The National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) is an alliance of Canadian organizations streamlining the evaluation process for international medical graduates (IMGs) seeking a licence to practise medicine in Canada.
In response to the 2004 Report from the Canadian Task Force on Licensure of International Medical Graduates (February 2004), the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) began a series of related initiatives to support the assessment of IMGs in Canada. From 2005 to 2009, a steering committee was struck to develop a framework and governance structure for the NAC.
The NAC’s ongoing objective is to develop a streamlined, co-ordinated, standardized and integrated assessment process that could be offered in various provinces across the country.
A significant development of the program is the pan-Canadian NAC examination used to assist Canadian medical school clinical residency programs in selecting IMGs into the first year of postgraduate training. This national examination also avoids duplication of assessments performed by provincial IMG assessment programs.
Additionally, the NAC is currently developing a pan-Canadian process to assess international medical graduates’ practice readiness. This practice-ready assessment (PRA) process would be available to eligible IMGs seeking a provisional licence to enter medical practice. The project has received funding from Health Canada for design and development activities.
NAC and the Medical Council of Canada
The NAC falls under the permanent governance responsibility of the MCC, and the NAC’s administrative body, the NAC Central Coordinating Committee or NAC3, reports to the MCC’s Council. The NAC3 serves as the NAC’s central body. The NAC Examination Committee and the NAC PRA Steering Committee fall under its jurisdiction.
The NAC3 oversees the development and use of a national, standardized set of assessments that are supported centrally by the MCC but can be administered by existing regional IMG assessment centres or through the MCC’s testing network.
For more information on the route to licensure for international medical graduates, please visit Overview of the process of obtaining a licence to practise medicine for IMGs.