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The Canadian Payroll Association and NSCC Certification Programs

The Canadian Payroll Association in partnership with NSCC offers the two payroll certification programs in Canada: the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) and the Certified Payroll Manager (CPM). These programs prepare payroll practitioners to manage the compliance requirements of an organization's annual payroll cycle, deliver clear and reliable payroll information, and contribute a payroll perspective to organizational policy and payroll discussions.

The Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification is the foundation of your career in payroll. It provides you with the compliance knowledge required to process an organization's annual payroll cycle, effectively communicate payroll information to all stakeholders, and understand the accounting function as it relates to payroll.

The Certified Payroll Manager (CPM) certification builds on the PCP compliance knowledge by preparing seasoned professionals to manage a payroll department. It provides you with the knowledge to make decisions, supervise and manage, and contribute a payroll perspective to organizational policy and strategy discussions.

Students who wish to enrol in the CPM program must hold the PCP certification and must meet a payroll experience prerequisite. To satisfy this prerequisite, the student must have at least two years of experience being responsible for an organization's payroll function, which includes being accountable to management for the accuracy of employees' pay and all Canadian government statutory remittances, or equivalent experience, obtained in the past five years.

The Payroll Experience Prerequisite Application is located on the Canadian Payroll Association's website at www.payroll.ca under the Certification tab. Students must submit the payroll experience prerequisite application and receive approval from the Canadian Payroll Association prior to enrolling in the Introduction to Payroll Management course.

Certification Requirements

Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP)

  • Payroll Compliance Legislation
  • Payroll Fundamentals I
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Payroll Fundamentals II
  • Satisfy the PCP Work Experience Requirement: individuals, who wish to obtain the PCP certification, must have at least one (1) year of Canadian payroll work experience.

Certified Payroll Manager (CPM)

  • Introduction to Payroll Management (Prerequisites: PCP Certification and Approval of the Payroll Experience Application)
  • Organizational Behaviour Management
  • Managerial Accounting*
  • Compensation and Benefits Management*
  • Applied Payroll Management


  • Students must register and pay both the NSCC and the Canadian Payroll Association.
  • Students must register with the Canadian Payroll Association at least two weeks prior to the course start date to ensure timely delivery of the course material.
  • Part-time students must also pay the Canadian Payroll Association’s annual membership fee.

Certification Declaration
Individuals who complete the educational and experience requirements for certification will be required to complete the online Certification Declaration in order to receive the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) or Certified Payroll Manager (CPM) certificate and to use the certifications.

They will also have to become a member of the Canadian Payroll Association, if they have not already done so.

Ongoing Requirements
All certified individuals must comply with the following three requirements in order to maintain certification with the Canadian Payroll Association:

  1. Maintain an annual membership with the Canadian Payroll Association through a Professional Membership or through the Organization Membership of their employer.
  2. Adhere to the Canadian Payroll Association’s Code of Professional Conduct.
  3. Meet the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements.

For more information on the PCP or CPM certification, the experience requirements and/or registration, please visit the Canadian Payroll Association’s website at www.payroll.ca, contact us by email at , or by calling 1-800-387-4693 (in Toronto: 416-487-3380) ext. 272.

For information on the courses offered through NSCC Continuing Education, please contact:

Lisa Theriault
Academic Process and Operations Coordinator
Phone: 902-491-5265

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