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How to Get Certification from the Payroll Association Of Canada

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The Payroll Association of Canada offers a Certified Payroll Manager (CPM) designation that is well-recognized in the Canadian payroll industry. The CPM credential is achieved by passing a three-part examination administered by the Canadian Payroll Association and meeting certain work experience requirements.

This article will outline how to obtain certification from the Payroll Association of Canada as well as an overview of the requirements and process for taking the examination and tips on preparing for it.

What Is The Payroll Association Of Canada, And What Does It Do?

The Payroll Association of Canada (PAC) is a not-for-profit professional association whose mandate is to advance the profession of payroll management in Canada. To this end, PAC provides education, training, and networking opportunities to its members; promotes the profession of payroll management to employers, government, and the public; and represents the interests of its members on national and international levels.

Along with a variety of courses and certifications, which can help payroll professionals stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field, The association provides an online library and discounts on products and services. It’s easy to see how the Payroll Association of Canada is an essential resource for anyone working in the payroll field.

Benefits Of Being Certified By The Payroll Association Of Canada:

Here are 5 benefits of becoming certified by the Payroll Association of Canada (PAC):

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of payroll processes and legislation.
  • The ability to apply that knowledge in a professional setting, leading to increased efficiency and accuracy in your work.
  • The opportunity to network with other payroll professionals online and in person.
  • A sense of pride and accomplishment in achieving certification through PAC - an industry-leading organization with a reputation for quality and integrity.
  • Continued access to resources, information, and support from PAC long after you have become certified.

Why the Canadian Payroll Association?

When it comes to payroll compliance, the Canadian Payroll Association is the gold standard. They do it all regarding payroll professional development and offer helpful guides, resources, and courses for payroll practitioners to grow their knowledge.

They also provide certifications to ensure clients can be confident when choosing you as their payroll professional and sleep easy with the knowledge you are up-to-date on the latest payroll guidelines and legislation.

The CPA also advocates on behalf of employers on issues such as payroll taxes and government regulations. With over 23,000 members, the CPA is the largest payroll association in Canada. The CPA is uniquely positioned to help businesses stay compliant and up-to-date on the latest changes in payroll legislation as experts in payroll.

As a result, businesses that are members of the CPA can save time and money while ensuring that their employees are paid accurately and on time.

How To Acquire Canadian Payroll Association Certification

To become certified as a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP), you will need a year of relevant work experience and a member of the Canadian Payroll Association.

Students taking courses part-time and online must obtain work experience within five years before or after the start date of their first Payroll Compliance Practitioner course.

Full-time students need the required work experience within six years before or after the start date of their first Payroll Compliance Practitioner course.

Students in a full-time public college academic program need only obtain the required experience within seven years before or after the start date of their Payroll Compliance Practitioner course.

The experience must be equal to one year of paying employees accurately, on time, and in compliance with all legislative requirements.

The PCP Work Experience Requirements:

For your PCP work experience application, you’ll need to show the percentage of time spent on eight categories, including your responsibilities. The nine categories are:

  • Payroll Administration (such as input of hours and earnings or time and attendance)
  • Payroll Information preparation and calculation (such as deductions or taxable benefits)
  • Payroll Remittances (such as federal & provincial, third-party, or Workers' Compensation)
  • Payroll Accounting (such as journal entries or account reconciliations)
  • Communication (such as payroll reporting or responding to stakeholders' inquiries)
  • Year-end (such as federal and provincial reporting, filing, and reconciliations)
  • Terminations (such as completing Records of Employment or final calculating payments)
  • Payroll Management (such as budgeting, planning, or negotiating contracts)
  • Your information will need to be verified by a current or former manager

Who Needs to Take Payroll Courses?

If you're working in payroll or planning to work in payroll, it's a good idea to take some payroll courses. The Payroll Association of Canada (PAC) offers a variety of courses that can help you learn the basics of Canadian payroll. Membership in the PAC is open to anyone who works in or is interested in payroll.

The PAC's Fundamental Payroll Training Program is a good place to start if you're looking for a comprehensive overview of Canadian payroll. This program covers everything from pay calculation to statutory deductions and remittances

How To Gain Payroll Compliance Practitioner Certification in Canada

Below are the courses required to become a payroll compliance practitioner. Courses are online and take about 3 hours per week for a total of 39 hours over a 13-week schedule.

The three core courses required are:

  • Payroll Compliance Legislation: Get introduced to all legislation influencing payroll compliance. Online courses begin on the first of every month.
  • Payroll Fundamentals 1: Apply legislation to calculate and document individual payments. Online courses begin on the twentieth of every month.
  • Payroll Fundamentals 2: Learn about third-party remittances, including accounting, technical, and year-end requirements. Online courses begin on the tenth of every month.
  • Introduction to Accounting: Transfer your credit from a post-secondary course covering basic accounting practices and principles. Search our list of accepted courses.

The Courses Required To Become a Certified Payroll Manager:

To become a Certified Payroll Manager, you’ll need to be a certified PCP and have two years of experience. You will also need to submit a Payroll Experience Prerequisite Application. Not only will this certification expand your knowledge and confidence, but it will also allow you to charge more for your services and grow your income.

The final steps to achieving this certification include taking two payroll courses and three transfer credits.

  • Introduction to Payroll Management starts with the requirements of managing a payroll department.
  • Applied Payroll Management builds upon payroll management skills and adds benchmarking, HR, and best practices.
  • Managerial Accounting incorporates your post-secondary course and includes financial statements, budget preparation, cost accounting methodologies, and variance reporting. See this list of accepted courses.
  • Organizational Behaviour Management also incorporates your post-secondary course covering topics like group behavior, conflict resolution, personality, motivation, and leadership theory. See this list of accepted courses.
  • Compensation & Benefits Management also incorporates your post-secondary course covering topics like monetary and non-monetary reward and compensation programs, including incentive plans, and profit sharing. See this list of accepted courses.

Once you have gained your certification, you will need to maintain it by becoming a member of the Canadian Payroll Association with either a Professional membership or an Organization membership through your employer.


If you're looking to get certified in payroll management, the Payroll Association of Canada is a great resource. They offer certification programs and training seminars that can help you learn everything you need to know about running payroll.

Their membership benefits include access to valuable resources like case studies, templates, and more. So if you're looking for comprehensive training and support in payroll management, the Payroll Association of Canada is worth checking out.

The information provided on the page is intended to provide general information. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Accountor Inc. assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein. Moreover, the hyperlinks in this article may redirect to external websites not administered by Accountor Inc. The company cannot be held liable for the content of external websites or any damages caused by their use.

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