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Job Description

Payroll Compliance Practitioner Certification Program

A career in payroll can be very rewarding and becoming a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) will ensure you have the compliance knowledge and payroll skills needed for success.


Employers look for this certification when hiring and consistently pay a higher salary to those who have it. Professional certification can add 5-15% to the payroll practitioner’s base salary (Robert Half Accounting and Finance Salary Guide). It is the smart choice to elevate your career, and demonstrate your commitment and credibility while increasing your earning potential. To obtain the PCP Certification you need three Canadian Payroll Association core payroll courses, a minimum of one year payroll related work experience and an introduction to accounting course, available from colleges and universities.

The Canadian Payroll Association can guide you in your path to certification.


Work Experience Requirement:

In order to fully prepare students as certified Payroll Compliance Practitioners, one year of weighted payroll-related work experience is required.

Students completing courses on a parttime basis can obtain the work experience requirement within five years before or after passing Payroll Compliance Legislation (PCL). The timeline for students in a full-time program, starts either five years before or after the end date of their Payroll Fundamentals 2 (PF2) course.


Ongoing Certification Requirements

  • Maintain a membership with the Canadian Payroll Association
  • Adhere to the Canadian Payroll Association’s
  • Code of Professional Conduct
  • Meet the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements


Course Requirements:

Payroll Compliance Legislation (PCL)

This is the first core payroll course in the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification program. Upon completion of Payroll Compliance Legislation (PCL), you will have a thorough understanding of the compliance requirements and be able to describe payroll’s objectives and stakeholders, identify an employer/ employee relationship, apply federal and provincial legislation to payroll, and communicate the payroll compliance requirements to various stakeholders.


Payroll Fundamentals 1 (PF1)

This is the second core payroll course in the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification program. Upon completion of Payroll Fundamentals 1 (PF1), you will be able to: calculate regular individual pay, calculate non-regular individual pay, calculate termination payments, complete a Record of Employment (ROE) and communicate all aspects of individual pay requirements to various stakeholders.


Payroll Fundamentals 2 (PF2)

This is the final core payroll course in the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification program. Upon completion of Payroll Fundamentals 2 (PF2), you will be able to: calculate organizational remittances to federal, provincial and third-party stakeholders, prepare accounting documentation for payroll, complete year-end documentation and communicate all aspects of organizational remittances, accounting and year-end requirements to internal, external and government stakeholders.


Introduction to Accounting

This course must be taken at a Canadian post-secondary institution. Introduction to Accounting must cover the following principles and practices to be accepted as part of the PCP program: recording transactions (debits/ credits), journal entries, preparing simple financial statements, closing accounts, reconciliations, trial balance.


The Canadian Payroll Association offers two certifications, the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (detailed here) and for those with the PCP looking for a management career, the Certified Payroll Manager (CPM). Courses are available at colleges and universities across Canada and online through the Canadian Payroll Association.

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