Assessment Process and Curriculum

Pre-screening Requirements

PRA-BC and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia set out pre-screening criteria for the PRA-BC program. These criteria are subject to change at any time. For information on the PRA-BC requirements, required exams and preparation resources, how to submit your CV, and other general information, please visit the PRA-BC website.

Centralized Orientation

PRA-BC candidates are required to attend a centralized orientation held in Vancouver. The centralized orientation is designed to introduce candidates to health-care systems in BC and to prepare them for their 12-week clinical field assessment (CFA). The centralized orientation is scheduled immediately prior to the CFA.

Clinical Field Assessment

The CFA is designed to evaluate a candidate’s readiness for independent medical practice as a most responsible physician (MRP) and subsequent career as a family physician in British Columbia. Candidates will spend 12 weeks in a specified community under the sponsorship of a health authority and under direct supervision of trained physician assessors where their clinical skills will be observed and assessed. They will be assessed by family physicians who have completed extensive assessor training developed by PRA-BC in collaboration with UBC Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD). The CFA takes place in a different community than where the candidate fulfills their three-year return of service.

Each candidate will be assessed on a daily basis using standardized evaluation tools including direct observation with completion of mini-CEX assessment forms, chart audits, chart stimulated recall assessments, and multi-source feedback interviews with completion of questionnaires from other physicians, allied health-care professionals, and patients. Each assessor will complete regular field notes by assessing the eight sentinel habits of a family physician as identified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). The eight sentinel habits will be assessed repeatedly over multiple domains of clinical care involving patients of all ages presenting with a multitude of clinical problems and occurring in both hospital and community-based clinic settings as well as in extended care facilities and in patients’ homes.

Assessment Class of Registration

During the clinical field assessment, all PRA-BC candidates must be registered and licensed with the College in the assessment class of registration (approved by the provincial government and brought into effect on March 12, 2015). Each candidate must be sponsored by one of the province’s health authorities, and must be legally entitled to live and work in Canada. Candidates must remain under continuous supervision while being assessed by the designated program’s lead assessor and other approved designated assessors. Candidates must carry appropriate professional liability coverage and protection. During the 12-week CFA, candidates are not licensed for independent medical practice and therefore are not able to act as a most responsible physician. All investigations ordered, referrals made and prescriptions written must be signed off by the candidate’s supervising program assessor. The CFA is a summative assessment of competency and not meant to be educational or for teaching purposes, although some formative assessment activities will occur.

The College’s assessment class of registration is time-limited and will end following the completion of the 12-week clinical field assessment component. College Bylaws allow for immediate cancellation of registration and licensure if sponsorship is withdrawn, the assessor/supervisor withdraws or if significant candidate competency concerns are identified at any time.


The PRA-BC program is a collaborative effort between the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues comprised of representatives from the provincial government and Doctors of BC, and the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine’s Division of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in partnership with the health authorities and Health Match BC. Initial funding of the PRA-BC program has been provided by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues.

The success of the PRA-BC program is strengthened by aligning with the NAC-PRA family medicine program’s standards and processes. All Canadian medical regulatory authorities will have confidence in knowing that successful candidates from the various practice ready assessment programs currently available in Canada will have been similarly assessed by completing a structured, comprehensive, robust and rigorous competency-based assessment, and that they are “practice ready” and eligible for the provisional class of registration and licensure as family physicians.

Apply to PRA-BC

Interested IMG family physicians should contact PRA-BC to determine if they are eligible to apply for the PRA-BC program, and to learn more about the program’s screening and selection processes. Visit the PRA-BC website for an overview of the pre-screening requirements.