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
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.
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Certification and Assessment, Academic Family Medicine
2630 Skymark Avenue,
Mississauga, ON L4W 5A4
Click here for the full CFPC Examination Standing Reconsideration and Appeal Policy and Procedure.
Management of an appeal
Immediate notification of the local examination authority
If process irregularities as defined above are found to occur during the course of an examination, they should be brought immediately to the attention of the responsible local authority—either the representative of the Board of Examinations and Certification, 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 Examinations and Certification 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 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 CFPC within 30 days of receipt by the candidate of 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 CFPC shall be communicated to the candidate, who shall be given the opportunity to pursue this 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 Examinations and Certification 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 Examinations and Certification shall appoint a panel of members of the Board of Examinations and Certification 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 Examinations and Certification.
Decisions of the review panel
The panel has three judgement options:
- No process irregularity has occurred
- There was a process irregularity of insufficient magnitude to materially affect the candidate's performance
- 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
Requests to resit the exam
If a candidate wishes to sit the next available examination and is eligible, the candidate must register through the online application. The deadlines to register to resit the family medicine examination are:
- February 1st for the spring exam
- June 30th for the fall exam
- June 15th 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.