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The Certification Examination in Family Medicine is open to members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) who have either successfully completed an approved residency training program in family medicine or successfully completed a combination of training and practice experience as outlined in the eligibility guidelines.

International physicians can visit the Medical Council of Canada's website to learn how to qualify for practice in Canada.

International medical graduates are encouraged to visit WorkinginCanada.gc.ca for province- and territory-specific information.

Members who successfully complete both an approved training program and the Certification Examination in Family Medicine will be awarded Certification in Family Medicine and will be able to use the designation, Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP). Members with the CCFP Special Designation will be responsible for maintaining these credentials by maintaining valid membership and participating in the College’s Maintenance of Certification Program (Mainpro+®).

Eligible to sit the Certification Examination in Family Medicine?

Examination format

Candidates will be tested over a period of two days, as follows:

  • Written component—computer-based short-answer management problems (SAMPs), four hours in length (Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday)
  • Oral component—five, 15-minute simulated office oral exams (SOOs) (Saturday or Sunday)

Preparing for the Certification Examination in Family Medicine: provides both residency-eligible and practice-eligible physicians with information and resources as they prepare to take the exam.

Exam information

The CFPC conducts the Certification Examination in Family Medicine twice a year, in the spring and fall, in multiple centres across Canada, in both official languages.

End of access to English translations.


Certification Examination in Family Medicine
  • Dates, Fees and Deadlines

    Certification Examination in Family Medicine

    Spring 2023

    Exam dates:

    SAMPs

    April 11–13

    SOOs
    April 22–23 & April 29–30
    Exam fee: $3,520 CAD*

    Application dates / deadlines

    Eligible candidates

    July 1 – October 1, 2022 Practice-eligible: First time applicants
    December 1, 2022 – February 1, 2023 Residency-eligible: First time applicants

    Residency-eligible: Repeat applicants

    Practice-eligible: Repeat applicants

    Fall 2023

    NOTE: The short-answer management problem (SAMP) component of the fall 2023 administration of the Certification Examination in Family Medicine is scheduled after (not before) the simulated office oral (SOO).
    Exam dates:

    SOOs

    October 14–15

    SAMPs
    October 17–18
    Exam fee: $3,520 CAD*
    Application dates / deadlines Eligible candidates
    January 1 – April 1, 2023 Practice-eligible: First time applicants
    May 1 – June 30, 2023 Residency-eligible: First time applicants

    Residency-eligible: Repeat applicants

    Practice-eligible: Repeat applicants

    *A tuition tax credit is available to each candidate that attempts the examination.

    Please note dates are subject to change.

    Fees are approved by the Board of Directors in the fall of the previous year.

  • Exam Scheduling

    Short-answer management problems (SAMPs) 

    In-person seats and virtual spots are offered through Prometric, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)’s written examination delivery provider:

    • Approximately four to six weeks prior to the written examination, each registered candidate will receive an e-mail from the CFPC with information on when and how to select an in-person seat or virtual spot. The CFPC will use the e-mail address on file. 
    • When the Prometric portal opens as indicated in the aforementioned e-mail, in-person seats and virtual spots will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. 
    • Within 24 hours of scheduling your examination through Prometric, candidates will receive a confirmation e-mail. Remember to check your spam folder if needed. 
    • Candidates must make sure their name on the confirmation e-mail matches their government-issued ID. Failure to do so may result in candidates being turned away from the examination. 

    Candidates may refer to the FAQs about Remotely Proctored Exams for additional information regarding the virtual testing option.

    Simulated office orals (SOOs

    The SOO component will be administered virtually through risr/, the CFPC’s oral examination delivery provider:

    • Approximately four to six weeks prior to the oral examination, each registered candidate will receive an e-mail from the CFPC with their assigned date. The CFPC will use the e-mail address on file. Remember to check your spam folder if needed. 
    • About two weeks prior to the examination, each candidate will receive an invitation e-mail from risr/. This email will invite candidates to log into the examination system (Practique) and complete some system checks on their intended device (a desktop or laptop computer is recommended) in the location they intend to sit the SOO to ensure they have adequate connectivity and access to the Practique system. 
    • Five days prior to the examination, each registered candidate will receive an e-mail from the CFPC with their login credentials and start time. 
    • As an added safety measure, candidate should perform another system check on their intended device in the location they intend to sit the SOO no less than five days prior to the examination. 

    Candidates need to make sure their name on the confirmation e-mail matches their government-issued ID. Failure to do so may result in candidates being turned away from the examination.

    Candidates may refer to the FAQs about Virtual Simulated Office Oral Examinations for additional information regarding the SOO.

  • Test Accommodation

    The College of Family Physicians (CFPC) is committed to providing all examination candidates an equitable opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the examination setting.  The aim of this policy is to remove barriers to testing, based on protected characteristics under applicable human rights legislation. This policy applies to candidates wishing to sit the Certification Examination in Family Medicine (CCFP) or the Examination of Added Competence in Emergency Medicine (EM).

