Introducing the New Certification Examination in Family Medicine

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) are collaborating on a new and enhanced format for the Certification Examination in family medicine. When meeting all other requirements of both organizations, candidates who challenge and pass this exam starting in spring 2013 will be granted Certification in Family Medicine from the CFPC (CCFP) and the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC).

Although the MCCQE Part II will continue to be offered to all eligible candidates, residency eligible candidates seeking Certification in family medicine in 2013 or beyond will be required to take the new enhanced examination. It is therefore to the advantage of these candidates to defer taking the MCCQE Part II in favour of the new CCFP exam, given the efficiencies in cost and effort.

Format and Timing

As in the past, the new Certification exam will be offered each year in the spring and fall. Candidates will be involved in testing over a period of three days.

  • Written component: computer-based short-answer management problems (SAMPs), 6 hours in length (Thursday or Friday)
  • Clinical skills component:
    • Eight 10-minute objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) stations (Saturday); these stations are common to the MCCQE Part II and Certification exam candidates
    • Four 15-minute simulated office oral exams (SOOs) (Sunday)

Certification Examination Fee

2013: $4,600*

*A tuition tax credit is available to each candidate.

Key elements contributing to the exam fee:

  • Offer the exam as geographically close to the candidate as possible
  • Develop new content on a regular basis to reflect the changing health‑care needs of Canadians
  • Include and keep up-to-date with technological advances in the administration of the exam
  • Cover costs associated with delivering the exam across Canada and with recruiting physician examiners and other exam centre staff
  • Increase in the number of oral examinations from 5 to 12

Eligibility Requirements

Since the enhanced Certification Examination in Family Medicine will lead to both CCFP and LMCC credentials, all candidates will be required to meet the eligibility requirements of both organizations. As a result, there are two changes in the eligibility requirements for family medicine residents. In order to be eligible to take the enhanced Certification Examination in Family Medicine:

  • All family medicine residents must have successfully completed the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I
  • All required medical credentials that were obtained outside of Canada must have been successfully source-verified by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Physician Credentials Repository (formerly known as PCRC) at least eight weeks prior to the examination date.

Review the complete list of eligibility requirements.

Continuation of the Traditional Exam Format

In an effort to assist candidates in the transition to this new exam format, those residency or practice-eligible candidates who passed the MCCQE Part II on or before spring 2011 will have the opportunity to take the traditional Certification exam in the spring and fall of 2013. This opportunity will only be available for the 2013 sessions of the examination and after that all candidates seeking Certification in family medicine will be required to take the new exam format.

The traditional exam will take place on the same dates as the enhanced exam at select locations only (to be confirmed).

Repeat Requirements

Candidates must successfully complete both the written and the clinical skills components of the enhanced exam to be awarded their CCFP. If candidates are unsuccessful on both components of the enhanced exam they will be required to repeat the full exam on a subsequent attempt.

If candidates are unsuccessful on one of the two exam components, they may retake that component within one calendar year at approximately 50% of the full fee. If candidates are not successful on the retake of that component, they will be required to repeat the entire examination at full cost.

The opportunity to retake individual components of the exam only applies to repeat attempts to pass the enhanced Certification exam.

Failing to Meet the Standard for Certification

If a candidate is unsuccessful in meeting the standard for Certification, the MCC’s Central Examination Committee (CEC) will review the candidate’s performance on the clinical skills component of the enhanced Certification exam and make an independent decision whether or not to award the LMCC. The CEC will determine if the performance meets a pass standard comparable to that of the MCCQE Part II.

2013 Exam Sites: To Be Confirmed

Examinations are available in both official languages in multiple centres across Canada. The examinations will be held in more cities than are currently listed. A full list will be made available closer to the examination dates.

Site Locations

The CFPC will do its best to ensure you are assigned to an exam site as close to your residence or residency school as possible. Factors influencing your assigned site include space limitations and examiner availability.

You will be notified of your exam location six weeks prior to the exam date. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received this confirmation. 

English sites
Calgary, London, Montreal, Edmonton, Hamilton, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Halifax

French sites
Sherbrooke, Montreal, Quebec

Note: Exam centres are subject to change.

In assigning sites, the CFPC and MCC take the needs of the candidates into consideration. Priorities include the following:

  • Assigning the exam location for candidates at their home residency school, city of residency, or nearest location in an effort to minimize travel
  • Allowing ample travel time for candidates
  • Coordinating sites with dates and locations of the MCCQE Part II exam
  • Capacity for computer-based testing
  • Availability to respond to special accommodations
  • SOO site capacity, including physical location and schedule
  • Number of examiners
  • Individual request ( if possible)

The CFPC and the MCC will accommodate candidates as best they can. Candidates who must travel to write the exam will be assigned to the nearest location.

Registration Dates

Online registration for the spring 2013 Certification exam:

  • Family medicine residents: December 1, 2012 to February 1, 2013
  • Practice-eligible candidates: closed for spring exam, reopening January 1 to April 1, 2013 for fall exam


Please send your inquiries to [email protected]. Further updates will be made to this website as available.

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