Skip to Main Content
Certification exams are coming soon—make an impact and become a CFPC examiner today!

Working from home - stock photo Young entrepreneur is working from home

Many family physicians throughout Canada have supported the examination process by volunteering their time to serve as examiners. There are many good reasons to get involved. Here are just a few:
  • Help colleagues realize their goal of attaining Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada or a Certificate of Added Competence in Emergency Medicine
  • Play a role in tackling the crisis in family medicine by increasing the health care workforce labour supply through certification, thereby counteracting physician burnout
  • Be a role model for colleagues in the profession through your interest and participation
  • Enjoy a sense of accomplishment in contributing to an important step of quality care delivery in Canada
  • Earn Mainpro+® certified assessment credits
  • As a family medicine examiner, more confidently apply the patient-centred clinical method in your own practice setting. As an emergency medicine examiner, reinforce your knowledge of key aspects of emergency department care.
  • Be part of an extensive virtual team working to deliver the examination
Become an examiner today
 

Family Medicine Examiners

Young woman working from home - stock photo

The Certification Examination in Family Medicine is offered twice a year, in the spring and fall, and consists of:
  • Short-answer management problems (SAMPs)
  • Five simulated office oral (SOO) interviews taking place on a Saturday and Sunday with an examiner calibration day on the Friday before the administration of the SOO
The CFPC is always recruiting examiners to participate in the Certification Examination in Family Medicine. All examiners will be paid an honorarium per day of involvement.
Become a family medicine examiner
 
 
  • Positions

    Written examination

    There are opportunities to mark short-answer management problems (SAMPs), within two weeks after the examination. The time commitment required is from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET). Marking usually requires two days for the spring examination and one day for the fall examination. Markers must be comfortable using computers.

    Simulated office oral (SOO) examination

    Volunteers are needed at the spring and fall examinations on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Mandatory training occurs all day on Friday and includes calibration training and practice simulations. The SOOs take place on Saturday and Sunday with the time commitment varying depending on the number of candidates. The time commitment will be communicated in a confirmation letter.

    • SOO examiners will role-play the patient and score the candidate according to a standardized marking scheme. Each simulation is constructed so that only an interview is necessary to define and manage the problem; a physical examination is not required.
    • SOO Leads and Assistant SOO Leads are responsible for training the examiners, standardizing marking, and supervising and validating examiner performance throughout the examination days
    • For more information, please watch this helpful webinar on the SOO examiner role

    Examiner training video production (prior to examination dates)

    During pre-examiner training, videos are used to demonstrate the case and marking scheme. Volunteers are needed to act as the candidates in order to create two recorded re-enactments of each SOO case. Recording occurs virtually on a flexible schedule. The time commitment for the recording is approximately two hours.

  • Eligibility

    In order to participate in our exam process, examiners must be active members of the College with Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) designation.

    Experience in examining is not necessary. Each examination team will be composed of both experienced and new examiners and training will be provided to orient all examiners to their task. Experienced examiners who have retired from active practice may continue to examine for five years after retirement, as long as they maintain membership with the College.

    A reliable computer (laptop or desktop) and Internet connection are required as participation is done virtually from your home, workplace, or venue of choice. A team of dedicated staff is available to support examiners along the way.
     

  • Selection

    Some of the examiner roles will have age and gender restrictions as SOO examiners play the role of patients. This means in the selection process we cannot guarantee that all interested members will be selected for the examination team. Some interested members may be selected to serve in a “back-up examiner” capacity. Others may not be selected if all requirements for their gender and age group are not required for a particular examination administration. We encourage you to apply early for both the spring and fall sessions.

  • Conflict of interest guidelines for SOOs

    A candidate-examiner relationship may occasionally constitute a conflict of interest. Examples of conflict of interest are:

    • Being related to each other, including being a spouse or significant other
    • Being a close friend
    • Having a financial or business relationship with each other
    • Having an ongoing learner-supervisor relationship where a pass/fail decision is involved

    Simply knowing each other personally or professionally, or having had occasional learner-supervisor encounters, is not considered a conflict of interest.

    The candidate and examiner schedules are designed to avoid individuals being assessed by examiners from the same educational institution. We ask examiners to identify their educational affiliations to aid in this planning. Prior to the examination, we also ask examiners to declare all conflicts of interest (i.e., a close personal or professional relationship) when they are provided with a list of the candidates they are scheduled to see.

    During the Exam

    If you enter an examination station where you know the candidate, carry on with your examination.

    Please note: If a candidate enters a station and feels a conflict exists (refer to definition above), they will inform you. You will then notify the administrators, who will help the candidate take this station with another examiner after completing other stations. The candidate will be instructed to stay in the current station but will not interact with you.

    After the Exam

    Please notify the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) of any conflict of interest that may have occurred during your examination by sending an email to [email protected] as soon as possible after your exam.


