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Exam Policies

Physiotherapy Competency Examination Exam Policies (DOWNLOAD)

‘Exam Policies’ contains the policies governing the Physiotherapy¹ Competency Examination (PCE). The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) reserves the right to change these policies and procedures without prior notice.

You can find a description of the application process, the required forms and other instructions for registering for the PCE at www.alliancept.org.

For exam application, process, dates and fees, see PCE Exam Registration Guide.

¹ Physiotherapy, physiotherapist, physical therapy, physical therapist, physiothérapeute, physiothérapie, PT and pht are official marks used with permission. In this document, physical therapy means the same thing as physiotherapy, and physical therapist means the same thing as physiotherapist.

General Information

About the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR)

CAPR, incorporated in 1992, is dedicated to developing and improving regulatory standards of practice for physiotherapists. Our member organizations regulate physiotherapy according to provincial and territorial legislation.

 

Purpose and Structure of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination

The Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) tests whether qualified exam candidates have demonstrated a minimum standard of practice. It fairly and accurately evaluates the competencies needed to practise physiotherapy. All physiotherapy regulators in Canada, except Quebec, require applicants to have passed the PCE before being granted the right to practice; although Quebec requires all applicants trained outside Quebec to have passed the PCE. Quebec-trained applicants must pass a comprehensive exam unique to that province that is equivalent to the PCE.

The PCE, and its Quebec equivalent, tests the essential competencies of physiotherapy practice – the essential knowledge, skills and abilities. It tests history-taking, physical examination, data interpretation, clinical problem solving, treatment techniques, ethics, safety, interviewing and communication. The exam covers the core clinical practice areas: neuromusculoskeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary-vascular and multisystem.

The PCE has two components; the first is written, the second is clinical.

Candidates must pass the Written Component (Qualifying Exam) to be eligible to attempt the Clinical Component (Physiotherapy National Exam).

Written Component (Qualifying Exam). A multiple-choice exam that tests the candidate’s understanding of the principles and processes of physiotherapy practice.

Clinical Component (Physiotherapy National Exam). An objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) that tests the candidate’s ability to safely and effectively apply the principles and processes of physiotherapy practice.

 

Requirements for Registration Not Uniform Across Canada

Requirements for registration as a physiotherapist differ from province to province and territory to territory. Applicants are responsible for contacting the provincial or territorial physiotherapy regulator where they wish to become registered for details.

For example, some regulators may require applicants to pass an examination testing their knowledge of the rules of physiotherapy practice in that jurisdiction, or the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE). Some may require applicants to submit evidence of good character in jurisdictions where the applicant was previously registered.

Federally, the two official languages of Canada are English and French. But not all provinces and territories are officially bilingual. All provincial and territorial regulators will require fluency in either English or French, but not both.

Applicants who wish to practice in Quebec must be fluent in French, and must contact l’Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec.

Prospective Ontario applicants may “pre-register” with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario before they qualify for practice in that province. Although pre-registration is optional, the Ontario College strongly recommends it.

Those interested in practising in Northwest Territories or Nunavut must contact the territorial health department or their proposed employer.

 

The Licensing/Registration Process

Flowchart CAPR in English

Eligibility to Take the Physiotherapy Competency Exam

Date Revised: April 23, 2018

Scope

This policy applies to all Canadian-educated and internationally-educated physiotherapists attempting the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE).  This policy applies to both the Written Component (Qualifying Exam) and the Clinical Component (Physiotherapy National Exam) of the PCE.

 

Purpose

To provide clarity regarding who may attempt the PCE, when they are eligible to attempt the Written or Clinical Components of the PCE and the number of attempts a candidate is permitted for each component.

 

Policy

Initial Eligibility for Canadian-educated candidates

Canadian-educated candidates must be enrolled in an entry-to-practice physiotherapy program that has been accredited by Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC).  Canadian-educated candidates may attempt the Written Component of the PCE in their final term of academic study.  To attempt the Clinical Component of the PCE, Canadian-educated candidates must have completed their full course of study and must be eligible for graduation.  Clinical exam results will not be released to the candidate until the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) has received an official transcript, directly from the university, proving that the candidate has successfully completed the physiotherapy program and is eligible for graduation.

Initial Eligibility for Internationally-educated candidates 

Before being permitted to attempt the Written Component of the PCE, internationally-educated candidates must have written confirmation of eligibility from the CAPR Credentialling Program indicating that the candidate has successfully met the CAPR Credentialling Standards, which require a physiotherapy education that is deemed not substantially different from that of a Canadian-educated candidate, as well as proof of language proficiency in English or French.

