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Program Regulations 


Enrolment
Course Materials
Change of Student Status
Program Sequence
Changing Program Sequence
Time Limit Policy
Course Prerequisites
Language and Numeracy Expectations
Maximum Courses Per Session and Year
Transfer Credits
Waiving Exemptions
Enrolling in a Course
Changing Sessions of Courses or Challenge Examinations
Changing Pace Electives
Minimum Number of Examinations
Examination Failure Policy
Withdrawals and Refunds
Withdrawal and Re-Admission Policy
Student Appeals
Transfers Out of B.C. 


  

Enrolment 

The CGA-BC academic year runs from September to August. Students are required to pay the applicable Basic Tuition Fee (active or non-active status) each year in August to maintain their CGA student status for the upcoming year.

To maintain your student status as a CGA-BC student, you must reside in the province of British Columbia. Please ensure your address information is accurate under Student Details in your My CGA-BC account.

If you are an international student, you must maintain a valid Study Visa while on the CGA-BC. Students will be denied the opportunity to pay tuition or enrol in a course if their Study Visa has expired. You may request an “International Letter of Student Status” under the Request for Letter of Student Status Form, which can accompany your application to extend your Study Visa to CIC (Citizenship & Immigration Canada).

Each new student receives an official assessment that indicates exempted courses, courses left to complete, the time limit to complete the CGA Program, and whether the student has fulfilled the degree requirement. Students should use this official assessment to identify which courses they must complete.

Students enrol in courses via the online Enrolment system, found under the Students tab on the CGA-BC website.

Students are sent a reminder in July to ensure they re-enrol and pay the Basic Tuition Fee on time. Please note that this fee is non-refundable and is separate from the course fees required to enrol in a course. Students who do not re-enrol by the deadline will be required to either pay late enrolment fees or will be voluntarily withdrawn from the CGA Program by the end of the academic year. Such students will be required to apply for admission to the new CPA Program. For more information on the CPA Program and its requirements, please visit http://gocpabc.ca/.

The Basic Tuition Fee covers the following services:

  • academic and career advising
  • access to secure areas of the CGA-BC website
  • chapter functions
  • access to CPABC Careers Site and career development related functions
  • mailings and publications
  • the Student Advisory Group

Please be reminded that 2014-2015 will be the final CGA academic year.

There are two tuition types:

  1. A) ACTIVE (enrolling in CGA courses or exams) – This applies to students wishing to enrol in a CGA course or exam in a given session. The active tuition fee will automatically be charged, along with the required course/exam fees.

    B) ACTIVE (not enrolling in CGA courses or exams) – This applies to students wishing to either pay only their active tuition fee in August and wait to enrol in courses later in the year, or students who will be taking their courses outside of CGA at a post-secondary institution for the transfer credit and , therefore, only need to pay their active tuition fee in August.
  2. NON-ACTIVE – this status allows students to take a step back from their studies (for health, medical, or work related reasons, etc.), while still maintaining their CGA student status. Students who are writing deferred or supplemental exams are eligible to write these examinations under the non-active status. Non-active students will continue to be eligible to take advantage of the Association’s academic and career related services, and will continue to receive Association publications.  However, they are not permitted to enrol in CGA courses, challenge examinations or enrol in courses for transfer credit at post-secondary institutions for the entire academic year. To do so, such students would be required to upgrade to the active status, via the online Enrolment system.

CPA Transition Planning Note:

CGA courses will be offered until session 4 of the 2014-2015 academic year.  Therefore, taking a non-active year will not be in the best interest of many students.  We strongly recommend that students take advantage of the remaining available sessions in order to work towards their CGA Program requirements.

For more information on the CPA Program and its requirements, please visit
http://gocpabc.ca/.  

 

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Course Materials 

You will receive all required materials when you enrol in a CGA course. The fee for these materials is included in the course fee. You must purchase the course materials from the Association and CGA materials are non-refundable. If you are retaking a course and the course materials have not changed from the previous year, you will not be sent the course materials and the previous year’s course materials can be reused. A reduced course fee would apply in this case. If you are retaking a course and the course materials have changed, the course materials will be sent (if applicable) and you will pay the full course fee. If you are enrolling in a challenge exam, you will not receive course materials along with your enrolment. However, since some PACE Level courses now include online versions of the Selected Readings through Blackboard OLE, you will have access to this material as well as all information found in the Course Content link, while being enrolled in the challenge exam. Please see the Challenge Examinations section of this Handbook for further details.

