Exam scheduling policy
This Exam Scheduling Policy applies to all enrolled candidates of the CPA Program, including those who enrol into the CPA Program for continuing professional development (CPD) purposes (Candidate/s).
Auto-Scheduling: The process where our exam delivery partner, Pearson VUE, schedules a Candidate to an exam appointment if they have not done so before Exam Scheduling Close. This is based on the remaining availability of appointments and Candidates may be booked into either a Computer-based Exam or Online Proctored Exam.
Computer-based Exam/s: Exams conducted via a computer, in an authorised test centre, which requires you answer questions using a keyboard and mouse.
Exam Modality: Either a Computer-Based Exam (Test Centre), Paper-Based Exam (Test Centre) or Online Proctored Exam.
Exam Rescheduling: The process of changing the date, Exam Modality, time or location of a scheduled exam appointment in the semester that a Candidate is enrolled.
Exam Scheduling: The process of booking an Exam Modality, date, time, or location within the Advertised Scheduling Period.
Exam Scheduling Close: The last date to schedule or reschedule an exam prior to Auto Scheduling, and the last date to switch Exam Modality.
Extenuating Circumstances: Exceptional, serious and unforeseen short-term circumstances beyond a Candidate's control that adversely impact a Candidates ability to attend the scheduled exam appointment, as determined by CPA Australia in its sole discretion.
My CPA Program: The application program a Candidate will use to schedule and manage their exam appointments (Computer-Based Exams and Online Proctored Exams). This is also where a Candidate will commence check-in for an Online Proctored Exam.
Online-Proctored Exam/s: Exams conducted online to allow you to take an exam from your home or office using your own device and while being monitored by a remote proctor. All communication with the proctor is to be completed in English.
Paper-Based Exams: Exams conducted using a paper booklet in an invigilated environment and that require you to answer questions in the booklet using either pencil or pen. Paper-based exam are only offered by exception, and for all Singapore Taxation exams.
This Exam Scheduling Policy forms part of the CPA Program Rules and Regulations. As part of enrolling into a CPA Program subject and scheduling an exam, a Candidate must agree to this policy, as well as the following policies:
- Reasonable Adjustment Policy
- Special Consideration Policy
- Academic Misconduct Policy
- Pearson VUE Privacy Policies (applicable to online proctored exams)
- Pearson VUE Policies and Procedures (applicable to online proctored exams)
- Pearson VUE Online Proctored Exam Policies (applicable to online proctored exams)
- CPA Program exams can be scheduled by enrolled Candidates within the Advertised Scheduling Period for the subject and respective semester (in accordance with the CPA Program Important Dates)
- It is at CPA Australia’s sole discretion to determine the Exam Modalities offered to Candidates for the purposes of sitting their exam.
- Computer-Based Exams and Online Proctored Exam appointments can be scheduled in My CPA Program during the Advertised Scheduling Period.
- It is the responsibility of all enrolled Candidates to schedule their own exams within the Advertised Scheduling Period to confirm their preferred Exam Modality, time, location and date (subject to availability). If a Candidate is enrolled in a subject for CPD purposes and does not plan to sit their exam, they will not need to schedule an exam.
- Exam venues, Exam Modalities available, and exam appointment dates and times are subject to availability across the exam delivery window. CPA Australia cannot guarantee that the preferred appointment date, time or exam delivery mode will be accommodated.
- All enrolled Candidates must be available to sit a CPA Program exam at any time within the exam period for the respective semester, with the exception of Singapore Taxation (this exam will be held on a specified date and time).
- If a Candidate defers their enrolment to the following semester, they will need to wait until the Advertised Scheduling Period for the subsequent semester to schedule an exam.
- Once an exam is scheduled, CPA Program Candidates will receive a confirmation email from CPA Australia’s exam delivery partner, Pearson VUE. Candidates are required to check their name on this confirmation email to ensure that it matches the identification documents the Candidate will be required to present for admission to the exam. The Candidate must contact CPA Australia immediately if the name on the confirmation email does not match to the identification documents, so CPA Australia can update the Candidate’s details. Candidates won't be admitted to the exam if their registered name doesn't match the name on their ID documents. It is the responsibility of the Candidate to ensure all details are up to date.
- CPA Australia tries to provide Candidates with access to an exam test centre within a reasonable distance of their residential address (as per CPA Australia’s records). Reasonable distance will be determined at CPA Australia's sole discretion. In some circumstances, a Candidate may be required to travel to a suitable Computer-Based Exam test centre or may elect to take an Online Proctored Exam. If a Candidate resides outside a metropolitan area, they may need to travel to attend an exam test centre or elect to sit an Online Proctored Exam (subject to meeting Online Proctored Exam requirements).