Emergency Medicine Examiners

Shot of a young businessman using a laptop during a late night in a modern office

The Examination of Added Competence in Emergency Medicine is offered once a year, in September, and consists of:
  • SAMPs
  • Four structured-oral interviews taking place on a Saturday or a Sunday with an examiner training and calibration day on the Friday before the administration of the examination. New examiners, and examiners who have not taken part in two or more years, will also participate in a compulsory pre-training workshop that will be held the day before the examiner training session.
The CFPC is always recruiting examiners to participate in the Examination of Added Competence in Emergency Medicine. All examiners will be paid an honorarium per day of involvement.
 
Become an emergency medicine examiner
 
  • Positions

    Written examination

    There are opportunities to mark short-answer management problems (SAMPs), within two weeks after the examination. The time commitment required is from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET) for two days. Markers must be comfortable using computers.

    Structured orals

    Volunteers are needed for structured orals on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Mandatory training occurs all day on Friday and includes calibration training and practice simulations. New examiners and examiners who have not taken part in two or more years will also participate in a compulsory pre-training workshop on Thursday before the examiner training session. The oral exam takes place on Saturday and Sunday with the time commitment varying depending on the number of candidates. The time commitment will be communicated in a confirmation letter.

    • Oral examiners will conduct a structured oral interview and score the candidate according to a pre-determined marking scheme
    • Coordinators and Assistant Coordinators are responsible for training the examiners, standardizing marking, and supervising and validating examiner performance throughout the examination days.
  • Eligibility

    In order to participate in our exam process, examiners must be active members of the College with the CCFP (EM) designation.

    Experience in examining is not necessary. Each examination team will be composed of both experienced and new examiners and training will be provided to orient all examiners to their task. Experienced examiners who have retired from active practice may continue to examine for five years after retirement, as long as they maintain membership with the College.

    A reliable computer (laptop or desktop) and Internet connection are required as participation is done virtually from your home, workplace, or venue of choice. A team of dedicated staff is available to support examiners along the way.

  • Selection

    The structured orals component of the emergency medicine examination is not a role play but a guided discussion between the examiner and the candidate. An examiner is assigned to one of four cases a candidate must complete. In each station, the examiner asks a series of pre-determined questions unique to that case. As such, examiners are chosen for their willingness to participate and their comfort in working with situations commonly seen in emergency room settings.

  • Conflict of interest guidelines for structured orals

    A candidate-examiner relationship may occasionally constitute a conflict of interest. Examples of conflict of interest are:

    • Being related to each other, including being a spouse or significant other
    • Being a close friend
    • Having a financial or business relationship with each other
    • Having an ongoing learner-supervisor relationship where a pass/fail decision is involved

    Simply knowing each other personally or professionally, or having had occasional learner-supervisor encounters, is not considered a conflict of interest.

    The candidate and examiner schedules are designed to avoid individuals being assessed by examiners from the same educational affiliation. We ask examiners to identify their educational affiliations to aid in this planning. Prior to the examination, we also ask examiners to declare all conflicts of interest (i.e., a close personal or professional relationship) when they are provided with a list of the candidates they are scheduled to see.

    During the exam

    If you enter an examination station where you know the candidate, carry on with your examination.

    Please note: If a candidate enters a station and feels a conflict exists (refer to definition above), they will inform you. You will then notify the administrators, who will help the candidate take this station with another examiner after completing other stations. The candidate will be instructed to stay in the current station but will not interact with you.

    After the Exam

    Please notify the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) of any conflict of interest that may have occurred during your examination by sending an email to [email protected] as soon as possible after your exam.

Virtual SOOs and Structured Orals - FAQs for Examiners

General Questions

  • Why has the CFPC moved to the virtual delivery of oral examinations?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the College from delivering the SOOs and the structured orals in the traditional, in-person format. At the same time, the pandemic provided an opportunity to review and improve both oral examination experiences for candidates and examiners by:
    • Offering greater convenience and enhanced flexibility, as candidates and examiners may not need to travel
    • Avoiding sudden hindrances or limitations the pandemic or other unanticipated circumstances or environmental factors could cause
    • Using optimal and progressive technology to support high-quality examination delivery

    These drivers of change, together with the evolving expectations of candidates and examiners, reinforced the College’s desire to use a virtual platform to administer the SOOs and structured orals while maintaining best practices for the delivery of certification examinations.

  • What will not change in the delivery of the SOOs and structured orals?

    While the SOOs and structured orals examination will be delivered differently, the high-quality standards of evaluation remain in place to ensure candidates meet the necessary requirements. The oral examinations will continue to include:
    • Extensive planning and leveraging of internal and external subject-matter experts’ knowledge
    • Structured development and design of SOO examination questions (cases) and the structured oral cases with approval by the Committee on Examinations – Family Medicine and the Committee on Examinations – Emergency Medicine, respectively
    • Oversight by the Board of Examinations and Certification
    • Use of experienced examiners who serve an integrated role as patient and assessor
    • Training sessions for examiners
    • Exam roles calibration
  • What is a virtual oral examination and how is it delivered?