All candidates, both Canadian-educated or internationally-educated, must pass the Written Component to be eligible to attempt the Clinical Component of the PCE.

Retaking the Exam – Current Candidates 

All candidates, whether Canadian-educated or internationally-educated, have a maximum of 3 attempts to pass the Written Component of the PCE and a maximum of 3 attempts to pass the Clinical Component of the PCE. After 3 failed attempts at either component, a candidate has exhausted his or her exam eligibility. This applies to all new candidates and candidates who attempted the Written Component for the first time in 2013 or later. These candidates are referred to as Section A candidates.

Retaking the Exam – Candidates Starting Prior to 2013

All candidates, whether Canadian-educated or internationally-educated, who prior to 2013 attempted the Written Component of the PCE for the first time (referred to as Section B candidates) have a maximum of 5 attempts to pass the Written Component and a maximum of 5 attempts to pass the Clinical Component, as was the policy in place at the time of their first attempt. After 5 failed attempts at either component, a candidate has exhausted his or her exam eligibility.

 

Candidate Identification

As of January 1, 2019, CAPR will no longer require candidates to provide a Declaration of Identity Form (DIF) as a proof of identity when registering for the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE).

Each candidate is required to provide 1 colour passport sized/quality photograph taken within 6 months of the date of applying for their initial written exam should that candidate be educated in Canada (CEPT). On the back of the photograph, you must provide your name (printed), the date the photograph was taken, and your signature.

For Internationally educated candidates (IEPT’s), please see the Credentialling policy guideline for more information on what is required from you.

The lifespan of the candidate’s photograph will remain the same as the Declaration of Identity. Following 5 years (starting from the date of the candidates initial application), the candidate is responsible for ensuring that a new photograph is sent in prior to registering for their next exam. Applicants who change their appearance during the PCE process must submit a new photograph. The photographs submitted will be used to check identity when applicants arrive to take the PCE. Applicants whose appearance does not match the photograph and information prepared for the PCE may not be able to take the exam.

Should other forms of information change such as your name, please complete and send in a change of information form along with all relevant supporting documentation.

 

Scoring

We score the two parts of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination independently. You must successfully complete the Written Component (Qualifying Exam) to advance to the Clinical Component (Physiotherapy National Exam). You must successfully complete the Clinical Component to receive a certificate of successful completion of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination.

 

Written Component (Qualifying Exam)

To pass the Written Component, you must achieve an overall score of 330 or higher on the standard score scale.

Your Standard Score

We convert your number of correct answers to a standard score so that we can compare candidates’ scores from different sittings of the exam. Your standard score is not equal to the number of questions you answered correctly on the exam.

Understanding Your Standard Score

The average score for all Canadian-educated candidates taking the exam for the first time is set at 500. The standard deviation of the scale is set at 100. These values allow you to see whether your score is above or below the average score. If your score is higher than 500, your exam performance was better than the average performance of the Canadian-educated candidates taking the exam for the first time. If your score is below 500, your performance was below that average.

Your Performance Profile

To give you more information on your performance, we also give your score for each area of practice and function (sub-scores). These sub-scores are expressed as percentage correct. We also provide the mean percentage correct for all the candidates who took that particular exam.

 

Clinical Component (Physiotherapy National Exam)

We score the Clinical Component of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination on three criteria. You must meet all three criteria in order to pass the exam.

Your station score for ten-minute stations represents how many checklist items you did correctly (80 percent of the station score) and how the examiners rated your performance and communication (20 percent of the station score).

Your station score for five-minute stations represents how many checklist items you did correctly (40 percent of the station score) and how the examiners rated your performance (10 percent of the station score) in the clinical encounter, plus how you scored on the written portion of the station (50 percent of the station score).

Total Score

Your total score is the average of your station scores, converted to a standard score. To meet this criterion, you must achieve a minimum overall score.

Meeting the total score criterion shows that you have demonstrated an overall minimum standard over a range of knowledge, skills and abilities. The total score does not provide information about specific areas of practice or functions where you may have gaps in your knowledge, skills or abilities.

Number of Stations

To meet this criterion, you must pass a minimum number of stations.

Meeting the Number of Stations criterion shows that you have performed satisfactorily on a minimum number of sets of items. The number-of-stations criterion will identify frequent or systematic gaps in your knowledge, skills and abilities. The number-of-stations criterion prevents you from passing the Clinical Component if you do well in some stations but badly in others. By doing so, it ensures that you show consistent knowledge, skills and abilities from station to station.

Critical Incidents

To meet this criterion, you can have no more than two minor safety or professionalism violations during the exam, and you cannot have any major safety or professionalism violations.

