Unsuccessful CFPC Exam Certification – What to Do Next

Unsuccessful CFPC Exam Certification – What to Do Next

1. Options:


You can appeal only in a case of suspected major irregularities in the evaluation process (e.g. candidate given less than allotted time to complete an examination.), as reviewed by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). If, however, the Board of Examiners rules that a candidate did not answer a sufficient number of questions correctly, the candidate may disagree with their decision, but the disagreement belongs in the area of content and does not constitute grounds for a review.

Please note that the Board of Examiners can only consider an appeal if there were suspected major irregularities in the examination process and those irregularities adversely and significantly affected your overall result. The occurrence of irregularities is not in itself grounds for successful appeal.

A written request for a formal review, along with a fee of $219, must be forwarded to the CFPC within 30 calendar days of the receipt by the candidate of his/her examination results. The request must explain in detail the circumstances surrounding the alleged irregularity.

The Board of Examiners will meet to review all appeals prior to the next scheduled examination (no meeting to review appeals are currently scheduled). As a decision may not be made until after the application deadline date, you are encouraged to register for the next exam while your appeal is being considered.

More information on appeal process: http://www.cfpc.ca/appeal_process/

Exam Feedback

A customized feedback report is being prepared and will be sent to you in approximately six weeks. This report is designed to help you identify possible weaknesses or areas for improvement. This feedback report is provided free of charge.

2. Re-Sitting Next CCFP Exam

If candidates are unsuccessful on both components of the exam, they will be required to repeat the full exam on a subsequent attempt. If candidates are unsuccessful on one of the two exam components, they may retake that component up to three times before they will be required to repeat the entire examination. More information on limits on eligibility and retake opportunities: http://www.cfpc.ca/LimitsResidencyEligibility/

If a candidate wants to re-sit the examination they should complete the online application no later than: February 1st for the spring examination June 30th for the fall examination.


3. Restricted (RCR) License Process in Ontario

If you decide to work while you’re awaiting the decision of the appeal board and/or to rewrite the exam, you need to apply to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) for a restricted license

In order to apply for a restricted registration:

  • If you have already submitted an application for Independent Practice, you should advise the College in writing of your unsuccessful examination result. You should also confirm that you now wish to apply under the Restricted Certificates of Registration (RCR) policy and provide details on the proposed supervised practice, including location and the name of the supervisor. The letter may be sent by email to credentials@cpso.on.ca or by fax to (416) 967-2623.
  • Once you have sent your written request, allow three days processing time. You should then call Registration Inquiries at (416) 967-2617 for an update on the status of your application.
  • If you have not yet applied for an Independent Practice certificate of registration, you should call Registration Inquiries for a customized application package. This package will include information on the RCR policy and the Registration Committee review process.
  • you need to find a supervisor (MD) first, who agrees to be supervising physician while you are working (he/she does not need to physically work in the same clinic as you but he/she is ultimately responsible for your professional behaviour while you are working under a restricted license); If a supervisor has not been arranged, you should still submit the letter outlined above, but mention that the supervision arrangement is in process.
  • Certain credentialing requirements must be received before an application can be referred to the Registration Committee. These include:
    • The physician letter (see (a) above)
    • a letter from the proposed supervisor outlining the supervision arrangement
    • a copy of the examination performance profile provided by the CFPC

Additional information may be requested. This information will be communicated to you when you call Registration Inquiries.

Physicians registered under the RCR policy are eligible for an OHIP billing number (this is done through the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC )– it takes only a few weeks to get a billing number.

The Registration Committee meets only once every four to six weeks, therefore, it is important that the College is advised of an unsuccessful examination attempt as soon as possible. It is very likely that there will be a gap between completion of residency and when the restricted certificate is issued, especially if you did not apply until the examination results were released. Information on the referral deadlines is available on the CPSO website and a link will be provided at the end of this email. There is no flexibility should a referral date be missed and the application will be reviewed at the next available meeting.

It’s a good idea to have CMPA coverage in place by the time the registration committee meets; you may also get your WSIB number prior to this

You may work with a restricted license for a period of three years from graduation, thereby allowing you to rewrite the licensing exam.

If a physician is registered under the RCR policy, once they meet all the qualifications for a full Independent Practice certificate of registration, they must reapply to the College. This will include an application form and application fee. An application form can be obtained from Registration Inquiries at that time.

Below are links to the:

  • Registration Committee section of the website, which includes the meeting dates and referral information.
  • the RCR policy itself
  • the Guidelines for College-Directed Supervision.

Registration Committee Information:


Restricted Certificate of Registration Policy:


Guidelines for College-Directed Supervision: