Reconsideration and appeal | Medical Council of Canada
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Reconsideration and appeal

Reconsideration of exam results

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) recognizes that, in some instances, a candidate may experience an exam day incident that prevents a reliable assessment of their knowledge and abilities. As such, the reconsideration process allows for a review of the candidate’s exam day experience to determine whether the incident was likely to have materially affected the delivery of the exam or their performance. Reconsideration takes place after the candidate has received their exam results.

Note: If you are eligible to reapply for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I, you do not need to wait for the outcome of the reconsideration process before applying to retake the exam.

Possible outcomes of the reconsideration process

There are two possible outcomes from the reconsideration process:

  • There is no change to the final result the candidate received.
  • A candidate is granted a No Standing.

A No Standing indicates that procedural irregularities or extenuating circumstances you experienced may have materially affected your performance or may have prevented a reliable assessment of your knowledge and abilities. A No Standing does not count as an exam attempt.

A pass or additional marks cannot be granted through the reconsideration process.

Exam day incidents

There are two types of exam day incidents: extenuating circumstances and procedural irregularities. These are explained in more detail below.

All incidents must be reported directly to the MCC within 7 days of the exam day by sending a message through your account. You must report the incident to the MCC even if the exam provider indicates they will report it on your behalf. The MCC will acknowledge your message and keep this information on file. Post exam survey responses are intended for quality assurance purposes and are not monitored for reports of incidents.

The MCC will not investigate incidents that are reported more than 7 days after the exam day.

Extenuating circumstances

Extenuating circumstances are incidents that arise unexpectedly near to or on exam day that could affect a candidate’s performance. Extenuating circumstances (such as acute illness or injury, the death of an immediate family member) must be supported with official documentation. Supporting documents (e.g., a physician’s note, a death certificate) must be on official letterhead, be dated and signed by the issuer and be obtained as close to the exam date as possible. When possible, the documentation should indicate how the extenuating circumstances affected you on exam day.

As indicated on the Exam Day webpages, once you begin the exam, it will count as an attempt, even if you are unable to finish. It is recommended that you consider this carefully if you feel your performance could be affected by extenuating circumstances. Only in rare circumstances is a No Standing awarded in instances of extenuating circumstances.

Procedural irregularities

A procedural irregularity is an event or incident that materially prejudices the delivery, but not the content, of an examination. The MCC investigates these incidents in coordination with our exam sites (e.g., test centres, remote proctoring providers) and by reviewing incident reports submitted by the exam provider or the candidate. These investigations must be conducted as close to the exam day as possible; as such, the MCC requires that candidates report incidents within the seven-day timeline.

Submitting a reconsideration request

If you received a pass result or if you did not report the incident directly to the MCC within 7 days of your exam, you are not eligible for reconsideration. You may not request a reconsideration based on the content of the examination.

To submit a reconsideration request, follow these steps:

  1. Send the MCC a message through your account within 15 calendar days of receiving your exam result.
  2. Use Reconsideration of final result in the subject line.
  3. Provide detailed information about why you are requesting a reconsideration of your exam results. Clearly explain the details of the reported exam day incident and how you feel it affected your performance.
  4. If you are requesting a reconsideration based on extenuating circumstances, you must also send us your supporting documentation within 15 days of receiving your exam result. Email the documentation to [email protected] and use in the subject line Reconsideration of final result.

Requests received more than 15 days after you receive your result will not be reviewed. Further, requests that remain incomplete (e.g., missing supporting documentation or an explanation of why you are requesting a reconsideration) by this deadline will not be reviewed.

Steps of the reconsideration process

The following steps will be taken when the MCC receives a reconsideration request.

  • Your request will be reviewed to determine whether you are eligible and have valid grounds based on:
    • Your final result (cannot be a pass)
    • When you reported the incident (must have been within 7 days of your exam)
    • When you submitted your reconsideration request (must have been within 15 days of receiving your result)
    • The details of the incident
    • The supporting documentation submitted (extenuating circumstances only)
  • The MCC will communicate the outcome of this initial review within approximately 6 weeks by sending you a message through your account. If your request is not granted, the MCC will explain the reason(s) for this decision.
  • If your reconsideration is granted, a report will be made available in your account approximately 3 weeks later.
  • The final version of the report will be provided to the MCC’s Chief Assessment Officer, and they will decide whether you will be awarded a No Standing or if your results will remain as initially reported.
  • The decision letter will be added to your account within approximately 3 weeks of the report being finalized. Should you receive a No Standing, your exam will be voided. If your results remain as reported, the exam will be considered a valid attempt.

The reconsideration process is anticipated to take approximately 11 weeks from when you receive your results to when you receive the decision.

For more detailed information regarding the reconsideration process, please see the Procedural Manual for Reconsiderations.

Appeal of a reconsideration decision

Once you receive a reconsideration decision, you may choose to appeal it. Appeal requests are first reviewed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and, if it is determined that the appeal will proceed, it will be heard by an independent Appeals Panel. Note that there is a fee associated with requesting an appeal.

There are two possible outcomes from the appeal process:

  • There is no change to the final result the candidate received.
  • A candidate is granted a No Standing.

A pass or additional marks cannot be granted through the appeal process.

Submitting an appeal request

To appeal a reconsideration decision, follow the steps below:

  1. Send us a message through your account within 30 calendar days of the date indicated on the reconsideration decision letter.
  2. Use Appeal of the reconsideration decision in the subject line.
  3. Provide detailed information about why you are requesting an appeal (the grounds for your appeal). Provide any additional information that was not included in your reconsideration request.
  4. Indicate whether you wish the appeal to be heard in English or in French.

Steps of the appeal process

The following steps will be taken when the MCC receives an appeal request.

  1. Upon receipt of your request, the MCC will apply a fee to your account and notify you.
  2. Once you pay the appeal fee, your request will be reviewed, within 3 weeks, by the CEO. You will receive a message once the review is complete.
  3. If your appeal request is granted, you will be contacted to schedule a suitable date for a hearing. The hearing typically takes place via videoconference, and you are required to attend.
  4. You will be provided more details regarding the process, including relevant timelines for providing any documentation in support of the appeal. You have the right to be represented by legal counsel at your own expense, if you choose.
  5. When the Appeal Panel’s decision has been finalized, it will be sent to you directly and added to your account for reference.