Continuing Education

Canadian Payroll Association Certification Programs


The location where your NAIT courses will be held.


The type of certification you will earn after completing your program.

  • Certificate Achievement - An approved non-credit program that has a formal summative assessment component, has mappped program or course outcomes, and is subject to a regular quality curriculum review process.
  • Certificate Completion - A non-credit program that has no formal summative assessment component and is subject to a regular quality curriculum review process.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • On-Campus Day - Your course activity is done in-person Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • On-Campus Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done in-person on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Day - Your course activity is done online Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Online Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done online on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Flexible Delivery - Your course activity is not scheduled and therefore you can determine when to do the coursework.
  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.

Manage payroll for your organization

The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) offers the only payroll certifications in Canada: Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) and 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 strategy discussions.

Payroll is a fast-growing field; those holding Payroll designations benefit from more opportunities to advance their careers and earning potential. In other words, those with Payroll designations earn higher salaries than those who do not. Check out our full- and part-time course options today.

Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

The PCP and CPM certifications are granted by the Canadian Payroll Association upon successful completion of the required courses and fulfilment of the necessary payroll experience. The passing grade for all courses in the CPA program is a minimum 65%.  This includes non-payroll courses ACCT1115, ACCT1116, ORGB1135 and HRMT3328.

The Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification is the foundation for a career in payroll. It provides candidates with the legislative content required to keep an organization compliant throughout the annual payroll cycle, effectively communicate payroll information to all stakeholders, and understand the accounting function as it relates to payroll. Courses needed for this certificate include Payroll Compliance Legislation, Payroll Fundamentals I, Payroll Fundamentals II, and Introductory Financial Accounting.

The Certified Payroll Manager (CPM) certification builds on the PCP compliance knowledge by developing 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. Courses needed for this certificate include Introduction to Payroll Management, Applied Payroll Management, Compensation Management, Organizational Behaviour, and Introductory Managerial Accounting.

Learn more about payroll certifications 

CPAY500 Payroll Professional Program (Full-Time)

The Payroll Professional program is designed for learners interested in developing a strong foundation in the payroll field. If you're looking to succeed in fast-paced, challenging payroll environments, this program will provide the preparation you need.

In the program, you will develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to keep an organization compliant throughout the annual payroll cycle and to use technology to support payroll activities. You will learn how to communicate and interact effectively and professionally with internal and external stakeholders. When you successfully complete the program, you will be able to use your creativity and a range of resources to solve payroll-related problems.

As part of the program, you will have opportunities to network with industry professionals to facilitate your job search.

Program Courses include the following:

  • Payroll Compliance Legislation
  • Payroll Fundamentals I
  • Payroll Fundamentals II
  • Financial Accounting for Payroll
  • Sage (Simply Accounting)
  • Business Communications
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Networking
  • Time Management
  • Strategies for Managing Change
  • Stress Management
  • Customer Experience Strategies
  • Team Building Tools
  • Speaker Series
Upon successful completion of the program you will receive a NAIT Payroll Professional Certificate. You will receive a Payroll Compliance Practitioner Certificate from the Canadian Payroll Association after meeting CPA’s requirements, including one year work experience.

Entrance requirements

  1. You must register at NAIT before registering with the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA).
  2. Then register with CPA and pay separate fees for the following courses: CPAY455, CPAY460, CPAY465, CPAY470, CPAY475. To register with the CPA, visit the CPA website at

For students to be successful in the program it is strongly recommended you have the equivalent of Math 10C and English 10-1 or 10-2.

If you don’t have the English requirements noted above, the following are considered acceptable levels of English Language Proficiency. 

  • Minimum of 73% on all four sections of NAIT's ESL Assessment Exam
  • IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 5.0 Learn more about IELTS
  • Successful completion of the University of Alberta’s ESL 140/145 course


Carolyn Lesyshen

Carolyn Lesyshen

Carolyn Lesyshen is currently employed by Servus Credit Union Ltd as their Payroll Supervisor since July 2006.

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Evelyn Gwynn

Evelyn Gwynn

Evelyn Gwynn is a Certified Payroll Manager, retired accountant and adult educator.

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Jesse Stanley

Jesse Stanley

Jesse has been in the payroll profession for over 13 years and instructing the CPA’s PF2 course for the last 5 years.

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Melanie Dutchek

Melanie Dutchek

Melanie Dutchek has held the Certified Payroll Manager Certification since 2010, and has more than 15 years of payroll experience.

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