Frequently Asked Questions

Certification FAQs

How do I register for the Certification Exam?

The registration form will be made available on line, simply complete the online registration form and it will automatically be submitted to PACCC. Once the registration form and fees have been received, a receipt will be sent out.

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How will I receive my exam results?

The Pass/Fail results will be forwarded to each individual by registered mail unless email approval is provided at the time of writing.

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What if I am not successful?

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria described in the Policy and procedure document will be eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a CMA accredited program. During that five year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four times. When either the fifth year or the fourth attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam. The policy for the number of attempts takes effect immediately while the within a five year period will take effect after the 2014 PACCC PA Cert Exam.

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What is the eligibility requirement to write the exam?

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
All candidates must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Properly complete and sign the PACCC PA Cert Exam online registration form by the established deadline;
  • Be a member of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA); and
  • Meet the competency and/or experience as laid out in the eligibility criteria listed below.

ELIGIBILITY

To establish eligibility to challenge the PACCC PA Cert Exam all applicants must meet either of the following:

Be a graduate of a Canadian PA program previously accredited by the CMA

  • Requires validation of successful completion of a Canadian PA programs previously accredited by the CMA from the PA program.
  • New graduate’s first exam attempt must be made within the first three (3) years after graduation
  • Previously CMA accredited PA program graduates are eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a CMA accredited program; during that five (5) year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four (4) times, when either the fifth (5th) year or the fourth (4th) attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

OR

Be a graduate of an Accreditation Review Commission (ARC) program and certified by the National Commission of Certification for Physician Assistant (NCCPA)

  • Requires validation of successful completion of an ARC accredited US PA program and proof of current NCCPA membership.
  • NCCPA member number must be included on the registration form.
  • Must also declare if your name appears on the National Physicians Data Bank (NPDB) Report)

Even if you have earned a medical degree, you must still graduate from a CMA or ARC-PA accredited program to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

Trainees of a CMA accredited program may be eligible to sit the PACCC PA Cert Exam in the last two months of their training program pending confirmation of completion of core competencies by the program. Canadian PA programs previously accredited by CMA with candidates registering to write the PACCC PA Cert Exam in the last two months of their training must provide PACCC with a list confirming the names of each enrolled student that has completed core competencies and are eligible to challenge the PACCC PA Cert Exam. Candidates whose names do not appear on the provided list will be redirected to their PA Program and their registration form will be refused. Should a candidate not be successful in graduating from their PA program, their PACCC PA Cert Exam results become null and void. Under no circumstances will these candidates be advised of their PACCC PA Cert Exam results prior to PACCC receiving confirmation of successful program completion.

PACCC will not waive any eligibility requirements

The PACCC Manager, Certification approves all applications for eligibility to sit the PACCC PA Cert Exam. If there is insufficient documentation to substantiate the certification requirements the application will be refused. All applications will be reviewed 30 days before the exam date. In the event of a refusal, a candidate can dispute the decision in writing within 2 weeks before the exam date. All written disputes will be referred to the PACCC for immediate review and consideration.

ONLINE PA CERT EXAM REGISTRATION
The online registration dates will be posted annually in the Exam Dates and Online Exam Registration sections under the PACCC logo on the CAPA Website. No registrations will be accepted after the posted close date. PACCC reserves the right to waive the registration deadline under extenuating circumstances however, PACCC decisions are final. Requests for late registrations must be submitted in writing to certification@capa-acam.ca.

IRREGULAR BEHAVIOUR
Any behaviour that threatens the integrity or security of the PA Cert Exam and the certification process is considered by PACCC to be irregular behaviour.  Irregular behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  • making false representations on CAPA membership applications or falsifying supporting documentation;
  • altering or falsifying CCPA certificates or otherwise misrepresenting a certification status;
  • altering or falsifying PA Cert Exam performance reports;
  • seeking or having access to the PA Cert Exam materials before the PA Cert Exam is administered;
  • impersonating an examinee or engaging someone else to take the PA Cert Exam by proxy;
  • copying of the PA Cert Exam answers from someone else or allowing answers to be copied;
  • copying, memorizing and/or reproducing PA Cert Exam items for personal use or distribution;
  • purchasing or stealing any PA Cert Exam materials;
  • possessing unauthorized materials or equipment during the administration of a PA Cert Exam;
  • making a false or intentionally misleading report accusing others of irregular behaviour.

