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MOC Program frequently asked questions

How do I know if a conference held in Canada qualifies for Section 1 of the MOC Program?

In Canada, conferences, courses, workshops and seminars must be approved by an accredited CPD provider. Section 1 approval will be recognized by the following statement on program materials: "This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by [accredited provider's name]." (Please refer to the next question regarding the exception.)


I participated in a group learning activity in Canada approved for AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Are these credits approved for MOC Section 1?

Group learning activities held in Canada but developed by Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)-accredited physician organizations (university, academy, specialty society, hospital department etc.) can be recorded as accredited activities under Section 1 of the MOC Program.


Where can I report my attendance at a conference held outside of Canada or a conference held overseas?

All live conferences or live courses held outside of Canada can be reported as accredited group learning activities under Section 1 of the MOC Program if they are developed by a university, academy, college, academic institution or physician organization.


I participated in an online group learning course approved for AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Are these credits approved for MOC Section 1?

Online group learning courses do not automatically qualify for Section 1 credits in the MOC Program. All web-based group learning activities must be reviewed and approved directly by a Royal College Accredited CPD Provider and if approved, would contain the Royal College accreditation statement.


I attended an educational dinner event hosted by a pharmaceutical company. Where can I record these hours?

These hours cannot be claimed for credit within the MOC Program. However, this event may encourage you to continue your learning and develop a personal learning project (see PLP question).


Can working or clinical rounds be self-approved for MOC Section 1 credits?

No. In order for rounds, journal clubs or small group learning activities to be self-approved for MOC Section 1 credits, they must meet the accreditation standards as defined by the Royal College. These standards include the establishment of a planning committee, the development of learning objectives based on a needs assessment conducted for the target audience, adherence to established ethical standards and the execution of an evaluation strategy of the rounds program. Typically, “working” or “clinical” rounds are not formal CPD activities, rather, they are bedside visits by a physician—or other health professional—to evaluate treatment, assess current course and document the patient’s progress or recuperation.


Can morbidity and mortality (M&M) rounds be accredited for MOC Section 3 credits?

No. Morbidity and mortality (M&M) rounds cannot be accredited for MOC Section 3 credits because they typically review one patient/physician at a time. This is not considered feedback on performance in practice. A formal audit and feedback on a minimum of 10 patients is needed to be representative of one’s performance in practice. Morbidity and Mortality rounds are group-learning activities that can be included under Section 1: Group Learning: Rounds, assuming that they have been approved through the self-accreditation process of the Royal College.


Where do I record my post-grad Fellowship?

Fellowships can be entered as Section 2: Planned Learning: Fellowship. Usually, a Fellowship is deemed equivalent to 4 courses per year, so you can claim a Fellowship in 25 credit segments, up to a maximum of 100 credits per year. Note: If a portion of the Fellowship occurred prior to your MOC cycle start date, you can earn credits for the portion completed after the start date of your MOC cycle and this would be recorded in 25 credit segments.


What is a personal learning project (PLP) and how can I incorporate this into my learning plan?

A personal learning project (PLP) is a self-initiated learning activity that is stimulated by a question, issue or dilemma in your professional practice. For example, PLPs can be created based on updating your knowledge to prepare a presentation, further research after reading a journal article or after participating in a point-of-care activity. They can be inspired by any aspect of your professional practice (CanMEDS Roles) and are flexible and adaptable within any learning context.


What is a traineeship and can you give provide some examples of activities that would fit in this section?

Traineeships are structured learning activities designed to meet an identified professional need. Traineeships require the identification of learning objectives and a supervisor who will help you to plan learning activities that meet your learning objectives. The supervisor is also responsible for verifying that activities have been completed and can provide meaningful feedback on what was achieved. The final step required for all traineeships is the documentation of the learning outcomes that were identified for practice. Participation in activities such as PALS, NALS, ATLS, ACLS, and BLS, to name a few, are considered traineeships.


Why are there different sub-types for personal learning project (PLP) under Section 2: Self-Learning Activities?

When reporting a PLP in MAINPORT ePortfolio, you must select a sub-type (from a drop-down menu) to clarify the reason behind the creation of your learning plan. This allows us to capture data about how you are using PLPs, which will in turn support future improvements to the MOC framework. The following sub-types are available within MAINPORT ePortfolio (each is eligible for 2 credits/hour):

  • Address clinical or academic questions
  • Preparation for formal teaching activities
  • Development of research activities
  • Address medical-professional administrative or systems related questions/issues
  • Other—Please describe the type of PLP

Where do I record activities such as using Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed?

These activities are recorded in Section 2: Self-Learning Activities for 0.5 credits/activity. For activities conducted with third party organizations, both the certificate and transcript/list must be uploaded to MAINPORT ePortfolio in order for the activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.


How can I get credits for reading journal articles, books, etc.?

Each journal article you read that you have deemed has had a significant impact on your learning or practice can be recorded in Section 2:Self-Learning: Reading or Bulk Reading). In addition, you may read journal articles and/or books with the specific objective of answering a question, issue, or problem you have identified in your professional practice. In this instance, this can be claimed in Section 2 as a personal learning project (PLP) for 2 credits per hour.


Can I claim MOC credits for teaching or giving presentations?

