 2011 reporting year (which runs from January 1 – December 31, 2011) will still operate on a detailed activity submission process for non-verifiable activity claims.
Q: What about verifiable hours? Will I still need to report verifiable hours in detail for the 2012 reporting year once the Association has moved to simplified non-verifiable reporting?
A: Verifiable hours must still be reported in detail once we move to simplified non-verifiable reporting in 2012. No changes are being made to verifiable CPD hour reporting.
Q: Do I still need to keep a personal log of my non-verifiable hours even though I will no longer be required to report them to the Association in 2012?
A: Yes. Please retain a brief listing of the hours spent doing technical reading, or any major change in job responsibilities or new responsibilities in a volunteer capacity. This information might be requested if you are selected for CPD audit.
Q: Can I still report my non-verifiable hours throughout the year?
A: Yes, you can still report your non-verifiable hours throughout the year. If you want to add additional non-verifiable hours, you can edit your non-verifiable hour entry by clicking on it so that it’s highlighted in yellow and then entering the hour change and selected “Submit” to save it to your Report CPD page. Activities can be edited up until the January 31 deadline.
Q: When will I be required to enter my non-verifiable CPD hours?
A: Each member will be required to enter their non-verifiable hour totals by the January 31st deadline at the end of each reporting year.
Q: Is there a cap on the number of non-verifiable hours I can report each year?
A: Yes, members can report no more than 60 non-verifiable hours per year.
Q: What CGA activities are automatically uploaded to my Report CPD page?
A: Only CGA-BC seminars are automatically uploaded to your Report CPD page. If you attend any chapter seminars, CGA Advanced level or PACE level student courses, or complete an online course or webinar through PD Net, you would need to enter these hours manually yourself. This is because Chapter seminars are organized by the individual chapters (not by CGA-BC), CGA-BC student courses vary in hour amounts depending on the format of the course chosen, and PD Net is a CGA-Canada product not a CGA-BC product.
Q: When is the deadline for reporting CPD activities?
A: January 31 of each year.
Q: How do I report my Continuing Professional Development hours?
A: You report your CPD hours online throughout the year by going to “Member Services Login” and signing into your account.
Q: I don't have anything to report for the year, what do I do?
A: Members are required to report annually. If no activities were undertaken during the year, a "NIL" report must be filed. Members not filing a CPD report are referred to the Ethics Committee.
Q: Can I fulfill my CPD hours requirement (120/60) by participating in just verifiable activities or are some hours required to be non-verifiable?
A: Yes, all of your CPD hours can be done by participating in verifiable activities. It is important to note, however, that you cannot meet the hours requirement by participating in only non-verifiable activities.
Q: Why did my CPD claim disappear when I was in the middle of entering it?
A: The CPD entry window times out after 30 minutes of inactivity. If you’re entering a CPD activity that has a lot of information in the description field, we recommend that you enter it in Word or Notepad and then copy and paste the information over.
Q: Where can I find information on courses offered through CGA-BC?
A: CGA-BC posts its seminars under Professional Development. The Association also provides seminar information in its electronic newsletter, CGA Update, and members can find online courses on PD Net.
Q: Do courses have to be sponsored by CGA in order to be eligible as CPD?
A: No, courses can be taken through any organization as long as the subject matter is appropriate. Possible sources of professional development activities include your employer (in-house training), governments, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations and for-profit seminar providers.
Q: How can I evaluate if the subject matter of a course, seminar, or workshop qualifies for CPD hours?
A: When evaluating CPD activities, they must be on a topic that increases your general skills or expertise as a professional accountant and is relevant to your current or future employment. Activities span a broad range of subjects - traditional accounting, management, leadership, technology - as well as some industry-related topics. Detailed information on PD Net outlines areas of competence under the following headings: Technical Knowledge, Leadership, Professionalism, and General Management.
Q: Does CGA-BC pre-approve or endorse continuing professional development seminars presented by other companies?
A: No, generally CGA-BC does not pre-approve or endorse other companies' professional development offerings, however, as part of our commitment to a harmonized national CPD policy, several of the most commonly claimed national courses have been reviewed and pre-approved by all the CGA associations. Please click here to view this listing.
Q: Can I claim attendance at Toastmasters sessions for verifiable hours?
A: In order to be able to claim verifiable hours for Toastmasters, members are required to have verifiable documentation of their presentation (such as a handout given at the presentation, a copy of the prepared speech). Toastmasters sessions in which you haven’t made a prepared speech (i.e., no verifiable documentation) should be claimed under the NV7 category for personal study.
Q: What is the exemption policy of the CPD Program?
A: Members can apply for exemption from the CPD requirements if they are experiencing severe illness, or have applied for Retired or Family Status.
Late Filing Fee
Q: When does the Association charge members the $200 (+GST) administrative late filing fee?