Please be aware that the Course Modules Notes can also be found directly in Blackboard OLE, under the Course Content link.

Canada Post delivers course materials to Lower Mainland addresses in approximately two to three business days.

Due to mailbox size limitations, course materials shipments are undeliverable to most residential addresses containing a suite or apartment number. In these cases, you will need to wait for the pick-up notice or visit your local postal outlet to pick up your course material package. See Distribution Centre for further details on out-of-province and country shipments.

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 Change of Student Status
Students may change their status mid-year, but should keep the following in mind:

Non-Active > Active 

 

  • You are required to pay the balance of the full Basic Tuition Fee as well as the course addition fee, if applicable.
  • You may upgrade to active status via the online Enrolment system.
 
Active > Non-Active 

 

  • You must not have taken any courses throughout the whole year either with CGA or at a post-secondary institution for transfer credit.
  • You will not be eligible of a refund of the tuition difference if you change your status from active to non-active mid year.
  • Contact a Student Advisor at advising@cga-bc.org to request this change.  
 

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Program Sequence 

When you first enrol in the CGA Program, you are to follow the designated program sequence as described in Student Details on My CGA-BC or as indicated on your Academic Assessment for CGA Credit Form you were emailed at the time of your admission. A list of the various program sequences and their corresponding course requirements can also be found in Schedules, Fees & Forms

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Changing Program Sequence


Students may request to change from a prior program to the current CGA Program that came into effect in 2006-2007 (Program 06). If students make this change, it is permanent and students cannot switch back to their old program. Students are not permitted to change to an earlier program under any circumstances. Students considering changing their program should discuss this option with a Student Advisor at advising@cga-bc.org.

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Time Limit Policy 

Effective May 2013, all three accounting designations - ICA, CMA and CGA - have signed an agreement to pursue a merger and are working to unite under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. As a result of this merger, all CGA-BC students will have until September 2015 (session 4 2014-2015 academic year) to complete the academic requirements of the CGA program. Students who pass their final examination(s) in this exam period and who have completed all other CGA academic requirements (including a bachelor’s degree) and who have received sign-off on their practical experience requirements will not be required to bridge over to the CPA Program.  It is our intention that students in this situation will be granted both the CGA legacy designation and the new CPA designation, pending legislation.
 
CGA-BC students who are able to complete all of Levels 1-4 and all PACE level courses (with the exception of BC1, BC2, and AT1), by session 4 2014-2015, but who have not completed the degree and/or practical experience requirements, will not be required to bridge over to the CPA Program.  Rather, students in this situation will be granted 3 additional years to complete their practical experience requirements (until September 1, 2018) and 5 additional years to complete their degree (until June 1, 2020). It is our intention that these students will also be granted both the CGA legacy and the new CPA designation, pending legislation.

For further information on the bridging process to the CPA Program, please see the Merger Updates page found here.

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Course Prerequisites 

To enrol in a CGA-BC course or challenge exam, you must meet the required course prerequisites by successfully passing (65 per cent or C+) the prerequisite courses listed in the Course Prerequisite Schedule. You will not be allowed to enrol in a course if you do not meet the course prerequisites. You should plan to complete courses in Levels 1-3 before taking courses in Level 4 and the PACE Level, as courses progress in terms of complexity and difficulty.

Please note that because it takes eight weeks to mark CGA examinations, you will need to plan your schedule to ensure there is one session in between the prerequisite course and the course you want to take to confirm a passing grade (65 per cent). If you complete a prerequisite course outside of CGA, it is your responsibility to submit a Request for Transfer Credit Form, along with an official transcript from the post-secondary institution, so that we can grant you an exemption for the prerequisite before you enrol in the CGA-BC course.

