Assessment overview

Beginning in 2011, the MCC has exhaustively examined its assessment process, collaborating with all medical regulatory authorities, faculties, certification colleges, and other stakeholders.
This process identified areas for improvement, including:

  1. The need for more opportunities to take and retake the MCCQE Part I.
  2. The need to simplify and streamline the evaluation process for international medical graduates (IMGs).
  3. Additional preparatory material for the MCCQE Part I and Part II.
  4. A re-examination of the purpose and mandate of the NAC exam.
The new MCC assessment Blueprint and the Assessment Evolution initiative address all three concerns.

Furthermore, on March 31, 2015, the Government of Canada (Foreign Credentials Recognition Program – Labour Market Integration) announced the approval of $6.7 million over 3.5 years to the MCC for Streamlined and Equitable Assessment for Foreign-Trained Physicians. This funding will support an international and more flexible delivery of the MCCQE Part I, starting in 2019.

Important information

The transition to the internationally delivered MCCQE Part I will involve several important changes.

  1. As of 2019, IMGs will no longer be required to pass the MCCEE before taking the MCCQE Part I or the NAC Examination. This means that IMGs will be able to directly challenge an examination (MCCQE Part I) that is more difficult and includes content that specifically assesses knowledge and clinical decision-making related to practising medicine in Canada.
  2. A new passing standard will be implemented for the NAC Examination, MCCQE Part I and MCCQE Part II. This new standard will be first applied during the following exams:

    • NAC Examination (exact session to be determined)
    • Spring 2018 MCCQE Part I
    • Fall 2018 MCCQE Part II

Other changes include:

  1. More opportunities to take and retake the MCCQE Part I – four to five times per year versus the current two times per year. It will also be offered in vendor centres around the world in multi-week windows.
  2. New preparatory materials.
  3. Changes to both MCCQE Part I and Part II to align with the new Blueprint. Specifically, there will be greater focus on health promotion, illness prevention and psychosocial factors – as well as communication with patient families, with other professionals, and with colleagues.
The following timeline shows important dates related to these changes:
MCC Assessment Evolution timeline

Preparatory material
To mitigate the higher level of difficulty compared to the current entry exam, the MCCEE, IMGs will be supported by new preparatory material. The new material will include:

  • A multiple-choice questions test and clinical decision making test – new, enhanced examinations, including content related to multiple-choice and clinical decision making. Each test will represent a sampling of the MCCQE Part I.
  • Preparatory Examinations (PE) – complete MCCQE Part I test forms that will simulate the exam experience, and provide candidates with question-level feedback
  • Orientation self-study program on topics such as communication and cultural competency as well as the ethical, legal, and organizational aspects of medicine
The orientation self-study program is currently available on physiciansapply.ca, while the new multiple-choice questions test, clinical decision making test and Preparatory Examinations will be made available on mcc.ca starting in 2018.