If you plan to complete a particular degree or international accounting designation, you are free to explore what your potential standing in the CGA program will be upon graduation or attainment of professional membership. Please do not proceed beyond the on-screen results (do not select Print/Email Results unless the information you have entered accurately reflects your standing in that program at this time).
Professional bodies are based in a particular country (home country of designation). ACCA and CIMA are based in the United Kingdom, despite having widespread recognition abroad. Similarly, AICPA and IIA are based in the United States. Refer to the list of IFAC members, associates and affiliates to determine what country a professional body is linked to.
An accounting body may provide transitional guidance to current or more recent requirements. The year indicated is considered approximate and, if in your judgement, you have met the equivalent requirements (the same overall years of education, standards and learning outcomes), you may wish to proceed with the version of the program available in the Assessment Tool. Alternatively, compare your studies to the CGA requirements and estimate what exemptions/transfer credits you could request upon formal application. Please note that a CGA Association may not award advanced standing for certain course work completed more than 10 years ago, particularly if a professional designation was not obtained.
Upon applying for formal assessment, CGA Associations will still consider granting some transfer credit for other recognized accounting designations and post-secondary programs. We encourage IFAC member bodies and fully accredited universities that are not already reflected in the Assessment Tool to contact CGA-Canada’s International department to explore recognition opportunities. Have an official at your association or institution contact CGA-Canada - International. In the mean time, you could explore the advanced standing available to graduates of similar courses or programs in your country or region, but such results should be used with caution.
The results available from the Assessment Tool are preliminary and unofficial, and are for your personal information. They are not intended to suggest your eligibility for immigration, employment and/or further education. Those seeking employment or access to further education should use formal (official) assessment results, if needing to substantiate their standing in the program. Those interested in immigrating to or studying in Canada should refer to our External Links (see help and support above).
The CGA Association to which you are applying will determine if your university education is recognized and comparable to a Canadian degree. The CGA Association may require a third-party credential evaluation report. In Canada, degrees usually require four years of post-secondary study following 12 years of elementary and secondary schooling. Some provinces also have three year degrees.
In Quebec, students complete two years of collegiate study after grade 11, followed by a three-year university bachelor’s degree program. Quebec students who complete bachelor’s degrees therefore complete 16 years of total schooling, equivalent to other provinces where students complete 12 years of elementary and secondary plus four years of post-secondary education.
If the CGA assessment finds that the degree you earned in another country does not meet Canadian standards, you may be able to take additional education at a recognized Canadian university to bring your post-secondary education up to the Canadian standard.
In most cases, your degree need not be an accounting major or a business degree. However, students who have accounting or business degrees are usually given the most exemptions or transfer credits for courses in the CGA program.
While most CGA Associations have no formal program entry requirements, you must have a good understanding of the essential elements of business arithmetic and basic algebra including:
In addition, you are expected to have at least Grade 12 level written and verbal English skills (see External Links for some resources for improving your English language skills). If you will be taking CGA transferrable courses or completing CGA’s degree requirement through a post-secondary institution, you must satisfy the entry requirements and course prerequisites of that institution.
Permanent residents of Canada can enrol through the relevant CGA association (see Contact Us). Temporary residents of Canada with a Study Permit may be able to enrol through their local CGA association, but will also need a Work Permit in order to obtain Canadian professional experience. All students in Canada must obtain permanent resident status prior to final CGA certification. Permanent residents of CGA’s other jurisdictions typically enrol through their local association or representation office.
CGA standards are high, therefore, CGA Associations generally require a mark that demonstrates at least a good mastery of the subject material. CGA has set the pass mark at 65 per cent for its own courses and exams, whereas 50 per cent is often the pass mark at Canadian universities.
For transfer credits from most Canadian universities, where the course curriculum and difficulty level is equivalent to CGA standards 65 per cent or "C+" is a common minimum mark. For transfer credits from some other Canadian post-secondary institutions, CGA requires higher marks, in the "B" range. Just as transfer credit minimums vary for universities and institutions in Canada, the minimum marks set for transfer credits from international institutions may vary.
In some countries, grading scales differ significantly to those commonly found in Canada. In some cases, marks that qualify as 2nd class/2nd division in commonwealth grading systems will qualify for transfer credit, whereas ordinary pass marks will not.
For purposes of the self-assessment, you should not include courses where you earned less than the mark indicated for the institution or professional body. The minimum mark for transfer as indicated in the Self-Assessment may change. After you make a Formal Application, a CGA Association may consider factors such as marks for an overall program/designation, or the recommendations of a provincially mandated credential evaluation service.