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Language and Numeracy Expectations 
Courses that have no prerequisites still assume that you have basic proficiencies in language and numeracy. You are expected to have a good understanding of the essential elements of business arithmetic and basic algebra, including arithmetic operations, algebraic concepts, simple and compound interest, annuities and statistics. 

In addition, CGA students require a high level of language proficiency to be successful in both the academic and professional work experience components of the program. A minimum requirement of grade 12 English or a “Canadian Language Benchmark” (CLB) level at 8 or above is suggested. Generally, students with CLB levels below 8 will need to assign additional time to their studies. Therefore, the CGA Association recommends that students with CLB levels at 7 or below improve their level of language competence in order to be successful.
 
Canadian Language Benchmarks are a standard national measure of English proficiency used in Canada, demonstrating to an employer or instructor an individual’s ability to competently use English to complete certain tasks. The CLB categorizes language skill up to 12 levels of competence in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. See www.language.ca for more information about the CLB. 
 

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Maximum Courses Per Session and Year 

Even as we enter the final year of the CGA program, CGA-BC strongly recommends that you enrol in only one CGA course per session (with the exception of the public speaking requirement). CGA courses require approximately 20-25 hours of assignment preparation and studying per week. Although you can take more than one course or examination in a session, the resulting workload may be too demanding and assignment and/or exam conflicts could arise. The Assignment Due Date Schedules and Exam Schedules are not set up to support the practice of taking more than one course per session. If you choose to take more than one course or exam in a session, you must develop a plan that takes these issues into consideration, since no special consideration will be given to students who attempt this.

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Transfer Credits 

As a CGA student, you may complete approved equivalent courses at post-secondary institutions for transfer credit to Levels 1-4 courses in the CGA Program, provided that you maintain active student status. You are responsible for ensuring that any non-CGA courses you take are recognized for transfer credit by CGA-BC. For full details of which non-CGA courses are approved for transfer credit, see the Transfer Credit Guide (available in print from CGA-BC) or see Transfer Credits online for the most current information.

To receive transfer credit with CGA-BC, you will need to submit a Request for Transfer Credit Form, along with an official transcript from the post-secondary institution. Please submit the request form as soon as you have completed the non-CGA courses so that CGA-BC’s records are up to date. Courses transferred into the CGA Program are subject to a transfer credit fee for each CGA exemption (with the exception of public speaking and challenge exams).

If you are seeking transfer credit for your post-secondary studies completed either within Canada or outside of Canada, please submit your official transcripts directly to our CGA-BC office, or place your request for the official transcript directly with your post-secondary institution and have them mailed to:

Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia
c/o Assessments
#300 - 1867 West Broadway,
Vancouver, BC V6J 5L4


Additional Important Information: 

If your official transcripts are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a notarized translation.

All transcripts received will be kept in your file and will not be returned to you. Therefore, if you require a record of your official transcripts for your own records or you require an additional copy of your transcripts to send to a translator, we suggest that you order more than one at the time of your request to your post-secondary institution.

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Waiving Exemptions 

At the time of admission, students are assessed for exemptions from CGA courses, based on their previous education. Despite being granted an exemption in a particular course, you may wish to waive (give up) this exemption and take the course through CGA. If you choose to do so, please be aware that this is a permanent change and the exemption cannot be reinstated.

Students may want to consider simply refreshing the course material by taking the course at a post-secondary institution, rather than giving up the exemption all together.

Any students who still wish to waive a course exemption, please contact a Student Advisor at advising@cga-bc.org for assistance.

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 Enrolling in a Course 

Once you have paid the Basic Tuition Fee in August each year, you have two options when enrolling in courses:

  • enrol in courses for the entire academic year in August, or
  • enrol in courses each session, by the enrolment deadlines posted under Enrolment on the CGA-BC website

Courses are added through the online Enrolment system. A Course Addition Fee applies each time you use the online enrolment system to add a course after you have paid the Basic Tuition Fee for the year.  

Please be aware that if a student wishes to enrol in a year’s worth of courses in August, all course prerequisites must be met, and the course fees are due at the point of enrolment in August.

