Continuing Education

National Payroll Institute Designation Programs

Manage payroll for your organization

The National Payroll Institute (formerly known as Canadian Payroll Association) offers the only payroll designations in Canada: Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) and Payroll Leadership Professional (PLP). 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.

Important notes for the payroll program

The NAIT payroll program runs in conjunction with the National Payroll Institute (NPI), therefore, dual registration is required. This means when students register in the course with NAIT, they must also contact the National Payroll Institute directly and register with NPI and pay the NPI fees to get access to course materials. You can accomplish this by following the instructions on the Before You Register tab.

The course end date listed for CPAY455, CPAY460, CPAY465, CPAY470 and CPAY475 includes a two week marking turnaround following the course completion. This additional time is to allow for marks to be returned from the National Payroll Institute to NAIT. The actual course end date for course activity is two weeks prior to the end date listed. 

Completed a prerequisite course at another institution? Please contact continuingeducation@nait.ca, and attach your letter from the National Payroll Institute showing course completion, and we will help you enroll in your next course.

Important information for your accounting (ACCT), compensation (HRMT) and organizational behaviour (ORGB) courses. Registration for ACCT1115 can be done online through the Self Service section of your MyNAIT Student Portal. However, you will need program assistance to register in your ACCT2260, HRMT2280, and ORGB1135 courses. Please review the available sections offered through the JR Shaw School of Business (JRSSB) at NAIT, and have the following information ready before you contact us for help with registration:

  • Full name
  • NAIT Student ID Number
  • Confirmation letter from the National Payroll Institute to pursue PLP Certification
  • Course name
  • Section number

With this information in hand, you can contact us at (780) 378-6990, toll-free at 1-844-558-8753, or continuingeducation@nait.ca.


Courses

Quick Facts

Credential: 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.

Campus: Main

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at NAIT's Main Campus in Edmonton. View map

Delivery Modes:

  • Online - All your class activity will be delivered online.

Delivery Times:

    Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

    The PCP and PLP certifications are granted by the National Payroll Institute (formerly known as Canadian Payroll Association) upon successful completion of the required courses, fulfilment of the necessary payroll experience, and passing the Institute's final exam with a minimum of 65%. The passing grade for all courses in the National Payroll Institute Designation programs 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, the tools to effectively communicate payroll information to all stakeholders, and an understanding of the accounting functions as they relate to payroll. Courses needed for this certificate include Payroll Compliance Legislation, Payroll Fundamentals I, Payroll Fundamentals II, and Introductory Financial Accounting.

    The Payroll Leadership Professional (PLP) 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 

    Learning outcomes in the full-time payroll program

    The full-time Payroll Professional Program comprises a suite of 19 courses. Each course helps build the necessary foundational knowledge, skills and mindset required for payroll professionals to keep their organizations compliant throughout the annual payroll cycle.

    In addition to finance and regulatory courses, students will also take technical courses to familiarize them with software they will use over their course of their careers in payroll. These courses will help develop fundamental competencies with Microsoft Word, Excel, and QuickBooks at increasing levels of complexity.

    To adequately prepare students to enter the workforce, they will also develop soft skills to help successfully manage the intricacies of a professional work environment. Courses in time management, conflict resolution, business communications, and more will round out their training and help them hit the ground running on their first day of employment.

    Full course list

    Payroll, Finance & Regulatory

    CPAY455 – Payroll Compliance Legislation 

    CPAY905 – Financial Accounting for Payroll 

    CPAY460 – Payroll Fundamentals I

    CPAY465 – Payroll Fundamentals II 

    BFND580 – Workplace Legislation 

    Technical

    CPAY920 – Intro to Computers 

    CPAY925 – Word 

    CPAY930 – Excel 

    CCTO401 – QuickBooks Levels I

    CCTO402 – QuickBooks Levels II

    CCTO403 – QuickBooks Levels III

    Communication & Leadership

    CPAY741 – Business Communications 

    CPAY590 – Time Management

    CPAY740 – Networking

    CPAY635 – Strategies for Managing Change

    CITC916 – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

    CPAY640 – Quality Customer Engagement

    CPAY530 – Customer Experience Strategies

    SCRS100 – Foundations I – Conflict Resolution

    Entrance Requirements

    1. You must register at NAIT before registering with the National Payroll Institute (formerly known as Canadian Payroll Association).
    2. Then register with the National Payroll Institute on their website and pay separate fees (course fee and membership fee, if applicable)for the following courses: CPAY455, CPAY460, CPAY465 for Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) or CPAY470 and CPAY475 for Payroll Leadership Professional (PLP).