Examiners write down any critical incidents, which are actions or behaviours that cause concern about your ability to practise physiotherapy safely and professionally. The Board of Examiners reviews these critical incidents and decides whether each identified incident is a safety or professional violation. They consider many factors, including the accuracy and completeness of the examiner’s documentation, the planned portrayal by the standardized client, relevant literature, past decisions on similar critical incidents, and the professional judgment of the Board members.

For more information on scoring, see Frequently Asked Questions in the “Exam” section of our website, www.alliancept.org.

 

Exam Results

Results for the Written Component will be sent by mail to the applicant’s address within 6 weeks of the examination. Results for the Clinical Component will be mailed within 12 weeks of the exam.

Canadian-educated exam applicants must make sure that CAPR has received the final official transcript directly from their university program before clinical exam results can be released.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that CAPR has their current address and should not phone, fax or email CAPR asking for exam results.

Exam results (Pass/Fail) will be posted on the website (www.alliancept.org) on the same day that they are mailed. CAPR will send each candidate an email with their PIN and a link to the results.

 

Re-Taking the Exam

Policy 8: Merged with Policy 4 in April 2018.

Please refer to Policy 4 – Eligibility to Take the Physiotherapy Competency Exam

 

Re-scoring, Administrative Reconsideration and Appeals

Re-scoring

Candidates who wish to have their exam scored again must make that request in writing within 30 days of the date on the exam results letter received from CAPR. The request to re-score must be submitted along with the completed re-scoring form and required fee and addressed to:

Exam Program, Re-scoring Request

Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators

Suite 501 – 1243 Islington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M8X 1Y9.

Re-scoring involves checking to make sure that a candidate received credit for all correct answers. Exam results rarely change following re-scoring. If re-scoring changes an exam result from a fail to a pass, the re-scoring fee will be refunded (for more information, see the FAQs).

 

Administrative Reconsideration

Date Approved: April 20, 2005

Date Effective:  April 20, 2005

Date Revised: December 10, 2019

Scope

This policy applies to all candidates who have failed a component of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE).

Principles

This policy has been developed in accordance with provincial fair access and registration legislation.

Definitions

“Administrative Issues” are examination day occurrences or omissions that deviate significantly from the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators’ (CAPR) examination administration standards or procedures, which could reasonably be expected to negatively impact the candidate’s examination result or place the candidate at a disadvantage relative to other candidates as the circumstances relate to demonstration of competence.

“Extraordinary circumstances” means situations outside of the control of the candidate and shall be determined to be extraordinary in the sole discretion of the Investigator or Chief Executive Officer. Extraordinary circumstances may include family emergencies.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the Administrative Reconsideration standards and the process that may be initiated by candidates who have failed a component of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination.

Policy

Candidates may apply for an Administrative Reconsideration of their examination result in the following circumstances:

  • Where the candidate experiences ill‐health on the day of the examination and there is a reasonable possibility that this negatively affected their examination result; or
  • Where the candidate believes that there are administrative issues that negatively affected their examination result or placed them at a disadvantage relative to other candidates as the circumstances relate to demonstration of competence; or
  • Where extraordinary circumstances exist and there is a reasonable possibility that the extraordinary circumstances negatively affected the candidate’s examination result.

All applications for Administrative Reconsideration shall be set out in writing, detailing the reason(s) for the request and all particulars necessary to allow the Administrative Reconsideration to be adjudicated. Applications for Administrative Reconsideration, and the associated required documentation, must be delivered to CAPR’s office within the following timeframes:

  • Seven (7) calendar days of the date of the relevant examination for requests for Administrative Reconsideration based on ill‐health on the day of the examination;
  • 30 calendar days of the date on the candidate’s examination results letter for requests for Administrative Reconsideration based on grounds other than ill‐health on the day of the examination.

Supporting Documentation

  • Requests based on ill‐health on the day of the examination should be accompanied by documentation, or the Candidate Medical Certificate, completed by an appropriate regulated health professional;
  • Requests based on administrative reasons or extraordinary circumstances should be accompanied by any available supporting documentation relevant to the circumstances;
  • Information about performance on undergraduate placements, letters of reference, and financial status will not be considered as part of the Administrative Reconsideration process.

Upon receipt of the relevant documents and associated fee, CAPR will appoint an Examinations Officer to conduct an internal review of the documents provided by the candidate, as well as any other information deemed relevant. A letter outlining the rationale for the decision, and the associated outcome(s), will be issued to the candidate by the National Director of Evaluation Services.

