Navigating the Plan Environment

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Required to Earn




Part of

GBA Designation

(Updated July 2023)

Sponsors do not make decisions about their benefit and retirement plans in a vacuum. They are influenced by their “context”—various factors, conditions and circumstances in their environment. This course looks at two factors in the plan environment that impact most plan sponsors—the compensation system and the social security system. Benefit plans, regardless of type, are typically developed within the constraints and opportunities inherent in the sponsor’s chosen compensation strategy and in the constraints and opportunities inherent in government-sponsored benefit programs provided through Canada’s social security system. GBA/RPA3 also introduces tools for building contextual knowledge. Decision making and risk management models and processes explore how awareness of thinking processes and their resulting biases can improve professional effectiveness in a range of plan contexts and benefits roles. Theory-based readings are supported with industry-developed models and guidelines.

Topics Covered

  • Optimizing Social Programs in Planning for Retirement and Health Security
  • Optimizing the Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan for Income Security
  • Optimizing Canada's Social Security System-Employment Insurance and Workers’ Compensation
  • Optimizing Canada's Social Security System-Health Care
  • Driving Plan Sponsor Strategy with Reward and Compensation Systems
  • Driving Behaviour with Reward and Compensation Systems
  • Understanding How Behavioural Economics Impacts Decision Making
  • Applying Behavioural Economics Tools to Improve Decision Making
  • Thinking Through a Risk Management Lens
  • Establishing Risk Governance and Culture
  • Integrating Risk Management Into Strategy Setting and Execution
  • Optimizing Risk Communication, Reporting and Monitoring to Improve Decision Making

Continuing Education

Earn professional continuing education (CE) credit as you work through CEBS courses and continue to validate your learning with CEBS Compliance and ISCEBS membership.

Licensing and Professional Credit

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Resources For GBA/RPA 3


Successful completion of comprehensive exam   


GBA/RPA 3 Study Guide/required readings, 4th Edition, including online access to the modules and practice exam

* Readings Updates


Online Study Group With Instructor Support
12-week sessions offered in spring, summer and fall


Success Package - Save 20%

Save 20% when you purchase the Online Study Group and GBA/RPA 3 Exam.