Appeal Process

Grounds for review

A candidate's examination results will be reviewed by the College of Family Physicians of Canada only in the case of suspected major irregularities in the evaluation process, not because of alleged errors in content. If, for example, a candidate was given less than the allotted time to complete an examination, this may be considered a process irregularity and justification for a formal review of examination results. If, however, the Board of Examiners ruled that a candidate did not answer a sufficient number of questions correctly, the candidate may disagree with their decision, but the disagreement belongs in the area of content and does not constitute grounds for review.

An appeal on the basis of process will be successful if the Board of Examiners of the College of Family Physicians of Canada agrees that the process irregularities were significant enough to materially affect the candidate's performance.

The fact that irregularities occur is not in itself grounds for a successful appeal. There must be evidence that the irregularity resulted in unfairness that adversely and materially affected the performance of the candidate.

Management of an appeal

Immediate notification of the local examination authority

If process irregularities as defined above are found to occur in the course of an examination they should be brought immediately to the attention of the responsible local authority: a representative of the Board of Examiners, the local examination coordinator or examination invigilator. Examiners as well as candidates may initiate such action.

The person in charge may then either institute some immediate course of action to correct the process error or if such action is impossible provide a written report to the Board of Examiners at the earliest possible time.

It should be emphasized that early and immediate attention to process irregularities will likely result in the complete and satisfactory resolution of most irregularities detected. It does not preclude a further request for review on the part of the candidate concerned. On the contrary, it may even be construed as additional evidence of the importance of the process irregularity in the case.

Submitting a written request

Whether or not the matter is raised with the local examination authority and dealt with at that time, a candidate may apply for a formal review of his/her examination results. A written request for a formal review along with a cheque* or money order* in the amount of $225 must be forwarded to the College of Family Physicians of Canada within 30 days of receipt by the candidate of his/her examination results. The request must explain in detail the circumstances surrounding the alleged irregularity. The College staff shall acknowledge receipt of the request within 30 calendar days and indicate whether the irregularity is considered one of process rather than content and whether the candidate's performance was materially affected.

If there appears to be no grounds for initiating a formal review, the preliminary ruling of the College of Family Physicians of Canada shall be communicated to the candidate, who shall be given the opportunity to pursue his/her request within 30 days. If the initial in-house study suggests that there are grounds for formal review, the request will proceed to the Board of Examiners forthwith.

*Please do not send credit card information.

Pursuing the request for appeal

Once the decision to hold a formal appeal is made, the Chair of the Board of Examiners shall appoint a panel of members of the Board of Examiners of not less than three to obtain, receive and consider all documents pertaining to the appeal.

This panel shall render its decision no later than the next scheduled date of meeting of the Board of Examiners.

Decisions of the review panel

The panel's judgement options are as follows:

  • no process irregularity has occurred: or
  • there was a process irregularity of insufficient magnitude to materially affect the candidate's performance: or
  • there was a process irregularity of sufficient magnitude to materially affect the candidate's performance and a repeat examination is allowed at the next examination session at no charge to the candidate.

Limits on eligibility

Certification Examination in Family Medicine

Limits on residency eligibility
Limits on practice eligibility

Examination of Special Competence in Emergency Medicine

Limits on eligibility 

Requests to resit the exam

If you wish to sit the next available examination and you are eligible, please register through the online application. The deadline date to register to resit the family medicine examination is February 1 for the spring exam and June 30for the fall exam or June 15 for the emergency medicine examination.

As a decision may not be made until after the deadline date, candidates are encouraged to register for the next exam while their appeal is being considered.
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