Potential Outcomes

  • The application for Administrative Reconsideration is granted. If this is the case, the following will occur:
    • The exam attempt will not be counted in the candidate’s exam history.
    • If the source of the Administrative Reconsideration was due to administrative issues as defined by CAPR, the associated fees of the application for Administrative Reconsideration will be refunded and the candidate’s next attempt at the relevant component will be free of charge.
  • The application for Administrative Reconsideration is denied. If this is the case, the candidate may apply for an Appeal of their Administrative Reconsidering outcome.  (see Appeal Policy for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination).

Note: The outcome of an application for Administrative Reconsideration will not include overturning a fail to a pass.

 

Appeal Policy

Date Approved: April 20, 2005

Date Effective:  April 20, 2005

Date Revised: December 10, 2019

Scope

This policy applies to all candidates who are not satisfied with the outcome of their Administrative Reconsideration.

Principles

This policy has been developed in accordance with provincial fair access and registration legislation.

Definitions

“Appeals Resource Group” is a pool of individuals appointed by the Evaluation Services Committee of the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) to provide membership to an Appeal Panel that reviews Appeals of Credentialling and Examination Administrative Reconsideration decisions.

“Appeal Panel” is the panel appointed from the Appeals Resource Group to review a particular appeal. The Chief Executive Officer of the CAPR facilitates this review but is not a member of an Appeal Panel. From time to time, an Appeal Panel may be augmented by external experts when further expertise is required.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the Appeal standards and the process that may be initiated by candidates who are not satisfied with the outcome of their Administrative Reconsideration.

Policy

If a candidate is not satisfied with the outcome of their Administrative Reconsideration, they may Appeal.

All requests for Appeal shall be set out in writing, detailing the reason(s) for the request and all particulars necessary to allow the Appeal to be adjudicated. Requests for Appeal must be received in CAPR’s office within 30 calendar days of the date of the Administrative Reconsideration decision.

Candidates should submit any additional information that they deem relevant to their Appeal. Information regarding performance on undergraduate placements, letters of reference, and financial status will not be considered as part of the Appeal process.

CAPR Appeal hearings are generally in writing only; however, candidates may request an opportunity to make an oral presentation to the Appeal Panel. Candidates requesting to make an oral presentation must make this request at the same time as written documents are submitted outlining why the request is necessary. The Appeal Panel will consider this request and determine whether an oral presentation is warranted. All oral submissions are made to the Appeal Panel via teleconference during the Appeal Panel meeting; the onus is on the candidate to make themselves available at this time.

Upon receipt of the relevant documents and associated fee, the Appeal process will be initiated. An Appeal Panel will review the original documents, the Administrative Reconsideration decision, and any additional information provided by the candidate and/or CAPR staff.  The Appeal Panel will determine whether the issues raised by the candidate could have significantly affected their result and whether the outcome of the Administrative Reconsideration was reasonable given the available evidence. A written Appeal report, documenting the Appeal Panel decision and signed by the Chief Executive Officer, shall be provided to the candidate. The report will include the outcome of the Appeal and reasons for the decision.

Potential Outcomes

  • The application for Appeal is granted. If this is the case, the following will occur:
    • The exam attempt will not be counted in the candidate’s exam history.
    • If the source of the Appeal was due to administrative issues as defined by CAPR, the associated fees of the applications for Appeal and Administrative Reconsideration will be refunded and the candidate’s next attempt at the relevant component will be free of charge.
  • The application for Appeal is denied.

An Appeal is the final level of review; as such, the decision of the Appeal Panel shall be final and binding upon the candidate.

 

Additional Information

Limitations

We cannot advise or provide details on matters under the jurisdiction of other institutions or governments, such as:

  • Regulations, statutes or policies governing physiotherapy licensing or registration;
  • Opportunities for general or specific experience;
  • Training or employment opportunities;
  • Agreements between physiotherapy licensing bodies within or outside Canada;
  • The conditions imposed by the Government of Canada for immigration;
  • Scholarships or funding;
  • Income tax

 

Limits of CAPR’s Liability

Before you register for the PCE, you must read and understand the limits of liability. You must tell interested parties, such as potential or current employers, about the limits of liability.

While the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) takes reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information, resources and reports, neither CAPR nor any of its officers, employees or agents shall be responsible for damages or losses in the event of any errors or omissions, or liable for any damages or losses incurred by a candidate, an employer or a contractor as a result of any decision made by or on behalf of CAPR or any of its officers, employees or agents. This means that CAPR is not responsible for impacts of a personal, professional or financial nature. This includes such impacts as loss of income, loss of salary and expenses incurred by an employer, a contractor or a candidate.

