CPSM Info on Postponed Certification Exams


Date:   March 27, 2020

Re:        COVID-19 related exam cancellations


On or around March 13, 2020, the College was advised that the Medical Council of Canada (“MCC”), Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada (“RCPSC”), and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (“CFPC”) have postponed their examinations as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In this context, new graduates from postgraduate medical education (“PGME”) programs who were scheduled to write spring examinations and were contemplating applications for membership with the College as regulated members will have their eligibility impacted:

  1. In the usual course, individuals in this group would have exam results and respective certifications, assuming they passed, prior to applying and would therefore qualify for registration as a regulated member in the full (practising) class.
  1. Absent enrollment in the Canadian Medical Register as a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), and certification from the CFPC or the RCPSC, applicants would not meet the statutory eligibility criteria for registration in the full (practising) class and therefore would need to apply for provisional registration.


How does/will this affect me?

If you are completing PGME, intending to practise in Manitoba and you were scheduled to write one or more of the cancelled examinations, but otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for registration in the full (practising) class, registration under either the provisional family practice-limited class or provisional specialty practice-limited class will be necessary.

The College has modified the usual requirements for provisional registration to accommodate the exceptional circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accommodations will be limited to those who can demonstrate that they were affected by postponement and have continuing RCPSC or CFPC certification eligibility.

Applicants seeking accommodation will be required to provide a copy of the official correspondence from the examining institution to the examinee confirming the cancellation. This can be submitted to the College by email: 2020examcancellations@cpsm.mb.ca


Which requirements will be varied (accommodation)?

Under the usual process, as part of the application to be provisionally registered in the family practice-limited class or the specialty practice-limited class, you would have to:

  1. provide a certificate issued by the Minister of Health stating that you are required to provide medical services in a specified geographical area or practice setting, and
  2. establish that you have entered into a satisfactory arrangement with a practice supervisor.

Minister’s certificate:

The College will be requesting a single certificate for the group impacted by the exam cancellations to practise in Manitoba.  Thus, it is anticipated you will not need to take any action in this regard.


While the College cannot waive the legislated requirement for a practice supervisor, in these exceptional circumstances, the College will be suspending the monitoring requirements normally required for provisional registration during the time period members are unable to sit their examination(s). Specifically, the usual monitoring requirements have been modified to eliminate the requirement of monitor reports and chart reviews.

The supervision requirements that will apply are as follows:

  1. at the commencement of supervision and every 30 days thereafter you would be required to meet with your supervisor, virtually or in-person, and discuss your professional practice in general terms and any concerns regarding your practice which you may have; and
  2. the practice supervisor will be expected to be available to you to provide advice and guidance as required.

The practice supervisor stipend, as per our understanding, is paid for by the Manitoba Government for provisionally registered physicians.

The College will be working closely with Shared Health and others to help where we can to connect physicians with supervisors.


How long will the accommodations last?

Accommodations will last for what is referred to as the Postponement Period. The Postponement Period ends on the date of the rescheduling of the relevant exam(s), including time to receive results plus 30 days. Affected members must undertake to attend the earliest dates of the examination sittings as they are rescheduled, subject to availability.

As an example, if you only require the CFPC certification examination and it is rescheduled for December, then your Postponement Period would end 30 days after you received your exam results. If you were successful, the 30-day period should allow you to advise the College and transition into the Full (Practising) Class. If you fail the examination, the normal provisions for supervision would be reinstituted after the Postponement Period. The 30-day period should afford you sufficient time to make necessary arrangements.  

The Postponement Period is not indefinite and is to be deemed terminated as of July 15, 2021, even in the unlikely events exams are not rescheduled by that time.



As a provisional member, you will be required to sign an undertaking with respect to the terms and conditions of your provisional registration.


What about fellowship training?

Those residents who are registered with the PGME Office in subspecialty programs or for additional training may continue as associate members in the educational-resident class and need not take out provisional registration unless intending to also practise outside the training program. Members in this category should contact the College’s Qualifications Department for more information in this regard: 2020examcancellations@cpsm.mb.ca


If I am in the provisional (specialty practice-limited) class, will I be entered in the specialist register?

Those applying for registration in the specialty practice limited class will not have Royal College certification, and consequently will not be eligible for enrollment on the Specialist Register and may not use the term “specialist”.  A term such as “practice limited to” is appropriate.

There may be implications with respect to billing through Practitioner Registry for those physicians who are not on the Specialist Register as it is our understanding that specialist rates only apply to those on the Specialist Register. There may also be implications for those who have not yet achieved certification by the CFPC. 

Physicians who are successful in obtaining their Royal College certification can apply for Specialist Register enrollment once certified but there is no provision to backdate a specialist registration.