What is the CPSO Certification?

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Anyone who is practising medicine in Ontario must be recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). The college offers a certificate known as the CPSO Certificate or the Certificate of Professional Conduct.

You must have this certificate with the College of Physicians and Surgeons to practice in any hospital or medical establishment in Ontario. Let’s dive a little more into the topic, learning how you can obtain CPSO certification and why it’s essential.

Why is CPSO Certification Important?

All surgeons and physicians need to be registered with the CPSO. The CPSO certificate is designed to evaluate the competence and performance of all those practising medicine in Ontario.

It helps ensure that all doctors, surgeons, and medical professionals have the skills, knowledge, and abilities to practice medicine in the province safely. The school helps regulate the practice of medicine in Ontario, ensuring that all patients and clients are in good hands when they need medical attention.
The four main goals of the college are to:

  • Provide registration to members
  • Ensure quality of care provided by all registered physicians
  • Investigate complaints from the public about any doctors in Ontario
  • Set expectations of professional conduct and ensure all registered medical professionals meet those expectations. 

What is required to obtain CPSO Certification?

To be considered for CPSO certification, an individual must:

  • Hold a medical degree from a school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools
  • Have successfully completed both parts 1 and 2 of the Medical Council of Canada
  • Undergo a complete examination by the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Have at least one-year post-graduate education and medical practice within the Country of Canada
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada or have Canadian Citizenship. 

What is involved in the Certification Process?

To be considered for CPSO certification, an individual must be supervised in a full-time practice for at least one year. Before this year is complete, they can apply to be assessed by the College. The first step is to fill out a Physician Questionnaire. Once submitted and reviewed, you will be assigned an assessor who will evaluate your performance, knowledge, and ability in the medical field. 

During an assessment, the assessor will conduct a review of all your records at each practice location. They will also conduct interviews with you and all of your supervisors, colleagues, and co-workers to further assess your knowledge and abilities in the field. 

Of course, observational assessments will also be made wherein your assessor will follow you throughout a period of time to assess your performance as a medical professional. 

Once the assessment has been completed, the assessor has 4 weeks to complete a final report and submit it to the Assessment Coordinator for review by the Quality College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Once the Registration Committee has reviewed it, you will receive a letter advising you of their decision within 7 business days. 

Suppose you pass the assessment with minimal to no issues to report. In that case, the Committee will then consider issuing you a Restricted Certificate in which you can practice your area of medicine independently. 

Note: the CPSO certificate is required by law in Ontario, and any attempt to practice independently without one will be met with harsh penalties, fines, and/or prison time. 

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.