To help PACCC maintain the integrity and security of its certification process, anyone acting in good faith that has information or evidence that irregular behaviour has occurred is encouraged to submit a written, signed statement to PACCC detailing the incident and providing copies of any supporting evidence or documentation.

If PACCC determines that irregular behaviour has occurred, it may invalidate scores, suspend or revoke existing certifications, temporarily or permanently bar individuals from the PA Cert Exam, or may impose other sanctions or take other actions, as it deems appropriate, including legal action.

APPEAL PROCESS
Any candidate subject to an adverse decision by PACCC can submit an appeal (see Appeal Process document).
A failing score on the PACCC PA Cert Exam is NOT subject to appeal.
The following adverse decisions by PACCC (or delegated to its Manager, Certification) are subject to appeal.

  • Disciplinary action based on irregular behaviour of candidates as reported in writing to PACCC before, during or after a PA Cert Exam;
  • Disciplinary action based on fraudulent use of the CCPA credential;
  • Denial of eligibility to sit a PA Cert Exam;
  • Revocation of eligibility to sit a PA Cert Exam;
  • Revocation of certification;
  • Other adverse action regarding the CCPA credential.

RE-CERTIFICATION
There is no requirement for re-certification. Canadian Certified Physician Assistant’s (CCPA) are required to maintain their proficiency through the tracking of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). All CCPAs must be a regular or sustained member of CAPA and must track their CPD credits through the CPD Tracking Tool of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (the Royal College) MAINPORT ePortfolion login. Please review the PACCC CPD policy for non-compliance.

NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS AND RE-WRITES
Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria described in this document will be eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a previously CMA accredited program. During that five year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four times. When either the fifth year or the fourth attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

AGGREGATE DATA
Aggregate data (candidate names are removed) is provided to each previously CMA accredited program to provide the information required for the maintenance of  accreditation.

LIST OF CCPAs
All individuals who obtain the Canadian Certified Physician Assistant (CCPA) designation are added to a list found under the PACCC logo on the CAPA website and choosing List of CCPAs. This list contains the names of all PAs that hold the CCPA designation from inception to the last completed PACCC PA Cert Exam.

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When is the next set of Certification Exams to be scheduled?

The exact dates, timings and actual location will be made available on the web site.

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How do I get a replacement certificate?

A replacement certificate can be requested. There is a $50 charge to issue a replacement certificate due to name change, loss or other factors beyond CAPA’s control.

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Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program frequently asked questions

I participate as an examiner for the PACCC Test committee. How can I claim credits for my contributions?

There are several options available for you to receive MOC credits:

  • The time you spend participating in any part of the examination process – from setting the exam standards, to being an examiner can be claimed as an activity for 15 credits per year under Section 2: Systems Learning: Examination Development.
  • The time you spend in the development and submission of a clinical scenario for inclusion in an oral examination or an MCQ or SAQ for a written examination can be submitted as a personal learning project in Section 2.
  • The time you spend on reviewing the feedback on your contributions to the examination process (e.g. the quality of your MCQs) or your performance during the examination (e.g. during an oral examination) is a review of your “educational” practice that could be included under Section 3: Practice Assessment (3 credits per hour).

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How can I get credits for participating in committees?

For participating in certain committees, you may claim 15 credits per year per committee. The purpose or activity of the committee (working group, task force or similar title) must be to improve or enhance the quality, safety, or effectiveness of the health care system. The committee must have a formal structure with an appointment process and defined terms of reference. It must also meet on a regular schedule.

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How can I get credits for all the research done for grant applications?

Any research and learning you do in relation to grant applications may be recorded as personal learning projects (PLPs) in Section 2: Planned Learning.

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Where can I report my participation in doing peer reviewing of journals and/or grant applications?

