Alternative Pathways to Certification in Family Medicine

Certification in family medicine is a special College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) membership designation. Eligibility for Certification in family medicine is granted by the CFPC to those members who have either completed approved residency training in family medicine or become eligible for certification through a combination of approved training and practice experience. Once eligible, individuals may be granted certification either by successfully completing the Certification Examination in Family Medicine or through one of the following alternative pathways:

  • Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) - a self-directed, computer-based, educational program which assists family physicians to critically review their own practice and does not include an examination component. Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2015 from eligible family physicians who have not yet received certification.
  • Recognized Training and Certification in jurisdictions outside Canada - a recently opened route to Certification (CCFP) without examination based on recognition of training and certification obtained in international jurisdictions.
  • Academic Certification - this program assists Canadian faculties of medicine and universities in the recruitment and retention of family medicine specialists as full-time, clinical faculty at the rank of full or associate professor. This program aims to facilitate the recruitment of clinician scientists and clinician educators.

Certificants of the CFPC may use the designation CCFP (Certificant of the College of Family Physicians).

Certification and Licensure

Registration or licensure to practice family medicine in Canada is a provincial responsibility and involves a number of different criteria. For licensing information, please contact the local medical regulatory authority.

Maintenance of Certification

In order to maintain Certification in Family Medicine, one must continue to be a member of the CFPC and fulfill the College's maintenance of certification requirements by participating in a number of continuing medical education/continuing professional development activities independently or in groups (scientific meetings and other accredited group activities). Licensing bodies recognize more and more that licensure cannot be for life and requires revalidation. Therefore, individuals must demonstrate that they are keeping up with advances in the practice of family medicine by subscribing to an accredited program of continuing professional development, such as the one offered by the CFPC.

Contact Us - Education

Have questions about education?

Contact the CFPC Education Department at:

2630 Skymark Avenue
Mississauga, ON L4W 5A4
(905) 629-0900

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