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Pandemic-Related Exceptions to the Requirement for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II

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Purpose 

The purpose of this policy is to lay out the temporary exceptions to the licensure requirement for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II for physicians affected by the pandemic-related postponements of the MCCQE Part II in May 2020, October 2020 and February 2021.  The initial revised policy was approved on February 19, 2021. This is an amended policy to include the May 2021 sitting of the MCCQE Part II. 

Background 

The MCCQE Part II is the second of two exams that lead to the LMCC designation (Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada).  

In Nova Scotia, the requirement for the LMCC for a Full licence is set out in Section 19, 3(a)(ii) of the Medical Practitioners Regulations. The requirement for the MCCQE Part II for other licence types is set by College policy. 

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 led to the postponement of three sittings of the MCCQE Part II – specifically, May 2020, October 2020 and February 2021. This has created a significant backlog of candidates that will continue to increase. As a result, several physicians are unable to meet the licensing requirement of obtaining the LMCC for Full licensure.  

This policy is in response to an exceptional circumstance, namely the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this policy is applicable on a temporary basis for a limited period of time. This policy will be reviewed in April 2022 to determine if any further action is required. 

Policy

The College will allow the following exceptions to the requirement for MCCQE Part II for applicants for licensure who have not previously failed the MCCQE Part II and who were affected by the postponements of the May 2020, October 2020 and February 2020 sitting(s) of the MCCQE Part II and/or who chose to defer the May 2021 sitting for the MCCQE Part II:

1. Recent graduates of Canadian postgraduate training programs applying for a Full or Temporary licence 

1.1. The Registrar will accept certification from the relevant certifying College (CFPC1 or RCPSC2) as an acceptable alternative to the LMCC for applicants for independent practice who were: 

1.1.1. eligible to challenge the MCCQE Part II for the May 2020, October 2020, February 2021 or the May 2021 sitting(s) AND who were 

1.1.2. within their first 24 months of their postgraduate training program at the time of the May 2020, October 2020, February 2021, or the May 2021 sittings. 

1.2. The Registrar may consider certification from the respective certifying College (CFPC1 or RCPSC2) as an acceptable alternative to the LMCC at the request of applicants for independent practice who were:

1.2.1. eligible to challenge the MCCQE Part II for either the May 2020, October 2020, February 2021, or the May 2021 sitting(s) AND who were

1.2.2. more than 24 months into their postgraduate training program at the time of the May 2020, October 2020, February 2021, or the May 2021 sittings.

Note that eligibility for the acceptable alternative for physicians who meet these criteria is at the discretion of the Registrar and that the applicant may be asked to provide proof of registration for the May 2020, October 2020, February 2021, or their eligibility for the May 2021 sittings(s). 

2. Physicians currently holding a Defined licence 

The Registrar will accept two years of satisfactory supervised practice in Nova Scotia from May 2020 onward as an acceptable alternative to the LMCC for Defined licensees and who were: 

2.1 eligible to challenge the MCCQE Part II for the May 2020, October 2020, February 2021 or the May 2021 sitting(s) AND who

2.2 meet all other criteria for Full or Restricted licensure.

3. Postgraduate trainees in a Canadian postgraduate training program 

The Registrar will waive the requirement for the LMCC for applicants for a Postgraduate Practising (Internal or External Moonlighting) Licence who were eligible to challenge the MCCQE Part II for the May 2020, October 2020, February 2021, or the May 2021 sitting(s).  

4.  Practice Ready Assessment candidates or Clinical Assistants

The licensure requirement for the MCCQE Part II will be at the discretion of the Registrar for applicants for a Practice Ready Assessment or Clinical Assistant licence who were eligible to challenge the MCCQE Part II for the May 2020, October 2020, February 2021, or the May 2021 sitting(s). 

Applicable Legislation
Medical Practitioners Regulations – Section 5 and Section 19, 3(a)(ii)
As per Section 5 of the Medical Practitioners Regulations, the Registrar and the Registration Committee may waive any of the criteria for the registration or licensing or renewal of a licence set out in the regulations for either a requirement by law, or if it is consistent with the objects and purpose of the College.

Applicable Policies

 

Approved By 
Registration Policy Committee, Executive Committee

Approval Date
April 15, 2021 & April 26, 2021 

Review Date
April 2022