A: A CPD report received after the January 31 deadline must be accompanied by the administrative late filing fee of $200 (+GST). Members are generally given until the last business day in February to report their CPD activities by paying the late fee.
Q: I have already submitted my CPD report. Can I include an additional activity?
A: Members reporting online may add activities until January 31 each year. After January 31 the $200 (+GST) administrative late filing fee is in effect.
Q: What is the minimum length a seminar must be in order to qualify for CPD hours?
Seminars must be a minimum of 1 hour to qualify.
Q: How do I calculate the number of verifiable hours in a day?
A: If you attend a seminar from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and it includes a 15-minute break in the morning and the afternoon, and a one-hour break for a social/networking lunch; you would claim 7 hours.
To reach 7 hours you would calculate as follows:
9 am to 4:30 pm = 7.5 hours
7.5 hours is rounded up to 8 hours
Subtract the 1 hour for lunch = 7 hours
Q: Can I make a partial claim for a course if it begins in one reporting year and finishes in the next reporting year?
A: No, courses can only be claimed upon completion. For example, if you begin a course in 2011 but don’t complete it until 2012, you would claim the hours for the 2012 reporting year.
Q: What kind of information should be included in the description when reporting CPD activities?
A: Include the course/seminar/workshop title, as well as a brief explanation on the course content. If the course is industry-specific, include an explanation of how it is applicable to your development as a professional accountant.
Q: How long should I keep my supporting records?
A: Supporting documents should be kept for four years.
Q: I don’t live near any of the cities where PD seminars are held by CGA. How can I obtain verifiable CPD hours?
A: Check Chapter events. Members can also accumulate verifiable hours by taking online courses through PD Net. If a course is verifiable, the course description will state this at the top of the page, as well as how many hours can be claimed for the course. Consider other providers in your area such as your employer (in-house training), colleges and universities, the school board, libraries, municipal and provincial governments, not-for-profit organizations and community organizations. Members can also search for Websites of private seminar providers or Webinar providers.
Q: Do meetings qualify for verifiable hours under the CPD program?
A: Attendance at meetings not associated with training programs do not qualify under the CPD program. However, presentations or training at meetings may qualify for hours. When evaluating whether or not a meeting qualifies for CPD hours 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?
- How long was the presentation? A presentation must be a minimum of one hour in order to qualify under the CPD program.
Q: How do I claim attendance at a conference?
A: Conferences cannot be claimed in their entirety. Hours are considered only for seminars/workshops attended at these events. When submitting your claim, please provide a list of the titles of the seminars you attended (include a brief description of the content if the title does not make the content clear) as well as the hours you attended for each of the seminars.
Q: What are examples of supporting documentation for verifiable activities?
A: Examples of evidence of verification include the following:
- Course outlines or teaching materials
- Attendance records, registration forms or confirmation of registration from providers
- Confirmation in writing by an instructor of participation
- Confirmation in writing by an employer of participation in an in-house program
- Independent assessment of learning outcomes and/or performance objectives achieved
- Certificates of completion
- Publication of professional articles.
Documentation must be retained for four years. In the case of online learning such as webinars or an online course, a certificate of completion or an assessment process must be retained in order to qualify for verifiable hours—otherwise the course or webinar would only be eligible for non-verifiable hours.
Q: What types of activities qualify as non-verifiable technical reading hours?
A: The following types of activities can be claimed under non-verifiable hours:
- Self-study or technical reading of published materials relevant to your development as an accountant or related to your industry
- Reading Outlook magazine or CGA-Canada Magazine
- Technical research and reading that may be required of you for your job
- DVD, CD, or audiocassette study and self-study courses that do not provide a certificate of completion or assessment process
When submitting a claim for a non-verifiable technical reading activity, include a brief description of the activity, titles of publications and hours spent.
Q: How do I claim a major change in job responsibility or major involvement in special projects?
A: Members should not claim the entirety of hours involved in a major change in job responsibility or major involvement in special projects – only the hours spent acquiring new skills that are transferrable to the accounting profession. New skills can include such things as: new technical skills or accounting skills, leadership/management skills, public speaking skills etc.
Q: How do I claim undertaking new responsibilities in a volunteer capacity?
A: Eligible volunteer positions include serving on the Board of Directors of a non-profit or as Treasurer or Chair of a non-profit. Members cannot claim the entirety of meetings attended, only the time spent acquiring new skills that are transferrable to the accounting profession. New skills can include: new technical skills, leadership/management skills, public speaking skills, etc.
Four-hour Ethics Requirement
Q: Can I claim an ethics course for the four-hour ethics requirement that I have previously taken?
A: No, you cannot claim an ethics course that you have previously taken to meet the ethics requirement. As with any CPD activity, you are not eligible to take the same course again unless it has been significantly updated.