PCE cancellation FAQ Updated June 23, 2021

NSCP updated ourPCE Cancellation FAQ on June 23, 2021.  NSCP staff had requested Dalhousie Physiotherapy student representatives provide questions from their classmates that may not have already been addressed in our FAQ.  Six questions and answers were added to the FAQ (see the last 6 questions on the page).  Thank you to the student representatives for collecting the questions from their classmates.  


Coincidentally, the CPA issued an open letter to CAPR on Friday June 25, 2021 related to the relaunch of the PCEWe are aware of the letter and believe all of the questions raised are addressed on our FAQ.  For example, theCPAreferences the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) cancelling their practical exam requirement as an equivalent situationto our current PCE issue.  While NSCP recognizes why parallels to the MCC situation might be brought up by CPA and/or its members it is important to understand the context and differences between the MCC’s entry level competency program and the Physiotherapy entry level competency program.  Fortunately, this context was addressed in our FAQ update and the relevant question is included below:

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) announced they will no longer require the practical exam for Medical Residents moving forward. Why can’t this be done for physiotherapy?


The situations are different. The Medical Council of Canada has an accepted and established minimum 12 month post graduate medical training requirement that must be completed in order to get the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). This allows the MCC more flexibility in cancelling the practical exam while considering other options. Physiotherapy does not have a standardized, effective, and mandatory 12-month post graduate training requirement  to fall back on.


Physiotherapy does have mentorship; however, this is quite different from the post graduate training requirements of the MCC. Mentorship is non-standardized and therefore subjective. Mentorship was set up to develop a mentoring and learning relationship for entering practice. It is not a validated evaluation tool but an indicator of areas to further develop. Not all provinces have it and it is different from province to province. Each school has slightly different programs and clinical experiences and that is why a non-biased national exam run by a third party is so important.


It is important to realize that CAPR has been looking at alternative ways to evaluate competency since before the pandemic. However, the research, development and psychometric validation takes many months to complete. CAPR’s current immediate focus is running an exam that is valid and will clear the backlog as soon as possible. When the pandemic first hit CAPR’s focus was on developing a virtual written exam to get new graduates qualified for provisional licensure so they could enter the work force and begin consolidating their knowledge and skills. Unlike the MCC, Physiotherapy does not have a 12-month post graduate training program to fall back on for evaluation of competency that would enable us to drop the clinical as it is and work on a new innovative plan. 

NSCP is supportive of the current approach from CAPR.  For more details and updates on the current state of the plan please refer to CAPR’s weekly updates at https://www.alliancept.org/covid-19-updates/ .


NSPA (the Nova Scotia Chapter of the CPA) has been a valued stakeholder in this process providing the NSCP insight into local CPA members perspective on thiissue.

We will provide ongoing communications as we learn more and will keep you apprised of the situation.