Since March 2020, when the first clinical Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) was cancelled, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) has been working non-stop with our partners to find solutions to this situation. We understand, and have great sympathy for, the frustration and stress that candidates are going through because they aren’t able to become fully licensed; we talk to many of them every day.

Earlier this week, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) confirmed that they will not be able to administer the clinical component of the PCE as scheduled for the remainder of the year, and the virtual version of the exam is also not ready to re-launch. Instead, they will be organizing small in-person or virtual sessions for late summer or early autumn.

While this is a step in the right direction, candidates expect more: Transparency, Accountability, Equity.

On behalf of the 2019, 2020 and now 2021 candidates impacted by this decision, we demand that CAPR:

  1. set out a specific exam timeline for candidates -- by May 28th;
  2. provide a plan for exam roll out, including details around how CAPR will ensure equitable treatment across all candidates – by May 28th; and
  3. commit to bi-weekly updates for candidates and partners.

Candidates have been in limbo for months. Many feel confused and uncertain about their future. They are working under tremendous stress, through mental health issues and some, with a significant financial burden. Candidates deserve to know that regulators share their urgency. They need to understand CAPR’s plan.

  • What are the exact dates for the exams?
  • Who will be eligible and when?
  • How will the backlog of candidates be cleared?
  • What is the back-up plan if the third-wave of the pandemic continues to be a factor across the country into summer and fall 2021?
  • How can candidates have confidence in CAPR and this exam plan?

The CPA will continue to be the voice of physiotherapy professionals at the National Physiotherapy Advisory Group table, asking the tough questions that frustrated candidates are asking us. We will continue to work constructively with our partners, providing support in any way possible. We will continue to support our other partners – including employers – who are feeling the impact of these cancellations on the workforce. And we will continue to push for a solution, knowing that Canadians are depending on us – collectively – to resolve this issue so that they can access the care they need. The CPA stands by these commitments to our members, and to all candidates, as we continue to ensure that experiences and concerns are heard and acted upon.

Viivi Riis
Canadian Physiotherapy Association