- If a Candidate is unable to locate an exam test centre within a reasonable distance of their residential address, they must contact CPA Australia within the Advertised Scheduling Period. If a Candidate fails to contact within the Advertised Scheduling Period, they may have to travel to the allocated test centre to sit their exam or may choose to take an Online proctored exam (subject to meeting the Online Proctored Exam requirements).
- The exam for Singapore Taxation will only be available on a specific date and location and delivered as a Paper-Based Exam only.
- If a Candidate fails to schedule their own exam within the Advertised Scheduling Period, they acknowledge that CPA Australia will schedule an exam appointment on their behalf. The Auto Scheduling process begins once the Advertised Scheduling Period has closed. CPA Australia will select the closest available exam appointment based on a Candidates residential address (as per CPA Australia’s record) or may schedule an Online Proctored Exam if there is no test centre within a reasonable distance. The exam appointment may be in any exam format and on any day during the exam period.
- If an exam appointment is Auto Scheduled then it may not be possible for it to be moved to a different time, date, exam venue or Exam Modality. Candidates can call CPA Australia to discuss their options, which will be at the sole discretion of CPA Australia, and subject to availability.
- Candidates can reschedule their exam appointment for every subject (except Singapore Taxation) within the Advertised Scheduling Period (subject to availability). The Singapore Taxation exam cannot be rescheduled as it's delivered on a fixed date and location.
- If a Candidate cancels an exam appointment in order to change their Exam Modality, they will be forfeiting that appointment time and they are not guaranteed the same appointment in an alternative Exam Modality.
- The availability of test centres appointments, test centre locations, Exam Modalities, and exam scheduling dates are subject to change at any time at CPA Australia’s sole discretion.
- If a Candidate is unable to attend their scheduled exam appointment due to Extenuating Circumstances, they are required to notify CPA Australia prior to the commencement of the exam delivery period to discuss their options. A deferral of an enrolment (and exam) may only be considered prior to the close of deferrals (in accordance with the CPA Program Important Dates). Deferral fees will be payable, and any exceptions will be at the sole discretion of CPA Australia.
- In the event CPA Australia is unable to deliver an exam due to an unforeseen circumstance or event, CPA Australia may be required to change a Candidate’s scheduled exam appointment or make alterations to the exam period. An unforeseen circumstance and/or event may include (but is not limited to) natural disasters, extreme weather events, power outages, site closures, technical issues at a test centre, global pandemics, health and safety requirements or local Government restrictions, and any other circumstances beyond the control of CPA Australia. This may result in the Candidate’s exam being rescheduled to another day (or new exam window), a different time, a different Exam Modality or location (subject to availability). CPA Australia will use their best efforts to accommodate any changes to an exam appointment at its discretion. Candidates will be notified by CPA Australia or by Pearson VUE (CPA Australia’s exam delivery partner), via phone or email for any changes to their appointment. Candidates can call CPA Australia to discuss their options, which will be at the sole discretion of CPA Australia, and subject to availability.
The following applies for Candidates scheduling and sitting an Online Proctored Exam.
- It is the Candidate’s responsibility when booking an Online Proctored Exam that they ensure they meet the territory, technology, device, system and room requirements (OP Requirements). Failure to meet the OP Requirements will result in the inability to attempt and complete the Online Proctored Exam. It is mandatory a Candidate successfully completes and passes the system test 30 days prior to their scheduled exam appointment time on the same device and from the same location they intend to sit their Online Proctored Exam (System Test). If a Candidate cannot meet the OP Requirements, they must contact CPA Australia to reschedule their exam to a test centre (where available) within the Advertised Scheduling Period.
- It is the responsibility of the Candidate to ensure they have suitable equipment to sit their Online Proctored Exam. A full device check should include the following:
- Complete the Get Your Device Ready Checklist(Checklist), comparing the computer settings against the recommended technical and system requirements.
- Update any settings that don’t align with the recommendations of the Checklist including lock screen or hibernation settings, speaker volume and webcam settings.
- Complete the System Test 30 days prior to the scheduled exam appointment. The system test will check download speeds, and microphone and webcam functionality to ensure the device meets the minimum requirements.
It is the responsibility of the Candidate to prepare their exam room in accordance with the Online Proctored Exam policies (including the OP Requirements), including:
- ensuring the room is enclosed and private, and free from any disruptions.