    For questions about certification, please inquire directly with the National Payroll Institute's Professional Certification Department at certification@payroll.ca.

    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 recommended English requirements noted above, the following are recommended equivalencies for 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

    Important Notes for the Payroll Program

    Course end date

    The course end date listed for CPAY455, CPAY460, CPAY465, CPAY470 and CPAY475 includes a two week marking turnaround following the course completion. This additional time is to allow for marks to be returned from the National Payroll Institute to NAIT. The actual course end date for course activity is two weeks prior to the end date listed. 

    Completed a prerequisite course at another institution?

    Please contact continuingeducation@nait.ca, and attach your letter from the National Payroll Institute showing course completion, and we will help you enroll in your next course.

    Registering for accounting (ACCT), compensation (HRMT) and oganizational behaviour (ORGB) courses

    Registration for ACCT, HRMT and ORGB courses requires program assistance because they are offered through the JR Shaw School of Business at NAIT. Please review the available sections offered through JRSSB, and have the following information ready before you contact us 780.378.6990, toll-free at 1.844.558.8753 or continuingeducation@nait.ca for help with registration: Full Name, NAIT Student ID Number, confirmation letter from the National Payroll Institute to pursue PCP Certification, course name and section number.

    Instructors

    Carolyn Lesyshen

    Carolyn Lesyshen

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

    Read More
    Evelyn Gwynn

    Evelyn Gwynn

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

    Read More
    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.

    Read More
    Melanie Dutchek

    Melanie Dutchek

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

    Read More

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Registration

    How do I apply/register?

    Except for our Academic Upgrading and ESL programs, you do not need to apply to get started. If you would like to join us for courses, you can enrol yourself through our website and complete your fee payment by VISA/MasterCard credit or debit card.

    You can proceed to the course page and select “Add to Cart” beside the course dates of your choice. You will complete your payment once you are signed into your account. A video walkthrough of this process is available at www.nait.ca/register

    Visit the ESL application page for details on how to register.

    Visit the Academic Upgrading program page for details on how to register.

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    When is the deadline to register?

    This can vary depending on the course or program. Some courses may have specific registration deadlines, which will be noted under View Course Information.

    Space is limited, and our courses can fill up well before the scheduled start date. For best results, we recommend enrolling as soon as you are able. If the Add to Cart button is available on the website, you are welcome to enrol.

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    I am trying to sign up, but the shopping cart says “already enrolled in course, add not processed.” What do I do now?

    You may have begun and not finished the checkout process in the last 24 hours. The course is on your MyNAIT portal waiting for secure online payment to confirm your seat in the class.

    Please log in to your MyNAIT portal complete online payment through Self Service.

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    I've been added to a waitlist. What does this mean?

    If a course you wish to take says Add to Waitlist instead of Add to Cart, that means that there are no open seats for registration for that section.

    You can add yourself to the waitlist at no charge for a chance to be enrolled if space becomes available. If you are enrolled from the waitlist, you will receive an email notice advising you to visit your student portal to make a payment.

    Where possible, we recommend enrolling yourself in a different section with available space to ensure you can still complete the course even if you are not enrolled from the waitlist into your preferred section.

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    Do I need a NAIT student account to sign up for Continuing Education classes? How do I make one?

    Yes, you do need a NAIT student account to sign up for Continuing Education classes.

    If you are new to NAIT, we recommend creating a NAIT account on the MyNAIT portal. When you are asked for a NAIT ID number, leave the space blank if you have not attended or applied to NAIT before, and our system will generate a new Student ID for you.

    Once your account has been made, you can search for a course and add it to your cart. You will complete your payment once you are signed into your account with your new username and password.  More details including a video walkthrough of this process is available at www.nait.ca/register

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    Funding Options

    How much does it cost?