 

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Changing Sessions of Courses
or Challenge Examinations
 

Students may request a session change to move their course(s) to another session during the same academic year. To do so, please submit the Session Change Request Form by the published deadlines found under Refund, Withdrawal and Session Change Deadlines for each session. If you wish to request a session change for a challenge exam, please refer to the posted Exam Schedules, as this often differs from the Course Schedule.

Session changes are not eligible for deferred or supplemental exams. For more details, see the Examination section of this Student Handbook.

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Changing Pace Electives 

In the PACE Level, students must complete two elective courses in addition to the required capstone courses PA1 and PA2. Once a student has attempted the course and exam for a given elective, they may discover that the course was not a suitable choice. If the student has been unsuccessful in their attempt at the elective, they may request to change electives by emailing their request to a Student Advisor at advising@cga-bc.org.

Please note that you cannot complete both AU2 and MU1 as your two PACE elective courses. Only one of these upper-level audit courses can be completed. Given this, you may only declare an elective change from one course to the other (AU2 to MU1 or MU1 to AU2). 

If you want to change electives, you cannot enrol in the new elective until your request is received and permission is granted. In accordance with the examination failure policy, you are only allowed up to four attempts at an elective. Any failure(s) in the first elective are carried forward and included in any subsequent count of failures for the new elective. For example, if you attempt TX2 twice, and then change electives to MS2, you will only have two attempts remaining at the new elective, MS2.

Program 98 students can complete either PA1 or PA2, and should note that the elective change policy also applies to PA1/PA2 changes. A student may be allowed to change from one PA course to the other (for example, from PA1 to PA2). As with electives, attempts in the first PA course are carried forward and included in any subsequent count of failures for the new PA course.

Students are not permitted to take a third elective course. If you are interested in completing another elective course, you should consider taking the course once you are a member to fulfill your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement.
 

CPA Transition Planning Note:

Please take a moment to review our bridging resources below, which outline how our CGA courses map onto the CPA Program courses. As you are planning your PACE Level elective courses specifically, be sure to note those which transfer into the CPA Program, and those that do not.

CGA to CPA Course Mapping

For more information on the CPA Program and its requirements, please visit
http://gocpabc.ca/ 

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Minimum Number of Examinations 

Students who enter the CGA Program with advanced standing are required to pass a minimum number of CGA examinations in certain fields. Please contact Assessments@cga-bc.org if you have any questions about this policy.

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Examination Failure Policy 

Students are allowed up to four failed attempts for each CGA course. Any course is considered to have been failed when a student:

  • does not qualify to write the examination (DNQ), or
  • writes any examination (including primary, challenge, supplemental and deferred) and achieves a mark of less than 65 per cent, or,
  • receives a mark of S or F in PA1/PA2.

Each DNQ, examination grade of less than 65 per cent, or examination grade of S or F (for PA1 and PA2) is considered to be one of the four attempts allowed to pass a particular course. Marks of ETR (Elect to Re-enrol) or DEF (Deferred) are not considered failures. Please refer to the Examinations section of this Handbook for more information.

Three Times Failed
Any student who fails a course three times will be sent a letter advising them that their next attempt must be successful if they wish to maintain their status in the CGA Program. The notification letter also offers suggestions and support to improve students’ chances of succeeding in their subsequent attempt.

Four Times Failed 

Any student who fails a course four times (including an applicable elective change) will be subject to mandatory withdrawal from the CGA Program at the end of the academic year. The withdrawal and re-admission policy will then apply.

After failing a course four times, a student has the right to appeal to the Director, Education, to waive the requirement for mandatory withdrawal. The appeal must be made within 90 days of the date that the student is notified of reaching this limitation. Please see the Student Appeals section of this Handbook for more information.

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Withdrawals and Refunds Withdrawal from a Course 

CGA-BC provides students with two withdrawal dates per session. To withdraw from a course, you must complete and submit the Course and Exam Withdrawal Request Form by the published deadlines found under Refund, Withdrawal and Session Change Deadlines.

