Update on the PCE

Update on the PCE

October 22, 2021

We would like to provide an update about the Physiotherapy Competency Examination and the approach to be taken by the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba.

As you are probably aware, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) has attempted to hold virtual examinations in place of the face-to-face competency examinations that were the “norm” in the past. The move to a virtual examination was a result of the COVID 19 pandemic and the resulting Public Health Orders that required people to stay home, stay distanced, wear PPE, not travel, and more recently, become vaccinated.

The virtual exam was attempted in March 2021 and September 2021 and the technology was really not advanced far enough, to make these types of exams run smoothly. Consequently, both the March and September examinations failed and all clinical exams have now been cancelled.

CAPR is now working on initiating a new face to face examination for 2022. We do not know the dates yet and no registrations are currently being accepted.

This situation left a large number of Examination Candidates in a difficult situation regarding their ability to enter the profession as fully licensed physiotherapists. While our number in Manitoba is small, some provinces have a thousand people caught in limbo. CPM had 97 people registered on the Examination Candidate Register up until recently.

The Registrar has been involved in frequent meetings with the other physiotherapy provincial Registrars to discuss what each province is doing, given their current provincial legislation, to get Examination Candidates fully registered.

CPM has looked at collaborating with several other provinces to develop and hold an interim examination. We have talked to a number of people who have been involved with holding previous Physiotherapy Competency Examinations in Winnipeg. However, holding an interim examination in Winnipeg is not feasible. So we looked at other avenues.

Two Manitoba Examination Candidates undertook the September virtual Clinical Examination prior to it being cancelled. The Board of Assessors, which is the committee of CPM which makes registration decisions, were able to get raw score data on the two Examination Candidates and determined that the scores appeared to be high enough to permit full registration on the Active Practice Register. Both Exam Candidates have now transferred their registration and are practicing independently. CPM congratulates both of these registrants as they have been patiently and professionally, waiting for decisions to be made and were in fact two of our longer standing members on the Examination Candidate Register.

Next the Board of Assessors decided to set criteria which would allow them to use Regulation 4 (2) which recognizes prior learning and experience of Examination Candidates. This will be an interim measure to allow registrants on the Examination Candidate Register in Manitoba, who meet certain criteria, to apply for a transfer of registration to the Active Practice Register. Once the Clinical Component of the PCE is again running, this option will not be available to registrants on the Examination Candidate Register. It is meant to be a COVID related interim measure. Should registrants be transferred to the Active Practice Register through this “prior learning and experience” criterion, CPM cannot guarantee that all provinces will accept this examination exemption should the individual decide to move away from Manitoba. However, the individuals will be permitted to practice in Manitoba without having to take the Clinical Component.

The criteria that has been established by the Board of Assessors is as follows:

  • The Examination Candidate has no current, unresolved complaint(s) against them.
  • They have been on the Examination Candidate Register in Manitoba for a minimum of 12 consecutive months with no attempts at the Clinical Component of the PCE OR have been on the Examination Candidate Register for a minimum of 18 months and have had one failed attempt at the Clinical Component of the PCE.
  • They have practiced a minimum of 1200 clinical hours in physiotherapy within the last year (e.g., from November 2020 to November 2021) and can show proof of these hours to CPM.
  • They have an Assessment of Clinical Practice (ACP) evaluation form on file with CPM which has been completed by their supervisor within the last 6 months.

The Board of Assessors may request additional information from the Examination Candidate or the Supervisor when considering applications for the Active Practice Register.

Examination Candidates who have been on the Examination Candidate Register for 11 months or more, will be sent an application form next week to request a change to the Active Practice Register. The Board of Assessors will review the applications at their next meeting to be held in November.

If you are an Examination Candidate who does not receive the application form next week, please contact the CPM office (204-287-8502) as we may not have your current contact information on file.

Council and the Board of Assessors recognize the stress that has been placed on registrants of the Examination Candidate Register through this difficult time. We know that this seems to have taken a long time to get to this point where CPM can offer solutions to the problem. We also realize that the whole system of supervising students and new grads, as well as internationally educated physiotherapists, has been difficult for the University as well as those registrants who supervise the Exam Candidates. CPM appreciates your patience as we work through these difficult decisions.

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