- any additional monitors, printers or other technological devices must all be unplugged.
- sitting their exam in a well-lit room so the Candidate is clearly visible to the proctor.
- ensuring clear workstation within arm’s reach, and removing all material from the workstation, asides from the permitted materials.
- ensuring no other person can see their computer screen, can enter the room or speak to the Candidate throughout the duration of the entire exam.
- For the avoidance of doubt, to satisfy the room requirements, this would include an enclosed bedroom or an enclosed office, but a lavatory or washroom is not considered a suitable exam environment and would not satisfy the room requirement for an Online Proctored Exam. It is at the sole discretion of the exam greeter and/or proctor to determine if the Candidates exam environment is suitable. In the event the greeter does not deem an exam environment suitable, the exam may be terminated.
- Candidates must check their exam confirmation or reminder email from Pearson VUE to ensure their details match their Government-issued identification documents, and confirm their exam date, appointment time and time zone.
- Candidates must access their exam through My CPA Program using their existing credentials (member ID or email address, along with their password).
- Candidates are required to present one, current and valid form of government-issued identification during the check-in process that includes the Candidates:
- full name
- date of birth, and
- a clear photograph
This identity information must exactly match the Candidates information on record with CPA Australia and must be presented in English. If there are discrepancies, the Candidate may not be able to complete their exam.
- Candidates must sit the exam from a location that can deliver an Online Proctored Exam, noting exams cannot be delivered in the following territories: Mainland China, Slovenia, Japan, South Korea and OFAC-sanctioned countries (together, Excluded Territory). The onus is on the Candidate to ensure their residential address and details are current and correct at the time of scheduling and sitting their Online Proctored Exam. Candidates attempting to sit their Online Proctored Exam from an Excluded Territory will be ineligible to sit their exam. CPA Australia will not be held liable or accountable if a Candidate attempts to sit their exam from an Excluded Territory.
Testing procedures and policies
- By electing to sit an Online Proctored Exam, the Candidate has:
- Agreed to the Pearson VUE Privacy Policies, Pearson VUE Policies and Procedures, and Pearson VUE Online Proctored Exam Policies.[together, Combined Pearson VUE OP Policies)
- Confirmed they are not sitting their exam from an Excluded Territory
- Confirmed they meet the Online Proctored Exam Identification Requirements.
- Confirmed they meet the OP Requirements to sit the exam.
- A Candidate can commence their exam check-in from 30 minutes prior to 15 minutes post their scheduled appointment time, by clicking ‘Manage Exam’. If a Candidate cannot see the ‘check-in’ button they are either too early or too late for their exam appointment.
- After completing the check-in process, a Candidates will be placed in a queue with other candidates, waiting for a proctor to admit them into the exam. During this time, candidates are under exam conditions and must not leave the webcam view or use their phone (this includes contacting CPA Australia) as it is considered a breach of the CPA Online Proctored Exam Policies.
- Candidates are required to comply to the greeter and/or proctor instructions. Any disruptive, threatening or fraudulent behaviour – or anything specifical against exam rules – may be grounds for the greeter and/or proctor to provide you with a warning and/or terminate your exam.
- If a Candidates is waiting longer than 15 minutes, a banner will appear across the top of the screen, which includes a link to a secure webpage with a chat window to speak to Pearson VUE.
- In the event a Candidate cannot launch their exam, experiences a technical issue or is unable to complete their exam on the day, it is the Candidate’s responsibility to contact CPA Australia during the exam delivery window to discuss their options. It is at the sole discretion of CPA Australia if a candidate is eligible for a re-sit and/or a reschedule of their exam.
- Candidates are permitted to bring the following items into the Online Proctored Exam:
- One form of government-issued, valid and current identification.
- A single, silent, standard or scientific calculator that meets the guidelines on the CPA Australia website.
- The CPA Australia study guide and any other printed materials candidates wish to refer to during the exam.
- A clear glass of water.
Candidates must ensure all study materials are placed in front of them or within close proximity. Candidates must always remain front-facing and in view of the webcam including when referring to their study guide or notes, otherwise, they may receive a warning from the proctor should they lean outside of the view of the webcam or obstruct the proctor’s view. Please note that this may result in the revocation of a Candidates exam at the sole discretion of the proctor.
- During an Online Proctored Exam:
- Candidates are not permitted to introduce new materials into their Online Proctored Exam area after the check-in process.
- Candidates are not permitted to leave the exam workstation/desk, walk around the room, or move from the view of their webcam (including leaning down to pick up material).