Generally, you must successfully complete, challenge, or be granted Advanced Standing in all the prerequisite courses specified for a particular CGA course. You can find specific details about prerequisites for Foundation, Advanced and PACE level courses under the CGA Program tab above.
The CGA program sets course prerequisites so that students will be properly prepared for more advanced courses and will have more successful outcomes. If you have questions or concerns about course prerequisites or sequencing, contact a CGA Association.
Institutions that can be found in the Self-Assessment will typically be recognized in Canada. The CGA Association you apply to will confirm this. They may require an official third-party credential evaluation report.
Many acceptable institutions will not be included in the Self-Assessment simply because CGA has not yet had an opportunity to evaluate them. Generally, if a country’s government authorizes the granting of the degree and a higher education commission in that country accredits the institution, CGA will recognize the program. The program must also be comparable to the Canadian degree standard.
Two national bodies representing main-stream colleges, institutes and universities provide useful resources for researching post-secondary programs:
Each CGA Association determines which courses from post-secondary institutions in its jurisdiction it will recognize and under what conditions. Links to each province’s official CGA transfer information are provided below.
Mutual Recognition Agreements are legal agreements between selected professional accounting associations that encourage joint enterprise and enable members from each organization to become a member and use the designation of the other. For accountants, holding a designation in two different regulatory jurisdictions will often give access to a broader market for their services.
An MRA only applies to fully qualified members, in good standing, of selected professional accounting bodies. You must have completed the other body’s professional program, examination and practical experience requirements. You are not eligible if membership was obtained through another MRA. If you have completed interim (partial) qualifications, you are not eligible to apply under an MRA, but may request advanced standing (transfer credit) towards the CGA Program. If you have met all the educational/exam requirements of a designation, you must first meet any other requirements, such as practical experience, and become a fully certified member of the MRA body before applying to CGA through a MRA.
To apply under an MRA, you must have a recognized university degree, and some transitional study requirements (for example, a short overview of Canadian Tax and Law). If you become a CGA through an MRA, you must also maintain your original designation. For more information, see the specific requirements for each MRA on the CGA-Canada website and each CGA Association’s website for additional information on forms, documentation, and fees.
Practical experience is essential for developing professional competence. If you are entering CGA through a Mutual Recognition Agreement, you will have met professional experience requirements acceptable to CGA.
Generally, it takes students three years of work in positions of increasing responsibility to demonstrate the competencies necessary for certification. At least one to two years must be completed while a CGA student (typically concurrent with PACE). CGA formally assesses professional experience after you complete all other CGA certification requirements, such as the degree requirement and PACE. See CGA Program – Professional Experience for further details.
CGA does not arrange for employment or practical work experience. You will be required to secure employment independently (see Help and Support for External Links that may prove helpful).
Each CGA Association sets its own assessment fees, which may also include a charge for each exemption/transfer credit granted. In cases where an official third-party credential evaluation report and/or official translation of documents is required, you must pay the relevant service provider(s) directly.
If your documents are not in the official language(s) of the province in which you’re applying, you may be required to submit certified translations of the documents.
Official transcripts are typically printed on tamper-proof paper, include the institution’s seal and Registrar’s signature, and are mailed directly to the relevant CGA Association or credential evaluation service from the university. In some cases, a CGA Association may accept “attested” copies of documents (for example, mark sheets and credentials earned) sent directly from a national higher education authority or EU official Diploma Supplements sent directly from the university.
If your current name is different from what appears on the official transcript, you must provide legal documents proving the name change. Each CGA Association and credential evaluation service will specify their own requirements.
A CGA Association may require that you submit course descriptions or syllabi with your application. URLs providing information such as course outlines and sample exams on a particular website can also help ensure you receive adequate consideration for your prior studies. Please specify what CGA courses you are requesting consideration for.
Credential evaluation services provide expertise on recognition of institutions, comparability of formal educational credentials and document verification. They may also provide credit value conversions and grade (mark) equivalencies.
If your designation comes from a member body of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC member), your designation will generally be recognized by CGA and you will be eligible for at least some transfer credit (advanced standing) in the CGA program. CGA has assessed some IFAC member bodies’ programs and other selected professional qualifications and has established predetermined eligibility for exemptions/transfer credits (also known as advanced standing) as reflected in this Self-Assessment. In a few cases, CGA has Mutual Recognition Agreements with IFAC members. Some IFAC member bodies admit members based solely on university degree programs, which may be the basis for the advanced standing CGA may grant.