  • Partial refund and no academic penalty – We will refund you the course fee, less an administrative withdrawal fee and material fee. You may request to leave the credit balance on your record for future enrolments or you may request a refund. All refunds are issued using the same method in which the payment was made. Please see the CGA Course Refund Schedule for exact refund amounts.
  • No refund, no academic penalty – We will not refund the course fee, however, there will be no academic penalty.

Course materials are not returnable or refundable.  

If you withdraw from a course by the above published deadlines, this will not appear on your transcript of marks. All withdrawal requests will be confirmed by mail within two weeks of receipt. In the meantime, students may also wish to check their Course Marks History page under My CGA-BC or their credit card statement as a means of verifying their request has been processed. Withdrawing from a course does not count as a failed attempt at the course, but you will be required to complete the course at another time.

Since examination qualification is not required for courses in Levels 1-4, please note that if you do not withdraw by the posted withdrawal deadlines or defer your exam by the posted deferral deadlines, a mark of ETR (Elect To Re-enrol) will show on your transcript. This does not count as a failed attempt at the course, but you will be required to complete the course at another time.

Examination qualification is required for all PACE Level courses. Please note that if you do not withdraw by the posted withdrawal deadlines or achieve the minimum examination qualification, a mark of DNQ (Did Not Qualify) will show on your transcript. DNQ is considered a course failure and will count as an attempt at the course. You will be required to complete the course at another time. See the Assignment and Exam Qualification Summary for further information on exam qualification requirements.

Please note that course withdrawals are not permitted after the above published deadlines.  

Withdrawal from a Supplemental or Challenge Examination 

If you wish to withdraw from a supplemental or challenge examination, you must submit the Course and Exam Withdrawal Request Form by the Refund, Withdrawal and Session Change Deadlines posted here. There will be a partial refund of the examination fee, less an administrative withdrawal fee for each examination. You will be eligible to enrol in a challenge examination at another time, however, after withdrawing from a supplemental exam, you will have no further opportunities to re-enrol in this supplemental exam and you must re-enrol in the full course. 

Withdrawal from a Deferred Examination 

Students may withdraw from deferred examinations. In order to do so, you must submit a Course and Exam Withdrawal Request Form by the final withdrawal deadline for courses in that session. Check the Refund, Withdrawal and Session Change Deadlines posted here. By meeting this deadline, the scheduled deferred exam will be removed from the student transcript. If you do not submit the withdrawal request form by the specified deadline or do not sit to write the exam you will receive a mark of ETR (Elect To Re-enrol) on your transcript and you must re-enrol in the course. The unwritten exam will not count as a failed attempt at the course. Compassionate Withdrawal from a Course or Examination 

CGA-BC expects students to complete the required assignment and examination requirements for their program of study. CGA-BC also recognizes that this may not be possible due to family and medical reasons or other compassionate grounds. In such cases, CGA-BC will consider the individual circumstances through the Student Appeal process, and we will make every effort to assist the student in completing their studies while meeting the operational and professional requirements of the Association.

Voluntary Withdrawal from the CGA Program 

A student wishing to withdraw completely from the CGA Program can submit a Program Withdrawal Request Form. Such a withdrawal is considered a voluntary withdrawal. If a student does not pay the Basic Tuition Fee (active or non-active status) for a given academic year, this also signifies to the Association their wish to voluntarily withdraw from the CGA Program, and their status will be changed accordingly at the end of the academic year.

Students who voluntarily withdraw from the CGA Program will not receive a refund of tuition, exemption fees, software or administrative fees. The student may receive individual course or examination refunds, subject to the withdrawal and refund policy outlined above.  As a reminder, this is the final year of the CGA program; therefore, if a withdrawn student is interested in pursuing a professional accounting designation in later years, they will need to apply to the CPA Program.
 

Mandatory Withdrawal from the CGA Program 

In the event that a student violates the Exam Failure Policy (fails a course four times) or is unable to complete their studies by the deadline to complete the CGA legacy program, they will be mandatorily withdrawn from the CGA Program and required to apply to the CPA Program at a later time. Please note that students may appeal this mandatory withdrawal to the Director, Education, through the Student Appeal process.