Participants who are actively engaged in the peer review process throughout the year for activities such as peer reviewing journal articles and reviewing research grant applications can submit this activity in Section 2: Systems Learning: Peer Assessment for 15 credits per year.

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Where can I record the time I spend reviewing a colleague’s practice?

You may record reviews that you do of your colleague’s practice under Section 2: Systems Learning): Peer Review and you will receive 15 credits for the year.

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Where can I record the time I spend reviewing feedback that I received from colleagues/others related to my practice and/or my teaching?

If a colleague reviews your practice and provides feedback, the time spent on this activity, including any additional time you spend reviewing that feedback, can be recorded under Section 3:Assessment: Practice Assessment and you will receive 3 credits per hour. Reviewing feedback from your teaching sessions can also be reported in Section 3:Assessment: Practice Assessment.

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Where can I record an online self-assessment program (SAP)?

Online self-assessment programs (SAP) do not automatically qualify for Section 3 credits in the MOC Program. All online self-assessment programs (SAP) must be reviewed and approved directly by a Royal College Accredited CPD Provider and if approved, would contain the Royal College accreditation statement. See a list of accredited Section 3 activities.

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I participated in a self-assessment program (SAP) not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio. Where do I record this activity?

If a SAP is not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio, please contact us at: certification@capa-acam.ca to confirm its status. If it is not accredited by a Royal College CPD Accredited Provider, then you may choose to claim this activity as a personal learning project.

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Can I apply extra credits (>400) earned in my current cycle towards my next cycle?

There is currently no provision to carry forward completed credits to a future MOC cycle and the completion of 400 credits is a minimum 5-year cycle requirement. MOC Program participants who achieve 400 credits before the end of their cycle are still required to complete at least 40 credits in each of the remaining years of their current cycle.

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I work part-time. Do I need to complete the same number of credits as someone who is in full-time practice?

MOC Program participants who are in part-time practice are required to maintain their knowledge, skills, and competencies. There is a wide range of learning activities included within the MOC Program and the 400-credit requirement for a 5-year MOC cycle has been deemed to be reasonable and achievable for all participants.

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How do I know if a conference held in Canada qualifies for Section 1 of the MOC Program?

In Canada, conferences, courses, workshops and seminars must be approved by an accredited CPD provider. Section 1 approval will be recognized by the following statement on program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by [accredited provider’s name].” (Please refer to the next question regarding the exception.)

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I participated in a group learning activity approved for AMA PRA Category 1, AAPA Category 1, AAFP Prescribed or CFPC Mainpro/Mainpro+ Certified Group learning credits. Are these credits approved for MOC Section 1?

For PAs, group learning activities developed by the AMA PRA for Category 1, the AAPA for Category 1, the AAFP for Prescribed credits or the CFPC Mainpro+ Certified Group learning can be recorded as accredited activities under Section 1 of the MOC Program.

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Where can I report my attendance at a conference held outside of Canada or a conference held overseas?

All live conferences or live courses held outside of Canada can be reported as accredited group learning activities under Section 1 of the MOC Program if they are developed by a university, academy, college, academic institution or physician organization.

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I attended an educational dinner event hosted by a pharmaceutical company. Where can I record these hours?

These hours cannot be claimed for credit within the MOC Program. However, this event may encourage you to continue your learning and develop a personal learning project (see PLP question).

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Can working or clinical rounds be self-approved for MOC Section 1 credits?

No. In order for rounds, journal clubs or small group learning activities to be self-approved for MOC Section 1 credits, they must meet the accreditation standards as defined by the Royal College. These standards include the establishment of a planning committee, the development of learning objectives based on a needs assessment conducted for the target audience, adherence to established ethical standards and the execution of an evaluation strategy of the rounds program. Typically, “working” or “clinical” rounds are not formal CPD activities, rather, they are bedside visits by a physician—or other health professional—to evaluate treatment, assess current course and document the patient’s progress or recuperation.

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Can morbidity and mortality (M&M) rounds be accredited for MOC Section 3 credits?