- Candidates are not permitted to readjust their webcam or move their webcam and workstation to another room unless this is explicitly requested by the proctor and/or greeter.
- Candidates are not permitted to access or use a mobile phone or messaging device. The Candidate’s mobile phone should only be retrieved in the event of a technical issue where the Candidate will be contacted by a proctor.
- Candidates are not permitted to use pen, pencils paper or a physical whiteboard during their exam. For any notetaking, Candidates will have access to an Online Whiteboard and Scratch Pad as part of their exam.
- Candidates are not permitted to speak, mumble, read out loud or cover their mouth during their exam. If assistance is required from the greeter and/or proctor, the Candidate can use the chat function to communicate.
- Candidates are not permitted to wear headphones, AirPods or any type of earpiece or headset during their exam.
- Candidates are not allowed to consume food, drinks, chew gum or smoke (aside from a clear glass of water).
- Candidates are not permitted to sit their exam with another person in the room or have another person enter the room during their exam.
- Candidates cannot disclose, publish, discuss, or reproduce exam content (this is also prohibited after the exam), as per the Academic Misconduct Policy.
- Candidates are permitted a single five-minute unscheduled break during their exam. This is the only opportunity candidates are permitted to leave their workstation and webcam during their exam. If a Candidate does not use their full five minutes during their break, they are not able to use any remaining time from their break later in the exam (as no further breaks are permitted).
- In the event an exam is terminated for inappropriate behaviour or suspected misconduct, the Pearson VUE proctor, acting in their sole discretion may terminate a Candidates exam if they are of the opinion the Candidate has engaged in appropriate behaviour, suspected misconduct and/or breached any of the Online Proctored Exam Policies. For the avoidance of doubt, inappropriate behaviour may include, but is not limited to, urinating during your exam or engaging in inappropriate communication with the proctor (verbal, non-verbal or written).
- CPA Australia will not accommodate deferrals or cancellations if a Candidate is unable to comply with the Combined Pearson VUE OP Policies, OP Requirements, Identification Requirements or is sitting the exam from a region considered an Excluded Territory.
The following applies for candidates scheduling and sitting a Computer-Based) Exam from a test centre.
- Candidates must present two forms of current and valid forms of identification, including a:
- Primary ID: which must be government-issued and contain your photograph, full name, and signature (for example, your driver’s license or Passport)
- Secondary ID: which must contain either your full name and photograph or signature (for example, a debit or credit card)
The Candidates details on the above-mentioned identification must exactly match the details as held on record with CPA Australia and must be presented in English. Examples of suitable identification are outlined on the CPA Australia website. The Candidate must contact CPA Australia immediately if the name on their identification does not match the details recorded with CPA Australia. Candidates won't be admitted to the exam if their registered name doesn't match the name on their identification. It is the responsibility of the Candidate to ensure all details are up to date with CPA Australia.
- Candidates must check their exam confirmation or reminder email from Pearson VUE to confirm their exam date, time and venue.
- Candidates must review the health and safety requirements on the Pearson VUE website to understand the personal responsibilities when attending a test centre. These will be based on local health guidelines. The health and safety requirements are subject to change at any time, and it is recommended that Candidates review these prior to their exam appointment. All best efforts will be made to communicate any changes prior to their exam appointment.
- • Entry requirements into a test centre may vary. It is the responsibility of the Candidate to ensure they meet the entry requirements to sit their exam. In most circumstances, the Pearson VUE confirmation letter and reminder letter will identify any entry requirements for the test centre, noting this may change in the lead up to the exam date, at which point candidates will be notified by CPA Australia or Pearson VUE via email or text message. Entry requirements may include (but are not limited to) the following requirements:
- provide proof of full vaccination status on arrival and entry into the test centre in the format as requested (official immunisation record). Candidates with a medical exemption should contact CPA Australia prior to scheduling an exam.
- to have received full vaccination status at least 14 days prior to their exam
- to provide proof (in the format as requested) of a negative COVID-19 result within 24-72 hours prior to the exam appointment
- mandatory mask wearing throughout the duration of the exam and/or attendance at the test centre. Candidates with a mask exemption should contact CPA Australia prior to scheduling an exam.
- Completion of a medical declaration on entry into the test centre.
A Candidate may be denied entry into the exam if they do not meet the requirements, if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they are close contacts of someone with COVID-19, or they are under home quarantine status, and or have travel to a restricted area.
Candidates are permitted to bring the following items into the Computer-Based Exam:
- Two forms of valid and current identification.
- A single, silent, standard or scientific calculator, which meets the guidelines on the Test Centre Computer-based Exam page.
