CPA Professional Education Program: Core modules

Learn about the core modules of the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).

To fulfill the requirements of the CPA PEP, you must complete six modules — two core modules, two elective modules and two capstone modules.

The CPA PEP begins with two mandatory core modules in which you build the enabling and technical competencies required of a professional accountant. The modules are integrative, drawing on law, economics, finance, strategy, statistics and IT, as well as the technical competency areas.

CPA candidates develop competence in integration and application of all aspects of all areas of The CPA Competency Map:

  • financial reporting
  • strategy and governance
  • management accounting
  • audit and assurance
  • finance
  • taxation

The main challenge in these modules is mastering a vast number of technical competencies. You will be expected to draw readily on prerequisite knowledge, with little guided review of this knowledge during learning activities.


The Candidate Guide offers valuable information on the program, including an overview of the course modules, student responsibilities and computer requirements.


Note: Due to COVID-19, the assessment format for the June/July 2020 core and elective module examinations has been revised.

At the end of each module, you must successfully complete the four-hour final examination, which features case-based and objective-format questions that test both the technical and enabling skills needed in the accounting profession. The core modules blueprint provides you with information on what to expect from these examinations, including the weighting placed on the different competencies and the reference materials you can use while completing them.

A variety of objective format questions are used, including four-option multiple choice, short answers, matching, true or false and task-based simulations (TBS). Core cases run up to 60 minutes in length and assess cross-competency integration, problem-solving and communication.

Important update

The inclusion of TBS has been suspended from both Core 1 and Core 2 module examinations until further notice. The other forms of objective format questions have been increased to replace the removal of the TBS. You will receive sufficient notice when the TBS will be reinstated.

Dates for national core module offerings

The CPA PEP and CFE calendar provides the key dates for all CPA PEP modules as well as the Common Final Examination (CFE). Please contact your provincial/regional CPA body to see if these offerings are available in your area.