Course Corner: Upcoming CEBS Course Revisions

CEBS Course Updates

As the employee benefits industry evolves, the CEBS® designation’s curriculum is updated to reflect this reality. The Canadian RPA 1 and RPA 2 courses are currently being fully revised to meet the changing retirement plans landscape. These new CEBS courses will help you gain valuable skills that you can put into practice on the job today as well as provide the emergent, cutting-edge knowledge that will prepare you for future roles.

Study Materials for RPA 1 and RPA 2, including new Study Guides and textbooks, will be available for purchase in late 2021. You’ll be able to write exams for the new courses beginning in the first Testing Window of 2022. Online Study Groups With Instructor Support for the new courses will be offered for the first time during the spring 2022 session.

Below are tentative outlines of the new Canadian courses:

RPA 1—Managing Retirement Plans Part 1

  • Module 1: Designing Registered Pension Plans
  • Module 2: Designing Non-Pension Registered Retirement Plans
    • Benefits in Action #1: Should we implement a registered pension plan?
  • Module 3: Leveraging the Tax Regime in Plan Design
  • Module 4: Complying With Pension Standards Legislation
  • Module 5: Establishing Effective Governance
    • Benefits in Action #2: What should you know about governance before introducing a workplace pension plan?
  • Module 6: Administering Retirement Arrangements
  • Module 7: Optimizing Plan Funding and Financial Reporting
    • Benefits in Action #3: What do financial statements reveal about pension costs and obligations?
  • Module 8: Managing Retirement Plan Assets
  • Module 9: Addressing Special Provisions: Multi-Employer Pension Plans
  • Module 10: Managing Special Situations—Plan Terminations, Surplus in Ongoing Plans and Business Reorganizations
  • Module 11: Other Employer-Sponsored Plans
    • Benefits in Action #4: What type of executive pension arrangement do we need to attract and retain senior-level talent?
  • Module 12: Capstone Case:  Managing Retirement Plans in Accordance With Organizational Goals

RPA 2—Managing Retirement Plans Part 2

  • Module 1: Navigating the Investment Environment of Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans
  • Module 2: Inventorying the Major Asset Classes
    • Benefits in Action #1: What should you know about your DC plan investment options before enrolling?
  • Module 3: Managing Investment Risk and Return
  • Module 4: Constructing an Investment Portfolio—Part 1
  • Module 5: Constructing an Investment Portfolio—Part 2
    • Benefits in Action #2: How do we decide on the assets to include in our pension fund?
  • Module 6: Assessing the Impact of Investor Behaviour and Market Anomalies on Active Management
    • Benefits in Action #3: “How does behavioural finance impact DB plan investment policy setting?
  • Module 7: Evaluating Active Management Performance
  • Module 8: Leveraging Managed Funds to Achieve Investment Objectives
    • Benefits in Action #4: How can we use managed funds to meet tests of investment prudency?
  • Module 9: Complying With Legislative and Best Practices in Plan Asset Investment
  • Module 10: Developing the Statement of Investment Policy
  • Module 11: Implementing the Defined Benefit Pension Plan Investment Policy
  • Module 12: Implementing the Capital Accumulation Plan Investment Policy
  • Module 13: Capstone Case:  Managing Pension Plan Investments in Accordance With Governance and Regulatory Requirements

What Does This Mean for You?

If you are studying for current versions of the RPA 1 or 2 courses:

It is important that you take and pass your exam prior to the close of the testing window ending on December 15, 2021. If you do not successfully pass the exam by the close of the December 15, 2021 testing window, you will need to purchase new study materials to test in 2022.  Because of the extensive nature of these course revisions, exceptions cannot be made for additional testing opportunities.

If you are thinking about enrolling in the RPA courses:

You’ll take the new courses. Study materials will be available for purchase in late 2021.

If you have passed the current version of RPA 1, but have not yet begun RPA 2:

You’ll continue with the new RPA 2 course, which will be available for purchase in late 2021.


If you have any questions about Study Materials or revisions to the Canadian RPA 1 or RPA 2 courses, please reach out to our CEBS Customer Service team at