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CMA Canada Accreditation of Select University Pro g ra m s

CMA Canada Accreditation of Select University Pro g ra m s E n h a n

E n h a n c i n g

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b u s i n e s s

q u a l i t y

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e d u c a t i o n

t h e g l o b a l b u s i n e s

Certified Management Accountants

Shaping the Future

What does the marketplace expect of university business programs? ● Expand and strengthen the strategic
What does the marketplace expect of university
business programs?
● Expand and strengthen the strategic alliances between CMA Canada
and leading schools of business.
Business schools, like employers of their graduates, are committed to
meeting marketplace expectations in a globally competitive environ-
ment. In an era of shrinking resources, universities are seeking ways to
demonstrate their contributions to Canadian society and its economy.
Meanwhile, governments are attempting to find qualitative and quanti-
tative measures to guide them in the allocation of public funds to uni-
versities. As well, students, the consumers of the educational product,
are seeking objective standards to measure economic and social benefits
derived from degree programs. To attract students, universities are
ensuring that their graduates have the required skill set and are capable
of meeting the competency expectations of employers.
What are the benefits for universities?
Accreditation by CMA Canada offers select universities a measurement
process that is based on self-evaluation and peer review, coupled with
external evaluation by CMA Canada. As a result, universities are able to
contribute to this accreditation process. The accreditation relationship
between universities and CMA Canada is based on co-operation and
mutual respect, thereby assuring universities that the results are objective
and credible.
Professions find independent evaluations of university performance
valuable. Since the 1960s, the number and diversity of universities in
Canada have dramatically increased. Like organizations representing
other professions, such as engineers, architects, dentists and physicians,
CMA Canada has established an accreditation process as a means of
demonstrating quality educational standards.
Accrediting university programs through this co-operative process pro-
vides an opportunity to meet the expectations of all stakeholders—
students, employers, the management accounting profession and
government—and, as a result, enhance the stature and competitive
position of universities.
What are the benefits for the management
accounting profession?
Accreditation of university programs is designed to meet the
expectations of stakeholders and enhance the competitive position of
Why is CMA Canada accrediting select university
CMA Canada is working with universities to establish accreditation
processes that ensure business schools are meeting the quality educa-
tional standards required to earn the CMA designation. Accreditation
of university programs assures that the content of educational pro-
grams, teaching resources and research outputs are of consistently high
quality to support future professional management accountants in
achieving their career objectives, and to meet the competency expecta-
tions of employers.
Accrediting select university programs across Canada will help attract
highly qualified candidates for CMA accreditation while ensuring excel-
lence and maintaining rigorous standards. It will offer CMA Canada
access to an increased pool of well-qualified university graduates who are
able to challenge the Entrance Examination directly from university.
Accreditation of university programs is a key component in achieving
quality growth in the management accounting profession, building
global knowledge assets, and forging strong ties with business schools in
Canada. Developing such ties will afford CMA Canada the opportunity
to enhance its leadership in research and the development of intellectual
capital in Canada.
What is the philosophy behind the accreditation of
university programs?
What are the objectives of accrediting select
university programs?
The objectives of CMA Canada in accrediting select university account-
ing programs are to:
CMA Canada views the accreditation process as a joint activity between
itself and the university seeking accreditation. In all cases CMA Canada
commits to work with universities to ensure that accreditation, once
approved, is maintained or, where less than full accreditation is approved,
that programs will be developed in partnership with the universities that
will result in the achievement of full accreditation as soon as possible.
● Recognize and promote to employers and potential students, those
universities that achieve high standards of instruction in manage-
ment accounting and which support research in management
● Provide potential university students with assurances as to the quality
of accounting education programs that lead to the CMA designation.
The application process for accreditation is designed so as to not place
