Purpose

This policy establishes guidelines and procedures for exam scheduling and rescheduling for candidates who are enrolled in CPA Program and Practice Management distance learning subjects.

Scope

This policy applies to all enrolled candidates of the CPA Program and Practice Management distance learning subject. 

This policy is also applicable to those who enrol into the CPA Program for continuing professional development (CPD) purposes.

Definitions

Exam scheduling: The booking of an exam appointment in the semester that the candidate is enrolled.

Exam rescheduling: Changing the date, time or location of a scheduled exam appointment in the semester that the candidate is enrolled.

Computer-based exams: Exams conducted via a computer, in an invigilated environment, which requires candidates to input responses to questions using a keyboard and mouse.

Paper-based exams: Exams conducted using a paper booklet in an invigilated environment, which requires candidates to input responses in the booklet using either pencil or pen.

My CPA Program: System candidates use to schedule and manage their exam appointment.

Advertised scheduling dates/period: The dates published on the CPA Australia website, advising of the period in which a candidate can schedule or reschedule an exam independently online.

Extenuating circumstances: Any significant, unforeseen and normally short-term matters outside the candidate’s control and which result in a major impact on ability to attend their scheduled exam appointment.

Auto-scheduling: A process whereby Pearson VUE schedule candidates to an exam appointment if they have not independently scheduled their own exam appointment by the closing date for exam scheduling. This is based on the remaining availability of appointments.

Exam scheduling rules and regulations

Rules and regulations for the CPA Program are located on the CPA Australia website.

Exam scheduling

Exam appointments are able to be scheduled via My CPA Program after the scheduling period opens. Important CPA Program dates regarding exam scheduling are published on the CPA Australia website.

Candidates are responsible for scheduling their own exam appointment via My CPA Program before the advertised closing date. Candidates enrolling for CPD purposes who do not plan to sit the exam do not need to schedule an exam appointment.

Candidates must be available to sit the exam at any time within the exam period, with the exception of Singapore Taxation and Financial Planning Fundamentals, for which the exam is on a specified date and time.

If candidates defer their enrolment to the following semester, they will need to wait until scheduling opens for the following semester to schedule their exam.

Location of exam appointment

CPA Australia endeavours to provide all candidates with access to an exam centre within a reasonable distance of their residential address. Reasonable distance will be determined at CPA Australia’s discretion. Candidates outside of metropolitan areas may be required to travel to access an exam venue. If you are unable to locate an exam venue within a reasonable distance of your residential address, you need to contact CPA Australia before the scheduling closing date. If you do not contact CPA Australia you may have to travel extensively to sit your exam.

The exam for Singapore Taxation will only be available on a specific date and location.

Financial Planning Fundamentals will only be offered in computer based testing format on a specific date within the exam window. This means that existing paper based venues will not be available to those enrolled in this subject.

Auto-scheduling

If a candidate has not scheduled their own exam appointment by the exam scheduling closing date, then their exam appointment will be scheduled for them via the auto-scheduling process.

The exam appointment will be scheduled to a location where exam appointments remain available, as close to the candidates residential address as is possible at that time. 

If an exam appointment is auto-scheduled then it may not be possible for the appointment to be rescheduled to an alternative time, date or venue.

The auto-scheduling process begins immediately following the advertised scheduling closing date.

Changes to exam appointments

Candidates can reschedule their exam appointment (for all subjects except Singapore Taxation which must be sat at a specified time and location), subject to availability, up to and including the exam scheduling closing date.

Candidates enrolled in Financial Planning Fundamentals will have the ability to change their exam appointment to an alternative location and time (subject to availability) but not to an alternative date.

If a candidate wishes to make changes to an existing exam appointment after the exam scheduling closing date, they must contact CPA Australia. Rescheduling can only be performed subject to extenuating circumstances and then exam appointment availability. There is no guarantee requests can be accommodated.

Rescheduling after the advertised closing date

Requests to for changes to exam appointments after the advertised closing date will only be considered in extenuating circumstances.

Each request for rescheduling due to extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and while reasonable endeavours will be made to accommodate requests due to extenuating circumstances there is no guarantee that a request can be accommodated. All requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation, which may include a medical practitioner’s letter/certificate, a solicitor’s letter/s, police report/s or other appropriate forms of evidence as described under supporting documentation.

Letters or declarations from friends and family will not be accepted as sufficient evidence.

The below list outlines some examples of extenuating circumstances. CPA Australia appreciates that other circumstances may arise which are not detailed. In these cases, candidates should contact CPA Australia with all available supporting documentation as outlined above.

Extenuating circumstances may include:

  • severe or sudden illness or injury – e.g. hospital admission, serious injury or illness (does not include minor illness)
  • hospital/specialist appointment for serious injury or illness
  • severe or sudden illness of a family member – e.g. hospital admission, serious injury or illness (does not include minor illness)
  • loss or bereavement – death of a close family member or friend
  • hardship/trauma – victim of crime, victim of a traffic accident
  • military service
  • visa issues/cancellations/grants
  • relocation to another city or country for minimum length of one month
  • CPA Australia scheduling error
  • court attendance
  • civil unrest, protests, war or terrorism (including any official warnings issues by government or relevant authorities)
  • natural disasters or severe weather (including any official warnings issues by government or relevant authorities)

Extenuating circumstances do not include:

  • transport issues including heavy traffic, public transport delays or cancellations, roadworks, parking, lodging issues including renovations, unable to find hotel/motel accommodation
  • misreading the exam date and time
  • work commitments including short business trips, business meetings, workload, promotions, new employment
  • personal reasons with no other explanation or documentation
  • sporting commitments or personal achievements including, awards or club meetings
  • exam venue scheduled to wrong location or country (where the candidate failed to notify CPA Australia or update contact information before advised deadlines)
  • auto-scheduled or self-scheduled to an exam venue that is over 120km from the candidate's residence, but within the same country and region/state
  • auto-scheduled to inconvenient date and time
  • carer duties or child-care 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 to the exam
  • mixing up exam appointments
  • bringing the wrong exam reference materials

Supporting documentation

All documents submitted in support of an extenuating circumstance will be treated with full confidentiality in accordance with CPA Australia’s Privacy Policy.

The supporting documents should be on letter head paper, dated and contain the signature (with title) and the contact details of the appropriate professional. Documents must be obtained from an appropriate professional with first hand evidence of the circumstance. Documents provided by professionals without first hand evidence of the circumstance will not be accepted.

Documents must be in English. If the documentary evidence is not in English this must be accompanied by an official certified translation.

Supporting documents may include but are not limited to:

  • A medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner verifying that the illness affected the candidate during the period claimed.
  • A letter from a family doctor confirming the bereavement or the impact the bereavement has had upon the candidate.
  • Police or crime report. A crime number on its own is not acceptable.
  • An official letter from an immigration office.
  • Signed letter from employer confirming the work relocation and its duration (more than one month)
  • For court attendance: Official correspondence from the court/tribunal confirming attendance, or, a solicitor’s letter detailing the nature and dates of the legal proceedings and the requirement for the candidate to attend court.
  • 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).

CPA Australia reserves the right to request additional information or supporting evidence, and to make changes to this policy without prior notice.