- The study guide and any other printed materials candidates wish to refer to throughout their exam.
- Candidates are not permitted to bring the following items into their Computer-Based Exam:
- Mobile phones
- Food and drink
- Additional jewellery (unless worn for religious reasons)
- Candidates are required to store any prohibited items at the test centre before they enter the exam room.
It is strongly recommended that Candidates bring a copy of their exam confirmation email to the exam.
- Candidates must present two forms of current and valid forms of identification, including a:
If a Candidate wishes to reschedule an existing exam appointment after the Advertised Scheduling Period has closed, they must contact CPA Australia.
CPA Australia can only reschedule a Candidates exam after the Advertised Scheduling Period on the basis of Extenuating Circumstances (supported by documentation), and subject to exam appointment availability (Extenuating Circumstances Claim).
To submit an Extenuating Circumstances Claim, a Candidate will be required to contact CPA Australia to provide as much possible about the circumstances and the impact on the Candidate and provide reasonable supporting documentation.
Any request made by a Candidate for rescheduling of their exam due to Extenuating Circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by CPA Australia in its sole discretion, and subject to exam appointment availability across the various Exam Modalities.
The list below provides some examples of Extenuating Circumstances. CPA Australia appreciates that other circumstances may arise which are not listed here.
Extenuating Circumstances may include:
- severe or sudden illness or injury (e.g., hospital admission, serious injury or illness). This excludes minor illness
- a hospital or specialist appointment for serious injury or illness
- severe or sudden illness of a family member (e.g., hospital admission, serious injury or illness). This excludes minor illness
- the loss or bereavement of a close family member or friend
- military service
- visa issues, cancellations, and grants
- relocation to another city or country for at least one month
- attending court
- civil unrest, protests, war or terrorism, including any official warnings issued by government or relevant authorities
- natural disasters or severe weather, including any official warnings issued by government or relevant authorities.
Extenuating Circumstances do not include:
- transport issues including heavy traffic, public transport delays or cancellations, roadworks, parking, accommodation issues including renovations and limited availability
- misreading the exam date and time
- work commitments, including short business trips, meetings, workload, promotions, new employment
- personal reasons with no explanation or documentation
- sporting commitments or personal achievements including awards or club meetings
- exam venue scheduled in the wrong location or country if you failed to notify CPA Australia or update contact information before the advised deadlines
- Auto Scheduled or self-scheduled to an exam venue that is more than 120km from your home, but within the same country and region or state
- auto-scheduled exams that are not on a convenient date or time
- carer duties or childcare difficulties
- other travel or holidays
- family or personal functions or festivities, including, weddings, engagements, christenings, or festivals
- more than one exam scheduled on the same day, or exams scheduled on consecutive days
- medical circumstances without supporting medical documentation or evidence, or which do not relate to the assessment period in question.
- On the day of the exam, rescheduling requests due to the following reasons will not be accepted:
- refused admission to the exam due to no identification or insufficient identification
- arriving more than 30 minutes late
- mixing up exam appointments
- bringing the wrong exam reference materials
Supporting documents should be on letterhead paper, dated and contain the signature (with title) and the contact details of the appropriate professional. Documents must be obtained from an appropriate professional who can evidence your situation. Documents provided without firsthand evidence won't be accepted.
Documents must be in English. If the documentary evidence isn't in English, it must be accompanied by an official certified translation.
Supporting documents may include, but are not limited to:
- a medical certificate signed by a registered practitioner verifying the illness affected you during the period
- a letter from a doctor confirming the bereavement or the impact the bereavement has had on you
- a police or crime report. A crime number on its own isn't acceptable
- an official letter from an immigration office
- signed letter from employer confirming the work relocation and its duration, which must be for more than one month
- official correspondence from a court or tribunal confirming attendance, or, a solicitor's letter detailing the nature and dates of the legal proceedings and the requirement for you to attend court.
- A statutory declaration (a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration may be charged under s.11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959).
Please note that letters or declarations from friends and family can't be accepted as valid supporting documentation for Extenuating Circumstances Claim.
CPA Australia reserves the right to request additional information or supporting evidence, and to make changes to this policy without prior notice. Further, CPA Australia will not obtain documents on a Candidate’s behalf from a third party, but may verify the supporting documentation provided with your Extenuating Circumstances Claim with the issuing authority/individual.
Please note that knowingly making false or misleading Extenuating Circumstances Claim, or altering or falsifying any supporting documentation may be considered an act of misconduct and referred to the CPA Australia Professional Conduct team.
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