No. Morbidity and mortality (M&M) rounds cannot be accredited for MOC Section 3 credits because they typically review one patient/physician at a time. This is not considered feedback on performance in practice. A formal audit and feedback on a minimum of 10 patients is needed to be representative of one’s performance in practice. Morbidity and Mortality rounds are group-learning activities that can be included under Section 1: Group Learning: Rounds, assuming that they have been approved through the self-accreditation process of the Royal College.

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Where do I record a PhD or Master’s program?

PhD or Master’s programs can be submitted at 25 credits per course in Section 2 under Formal Course.

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What is a personal learning project (PLP) and how can I incorporate this into my learning plan?

A personal learning project (PLP) is a self-initiated learning activity that is stimulated by a question, issue or dilemma in your professional practice. For example, PLPs can be created based on updating your knowledge to prepare a presentation, further research after reading a journal article or after participating in a point-of-care activity. They can be inspired by any aspect of your professional practice (CanMEDS Roles) and are flexible and adaptable within any learning context.

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What is a traineeship and can you provide some examples of activities that would fit in this section?

Traineeships are structured learning activities designed to meet an identified professional need. Traineeships require the identification of learning objectives and a supervisor who will help you to plan learning activities that meet your learning objectives. The supervisor is also responsible for verifying that activities have been completed and can provide meaningful feedback on what was achieved. The final step required for all traineeships is the documentation of the learning outcomes that were identified for practice. Participation in activities such as PALS, NALS, ATLS, ACLS, and BLS, to name a few, are considered traineeships.

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Why are there different sub-types for personal learning project (PLP) under Section 2: Self-Learning Activities?

When reporting a PLP in MAINPORT ePortfolio, you must select a sub-type (from a drop-down menu) to clarify the reason behind the creation of your learning plan. This allows us to capture data about how you are using PLPs, which will in turn support future improvements to the MOC framework. The following sub-types are available within MAINPORT ePortfolio (each is eligible for 2 credits/hour):

  • Address clinical or academic questions
  • Preparation for formal teaching activities
  • Development of research activities
  • Address medical-professional administrative or systems related questions/issues
  • Other—Please describe the type of PLP

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Where do I record activities such as using Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed?

These activities are recorded in Section 2: Self-Learning Activities for 0.5 credits/activity. For activities conducted with third party organizations, both the certificate and transcript/list must be uploaded to MAINPORT ePortfolio in order for the activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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How can I get credits for reading journal articles, books, etc.?

Each journal article you read that you have deemed has had a significant impact on your learning or practice can be recorded in Section 2:Self-Learning: Reading or Bulk Reading). In addition, you may read journal articles and/or books with the specific objective of answering a question, issue, or problem you have identified in your professional practice. In this instance, this can be claimed in Section 2 as a personal learning project (PLP) for 2 credits per hour.

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Can I claim MOC credits for teaching or giving presentations?

You may report the new learning acquired while preparing or researching for your teaching sessions or presentations under Section 2 as a personal learning project (PLP).

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What types of activities can I report in Section 1: Group Learning?

In Canada, participation as an attendee/learner in:

  • Accredited conferences, courses, seminars, workshops, approved by a Royal College accredited CPD provider. Some of these accredited group learning activities are listed on the Royal College website. Note that this is not an inclusive list therefore Section 1 accreditation is recognized when the following statement is on the program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by (accredited provider’s name).
  • Other accredited conferences, short duration courses, seminars, workshops, held in Canada, but developed by an Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) – accredited physician organization (such as a university, academy, specialty society, hospital department);
  • Accredited web-based group learning activities approved by a Royal College accredited CPD provider. Section 1 accreditation is recognized when the following statement is on the program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by (accredited provider’s name).”
  • Accredited hospital rounds, tumor boards, M&M rounds, journal clubs, and small group learning activities that meet the accreditation standards as defined by the Royal College, and have been registered at the Royal College (look for the accreditation statement which confirms MOC section 1 approval).

Outside Canada or overseas, participation as an attendee/learner in:

  • Live conferences, short duration courses, seminars, workshops that have been developed by a university, academy, college, academic institution or physician organization.

Participation in Section 1 unaccredited group learning activities = 0.5 credit per hour of participation (50 credits maximum per cycle).

