Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)

The CPA's mission is to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance. It seeks to build an informed parliamentary community and to further co-operation among its Parliaments and Legislatures. This mission is achieved through a strategic plan covering the following 6 areas:

  •  Commonwealth fundamental principles,
  •  The functional independence of Parliament,
  •  Professional development seminars and workshops,
  •  Networking through conferences,
  •  Technical assistance to individual Parliaments, and
  •  Specialist information for a specialist community.

Active CPA Branches now exist in 175 national, state, provincial and territorial parliaments, with a total membership of approximately 17 000 parliamentarians.


The association is composed of branches formed in legislatures in Commonwealth countries that subscribe to parliamentary democracy. The Members of the legislature in which a branch is formed are entitled to become members of that branch. 

CPA branches are currently grouped geographically into nine Commonwealth regions for representation on the CPA executive committee and for the organisation of regional conferences and seminars on parliamentary practice and procedure.

The regions are:

  • Africa;
  • Asia;
  • Australia;
  • British Islands and Mediterranean;
  • Canada;
  • Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic;
  • India;
  • Pacific; and
  • South-East Asia.

The Western Cape Provincial Parliament is one of the branches of the CPA.