Medical Council of Canada

Practice-Ready Assessment

Practice-Ready Assessment

Rescheduling of the Therapeutics Decision-Making (TDM) Examination – COVID-19 pandemic

Updates to the June 2020 Therapeutics Decision-Making (TDM) Examination rescheduling – May 22, 2020

In light of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) Programs have taken the difficult decision to postpone the Therapeutics Decision-Making (TDM) Examination originally scheduled for June 3, 2020. This exam administration will now take place in Fall 2020, with a date to be confirmed as soon as reasonably possible.

The MCC is working to move the current paper-pencil delivery of the exam to a computer-based delivery. We are exploring flexible delivery methods, including allowing candidates to challenge the examination from their own homes while being proctored remotely. This may also facilitate candidates to take the TDM Exam within their own country, saving the risk of travel as well as cost.

The MCC appreciates your patience as we work to ensure the best possible experience for all candidates, while ensuring the safety of those involved. We appreciate the impact on you by postponing the TDM Exam and will offer further details for the Fall 2020 session by mid-July 2020. For any questions or concerns, please contact the PRA program you have applied to or are registered with.

The National Assessment Collaboration (NAC), a group of national and provincial organizations with a stake in the assessment of international medical graduates (IMGs), has created a pan-Canadian model with a set of common standards, tools and materials for Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) programs across the country. These materials have been developed to ensure that all PRA programs operate in a consistent and comparable manner across provinces and territories. Candidates who are interested in PRA are encouraged to contact the provincial program of their choice for a complete list of eligibility requirements. The following is a list of PRA programs:

Please note that Ontario, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not offer PRA programs within the NAC’s pan-Canadian framework at this time. Please contact the relevant medical regulatory authority if you are interested in practising in one of these regions.

For information regarding international medical graduate programs visit our partner organizations page.


What is NAC PRA?

Interested in learning more about NAC PRA? Watch our video to discover what it is all about:

This fact sheet gives an overview of the NAC PRA program as well.

Fee to support pan-Canadian PRA

To support this ongoing work and ensure sustainability of the program, the NAC began charging a candidate fee of $1,750 as of January 1, 2018. The fee is incurred whenever a candidate enters a PRA clinical over-time assessment period.

The NAC does not charge the fee if:

  • Candidates fail the initial screening or selection assessments
  • Limited capacity prevents the candidate from being allotted a “spot” in the clinical over-time assessment

The fee was set taking into account projected candidate volumes and the corresponding economies of scale. The program has been developed to be economically sustainable and will continue to evolve to meet jurisdictional needs on an ongoing basis.

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Pan-Canadian PRA involves the development and maintenance of PRA standards, tools and materials. The program has met some important milestones, including:

  • The development of clinical assessment tools and a comprehensive clinical assessor training program
  • The creation of more rigorous selection assessments, to determine assessment program eligibility
  • The launch of an orientation portal focusing on the practice of medicine in Canada, and particularly the communication and cultural competencies required for success
  • The development of a research agenda to support evidence-based policy decision making

The first phase of the project involved cataloguing the various program elements already in place across jurisdictions in Canada. See the environmental scan for more information.

Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry PRA standards have been approved. The Therapeutic Decision-Making Blueprint is also available below.

All of these successes have occurred thanks to the collaboration and dedication of PRA programs, the NAC PRA Committee, medical regulatory authorities, the certification colleges and associated specialty committees as well as other partners from across Canada, including initial project funding from Health Canada.

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NAC-PRA Committee membership

NAC-PRA Committee
Chair Dr. Jon Witt
Members Dr. Carl Sparrow
Dr. Fiona Bergin
Dr. Isabelle Tardif
Mr. Stern Ardal
Dr. Martina Reslerova
Ms. Jill Hastings
Dr. Jack Burak
Dr. Julian Midgley
Dr. Anna Ziomek
Dr. Brent Kvern
Ms. Chantal Benoit
Ms. Cindy Streefkerk
Dr. Elizabeth Bannister
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An annual electronic publication, the NAC PRA newsletter highlights the project activities that took place over the course of the year.