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English Language Proficiency

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Purpose

Proficiency in English is a requirement for registration.  All physicians must have the ability to effectively communicate with patients, other professionals and the College.

The Medical Practitioners Regulations requires an applicant to “have demonstrated proficiency in the English language as required by the Registrar”. This policy sets out the Registrar’s requirements.

Scope

This policy applies to all applicants whose first and native language is not English.

Policy

The English language proficiency requirement is fulfilled if:

  1. you received your undergraduate or postgraduate medical education in English from one of the countries listed below: or

Countries with English as a first and native language:

Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands

Caribbean Islands with English as a first and native language:

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago

  1. you provide proof your medical education was instructed in English and the primary language for patient care was in English; or
  2. you provide proof of having attained a minimum score of 7.0 or higher in each of the components of the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Results of English Language Proficiency Testing must be source-verifiable through IELTS and are valid for a period of 24 months.

The Registrar’s discretion may be exercised if:

  1. You are currently practising medicine in a jurisdiction where English is the first language and you were licensed to do so based on IELTS scores equivalent to those set out above; or
  2. You are currently enrolled in a postgraduate medical education program and were admitted to the program based on IELTS scores equivalent to those set out above; or
  3. You are currently enrolled in a postgraduate training program or fellowship and have:
    • attained an overall average score of 7.0 or higher the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), taken within 24 months prior to application; and
    • have a letter from the Program Director or Fellowship Sponsor attesting that, in the opinion of the Program Director or Fellowship Sponsor, your English language proficiency allows for safe and effective communication with patients.
  4. You are applying for a Postgraduate Training Licence for an elective of 3 months or less and have demonstrated English language proficiency on the sole basis of a letter of attestation, from the Program Director providing the elective.

Applicable Legislation

Medical Practitioners Regulations – Sections 19(3)(i), 25(1)(e) and 39(1)(d)

Approved By

Registration Policy Committee
Council

Approval Date

March 27, 2020

Review Date

October 2020