Unaccredited activities:

  • Participation as a learner/attendee in unaccredited rounds, journal clubs or small-group activities which are in the process of meeting the educational and ethical standards, and/or rural or local conferences that have no industry sponsorship.

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What types of activities can I report in Section 2: Self-Learning?

 

  • PhD & Master’s Programs: can be submitted at 25 credits per course under Formal Course.
  • Other types of Formal Courses: participation as a learner in other types of formal courses is eligible for 25 credits per course (These are usually developed in collaboration with a university, community college, specialty (e.g. diploma program) or other educational organizations. These require a formal registration process and provide a transcript or certificate of completion. This type of course can lead to the achievement of a formal designation or certificate and usually occur over a period of time usually equivalent to one term at a university but not less than 6 weeks. Note that other courses that are shorter in duration are more typical of a Section 1 accredited group learning activity (provided it meets the section criteria) and would be submitted at one (1) credit per hour.
  • Participation as a learner in activities such as: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NALS), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), and Basic Life Support (BLS) are eligible for two (2) credits per hour under Traineeship.
  • Activities such as doing additional research and acquiring new learning/knowledge while:
    • Addressing clinical or academic questions;
    • Doing research and preparation for formal teaching activities or presentations;
    • Doing research for the development and submission of a clinical scenario for inclusion in an oral examination or an MCQ or SAQ for a written examination;
    • Doing research for grant applications, writing a publication or article;
    • Addressing medical-professional administrative or systems-related questions;
    • Addressing other CanMEDS roles.

    The learning acquired during the research and preparation for these can be submitted as Personal Learning Projects (PLPs) where you will earn two (2) credits per hour.

  • Reading Journal Articles: For each journal article that you read and have deemed has had a significant impact on your learning or practice can be recorded individually and receive one (1) credit per article.
  • Listening/viewing podcasts, audiotapes, videotapes, and reviewing enduring materials or scanning the internet (such as Medscape, UpToDate, etc.) = 0.5 credit per topic searched.
  • InfoPoems = 0.25 per activity.
  • Certain committees are eligible for 15 credits per year/per committee. This can be submitted as a Quality Care/Patient Safety Committee activity. (Note that the purpose or activity of the committee – working group, task force or similar title – must be to improve or enhance the quality, safety, or effectiveness of the health care system. They must have a formal structure with an appointment process and defined terms of reference and must also meet on a regular schedule.)
  • Developing clinical practice guidelines with your colleagues or participating in activities or groups that set clinical care standards for your hospital can earn you 20 credits per year
  • Developing Curriculum – at the undergraduate, postgraduate or professional practice level – can earn you 15 credits per year.
  • Examination process – for provincial or national certification processes or systems (such as setting the exam standards, being an examiner) can earn you 15 credits per year as an Examination Development activity.
  • Peer reviewing journal articles, reviewing research grant applications can earn you 15 credits per year as a Peer Assessment activity. The 15 credits are eligible for your yearly contributions.
  • Creating assessment strategies or reviewing your peers or colleagues can earn you 15 credits per year as a Peer Assessment activity. The 15 credits are eligible for your yearly contributions.
  • Other Systems Learning Activities such as Patient Safety Initiatives, Quality of Care initiatives, Clinical Performance Standard Setting Activities, Assessments strategies for learners or education programs, can earn you 15 credits for the year.

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What is the PACCC doing to ensure that PAs are maintaining their CPD?

PACCC will be using an audit process in that members will be selected randomly and they will be asked to submit documentation supporting Mainpro credits.

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What types of activities can I report in Section 3: Assessment?

  • Do you teach? Reviewing your annual teaching evaluations counts for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data and getting peer feedback.
  • Do you participate in a performance appraisal, 360° assessment or any other type of workplace assessment related to practice domains including communication, leadership or managerial ability? The time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data counts for Section 3.
  • Do you write peer reviewed journal articles? The time spent reviewing the feedback you receive from your peers counts in Section 3 for 3 credits per hour.
  • Do you conduct chart audits or other practice performance based assessments? That can also be claimed for Section 3.
  • The Royal College has several accredited self-assessment programs that are free. The Bioethics modules are available on our website and since they address ethics in medicine, they are applicable to anyone.
  • The CMPA also has accredited medico-legal self-assessment programs available on their website.
  • A list of all accredited self-assessment programs is available on the Royal College website.