    The SOOs and structured orals exam components are delivered in a fully virtual format through remote proctoring using risr/Assess (formerly known as Practique), an examination delivery platform.

    With remote proctoring, candidates and examiners participate in the examination online in a quiet, secure place of their choosing and at their own computer instead of travelling to an examination centre.

    Exam proctors confirm candidate identity and monitor the examination. Proctors, as well as Case Leads, can observe candidate sessions throughout the examination without disruption to the examiners or candidates.

    To familiarize examiners with risr/Assess’s features, the College provides several resources:
    • Direct support for examiners, including technical support leading up to and on the day of the exam
    • Information and instructional videos for examiners on examination logistics, platform navigation, exam-day expectations, a virtual encounter demonstration, and opportunity for hands-on practice
    • Live-stream information session and Q&A in both English and French to help with preparation and familiarization
  • What software is used to run the virtual examination?

    The CFPC partnered with a reputable, international software company named risr/Assess (formally known as Fry-IT/Practique) to facilitate the administration of the SOOs and structured orals. It is a web-based platform, meaning you do not need to download any software onto your computer.

    The platform offers a robust examination management application with proven success in Canada and abroad. It also allows audio and visual interaction between candidates and examiners, and the use of other examination materials to assist with the delivery of the clinical cases. The application, which was successfully used for the first virtual SOO in fall 2021, enables the use of proctors to facilitate examination security and observe  examiners for quality control and feedback to examiners.

  • Where will I participate in the SOO or structured oral examination?

    Examiners participate from a place of their choosing (for example, home or work). Examination centres are no longer available.

    As an examiner, you must ensure the location you choose is private, undisturbed, and appropriate for participating in a certification examination. You must be alone in the room for the duration of the exam.

    You must also ensure you have a reliable laptop or desktop computer, as well as a reliable Internet connection that is not compromised by institutional firewalls, such as those commonly found in academic institutions and other major public and private organizations.

    A room with adequate and appropriate lighting is also required to ensure candidates can see your face and facial expressions.

  • Will I be expected to travel to participate in the virtual SOO or structured oral examinations?

    Examiners participate in the examination from a location of their choosing where a private, comfortable, and confidential environment can be assured (e.g., home, work).

    Exception: A smaller group of examiners assigned to a specialized role (e.g., SOO Lead and Assistant SOO Lead or Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator for structured orals) may be asked to travel to the examination Command Centre (Toronto area), supporting the administration of the virtual sessions.

 

Operational questions

 
  • What is the exam schedule for the SOO and structured orals?

    SOO

    SOOs are held Saturdays and Sundays in the spring and fall (generally in April and October). All examiners will participate in four sessions over the course of the exam weekend: two sessions on Saturday and two on Sunday. Each day will have a morning and afternoon session, with a 1.5-hour break between sessions.

    Each session is a circuit of five SOO stations. Each station is a total of 28 minutes: one-minute reading time, 15-minute assessment time (the candidate-examiner encounter), and 12-minute marking time.

    A final copy of the exam day schedule will be available in ShareFile approximately one week prior to the exam. All times will be communicated in Eastern Time (ET); however, examiners can expect to start around 7:30 a.m. local time.

    Structured orals

    Structured orals are held Saturday and Sunday, on the specific exam weekend in September. All examiners will participate in eight sessions over the course of the exam weekend: four sessions on Saturday and four on Sunday. Each day will have two morning and afternoon sessions, with a 1.5-hour lunch break.

    Each session is a circuit of four stations. Each station is a total of 18 minutes: one-minute reading time, 12-minute assessment time (the candidate-examiner encounter), and 5-minute marking time.

    A final copy of the exam day schedule will be available in ShareFile approximately one week prior to the exam. All times will be communicated in Eastern Time (ET); however, examiners can expect to start around 7:30 a.m. local time.

    Situations may occur where we need to re-run a station (e.g., in the case of a conflict of interest, a candidate or examiner late arrival, or a system glitch). In such a case, an examiner may be required to re-run a station at the end of that particular session. A more significant issue, technical or other, could result in the need to run an emergency session for some candidates after the last session on exam day. In those cases, some volunteers would be required to help administer this session.

  • As a family medicine or emergency medicine examiner, am I reimbursed for my time?

    Yes. All examiners are paid an honorarium per day of involvement (i.e., for three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)) per exam weekend.

 

Technical questions

 

Apply Today


Become an examiner today

 

Contact us

Have a question?
Contact the examination and certification team.

No results found.

No results found.

No results found.