Certificates of Added Competence in Family Medicine

What are Certificates of Added Competence, and why apply?

The CFPC is the professional home for family physicians who provide comprehensive, continuing care to their patients as well as family physicians who focus some or all of their practice in certain domains of care that help meet the needs of their patients and communities. While maintaining our pride as family physicians and the generalists that we are trained to be, we acknowledge that the delivery of family medicine services is evolving. Certificates of Added Competence (CACs) provide a means to recognize enhanced areas of expertise achieved, and maintained, by some family physicians. Members who hold these CACs will become a valued resource to other family physicians and to our patients.

In 2015, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) will begin awarding Certificates of Added Competence (CACs) to family physicians with added competence in one of five approved domains of care in family medicine:

  • Care of the Elderly
  • Palliative Care
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Practice Anesthesia
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine

Who can apply for a Certificate of Added Competence?

Although future CACs will be awarded based on structured assessments, the initial CACs will be awarded to family physicians who have previously acquired competencies deemed worthy of recognition in the approved domains either through prior successful completion of a residency training program (Residency-training route), or through Emergency Medicine Certification, or through practice experience and professional development (Leader route). CACs will be awarded based on the credentials and documented evidence of added competence as judged by a peer review committee process. The CFPC’s Board of Examiners approves the criteria for eligibility as well as for success or failure in the awarding of all CACs.

How do I apply for a Certificate of Added Competence?

Family physicians who wish to apply for a CAC, and who qualify for a CAC in one of the five approved domains, must apply for consideration via an online application form through the CFPC member dashboard. Candidates will be asked to provide evidence to support their application.  There will be three application options to support candidates: an application based on previous residency-training in an approved domain of care; a second application for those applying based on previous certification in Emergency Medicine; a third application for the Leader Route.

Eligibility Criteria for each CAC Application Route  

Practising physicians who are not eligible at this time for any of the routes outlined may have an opportunity to acquire a CAC in the future through practice eligible routes.

Residents currently in training programs should not apply through the routes noted above. Further details on obtaining CACs for this group will be communicated later, directly to the programs and the registered trainees.

When can I apply for a Certificate of Added Competence? How much will it cost to apply?

The application opened in April 2015, and will remain open until November 15, 2015. Apply now

CAC Application Instructions

The CAC program is a revenue-neutral program, so fees are being set to recover costs only. The application fee will be non-refundable and will be required and applied at submission of the online application.  Applications without payment will not be reviewed. Application fees will depend on the application route that a candidate must use to apply. Fees for each route will be finalized and posted on this webpage prior to the application opening – however, we anticipate the following fee structure: 

Residency Training Application  $ 375
Application in Emergency Medicine $ 60
Leader Application $ 750

When will I know if I am successfully awarded a Certificate of Added Competence?

Deliberations on applications will start in early 2015, however final decisions may be not be confirmed or communicated until late September, 2015. The first CAC awards will be announced at the Family Medicine Forum in November 2015.

How will the Application Review Process work?

Applications from each domain of care will be reviewed by five-person Peer Review Committees comprised of a panel of CFPC members with direct experience within the domain of care of the application, as well as a member from another CAC domain of care, and a member from a broad-based practice background. The panel will be supported in their work by a senior staff member from the Certification and Assessment Department at the College. The panel will review the presented evidence for each candidate, weigh and consider it appropriately, and arrive at a recommendation to award a CAC, or not. Each recommendation will be forwarded to the CFPC’s Board of Examiners for final review and decision. 

Confirmed decisions will be communicated to the candidate. If a candidate wishes to appeal a decision, they may do so following the same procedures outlined for appeals to the regular Certification Examination in Family Medicine.

How will successful awarding of a CAC affect my credentials and designation?

Successful awarding of a CAC is a credential conferred by the CFPC in the form a diploma that will be mailed to you. Upon receiving this credential, family physicians are authorized to use the CAC designation.

This does not apply to members who already hold a CCFP(EM) designation. They may continue to use the designation without acquiring a CAC. They may also apply for a CAC if they wish. CACs in Emergency Medicine Letter: April 2015.

CAC Credential in



Care of the Elderly CCFP(COE) / MCFP(COE)
Palliative Care CCFP(PC) / MCFP(PC)
Family Practice Anesthesia CCFP(FPA) / MCFP(FPA)
Sport and Exercise Medicine CCFP(SEM) / MCFP(SEM)
Emergency Medicine CCFP(EM) / MCFP(EM)

Will I need to maintain my Certificate of Added Competence?

In addition to initial acquisition of a Certificate of Added Competence credential, the ongoing use of the CAC designation will require that a candidate be an active CFPC member, in good standing, who maintains their competence in the domain of care, as a new, specifically identified part of their 5-year Mainpro reporting cycle. A small additional fee for Maintenance of Competence will be required for CAC holders, and will be added to the annual membership fees. This fee will not be included in the initial CAC Application fee.

When will other domains of care in Family Medicine be eligible for a CAC?

The 5 CAC approved domains of care are applicable to this current phase of CAC applications. The College is currently exploring future addition of other domains of care. Information related to these decisions will be shared with members and colleagues as more dialogue unfolds.

For questions or further information, please write to [email protected].

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