By registering for and participating in the PCE, you agree that you will take no legal action or other proceedings against CAPR or any of its officers, employees or agents for anything done in good faith related to the PCE, including any errors, omissions, neglect or default. You also agree to fully release and indemnify CAPR, its officers, employees and agents for any such actions or proceedings. This means that CAPR will not be responsible for any loss of income or other expenses incurred by you or an employer or contractor due to a decision made by CAPR related to the PCE, and that you agree not to take legal action against CAPR.

 

Financial Assistance

We do not offer financial assistance or information on possible sources of financial assistance. We cannot dismiss or change exam fees except as noted elsewhere in the policies.

CAPR is a non-profit organization. The money we need to administer the Physiotherapy Competency Examination comes from the exam fees we collect.

 

Research

We conduct research using non-identifying exam data, and we may also provide this data to external researchers. Non-identifying exam data is data from your exam, such as your answers and marks that does not include your name or identification number and cannot be traced back to you. By signing the application form, you are consenting to the use of non-identifying data for research purposes.

 

Privacy Policy

We collect, use and disclose our candidates’ personal information responsibly and only as permitted by law. Please see our Privacy Policy for more details. It is available on line at our website, www.alliancept.org.

 

Confidentiality and Security of Exam Material

CAPR maintains strict security over exam content before, during and after the exam to eliminate unfair advantages among candidates and to avoid the costs of replacing exam questions if cheating occurs.

All exam materials are protected by copyright. Our security measures protect exam material while it is being developed and reviewed; while it is being reproduced, transported and disposed of; and while it is being presented on the exam day.

We strictly enforce the rules of conduct for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination and exam security, as described in section 12. Candidates who do not follow the rules of conduct may be asked to leave the exam site, may not receive results of the exam, or may have their results cancelled.

Please note that we may use monitoring and surveillance technologies to detect and document cheating.

 

Rules of Conduct for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination and Exam Security

By participating in the Physiotherapy Competency Examination, you agree to the following rules:

The Physiotherapy Competency Examination and its contents are the exclusive property of the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR).

You cannot remove any part of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination from the exam site, or memorize/ record questions for distribution.

Your behaviour before, during and after the exam cannot disturb other candidates or cause them anxiety. Do not make disruptive comments about the exam, unnecessarily question exam policies and procedures or engage in other behaviour that could disturb other candidates.

If you cheat, as defined below, we may ask you to leave the exam site, we may decide not to mark your exam or we may take other appropriate action.

It is assumed that you are in the PCE participating in a good faith attempt to pass. Any actions or behaviors in contravention of this assumption will be considered “cheating.” This includes anything that could affect your results, the results of another candidate or the results of a potential future candidate. It also includes behaviours that CAPR considers analogous to cheating, such as modifying Alliance documents in order to give the false impression of having passed the exam. Some examples of cheating are listed below; however, this list is not exhaustive:

  • Non-registered individuals posing as registered candidates.
  • Bringing study materials to the exam room(s), or any other material that has not been expressly permit- ted, including electronic devices.
  • Giving or receiving help during the exam.
  • Engaging in any conduct during the exam that disturbs or is disrespectful towards other candidates or exam staff.
  • Removing or trying to remove exam materials from the exam site.
  • Receiving or distributing information about the Written Component or the Clinical Component either before or after the exam.¹ You cannot share information about the diagnoses, tasks or activities that are included in the exam. Do not discuss information about Clinical Component stations with other candidates or examiners, even after the exam.
  • Commencing the exam before being instructed to do so and/or continuing the exam after being told to cease.
  • Disregarding instructions from the exam supervisor, invigilator or any exam staff.
  • Modifying exam results letters or other Alliance documentation to give a false impression of having passed the exam, or misrepresenting your exam status.
  • Any activity that would be considered illegal, such as assault, harassment, or theft.
1 You must maintain the same strict confidentiality with station information that you would with patient information. Candidates who have failed the exam but who learn about questions and stations in discussions after the exam will have an unfair advantage on future exams. (In other words, they can pass a station because they already know about the station.)