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What are the consequences of failing to meet the established CPD requirements?

Failure to complete the CPD requirements may result in the forfeiture of the privilege to use the CCPA designation.

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Recording and reporting activities in MAINPORT ePortfolio

What is the difference between “Reading” and “Bulk Reading” when reporting a Section 2: Self-Learning Activity?

The “Reading” category is to be used when you are recording your reflections on one self-learning activity, such as reading a journal article. If you are reporting on a number of journal articles read, please use the “Bulk” option.

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What is the difference between “Internet Searching” and “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript” when reporting Section 2 internet searches conducted through third-party organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed?

Both options are valid when entering internet search activities conducted through a third-party organization (like Medscape, UpToDate or Dynamed). If you are entering just one activity choose “Internet Searching.” If you are entering more than one activity at once, choose “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript”. This selection will allow you to enter the total number of activities in bulk. For activities conducted with third-party organizations and submitted under the bulk option, both the certificate and transcript/list must be uploaded to MAINPORT ePortfolio in order for the activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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Can I record activities done through organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed in bulk?

Yes. As long as you have the proper documentation from the third-party organizations (certificate and transcript/list of activities), you can report these activities in bulk as follows:

  • Click on “Enter a CPD Activity”
  • Select Section 2: Self-Learning Activities
  • Choose “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript” from the dropdown menu
  • Enter information for all required fields marked with red asterisks
  • Upload the certificate and transcript/list of activities provided by the third-party organization

Both the certificate and transcript/list must be provided in order for these activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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What is an Accredited Self-Assessment program?

Accredited Self-Assessment programs use brief, highly directed questions in structured formats, such as multiple-choice or short-answer questions, to elicit reliable constructed responses from participants to assess aspects of knowledge in defined domains. Feedback provides opportunities for participants to identify areas for improvement and future learning.

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What is Chart Audit and Feedback?

Chart audit and feedback is an assessment strategy that uses data recorded in a chart or electronic health record to assess the performance of an individual, group or team against one or more measures of performance. Chart audits can focus on process or outcomes of care provided to one or more patients. Feedback is provided to facilitate the identification of areas for future learning and improvement.

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What is Multi-Source Feedback?

Multi-source feedback uses standardized questionnaires to gather data from multiple observers across a range of CanMEDS-PA Roles. Physician assistants are provided with a summary of their performance across a set of behaviours in relation to their peers. Feedback provides an opportunity to identify areas of strength and improvement and set goals for future learning.

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What is Direct Observation?

Direct observation uses supervisors, colleagues or peers to observe a PA performing a regular professional activity to identify whether specific behaviours or competences were demonstrated. The observer provides feedback to the PA on what was, or was not, observed in order to assist the PA in identifying areas for improvement or enhancement.

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What is Feedback on Teaching?

Summaries or compilations of evaluations of teaching completed by students, residents, physicians, PAs or health professionals provide physician assistant educators evidence related to the effectiveness and impact of teaching. Reviewing these evaluations provides opportunities to identify areas for improvement within this dimension of professional practice.

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What is an Annual Performance Review?

Annual reviews provide physician assistants with an opportunity to reflect on past performance goals and establish plans for the coming year. Use the feedback provided by supervising physicians, peers, department/division chairs or chiefs of staff to set new goals or identify strategies for improvement or professional development.

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What is Practice Assessment?

Practice assessment is a comprehensive approach to reviewing a physician assistants’ practice to assess adherence to established professional practice standards across multiple CanMEDS-PA roles using multiple assessment strategies. Practice assessments are completed by trained peer assessors and may integrate a records review, interviews with colleagues or co-workers, direct observations of interactions with patients, and patient questionnaires to enable the development of a comprehensive report of the overall quality and safety of the practice with recommendations that serve as the basis for future learning and improvement.

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What is the Holding Area?

