CFPC Examination Standing Reconsideration and Appeal Policy and Procedure

Certification Examination in Family Medicine | Examination of Added Competence in Emergency Medicine

This document is intended solely to summarize the options that a candidate may initiate. Click here for the full policy details and procedures to be followed.

Examination Standing Options

There are four examination standings that the Board of Examinations and Certification (BEC) can award to a candidate:

  • Pass – performance meets or exceeds the pass score as set by the BEC
  • Fail – performance falls below the pass score
  • No Standing – performance was impacted by a process irregularity that is deemed to be of such magnitude that the assessment of the candidate’s ability level is not fair and valid
  • Denied Standing – awarded when proof of egregious behaviour on the part of the candidate, such that the integrity of the examination is compromised, is discovered

Candidate Options

Review of Marks
Candidates may request a review of their examination materials for potential mathematical or mechanical errors.

A written request, along with a cheque or money order in the amount of $250 must be received by within 21 calendar days of the date on the results disclosure letter.

This review does not include rereading or regrading of the candidate’s answers. If a marking error is found, the error will be corrected, and the fee paid will be refunded.

Reconsideration of Awarded Standing
Candidates may request a reconsideration of their awarded standing if there was a significant procedural error (e.g., interruption in the flow of the examination or malfunctioning equipment) and/or emergent circumstances such as sudden medical or environmental situations.

A written request for reconsideration of an awarded standing must include:

  • a detailed description of the error or circumstance and how it impacted exam performance
  • relevant documentation to support the claim (i.e., copy of the incident report filed on site)
  • if related to illness, supporting documentation provided by the treating physician

Requests for reconsideration of awarded standing, along with a $300 non-refundable fee payable by certified cheque or money order payable to the College of Family Physicians of Canada must be received within 31 calendar days of the date appearing on the results disclosure letter.

Upon receipt of both request and fee, CFPC staff will acknowledge receipt, and forward the request to the Director, Certification and Examination. If it is determined that there was no impact on the fairness or validity of the assessment, or if insufficient rationale is provided, the case will not proceed to the BEC for formal review. Candidates will be notified and will be allowed 21 calendar days to submit a letter of disagreement which must include additional evidence demonstrating why the Director’s decision was incorrect. If sufficient rationale and evidence is received within the timelines set out above, the case will proceed for reconsideration by the BEC.

The Chair of the BEC shall appoint a reconsideration panel of no fewer than three members of BEC to obtain and consider all relevant documentation pertaining to substantiated reconsideration requests. The panel will meet within 60 days of being formed or at the next BEC meeting, whichever comes first. Decisions of the panel will be communicated in writing to the candidate within 15 calendar days of the meeting. Decision options of the reconsideration panel include:

  • uphold the originally awarded examination standing
  • award a no standing
  • set aside a no standing or denied standing, awarding pass or fail based on the original score
  • set aside, reduce or amend terms related to denied entry to future examinations

A pass can only be granted if the candidate achieves or exceeds the passing score of the examination in question. A fail cannot become a pass. If a fail is to be set aside, a no standing may be awarded.

Appealing a BEC Reconsideration Decision
Candidates may appeal to the CFPC’s Board of Directors (BOD) if they disagree with the BEC’s reconsideration decision. To appeal the BEC’s reconsideration decision, the candidate must notify the Executive Director (ED), Academic Family Medicine in writing of the intention to appeal. This notification must set forth the grounds for the appeal and the relief sought.

Notification that a candidate intends to appeal must be received within 31 days of the date on the letter communicating the decision of the reconsideration panel of the BEC. A $1,000 non-refundable fee payable by certified check or money order payable to the College of Family Physicians of Canada and must accompany the notification of intention to appeal.

Upon receipt of both the notification and fee, the ED will inform the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the candidate’s desire to launch an appeal. The CEO will direct the Chair of the BOD to form an ad hoc examination appeals panel which will be composed of at least three members of the BOD, the membership of the College (excluding BEC members) or any combination thereof. The appeal shall be heard within 90 calendar days of receipt of a valid and complete notification of appeal, or as soon as practical.

Contact information

The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Certification and Assessment, Academic Family Medicine
2630 Skymark Avenue,
Mississauga, ON L4W 5A4
[email protected]

Click here for the full CFPC Examination Standing Reconsideration and Appeal Policy and Procedure.

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