New professional ethics requirement explained and ethics webinars added

New professional ethics requirement explained and ethics webinars added

In 2019, a professional ethics requirement was implemented across the CPA profession. This means throughout your three-year Continuing Professional Development (CPD) rolling cycle you will need to participate in a minimum of four hours of verifiable learning activities in the area of professional ethics.

Why did the professional ethics requirement become mandatory?

This new CPD professional ethics requirement supports and encourages CPAs to uphold the Rules of Professional Conduct. It also provides the opportunity to continuously assess your professional ethics. By completing this type of professional development, you can build on your ethical decision-making skills, prepare you for potential ethical dilemmas that may arise, and allow you to discuss challenges, complexities, and risks with colleagues.

What are some examples of professional ethics topics?

Professional ethics professional development can cover a wide range of topics related to professional ethics and ethical decision-making. It is expected that the learning activity will include examples or scenarios that show the application of the rules, standards or guidelines; present ethical dilemmas, models or theories of ethics; or the application of ethical decision making. Examples of professional ethics topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • CPA Alberta regulatory updates covering the Act, Bylaws, Regulations and Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Anti money-laundering
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Ethics and the culture/environment of an organization
  • Ethics in technology
  • Fraud prevention
  • Honesty in business practice
  • Independence/conflict of interest
  • Integrity and ethical decision making
  • Regulatory updates that are relevant to your role
  • Reputation and risk
  • Whistle-blowing

How can I fulfill this requirement?

Like other verifiable learning activities, the four-hour professional ethics requirement can be achieved in numerous ways. This includes coursework, whether through CPA Alberta or other sources, and other relevant learning activities such as verifiable structured professional ethics training in the workplace. Four hours of learning can be accumulated from a number of different activities; it does not have to come from a single program.

Does CPA Alberta provide ethics seminars?

Yes! You can search for CPA Alberta’s PD seminars with structured ethics content by visiting the PD Portal.  Find ethics seminars by selecting ‘Ethics’ in the competency search. Potential eligible structured ethic hours are noted at the end of the ‘Overview’ section in the seminar description.

NEW ethics webinars recently added to the PD lineup include:

Other ethic webinars include:

If I take a program, does the entire seminar have to be about professional ethics?

No, the professional ethics component can be the full seminar topic or a portion within a longer seminar. However, only the structured ethics content can qualify towards the professional ethics requirement.

When does the declaration for professional ethics requirements begin? 

Alberta CPAs are required to make a declaration attesting to completing the professional ethics requirement during the CPD reporting year ending December 31, 2021, after which the professional ethics declaration will occur annually.

If you have questions regarding PD seminars, please email

CPA Alberta also offers a variety of  other PD offerings, specifically designed for CPAs and the accounting profession. Topics range from assurance to budgeting and forecasting, and also include a number of valuable courses on personal development (or, so-called “soft skills” or “enabling competencies”). Search the PD Portal for a full list.

If you have any questions concerning CPD requirements or reporting, please contact CPA Alberta at