Changing or limiting your scope of practice?

Most registrants are aware of section 2-8(2)(a) of the Bylaws which sets a minimum duration of clinical practice requirement of eight weeks per year, averaged over a three-year period. This section applies to those who have temporarily left practice or elected to work less. However, not all registrants are aware that section 2-8(2)(b) of the Bylaws similarly extends to those who change their scope of practice.

Re-entry to or change in practice

2-8 (2) A registrant

  • (b) who wishes to change the focus of his or her clinical practice to an area in which the registrant has not practised for a consecutive period of three years or more, or who has practised less than eight weeks a year in that area in the preceding three years, must, prior to applying for registration or changing the focus of his or her clinical practice,
    • (i) notify the registrar in writing,
    • (ii) undergo a review and assessment of skill, knowledge and competency as determined by the registrar, and
    • (iii) provide a written report acceptable to the registrar of successful completion of such review and assessment, and
    • (iv) undergo retraining as specified by the registrar, if any, or

While changes in the scopes of practice of specialists who work in hospitals is regulated by hospital privileging, the community-based registrant who does not have this scrutiny is expected to abide by the terms of this section of the Bylaws. Registrants are required to obtain College approval prior to returning to a former scope of practice if they:

  • work solely as hospitalists and wish to return to general family practice
  • are employed or contracted to perform limited clinical work and wish to re-enter their former wide scope of practice
  • work solely in administrative capacities and wish to return to clinical practice

After evaluating each individual request, the College may require a registrant to participate in a period of supervision with satisfactory reports. Registrants with prolonged absence from their former scope of practice may be required to participate in lengthier retraining in an academic setting.

Registrants will avoid unpleasant surprises in taking the above into account when making work choices.