Practice Ready Assessment Program to Launch in 2024

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Touchstone Institute will administer program

CPSO has developed a policy to facilitate a practice ready assessment (PRA) program’s effort to help qualified internationally educated physicians (IEPs) enter practice.

In February 2023, the Ministry of Health approved the creation of a family medicine pilot PRA program that will launch in 2024. Touchstone Institute, a non-profit that develops competency-based services for internationally educated health professionals, will administer this program, known as Practice Ready Ontario (PRO).

PRO is designed to assess IEPs over a 12-week period with direct supervision and observation, deploy candidates to high-need communities with a Return of Service (ROS) commitment, and provide a path to independent practice.

Touchstone Institute is responsible for establishing the eligibility and program requirements; however, it has consulted with CPSO to ensure alignment with the licensure requirements we need to establish.

Council approved CPSO’s Registration Committee’s recommendations of the terms, conditions and limitations for the certificates of registration that would facilitate this initiative.

The draft Practice Ready Assessment Program policy sets out the certificates of registration to be issued to candidates participating in PRO. The certificates correspond to two stages: Clinical Field Assessment and Supervised Practice. The draft policy also describes how participants may transition to independent practice through the program.

The National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) created a pan-Canadian model with a set of common standards, tools and materials for PRA programs. Seven provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia) currently offer PRA programs under this framework. PRO has been developed in accordance with these national standards.

PRO aligns with CPSO’s commitment to examining routes to registration to grant increased access and reduce barriers to practise. PRO could more quickly integrate qualified IEPs into the workforce and enhance primary care access to communities in need. The target for the first two years of the program is 50 candidates each year.