    All requests for a test accommodation must be made at the time of application for the examination. This allows the CFPC staff to identify and allocate the required, but potentially limited, resources as equitably as possible, and to assign candidates to appropriate examination locations equipped to meet stated needs.

  • Conflict of Interest Guidelines for the 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
    • 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 family medicine SOO candidate/examiner schedules are designed to avoid candidates being assessed by examiners from the same education institution. We ask examiners to identify their educational affiliations to aid in this planning. We also ask examiners to declare all conflicts of interest (i.e., a close personal or professional relationship) with the candidates they are scheduled to see.

    During the Exam

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

    For candidates:
    If you enter a station and feel a conflict exists (refer to definition above), please inform the examiner. The examiner will notify the administrators, who will help you take this station with another examiner after completing other SOO stations. Stay in the current station and do not interact with the examiner.

    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.
  • Requests to resit the exam

    For repeat candidates who are still eligible, the deadline date to register to resit the family medicine examination is February 1st for the spring exam, June 30th for the fall exam, or June 15th for the emergency medicine examination. Eligible candidates who wish to sit the next available examination must register via the online application. 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.

  • Cancellation Policy

    A refund for a portion of the examination fee will depend on the date of receipt of a written, signed withdrawal/refund request.
    • Candidates who withdraw from the examination more than 60 days prior to the date of the examination will be subject to a penalty of $500.
    • Candidates who withdraw within 30 to 60 days prior to the date of the examination will be subject to a penalty of one-half (50%) of the examination fee.
    • There is no refund for candidates who withdraw within 30 days of the examination.
    Candidates must withdraw and re-apply should they wish to take the examination at a later date. Fees paid for a previous attempt are not transferable to a later session. Please send your cancellation request to [email protected].
     
  • Appeal Policy and Procedure

  • Language Quality Assurance

    Translation steps and language quality assurance (QA) process during the development of short-answer management problems (SAMPs) for the Certification Examination in Family Medicine

    Figure 1

    Figure 1 – Development process and language quality assurance steps. Further marking-related QA steps outlined below

    Figure 1 – Development process and language quality assurance steps. Further marking-related QA steps outlined below
    1. The SAMP questions are developed by experienced, trained SAMP writers on the Committee on Examination – Family Medicine (SAMP) Each question and all answers are reviewed and commented on by the entire SAMP committee membership then finalized.
    2. The final exam questions are tested by external reviewers who have not taken part in the question development.  
    3. The content of the English SAMP exam is then edited for clarity and grammar. The copy editor ensures the questions are written in plain unambiguous language.
    4. Once edited, the Chair of the Committee on Examinations – Family Medicine reviews and approves the English examination content.
    5. The content is translated into Canadian French by an experienced certified medical translator.
    6. Once completed, the translated content is reviewed by the College of Family Physicians of Canada™ (CFPC) Translation and French Language Services team for clarity in Canadian French (e.g., written in plain language) and to ensure it correctly reflects the English version.
    7. The translated content then goes through a further independent review by a native French-speaking bilingual family physician who is familiar with the context of the questions, has access to the English versions of the questions, and employs the Canadian French medical terminology that Canadian French-speaking physicians use in everyday practice.
    8. Once the francophone physician is satisfied with the translation, the content is reviewed once more by the CFPC Translation and French Language Services team to check again for clarity and correct any typographical or grammatical errors.
    9. The translated content is then reviewed a final time and transferred to (i.e., published in) the software that delivers the examination. This step is done to ensure accurate presentation on the day of the examination.

    Quality Assurance during and after exam marking

    Figure 2

    Figure 2 – Quality Assurance post-exam

    Figure 2 – Quality Assurance post-exam

    Many quality assurance steps are taken after the exam:

    • Candidates’ written comments produced during and after the examination are analyzed to detect potential issues with questions. These comments are reviewed by staff both in the Certification and Assessment department and the Translation and French Language Services department.
    • All French answers are scored by French-speaking physicians who can also identify potential quality issues with questions.
    • Every exam question is scored by two independent markers for each candidate. If discrepancies arise during marking, a third trained super-marker settles the dispute. If a question goes on to be excluded due to performance concerns in one language (i.e., differing answering patterns in one language compared to the other), that question is automatically excluded from the examination in both languages for all candidates.
    • Psychometric analyses ensure the questions included in an examination meet predefined performance criteria. Question-by-question analysis comparing the performance of English test takers with French test takers is performed. Specific attention and review are paid to any question where there is an inconsistency between English- and French-speaking candidates’ performance metrics or scoring patterns. If an identified error or flaw in a question in either language is determined to have a potential effect on candidate performance, both the English and French versions of that question is removed from the examination content and the above-mentioned psychometrical analyses are re-done.

    Continuous Quality Improvement
    The Board of Examinations and Certification and the Committee on Examination – Family Medicine review feedback from multiple sources to identify areas for improvement:

    Figure 3

    Figure 3

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