Academic Registration Policy Change Proposed

Physician speaking to a patient

Council is proposing a policy change to streamline transition to independent practice for internationally educated physicians who have maintained an active practice in Ontario within an academic setting for at least five years.

The draft Academic Registration policy proposes removing the requirement for physicians to complete a practice assessment to receive a scope-limited restricted certificate of registration after practising in an academic setting for at least five years.

The draft policy specifies that applicants must have maintained an active clinical practice and must provide evidence of satisfactory clinical performance, knowledge, skill, judgement and professional conduct from the medical school where the applicant holds their academic appointment. Like all applicants, they will also need to demonstrate they meet the non-exemptible registration standard prescribed under section 2 of the regulation.

The current policy enables CPSO to issue restricted certificates of registration to physicians recruited by an Ontario medical school for an academic position, but who may not meet the requirements for an academic practice certificate, such as certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).

Physicians applying for a restricted certificate after five years of practice have historically had an extremely high rate of success in the practice assessment.

Over the past year, CPSO has been actively reviewing its registration policies to evaluate whether barriers to licensure can be removed and whether additional pathways to registration can be explored.

The College is not the first Canadian medical regulator to allow physicians to transfer from a provisional license to a full license in similar circumstances. Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan allow physicians to transfer after a period of practice from a provisional license to a full license without additional assessment/examination.

The draft Specialist Recognition Criteria in Ontario policy has been amended to grant specialist recognition to physicians issued the restricted certificate under the draft Academic Registration policy. This will permit physicians registered under this policy to call themselves specialists.

Both policies are now being circulated in accordance with Section 22.21 of the Health Professions Procedural Code.