The Holding Area is an area of MAINPORT ePortfolio that contains activities that require some additional information before they are counted in the MOC credit system. There are three different types of activities that can exist in the Holding Area. The first is an Incomplete Activity. These are activities that have been partially entered into MAINPORT ePortfolio. The second type of activity that occurs in the Holding Area is activities that have been automatically sent to MAINPORT ePortfolio on your behalf. The final kinds of activity that can exist in the Holding Area are CPD activities that are awaiting credit validation.

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How do I enter my yearly hours for rounds in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

You can enter your yearly attendance at rounds either individually or as a “block” of hours. For example, if you attended 20 hours of rounds during the year, you may choose to record each round you attended separately or record it as one entry worth 20 credits in Section 1.

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I attended a 3-day conference. Do I need to report each day separately or can I record my overall attendance as one entry?

You may record your conference attendance as one entry and report the total hours attended. Please record the end date of the conference in MAINPORT ePortfolio.

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I completed a day course and submitted this under Section 2: Formal Course. MAINPORT ePortfolio automatically gives me 25 credits for this – how can I change the number of credits?

Formal courses are usually developed in collaboration with a university, community college, specialty (e.g., a diploma program) or other educational organizations. They require a formal registration process and provide a transcript or certificate of completion. This type of course can lead to the achievement of a formal designation or certificate. Formal Courses occur over a period of time usually equivalent to one term at a university but not less than 6 weeks. Examples of Formal Courses: Masters or PhD programs. Other courses that are shorter in duration are more typical of a section 1 accredited group learning activity where you would receive one credit per hour of participation.

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General Questions

Is there a mobile app version of MAINPORT ePortfolio available?

Yes. iPhone users can download the MAINPORT ePortfolio Mobile app from the App Store. Android users can download the app from the Play Store.

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Can I record activities when not connected to the internet?

Yes, you can record activities when you are offline. Simply record the information as you normally would. As soon as you connect to a WiFi network, your MAINPORT ePortfolio account will be automatically updated.

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I have a Blackberry; can I download the MAINPORT ePortfolio app?

The app is not available for Blackberry users. However, if you have a Blackberry, you can access the MAINPORT ePortfolio mobile site from your device.

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I have an iPad. Can I download the MAINPORT ePortfolio app?

For the best MAINPORT ePortfolio user experience, we recommend that iPad users connect directly to MAINPORT ePortfolio rather than using the app.

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Why am I having problems downloading the MAINPORT ePortfolio app to my iPhone?

Please note that if you do not have the latest version of iOS installed on your Apple device, you will need to update it to the latest version.

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How do I know if my hospital round or journal club is accredited? Where and when can I get a record of attendance for these activities?

Rounds and journal clubs that are accredited will provide a Royal College accreditation statement on the advertisement for the event. You may also contact your Rounds Chair for further information and for an official record of attendance.

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Can you send me a list of accredited group learning CPD activities and/or accredited Self-Assessment Programs for my specialty?

You can find a list of CPD activities by specialty here. Please note that while the information provided is comprehensive, it does not necessarily represent all approved activities available for credit. For more information, please contact the Accredited CPD Providers directly.

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How are the CanMEDS-PA roles being promoted as a framework for lifelong learning in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

MAINPORT ePortfolio will support the link between learning and CanMEDS-PA in two ways. Each template will enable learners to link the portion of the group learning, self-learning or assessment activity that was linked to each CanMEDS-PA Role. In addition, the CPD planning tool in MAINPORT will support the link between specific goals and one or more CanMEDS-PR roles.

The MOC framework is intending to promote a competency-based approach to lifelong learning that is not just focused on knowledge (the traditional domain of the medical expert), but on multiple skills, competencies and abilities. CanMEDS-PA is an excellent example of a competency framework that is relevant to the planning and development of learning activities for practice. Currently, all accredited Royal College CPD provider organizations are required to develop needs assessment strategies that span multiple CanMEDS roles. Self-learning can be focused in any CanMEDS domain and although there are limited tools to assess performance across multiple CanMEDS roles the development of 360° assessments and other multi-source feedback strategies are becoming more common.

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