    NAIT has a flexible payment option for continuing education classes. 10% of the cost is due upon enrolment (as well as material fees if applicable). The remainder of tuition is due 30 days prior to class start date. 

    Please refer to the ESL and Academic Upgrading Funding webpage for the most up to date funding information.

     

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    What are my funding and payment options?

    NAIT has a flexible payment option for continuing education classes. 10% of the cost is due upon enrolment (as well as material fees if applicable). The remainder of tuition is due 30 days prior to class start date. 

    Please refer to the ESL and Academic Upgrading Funding webpage for the most up to date funding information.

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    What is the cancellation and refund policy?

    To be eligible for a refund, you must drop your course at least 10 calendar days before the class start date.

    Please see the refund policy for more information.

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    Are there other fees for textbooks, memberships, hardware or equipment? If so, is it something I buy from NAIT, and how?

    If textbooks, materials or software are required for an individual course, it will be noted in the course details. If software or other costs apply to a whole program, it will be listed in the program overview.

    Most textbooks can be purchased directly from Shop at NAIT. The program area will provide further directions if your course requires textbooks, software or other materials that need to be purchased elsewhere.

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    An organization (employer or community organization) wants to pay for my Continuing Education courses by invoice. How do we set this up?

    Please submit a Third Party Sponsorship form for Continuing Education courses.

    This document needs to clearly identify the student, the course(s) requested, the start dates for each course requested, and the contact information of the sponsoring organization and invoicing contact. Once complete, submit the forms online.

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    Courses, certificates and transfer credits

    I have registered for a packaged program/certificate. Can I transfer from the pre-determined course dates to other dates?

    Block Enrolment Purchase

    This option is designed for students seeking a structured schedule. A discounted rate is granted for the commitment to this structure. By choosing a block purchase, you secure a spot in a predefined set of classes scheduled back-to-back over a specific period. This option is for students who can commit to a fixed schedule without the need for adjustments based on personal or professional conflicts.

    Requirements and Commitment:

    1. Fixed Schedule: When you opt for a block purchase, you are committing to the schedule as it is set. The schedule has been carefully designed to maximize learning outcomes and cohort progression.
    2. Block Discount: The block discount is offered as an incentive for your commitment to the entire program schedule.
    3. No Schedule Changes: Please be aware that the block purchase agreement does not allow for schedule changes once the program begins. This policy is in place to ensure the integrity of the learning experience for all students.
    4. Recommendation for Flexibility: If you anticipate the need for a flexible schedule due to work or personal commitments, we strongly advise considering our open enrolment classes. Open enrolment allows you to create a personalized schedule that can adapt to your individual needs, without the commitment to a fixed schedule.
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    How are Continuing Education certificates issued to students?

    Students who successfully complete all required courses in the certificate of their choice will receive a digital credential. NAIT will automatically issue your digital certification through our MyCreds system, and you will receive an email notification once your credential is ready. Credentials typically take up to 10 business days to be processed after all grades are officially posted.

    Please note: Students completing the following certificates with electives are asked to self-identify by emailing ContinuingEducation@nait.ca when they have completed the required number of electives:

    • Business Analyst
    • Business Fundamentals
    • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
    • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
    • Enhanced Team Leadership
    • Geographic Information Systems Technology
    • Human Resources for the Supervisor
    • Leadership Development
    • Management for ASET Technology Professionals
    • Medical Office Administrator
    • Power Engineering Fourth Class Theory
    • Process Analyst
    • Water Wastewater (Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment, Water Distribution and Collection) 
    • Workplace Essentials
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    How do I withdraw from a non-credit course?

    Information on how to withdraw from a non-credit course can be found on the Refunds page.
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    I want to apply for transfer credit, what is the process?

    If you have previous post-secondary education and want to apply for transfer credit, you must first be accepted into a credit program and have paid your non-refundable tuition deposit.

    Transfer credit is granted as per the guidelines and process outlined here. Please note that processing times for transfer credit is 4-6 weeks, so we encourage you to apply as early as possible.  

    To apply for transfer credit, please log into your MyNAIT portal account and select Open Self-Service. Once in Self-Service, select Academic Records>Transfer Credits>Apply for Transfer Credits. Please follow the prompts, make the required payment, and click submit. If you do not click on the submit button, your transfer credit application will not be received by NAIT.  

