What is the significance of the CMA/PFA credential?
The public service values and promotes professional employees who demonstrate commitment to their careers and who earn relevant professional credentials.
In partnership with The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), the Certified Management Accountant/Public Finance Accountant (CMA/PFA) credential provides the most relevant competency-based professional recognition available to strategic financial management professionals working for or with the public service. Demonstrate that you have the skills, knowledge and credentials to take your career to the next level by achieving the CMA/PFA credential.
Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) is a world leader in developing strategic management accounting professionals with an emphasis on value creation and leadership skills. CIPFA is one of the leading professional accounting bodies in the United Kingdom, and is the only one that specializes in the public service sector. Together, they form a powerful combination – and a solid competitive advantage. This unique accounting credential is the only one in Canada designed specifically for public sector financial management professionals.
The CMA/PFA credential can be achieved by successfully completing a program developed by CMA Canada. It meets the specific needs of the public sector across Canada and is approved by the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada. The program content combines the accounting, management and strategy skills that have established CMAs as world leaders in their field with the technical expertise and ethical standards that have earned CIPFA its reputation as leaders in managing and accounting for public money.
CMAs and SLP candidates can enter the PFA program by enrolling in one of the four modules: Governance and Public Policy, Public Finance, Audit and Assurance, Financial and Performance Reporting. They can either choose to complete the four modules consecutively (this takes nine months) or individually (extending the study period to a maximum of four years).
Governance and Public Policy – Provides an overview of the theories of political science, public administration facing federal governance in Canada, and related key issues. Evaluation method: a 3,000 word paper on a public policy topic of the student’s choice.
Public Finance - Examines the rationale for government expenditure, incorporating an analysis of the main categories of public revenue. It also addresses the policy implications of government borrowing and alternate service delivery. Evaluation method: a 2.5 hour exam.
Audit and Assurance – Studies the issues surrounding internal and external auditing procedures within the public sector, including the potential impact of these practices. Evaluation method: a 3,000 word research paper on an assigned auditing subject.
Financial and Performance Reporting – Explores the concepts and principles that create the foundation of public sector financial performance, reporting frameworks and conventionalpractices. Evaluation method: a 3 hour exam.
The content of each unit is independent of the others. Candidates can study the modules in any order. The program is offered via distance learning (DVDs are provided). The content of each module is delivered in English but individuals may write their exams and papers in French.
Cost of each module is $1,900 except for Public Finance which costs $1,300. Prices do not include HST.
How will this credential benefit the careers of public sector employees?
The CMA/PFA credential program takes the three pillars of CMA foundational knowledge – accounting, management, strategy – and adapts them to public service sector practices. This expertise is an invaluable tool in assisting governments to deliver the policies they develop.
Professionals equipped with the CMA/PFA credential will be well-positioned to enhance financial management and accountability, key components of the Government of Canada’scommitment to strengthen public-sector management.
The CMA/PFA credential program has been endorsed by James A. Ralston, the Comptroller General of Canada: “I am pleased this program is in place to provide graduates with the skills needed to face the complexities and seize the opportunities of today’s public service.”
The CFO model within the public sector requires a growing breadth of knowledge while maintaining a solid grounding in government issues.
Innovations in program design, business processes and technology are ensuring the delivery of value-for-money services to Canadians. Financial managers are expected to keep pace with these changes while enhancing their knowledge with continuousprofessional learning.
Download the application form to apply »