an undue burden on university faculty. Accreditation application is a
stepped process that is relatively streamlined and can quickly identify
areas where improvements can be made either by CMA Canada or the
university. However, CMA Canada does not build expectations of
accreditation where such an outcome is not realistic.
● Assure the supply of well-qualified business graduates for member-
ship in CMA Canada.
● Encourage universities to pursue excellence in teaching and research
in management accounting education.
The intent of accreditation is not to produce a standardized accounting
or business curriculum. Rather, a diversity of approaches to course
design and delivery is encouraged, since innovation is considered indica-
tive of a commitment to continuous improvement.
● Facilitate complete coverage of the CMA Entrance Examination
syllabus in leading Canadian universities.
The accreditation decision is made using a substantial amount of input
from the university academic community. Specifically the university itself
is asked to prepare a self-assessment report on had a pass rate of at least
is asked to prepare a self-assessment report on
had a pass rate of at least 75%.
the program for which accreditation is being
sought. This is followed by a visit by senior
members of the academic community, who
prepare a report on the program for submis-
sion to CMA Canada.
● There must be a sufficient number of
Entrance Examination writers from the pro-
gram seeking accreditation to minimize the
variation in the level of student performance
from year to year.
What are the outcomes of
accrediting university
While the preceding three criteria are deemed
essential to a decision to accredit a program,
the following elements are also considered:
key objective of the accreditation process
to facilitate complete coverage of the
● Nature, relevance and clarity of the
faculty’s objectives for the program and the
institution’s commitment to them;
CMA Entrance Examination syllabus in
Canadian universities. The CMA Entrance
Examination consists of two parts. Part One
covers the technical content of the manage-
ment accounting profession at an advanced
level. Part Two covers the integrative
aspects and strategic uses of the discipline in organizations.
● Nature and extent of faculty resources
devoted to the program;
● Quality of student intake;
● Evaluation processes used to measure stu-
dent performance;
● Innovation in curriculum development and delivery of programming;
In recognition of a commitment by a university to deliver quality man-
● Evaluation processes to determine course and instructor effectiveness;
agement accounting education to their graduates, CMA Canada will
grant an exemption to Part One of the CMA Entrance Examination.
● Processes to determine the effectiveness of the program in meeting
changing needs of employers;
All exempted students, however, must successfully complete Part Two
of the Entrance Examination before enrolling in the Strategic
● Nature and type of ongoing scholarly activities of faculty members
involved in the program.
Leadership Program.
CMA Canada will promote those universities that have achieved accred-
itation status to potential students and employers. This promotion may
be in the form of advertising material, student and employer presenta-
tions, and web site links. Universities are also encouraged to promote
the accredited program to students in a manner they deem appropriate.
Are there different accreditation
Which university programs are eligible for
To be eligible for accreditation, the program must be offered by a univer-
sity that is a member in good standing of the Association of Universities
and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).
CMA Canada recognizes that not all university
programs will fully meet all the accreditation cri-
teria. In recognition of this situation, two cate-
gories of accreditation have been developed as
part of the accreditation process. In all cases the
program for which accreditation is being sought
must cover the CMA Entrance Examination
A program is defined as those university courses, which, taken together,
cover the topics contained in the CMA Entrance Examination syllabus.
The program should be of sufficient quality so as to enable graduates to
challenge the CMA Entrance Examination without further study and
with a reasonable expectation of success.
1. FULL ACCREDITATION — This level of
accreditation is given to those university programs that cover the
CMA Entrance Examination in its entirety. As well, graduates of
these university programs from each of the most recent five years who
had written the Entrance Examination for the first time must have
had a pass rate of at least 75%.
What criteria must university programs meet to
become accredited?
Future graduates of these programs will be exempt from writing Part
One of the Entrance Examination for a period up to three years from
the date the program is approved for full accreditation.
Accreditation is based on the following criteria:
These programs can be promoted as accredited.
● The CMA Entrance Examination Syllabus must be covered entirely
