Language quality assurance

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) produces examination content in both official languages (English/French). It follows a comprehensive quality assurance process to ensure that examination content, whether in English or French, is of the highest quality.

Content development
Translation process
Candidate input
Question analysis

Content development

MCC examination content is developed by the MCC’s test committees, made up of physicians from across Canada who are experts in their fields. The test committees include representation from both official language groups (English and French).

Translation process

Examination questions are initially created in English by the test committees. The MCC then sends the questions to professional translators who have medical terminology translation expertise. Once the translation is complete, the following quality assurance steps are taken and content revisions made as required:

  1. MCC in-house editors perform multiple comparative reads (comparing English questions to French translations).
  2. A Francophone test committee member performs another set of comparative reviews, which includes reading the content out loud.
  3. Francophone specialist physicians from French faculties of medicine participate in another round of comparative readings. Each French examination question is reviewed by two to three Francophone physicians during these sessions.

Candidate input

The MCC encourages candidates taking the examination to report any content that may be ambiguous or confusing. Candidates can also make comments in the “notes” section attached to each exam question. All candidate reports and comments about the quality of the content are reviewed by the committee prior to scoring the examination.

Question analysis

New content, whether in English or in French, is piloted before it is used as active content on the examination. Pilot questions do not count toward the candidate’s score. The MCC analyzes candidates’ response patterns after the examination. Any question that does not perform as expected is returned to the committee for review and revision, and is later re-piloted.

Should an active question not meet expected performance requirements, it is also flagged for review by the committee prior to scoring the examination. If it is determined that an error or flaw in the question could have affected performance, it will not count toward the candidates’ score.