 

Actions of CAPR in the Event of Suspected Cheating

  1. If the exam personnel suspect that you are cheating, they may take your exam materials, as well as any other documents, objects or materials that could be used for cheating, and make you or others leave the exam site. The exam personnel report any suspected cheating to the Manager of Operations – Examinations of CAPR.
  2. The Manager of Operations – Examinations conducts appropriate investigations into all suspected cheating. You will have an opportunity to submit a written response to the suspicion of cheating.
  3. The Exam Steering Group reviews the results of the investigation, including your response. It asks for any additional investigations it believes are necessary and makes one of the following decisions:
    • Declare that we cannot confirm whether you cheated.
    • Declare that you may have cheated, and recommend appropriate sanctions.
  4. The Exam Steering Group will forward a declaration of possible cheating to the Evaluation Services Committee. The Evaluation Services Committee will review the investigation and the recommended sanctions and will make one of the following decisions:
    • Declare that we cannot confirm that you
    • Declare that you did cheat, and approve the sanctions.
  5. If the recommended sanctions include a permanent ban on testing, termination of a contract or initiation of legal action, the Evaluation Services Committee will forward the recommendation to the Executive Committee for review and
  6. If the Exam Steering Group or the Evaluation Services Committee declares that we cannot prove cheating occurred, we will release your score, if possible, or we will let you take the next available exam without charge.
  7. CAPR reserves the right to begin an investigation into suspected cheating at any time before, during or after the Physiotherapy Competency Examination is administered.
  8. If the Evaluation Services Committee declares that cheating did occur, one or more of the following will happen:
    • We will record your exam result as “undetermined.”
    • If we allow you to take the exam again, we will take special measures (at your expense) to prevent you from cheating
    • We will report our findings to the physiotherapy regulators.

In addition, the Executive Committee may approve the following sanctions:

  • We may permanently ban you from testing. This means you would not be eligible to write the exam again.
  • We may take legal action against you.

We do not need to hold a hearing if we give you at least 2 weeks to respond in writing to the allegation of cheating. You can appeal the Evaluation Services Committee’s decision. (See section 9.)

 

Alternative Accommodations

The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) is committed to providing accessible and equitable service to all exam candidates, including administering the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. CAPR will make the PCE accessible to persons with disabilities to the extent possible, including making arrangements for alternative accommodations available to candidates who have provided evidence of documented needs.

In reviewing accommodation requests, CAPR must balance the rights of the individual examination candidate with its mandate to protect the public interest through a fair, secure, valid and reliable licensing exam.

Principles

In supporting individuals requesting accommodation for the PCE, CAPR will base its decision on the following fundamental principles:

  1. The protection of an individual’s rights to demonstrate competency in physiotherapy practice within the context of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE).
  2. The protection of personal, private information, including personal health information. CAPR will only release personal and/or personal health information for the purposes of determining the most appropriate accommodation. In doing so, CAPR will provide the client seeking an accommodation with access to his or her own records, and be completely transparent regarding how the health information is used.
  3. The regulatory duty to protect the public. CAPR will comply with its regulatory duty to protect the public interest by ensuring a reliable and fair exam that assesses whether or not a candidate has the abilities, knowledge and skills to conduct safe, effective independent physiotherapy

To Legislative References

  1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”¹ CAPR reaffirms its commitment to this individual right, and is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodations to exam candidates who require
  2. Protection of Personal Health Information Privacy Act: “A health information custodian shall not collect, use or disclose personal health information about an individual unless,

(a) it has the individual’s consent under this Act and the collection, use or disclosure, as the case may be, to the best of the custodian’s knowledge, is necessary for a lawful purpose; or

(b) the collection, use or disclosure, as the case may be, is permitted or required by this Act. 2004, c. 3, Sched. A, s. 29.

1 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Article 15(1). February 12, 2013. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html

 

Definitions

For the purpose of the policy, CAPR defines disability in keeping with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001:

“Disability” means,

  • any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or  device,
  • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language, or
  • a mental disorder¹

CAPR notes that it does not differentiate between permanent and temporary disabilities when considering requests for accommodation.

1 Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001. Article 2(1). February 12, 2013. http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_ statutes_01o32_e.ht

 

Policy

CAPR will review requests for accommodation on a case-by-case basis to ensure that candidates seeking accommodation receive a fair and equal chance to demonstrate the required knowledge, skills and abilities for entry to practice, without compromising the exam’s reliability, validity or security. All requests are confidential and shall only be discussed between CAPR, the candidate seeking accommodation and, if necessary, a third-party consultant (see below for details).

The following is a list of the types of accommodations that may be used by CAPR. This list is not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive:

  • A reader to read the exam to the candidate
  • A recorder to record the candidate’s answers
  • Access to food /drink during the exam and/or during approved scheduled breaks
  • Extra time to complete the exam
  • A private room for the exam candidate
  • Access to medicine during the exam or during approved scheduled breaks

Any individuals involved (e.g. a reader or recorder) in providing or supporting an approved accommodation must sign an agreement with CAPR stating that they will not provide any assistance to the candidate other than that agreed to by CAPR in the context of the accommodation, or attempt to copy or recall any exam materials. Doing so will be considered a breach of CAPR’s Rules of Conduct for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination and Exam Security.

