Clinical currency

College registrants must maintain currency in their clinical practice. This is defined in sections 2-8 and 2-9 of the Bylaws made under the Health Professions Act.

Frequently asked questions

Clinical practice is defined as direct patient care for the purpose of making a diagnosis and/or providing treatment. This includes diagnostic specialties such as pathology and radiology, and the specialty of public health and preventive medicine.

According to section 2-8 of the College Bylaws, a registrant must have practised clinically in their field for a minimum of 960 hours over the preceding three-year period (24 weeks full-time) to be considered current.

Research, teaching, administration and medical regulation do not constitute clinical practice.

In January of each year, the College requires registrants to self-report the total number of clinical hours they worked in the previous year on their Annual Licence Renewal Form.

If a registrant provides a response that indicates they may not be current in clinical practice, the College will send a reminder to the registrant about the requirements of section 2-8 of the College Bylaws.

The College will advise the registrant an internal flag may be added on the College’s database to indicate they are not current for clinical practice and may not bill MSP, refer and/or prescribe to patients.

The College’s primary function is to ensure registrants are qualified, competent, fit for clinical practice, and meet expected professional standards.

All registrants are required to consistently maintain the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to deliver the best possible care to patients.

This internal flag is one of a number of improvements being implemented by the College to ensure patient safety. While this information will not be displayed on the registrant directory, the ability to prescribe and bill will be electronically disabled.

When a certificate of professional conduct is issued for a registrant who has been flagged as not current for clinical practice, this information will be shared with other organizations, including medical regulatory authorities and health authorities.

If an applicant or registrant wishes to obtain or regain currency (as defined in section 2-8 of the College Bylaws) for independent clinical practice, they must contact the College and undergo a process to be deemed current in independent clinical practice.

This process is available to:

  • Current or former registrants who were in a class of registration where they were practicing independently; 
  • Applicants for an independent class where, absent currency, they are eligible for registration and licensure in an independent practice class of licensure; or
  • Current or former registrants for the surgical assistant class; or 
  • Applicants for the surgical assistant class where, absent currency, they would be eligible for registration and licensure in the full class.

The process is outlined in the Change of Scope/Return to Practice policy.

In summary, the College will review the applicant or registrant's circumstances, which include:

  • past clinical practice
  • the length of the absence from clinical practice
  • continuing professional development
  • the anticipated future scope of practice

The College and the physician will develop an individualized plan, satisfactory and approved to and by the College. This plan may require the completion of a formal assessment of skill, knowledge and competency as determined by the registrar. Such assessments must be completed in a setting where educational assessments are a regular part of the supervising physician’s professional practice.

Upon completion of the retraining plan, satisfactory to the College, the applicant/registrant will be deemed current in clinical practice and will then be required to maintain that currency in clinical practice.