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Verifiable vs. Unverifiable CPD

January 11, 2022

Verifiable vs. Unverifiable CPD Hours

One of the most common questions we get from CPAs is, “are the hours you provide CPD Verifiable?” The main question being asked is, what are Canada’s requirements for verifiable CPD and what types of programs, courses, or learning methods qualify?

Verifiable CPD Hours

In Canada all CPAs are required to complete at least 10 hours of verifiable CPD every year and 60 hours in every three year period. Verifiable CPD for CPAs is at its most basic, any learning activity relevant to your position that contains significant intellectual or practical content with documentation that can be objectively confirmed by a third party.

Sources of Verifiable CPD can Include:

  • Participating in a Conference, Seminar or Course
  • E-Learning that results in an exam or certification, including Podcasts, Videos, or Webinars
  • Participating in or leading/teaching in conferences, symposiums, seminars, workshops, or committees
  • Employer led and organized in-house training sessions
  • Research activities in areas the increase your professional knowledge and involve a presentation or report component
  • Creation of professional teaching materials, articles, or papers

The major difference between verifiable and unverifiable CPD is that verifiable CPD must have objective evidence that the activity was completed. This comes in the form of documentation that an outside party can look at and confirm that learning was completed.

Verifiable CPD Documentation Must at Minimum:

  • Describe the activity
  • Contain the name, provider, and date of activity, when applicable
  • Provide a connection between the member and the activity
  • Provide a basis for the number of hours claimed

The most basic level of this is an in-person or online course where attendance or a test confirms you participated. A lot of CPAs are under the false impression that this is the only way to get verifiable hours. The reality is that online learning videos, lectures, and podcasts can qualify as CPD, as long as documentation is able to confirm participation.

Unverifiable CPD Hours

Unverifiable hours include any hours for which nothing exists that can show evidence the hours were completed. This includes anything that qualifies as verifiable CPD where there is no documented proof of completion. Other examples of Unverifiable CPD hours include:

  • On the job training related to a change in job responsibilities or learning new systems, technologies, or processes.
  • Casual reading of professional material (Journals, Magazines)
  • Technical reading, self-study of published materials/self study courses


To summarize, if an activity has led to you learning something new, is relevant to your position, and the time period spent on it can be quantified, it can qualify as CPD. If you have documented support of attendance, the activity can be used as verifiable CPD, if not it is unverifiable.

All hours earned on LumiQ are verifiable across Canada. You can get five hours on us to start off with our free trial!

Click here to create an account and get 5 free CPD hours!

Next post

What is the Three Year Rolling Period for CPD?

Calendar showing years 2021, 2022, and 2023

What is the three year rolling period for Canadian CPAs CPD requirements and how do I make sure I stay compliant?