 

Procedure

Notwithstanding the usual requirements for submission of requests for alternative accommodations, for situations of recent injury and illness which occur immediately prior to exam date, candidates may request accommodations on a shorter timeline. These requests are an exception to normal business procedures and must be made as soon as possible prior to exam date.

CAPR will officially respond to all requests for accommodation in writing, and is responsible for the cost of providing accommodations to the point of undue hardship.

By requesting alternative accommodations, the candidate agrees that CAPR may disclose his/her name and the accommodation provided to physiotherapy regulators.

The offer of accommodations for the exam does not obligate CAPR to offer the same, or other, accommodations for any future administration of the exam.

CAPR reserves the right to deny accommodations if sufficient evidence has not been provided to support the accommodation request, or if CAPR determines that the accommodation is unreasonable or practically not possible (e.g. would compromise the validity of the exam or its security, or would result in unfair advantage).

Candidates previously awarded accommodations by their university-level physiotherapy education program may provide a copy of those accommodations, as well as authorization for CAPR to contact their program. CAPR will consider accommodations that have been awarded by an educational program, but is not bound to provide the same accommodations in the PCE.

In accordance with CAPR’s Privacy Policy, all medical and supporting documentation submitted will be kept confidential by CAPR, and will be used exclusively for the purpose of assisting CAPR in determining suitable accommodations.

The final decision regarding an accommodation request is primarily the responsibility of CAPR National Director of Evaluation Services, in collaboration with the Manager of Operations – Examinations, but may include the Evaluation Services Committee or the Board of Directors, depending on the nature of the accommodation. CAPR’s decision will be communicated in writing to the candidate, and the candidate must indicate their satisfaction with the accommodation by signing and returning the final accommodation plan with original signature to CAPR prior to the examination date.

CAPR may request third-party input from a psycho-educational consultant, which may also include a review of psycho-educational supporting documentation provided by the candidate. If CAPR determines that such a consultation is required to develop the accommodation plan, CAPR will request specific consent from the exam candidate to share the supporting documentation to enable this review. Any reports produced by the consultant will be considered the property of CAPR.

 

Resources

Available on CAPR website, www.alliancept.org.

The Essential Exam-Taker Guide includes

  • Information on preparing for the exam
  • Information on exam-day procedures
  • A description of what is included on the exam
  • Written Component sample questions
  • Clinical Component sample

 

PCE Candidate Video

The orientation videos help candidates be better prepared for the exam-day process and is designed to help exam candidates develop a better understanding of the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE), and in particular the Part Two Clinical Exam (OSCE) process.

 

FAQs

Has a wealth of answers to frequently asked questions related to the PCE.

 

Most Common Candidate Errors

This document aims to raise awareness of the common errors candidates often make during the PCE Clinical exam (OSCE).

 

Tips for Candidates

This document highlights some of the most important things to remember about the PCE Clinical Exam (OSCE).

 

Tips for Candidates Quiz

This interactive tool allows candidates to try and see how many tips they have been able to remember.

 

PCE Key Reference List

This is a list of references and resources that CAPR uses to prepare exam questions and stations. You may want to study some of these references.

 

External Resources

Bridging Programs for Internationally Educated Physiotherapists

We strongly recommend that you complete the CAPR credentialling process prior to applying to any of the below Bridging Programs.

 Alberta
Ontario
  • For OIEPB Program please review information posted at physicaltherapy.utoronto.ca/iept. Questions about Admission or the Bridging Program should be directed to (416) 946-8560.
British Columbia
  • For questions related to the IEPEP Program, please review information at http://www.iepbc.ca/. Or contact the Program Administrator at: admin@ubc.ca, Tel: (604) 827-5934.
Quebec

We encourage you to review these resources well in advance of taking any components of the PCE exam.

 

Contacting CAPR

Our contact information is on page 3 of the Exam Policies.

The exam department will answer any questions you have about the exam, policies and applications. Whenever you phone, write or email to us, please tell us your personal identification number (PIN).

If you want to authorize someone else to represent you and to act or receive information on your behalf, you need to sign a power of attorney document. After you send us an original notarized power of attorney, we will give information, correspondence and results to you or to your representative. We will not give information to your representative over the telephone.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, please see our website, www.alliancept.org.

 

Description of the Exam

Written Component (Qualifying Exam)

The Written Component is a four-hour computer-based exam with 200 multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge of all functions and practice areas. Approximately 90 percent of the questions on the Written Component are associated with a vignette (a case scenario). The remaining 10 percent of the questions are stand-alone items. Chapter 3 of the Essential Exam-Taker Guide for the Candidates has sample questions.