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Program Withdrawal and Re-Admission PolicyRe-admission Policy Following a
Voluntary or Mandatory Withdrawal
 

Students who have voluntarily withdrawn or who have been subject to mandatory withdrawal from the CGA Program will be required to apply to the new CPA Program and will be subject to the CPA admission policies.

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Student Appeals 

CGA-BC has adopted certain performance standards, rules and regulations that apply to all students in the program. These standards protect the integrity and the value of the CGA designation. However, CGA-BC recognizes that students can face extenuating circumstances clearly beyond their control, such as family, health or medical issues, or unforeseen changes in their work environment, etc. In such cases, the appeal process offers students the opportunity to have their circumstances considered outside of policy.

To begin, students will need to submit a student appeal letter. While preparing the appeal letter, students should consider the following:

  • The appeal is based solely on the student’s written submission and therefore, should include appropriate supporting documentation, where applicable (medical, legal, etc.).
  • The specific personal circumstances that negatively affected the performance of a CGA student need to be explained. Almost all CGA students can honestly state that they are under pressure on the job. If the student is going to claim that job-related issues were part of the specific personal circumstances, the student should be prepared to explain why the situation is different from the job stresses faced by an average CGA student. In such cases, a letter from the student’s employer should be provided.
  • Students need to detail a specific plan for completing CGA studies if the appeal is granted. When preparing the student appeal letter, a student should consider his or her future on the CGA Program if the appeal is granted. If the appeal is based on problems with a specific course or examination, the student will need to indicate the additional specific steps he/she will take to ensure success if granted an additional attempt. For example, the student will seek assistance from a paid tutor or form a study group with fellow students, etc. Students should provide a timeline for success. If the appeal is a request for additional time to accomplish some specific goal (e.g., pass an examination, complete other courses in the program, etc.), the student should show how the remaining time in the program would be used to reach these goals. The plan must look beyond the immediate appeal.
  • The appeal should be a presentation of facts and a plan directly relating to the above issues.

Please address the appeal letter to Bill Johnson (Director, Education) and email it as an attachment to the Coordinator, Student Advising, Natalie Makortoff at  nmakortoff@cga-bc.org for processing. For further assistance in preparing your appeal, please contact Natalie Makortoff  at 604.730.6201 or at the email address above.

To assist you in preparing your appeal letter, below is an example of how the student appeal letter should be composed:

Date

Mr Bill Johnson, CPA, FCGA
Director, Education
Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia
300 - 1867 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6J 5L4

Dear Mr. Johnson:

In the opening paragraph, please state what you are requesting in a clear concise manner. For example, “I am writing this letter to appeal for an additional year to complete my CGA designation.” Please be realistic. If you have any other requests, please be sure to include them here as well.

In the second paragraph, please explain any extenuating circumstances that necessitated your request. Include any unforeseen personal, professional, or medical obstacles. If you are attaching any supporting documents, i.e. medical, legal etc please also refer to them here.
If you have been given specific terms from a previous appeal, please address them.

Finally, please outline a detailed plan of study. This should include a session by session timeline of completion. If you have yet to complete your PERC or your degree requirement, please also outline your plan of completion here.

Yours truly,

Student Name
  
  

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Transfers Out of B.C. 

CGA-BC students must have a permanent (residence) address within British Columbia or the Yukon Territory. Students planning to permanently move (more than one year) outside of British Columbia or the Yukon must request a transfer of their student file to the new CGA Affiliate (province or territory) of residence if they wish to continue the CGA Program by completing and submitting the Student Transfer Application. Please see page two of the Student Transfer Application form for a list of CGA’s Canadian and international Affiliate offices.

For temporary moves outside of British Columbia or the Yukon (less than one year or moves taking place mid-academic year), students can elect to change their Exam Centre, by making the change under the appropriate section of the Student Details on My CGA-BC.

Please be reminded that the 2014-2015 academic year will be the final year of the CGA Program.
 

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Who To Contact
Student Handbook(2)
Online Learning Reference Guide
My CGA-BC

Career Centre 

Topics 

design & integration:
Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia.
300 – 1867 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6J 5L4
T: 604.732.1211 TF 1 800.565.1211 F: 604.732.1252