Bringing CIPFA’s Professional Accountancy Qualification to Canada

As the world’s only public finance focused accounting institute, CIPFA has long recognised the importance of international engagement, and in recent years, we have developed a strong presence in Canada, delivering bespoke finance and leadership training to Canadian professional bodies and government departments.

Most recently, we have been working with Nīewe, a Canada-based consulting firm, to bring CIPFA’s Professional Accountancy Qualification (PAQ) to parts of the Canadian government.

As a result of this work, the Canadian federal government, the province of Ontario and the Canadian Armed Forces have committed to recognising the PAQ as a qualification that delivers the required level of skill and aptitude in public finance for their finance functions. We have worked with Nīewe and public sector organisations in Canada to design a bespoke version of CIPFA’s Accelerated Route programme that takes into account the specificities of the Canadian public sector environment for senior civil servants.

The Accelerated Route programme provides an intensive, highly rewarding route through CIPFA’s PAQ, and successful candidates will be awarded the CPFA designation, which in Canada stands for Canadian Public Finance Accreditation (CPFA). The programme is delivered by CIPFA-approved trainers in Canada using a blend of in-person and online delivery in both French and English. The first cohort of 32 candidates got underway in November 2022 and a second cohort will commence this year.

Feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive. Virginia M. from the Ministry of Infrastructure commented: “So far, this has been a high-quality learning experience in terms of subject matter, course content, support staff and fellow learners. The certification program is immediately relevant to my career, and I look forward to finishing it and being part of the CPFA community.”

Tracy F. from the Canada Revenue Agency particularly highlighted the quality of the teaching: “The instructors are very knowledgeable, patient, and able to explain complex concepts in a simplistic manner. I look forward to the continuation of the program and furthering my development in strategic thinking using data analytics in a data-driven environment as an executive in the financial community of the Government of Canada.”