On behalf of Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) members, Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) candidates, internationally-trained physiotherapists across the country and the health care system that has been desperately waiting for this new cohort of licensed professionals – we want to recognize the undue toll that navigating the recent system failure leading to a third cancellation of the PCE has taken on candidates across the country. 

We stand with the candidates impacted: 

  • The internationally-trained physiotherapists unable to pursue work in Canada 
  • The candidates who have failed previous attempts at the clinical component of the PCE who have been out of work for over a year 
  • The candidates who have been studying on and off for over a year and who have experienced three cancellations 
  • The students who are seeing the current cohort of candidates be delayed and are worried about the impact on their timeline for licensure 
  • The candidates who woke up and logged in Saturday, March 20th expecting to take the examination and thinking it was their fault that the system failed with no response for a significant period of time from the Canadian Alliance for Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) 
  • The candidates who showed up to a site this summer to have the examination cancelled on location 
  • The candidates who have been thousands of dollars out of pocket but unable to reclaim it because their position in line for the examination was tied to having paid their fees 

In addition, we are the voice of their supporters: 

  • The educators who have equipped and then subsequently consoled candidates as they navigated this tumultuous situation 
  • The clinic owners who have physiotherapist positions that need to be filled 
  • The hundreds of members who joined the PCE Space Exchange Facebook group to ensure candidates had appropriate spaces to take the examinations 
  • The leaders who have mentored and supported this cohort of professionals 
  • The patients and physiotherapists who have seen these candidates successfully treating Canadians in their resident and intern roles 
  • The compassionate, expert, health care providers who know how difficult it was to prepare for and pass the PCE, and who are watching the candidates in limbo feeling unable to support 

Candidates have been unjustly wearing the brunt of these circumstances both financially and emotionally. We represent the voice of the thousands of members we have spoken to, received direct messages from, received emails from, have been tagged in posts by who share this sentiment. This is not about a system failure anymore. This is about our future professionals on the other end of what should have been a virtual examination this weekend. 

To support candidates, the CPA called for the following in our recent statement:

  1. CAPR to immediately return all fees collected from candidates who are waiting on the clinical component of the PCE 
  2. The provincial Regulators (Colleges) to immediately suspend the requirement for a completion of the clinical component of the PCE to be eligible for licensure in every province 

In addition, the CPA is asking the provincial Regulators to use this as an opportunity to reevaluate the PCE including current requirements, viability of the testing, the efficacy of the test to meet the required standards, and more. As an Association, we continue to stand, willing to support the profession as it navigates these challenging questions and potential changes. However, navigating these challenges cannot be done on the back of the candidates currently waiting for this examination. 

In the last 24 hours the CPA has:

  • Met with the President and CEO of CAPR
  • Convened two meetings of the CPA Board of Directors
  • Hosted various meetings with members, candidates and more
  • Joined a meeting of the National Student Assembly
  • Convened a meeting of the Branch Presidents and Executive Directors from across the country
  • Developed our official position and calls to action for CAPR and the Colleges

In addition to these statements, the CPA will convene an additional meeting with its Branches on this matter and will continue to share updates as soon as possible. We are committed to sharing another update with our members no later than mid-week with tangible next steps to be taken as part of our ongoing advocacy.

Please continue to be in touch with the CPA by emailing information@physiotherapy.ca