The exam will test you on physiotherapy functions: assessment and evaluation; interpretation, planning, intervention and re-evaluation; and professional responsibilities. The questions will be distributed across these functions approximately as follows:

  • assessment and evaluation (30–40 percent);
  • interpretation, planning, intervention and re-evaluation (45–55 percent);
  • professional responsibilities (10–20 percent).

Questions will be distributed across areas of practice approximately as follows:

  • the neuromusculoskeletal system (45–55 percent);
  • the neurological system (15–25 percent);
  • the cardiopulmonary-vascular system (10–20 percent);
  • multisystem (10–20 percent).

The questions are multiple-choice, with four possible answers. You must choose the one best answer for each question.

 

Clinical Component (Physiotherapy National Exam)

The Clinical Component is approximately three and a half hours of exam time, with extra time for registration, orientation and breaks, for a total time of approximately five to six hours. We will assign you to either a morning session or an afternoon session.

In the Clinical Component, you move through a series of 16 clinical stations. In each station, a brief written statement will introduce a clinical problem and ask you to obtain a focused history, conduct a focused physical examination, develop a treatment plan or perform an intervention and, in some cases, answer some written or oral questions.

In the Clinical Component, the questions will be distributed across physiotherapy functions approximately as follows:

  • assessment and evaluation (30–40 percent);
  • interpretation, planning, intervention and re-evaluation (45–55 percent);
  • professional responsibilities (10–20 percent).

Questions will be distributed across areas of practice approximately as follows:

  • the neuromusculoskeletal system (45–55 percent);
  • the neurological system (15–25 percent);
  • the cardiopulmonary-vascular system (10–20 percent);
  • multisystem (10–20 percent).

On an exam of 16 stations, 8 will be neuromusculoskeletal stations, 3 to 4 will be neurological, 2 to 3 will be cardiopulmonary-vascular, and 2 to 3 will be multisystem.

The guidelines we use to administer the Clinical Component and train the examiners and standardized clients are the same for all sites. Examiners use predetermined station content checklists to assess your performance. These measures ensure that the Clinical Component is objective. Examiners give scores based on your performance at each station. The overall score for the exam is the sum of station scores.

During clinical encounters and at written stations, you may be asked to perform, demonstrate or list a specific number of responses. We assume that you will choose the best of the options available to you. In many stations, the best answer will be worth extra marks.

You must bring a lab coat and a stethoscope. We will provide any other equipment that you need in the stations.

We will provide refreshments during the exam. We will not allow any other equipment or food in the exam area.

We will provide hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands at the beginning of each station. You should take all other infection control precautions as indicated by the clinical situation.

You will receive detailed information on exam-day procedures with your registration package.

 

Station Descriptions for the Clinical Component

There are two types of clinical stations: couplet stations and ten-minute stations. Written instructions are posted outside each exam room and inside each station.

Couplet Stations: Five-Minute Clinical Encounter plus Five-Minute Written Station

Five-Minute Clinical Encounter

We will ask you to do one or more of the following:

  • Obtain a focused
  • Conduct a focused physical
  • Perform an

An examiner will watch you and assess your performance using a predetermined checklist.

 

Five-Minute Written Station

After each five-minute clinical encounter, you must complete a five-minute written station consisting of short-answer questions. The questions will ask you to do one or more of the following:

  • Record findings from the previous clinical
  • Suggest a physiotherapy
  • Interpret X-rays, laboratory results,
  • Suggest an investigation or management

A signal system is used to time the stations. You must wait for the signal before moving from one station to the next. The signal sounds to start the station, again when 30 seconds remain, and again at the end of five minutes, when you must leave the room. You have one minute to move from one station to the next.

 

Ten-Minute Stations

Ten-minute stations assess your ability to obtain a history, conduct a physical examination, demonstrate inter- viewing and communication skills, apply treatment skills or perform interventions. An examiner will watch you and assess your performance using a predetermined checklist.

A signal system is used to time the stations. You must wait for the signal before moving from one station to the next. A signal sounds to start the station, again when two minutes remain, and again at the end of ten minutes, when you must leave the room. You have two minutes to move from one station to the next.

In most ten-minute stations, you will interact with a standardized client for ten minutes. In a few stations, you will interact with the client for eight minutes, and then for two minutes the examiner will ask you brief questions related to the case. The examiner will listen to your answers and evaluate them using a predetermined checklist. Instructions posted outside the stations will let you know which stations have examiner questions.