    To monitor your transfer credit application, under the same section Self-Service, select Monitor Application Status. You can also locate the step-by-step Transfer Credit Application guide under the Self-Service Guide on the portal. 

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    I am looking for a course or program

    You can search for a Continuing Education program or course based on your area of interest here.

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    What are the prior knowledge and skill expectations (prerequisites) for Continuing Education courses?

    The expectations before joining any of our programs will vary for each course and certificate. We will list prerequisites or recommended prior knowledge for each certificate on the program landing page, and for individual courses in the course information.

    You can view individual course information by either clicking the course title or the View Course Information option under the course title.

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    Is there a recommended order to take each course in the certificate?

    Most program areas list the courses in the recommended order and include any prerequisite information in the course Information description. If a course is listed as a pre-requisite, you would need to have completed the prerequisite to be able to register.

    If a course is listed as recommended you can enrol without having the prerequisite on your record, which we only recommend doing if you have mastered the content of the recommended course through other work experience or education.

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    How long does it take to finish this program? Do I have a time limit?

    Many Continuing Education programs are relatively short, and you have the benefit of taking individual courses as fit your schedule and budget.

    Use the drop-down menu of dates beside the add to cart button to pick out a schedule that works for you. We recommend completing most programs within 1-2 years wherever possible to help you maintain connections in your learning from course to course.

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    Can I get credit towards this credential for experience or past coursework?

    Many programs will accept previous experience or coursework.

    There is a fee and formal application process for transfer credit for previous course work or work experience. Learn more about transfer and credit options.

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    Technology Requirements

    What are the technology requirements for virtual classes?

    • Access to a personal computer running Windows 8.1 or 10/11 operating system with minimum 4GB of system memory (8 GB highly recommended) and must have administrator rights to install applications.
    • Microsoft Office 365 or Office 2019/2021. Education version of Microsoft Office 365 is available for all current NAIT students.
    • Students can contact NAIT Information and Technology Services for help and support
    • High speed internet connection
    • Microphone, speaker or headset and webcam
    • Dual monitor display is highly recommended
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    The course description says “Mac, Chromebook or tablets are not supported." What are my options to attend virtual courses?

    The statement about Windows vs. Mac is for classes that are taught on computers running Windows.

    The instructor will be using a Windows operating system for these courses and will not be able to allocate instructional time navigating or troubleshooting differences between Mac/Windows OS.

    Some students are comfortable doing that type of troubleshooting themselves, but there may also be software compatibility concerns for your individual course and the instructor will not able to provide direct technical support should you choose to proceed against the program’s recommendation.

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    What is Moodle, and how do I use it?

    Moodle is the learning platform we use for many of our online courses.

    If your course will be delivered through Moodle, you can access it by clicking the Moodle button right in your MyNAIT portal account. You will find your course linked in Moodle on the scheduled start date.

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    Delivery Methods

    • Face to Face: Where: In-person meetings. When: Course is scheduled at a specific time for students to attend. Face-to-face instruction at all class meetings. Location may be on campus or at a worksite.
    • Blended: Where: Mixture of in-person & online components. When: Course is scheduled at a specific time for students to attend. Combination of face-to-face and online components at specific times. Some online components may be accessed online anytime.
    • Hyflex: Where: Choice to attend in-person or online meetings. When: Course is scheduled at a specific time for students to attend. For each class, students choose to attend in-person with the instructor or online at a specific time.
    • Remote Live Delivery: Where: Online with instructor. When: Course is scheduled at a specific time for students to attend. Instruction is delivered at set times online. Students do not come to campus.
    • Remote On-Demand Delivery: Where: Online anytime. When: No set class meetings. Coursework is accessed on-demand and online. While there are no set class meetings, there may be set due dates and deadlines for some activities. Students may interact with peers through virtual tools.
    • Remote Independent: Where: Online anytime. When: No set class meetings. Coursework is accessed on-demand and online, with no instructor support. While students choose when to do coursework, there may be set due dates and deadlines. 
    • Work Placement: Where: In-person meetings. When: Work is scheduled at a specific time for students to attend. Onsite work integrated learning. Location at a worksite.
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