in the program being accredited. The program will not qualify for
accreditation if students are required to take additional courses after
graduation to obtain coverage of the CMA Entrance Examination
accreditation is given to those programs where there is deemed to be
some minor to moderate shortcomings in meeting all of the criteria
for full accreditation.
● Over each of the most recent five years, graduates of the program who
were writing the Entrance Examination for the first time must have
Working in partnership with these universities, CMA Canada will
develop programs that will remove as quickly as possible reasons for
the qualification. The intent is to move the program to full accredi- tation status. develops
the qualification. The intent is to move the program to full accredi-
tation status.
develops a plan to eliminate the deficiencies, which will be submitted to
the NCB for review.
Graduates from these qualified accredited programs who have an
overall grade point average of 75% or equivalent will be exempt
from writing Part One of the Entrance Examination. This exemp-
tion will be for a period of up to three years from the date the pro-
gram was approved for qualified accreditation by CMA Canada.
How does CMA Canada ensure the continuing
quality of accredited university programs?
These programs cannot be promoted as accredited.
CMA Canada continuously monitors the performance of each program
that falls into one of the accreditation categories. The intent is to ensure
that any deterioration in examination performance is quickly flagged
and discussions opened between CMA Canada and the university on
how to reverse this trend.
What is the process for accrediting university
Following is the process for accrediting university programs:
Alternatively, monitoring may reveal that a negative trend on a per-
formance indicator is reversing itself. As a result, the program may sub-
sequently qualify for full accreditation.
Step One
To initiate the accreditation process, the CMA Canada provincial
office, in consultation with universities, identifies the programs they
wish to have reviewed for accreditation.
Accredited universities have an obligation to notify CMA Canada of
any changes in curriculum and other policies that would affect the
accredited program. These changes can then be evaluated with respect
to the potential impact on the accreditation status of the program.
Step Two
If changes have occurred, the university must notify the provincial and
national offices of CMA Canada in writing of the following:
The provincial office confirms that the program applying for accredita-
tion covers the Entrance Examination Syllabus. Also at this time the
pass rates for each of the previous five years for graduates from this pro-
gram who were first time writers of the Entrance Examination are
determined, along with the number of examination writers. This infor-
mation is given to CMA Canada’s national office.
● description of changes in the program;
● a list of courses involved;
● appropriate course outlines;
● year the change will take place.
Step Three
If analysis of these results indicates that the program may fall into one
of the two accreditation categories, the CMA Canada national office
notifies the university and requests completion of a self-assessment
report and arranges a visit by the Site Visitation Team.
In renewing accredited programs, CMA Canada will contact the uni-
versity at an appropriate time before an accredited program is due for
review. The review process will mirror that of the initial accreditation
Where can I get more information?
The self-assessment report asks the university to indicate its status with
respect to all accreditation criteria. Institutions are free to elaborate in
the self-assessment report as they feel appropriate, keeping in mind the
criteria that must be met.
For more information on the accreditation of select university pro-
grams, visit our Web site at and click on “About
CMA.” Or call CMA Canada toll-free at 1-877-262-6622, or e-mail us
Essential to the site visit are meetings with senior administrators and
faculty members who have overall responsibility for the program and
with student groups. Meetings with other members of the university
contributing to the program may also be scheduled as appropriate.
Step Four
CMA Canada’s National Certification Board (NCB) determines
whether the criteria for accreditation of a university program is satis-
fied for presentation to CMA Canada’s Board of Directors for
Shaping the Future
Step Five
Mississauga Executive Centre
The decision of the Board is communicated to the university in writing
and by a visit from the staff of CMA Canada’s national office. The
report and visit outline the reason for the Board’s decision and identi-
fies areas where modifications to CMA Canada activities and/or the
program can be made to achieve full accreditation status. The provin-
cial CMA Canada office working in co-operation with the university
One Robert Speck Parkway, Suite 1400
Mississauga, Ontario
L4Z 3M3
Customer Service: 1-877-262-6622
Fax: 905-949-0888
Web Site: