International Accreditation

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) recently began a project to review standards of training and certification in international jurisdictions. Canada has a large immigrant physician population with members from many parts of the world. Because of this, the CFPC is particularly interested in developing standards which can be used to assess training in countries outside our own, and hopefully expedite licensure for practice. The CFPC also has many members who have emigrated to other countries and who would benefit from reciprocal recognition of the Canadian training and certification process.

The goal of this initiative is to review and provide recognition, wherever possible, of the training physicians have received in general practice/family medicine outside of Canada and to invite those jurisdictions to review and assess the Canadian training and certification process. Because the CFPC is mindful of the ethical implications of physician migration, we are working only with jurisdictions that are also interested in this project and see some mutual benefit for their own members and jurisdictions.

The review process is based on standards developed using those defined for postgraduate training published by the World Federation for Medical Education and our own accreditation standards for training. On the basis of these, we developed a questionnaire as a primary assessment tool.

The CFPC is approaching jurisdictions to work with them to determine ways to compare Canadian training and certification to that in other jurisdictions. If it can be determined that these are essentially comparable, the CFPC may be able to grant standing to physicians trained in other jurisdictions who are working in Canada and to facilitate their ability to achieve certification in family medicine in Canada.

The Working Group on International Training and Certification (WGITC) was established to determine which medical education jurisdictions outside of Canada offer training and/or certification that is comparable and acceptable to the standards of the CFPC and to advance the standards of family medicine education and certification globally. The WGITC is the primary reviewer of information and acts as the liaison with partner jurisdictions.

Physicians who have completed training and certification in an approved jurisdiction will be eligible to apply for Certification with the College of Family Physicians (CCFP) without examination through recognition of their training and certification obtained in the approved jurisdiction.

Approved Jurisdictions to date:

  • United States of America: Graduates of family medicine residency training programs that have been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and who are also Diplomates of the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM)
  • Australia: Graduates of Australian General Practice Vocational Training programs that have been accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and meet the standards of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and who also hold Fellowship in the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)
  • Ireland: Graduates of general practice vocational training schemes that have been accredited by Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and who also hold membership in the Irish College of General Practitioners (MICGP)

  • United Kingdom: Graduates of general practice vocational training programmes that have been accredited by the General Medical Council (GMC) and who meet the standards of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and who also hold membership in the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP)

The WGITC is currently working with several other jurisdictions in hopes of opening similar routes to certification.

The CFPC and WGITC invite any jurisdictions that may be interested in developing a partnership between the College/organization responsible for setting the training and certification standards and the CFPC to contact the CFPC to begin a dialogue.

Useful International Accreditation Documents

Standards for the Assessment of Non-Canadian Postgraduate Family Medicine Education Programs
General Guidelines for the Accreditation of Postgraduate Training
Assessment of International Programs – Accreditation and Training Questionnaire
Learn more about Application Information.

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