You may report the new learning acquired while preparing or researching for your teaching sessions or presentations under Section 2 as a personal learning project (PLP).


I participate as an examiner for the Royal College. How can I claim credits for my contributions?

There are several options available for you to receive MOC credits:

  • The time you spend participating in any part of the examination process – from setting the exam standards, to being an examiner can be claimed as an activity for 15 credits per year under Section 2: Systems Learning: Examination Development.
  • The time you spend in the development and submission of a clinical scenario for inclusion in an oral examination or an MCQ or SAQ for a written examination can be submitted as a personal learning project in Section 2.
  • The time you spend on reviewing the feedback on your contributions to the examination process (e.g. the quality of your MCQs) or your performance during the examination (e.g. during an oral examination) is a review of your "educational" practice that could be included under Section 3: Practice Assessment (3 credits per hour).

How can I get credits for participating in committees?

For participating in certain committees, you may claim 15 credits per year per committee. The purpose or activity of the committee (working group, task force or similar title) must be to improve or enhance the quality, safety, or effectiveness of the health care system. The committee must have a formal structure with an appointment process and defined terms of reference. It must also meet on a regular schedule.


How can I get credits for all the research done for grant applications?

Any research and learning you do in relation to grant applications may be recorded as personal learning projects (PLPs) in Section 2:Planned Learning.


Where can I report my participation in doing peer reviewing of journals and/or grant applications?

Participants who are actively engaged in the peer review process throughout the year for activities such as peer reviewing journal articles and reviewing research grant applications can submit this activity in Section 2: Systems Learning: Peer Assessment for 15 credits per year.


Where can I record the time I spend reviewing a colleague’s practice?

You may record reviews that you do of your colleague’s practice under Section 2:Systems Learning): Peer Review and you will receive 15 credits for the year.


Where can I record the time I spend reviewing feedback that I received from colleagues/others related to my practice and/or my teaching?

If a colleague reviews your practice and provides feedback, the time spent on this activity, including any additional time you spend reviewing that feedback, can be recorded under Section 3:Assessment: Practice Assessment and you will receive 3 credits per hour. Reviewing feedback from your teaching sessions can also be reported in Section 3:Assessment: Practice Assessment.


Where can I record an online self-assessment program (SAP)?

Online self-assessment programs (SAP) do not automatically qualify for Section 3 credits in the MOC Program. All online self-assessment programs (SAP) must be reviewed and approved directly by a Royal College Accredited CPD Provider and if approved, would contain the Royal College accreditation statement. See a list of accredited Section 3 activities.


I participated in a self-assessment program (SAP) not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio. Where do I record this activity?

If a SAP is not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio, please contact us at: cpd-accreditation@royalcollege.ca to confirm its status. If it is not accredited by a Royal College CPD Accredited Provider, then you may choose to claim this activity as a personal learning project.


Can I apply extra credits (>400) earned in my current cycle towards my next cycle?

There is currently no provision to carry forward completed credits to a future MOC cycle and the completion of 400 credits is a minimum 5-year cycle requirement. MOC Program participants who achieve 400 credits before the end of their cycle are still required to complete at least 40 credits in each of the remaining years of their current cycle.


I work part-time. Do I need to complete the same number of credits as someone who is in full-time practice?

MOC Program participants who are in part-time practice are required to maintain their knowledge, skills, and competencies. There is a wide range of learning activities included within the MOC Program and the 400-credit requirement for a 5-year MOC cycle has been deemed to be reasonable and achievable for all participants.

Documentation questions

What documentation do I need to provide when reporting learning activities supported or tracked by third-party organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate and Dynamed?

Both the certificate and transcript/list must be provided in order for these activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.


What type of documentation do I need to keep for validation purposes?

MOC program participants should keep their supporting documentation for the duration of their current cycle. At this time, only the following activities may require supporting documentation for validation purposes:

  • Section 1: Group Learning (a certificate of attendance or certificate of completion from the sponsoring organization)
  • Section 2: Formal Courses, Traineeships, and Fellowships (a certificate of completion of the course from the sponsoring organization)
  • Section 3: Accredited Self-Assessment Programs (a certificate of completion of the accredited self-assessment program by the sponsoring organization)
  • Section 3: Accredited Simulation Activities (confirmation of participation by the accredited simulation program or CPD provider organization).

How long do I need to keep my supporting documentation?

You should keep your documentation for the duration of your current cycle. However, you may also wish to verify with your provincial regulatory body to confirm what their requirements are.


What should I do if I cannot provide supporting documentation for a learning activity?

If your CPD activity is pending credit validation and you cannot provide the required supporting documentation, then the activity cannot be validated and the credits will not be applied to your MAINPORT ePortfolio credit summary.


How can I submit my last year's CPD activities if I've missed the January 31st deadline?

You may report past CPD activities within your current cycle through the process of credit validation. For specific questions, please contact the Royal College Services Centre at 1-800-461-9598, 613-730-6243 or by email at cpd@royalcollege.ca.

Recording and reporting activities in MAINPORT ePortfolio

What is the difference between “Reading” and “Bulk Reading” when reporting a Section 2: Self-Learning Activity?

The “Reading” category is to be used when you are recording your reflections on one self-learning activity, such as reading a journal article. If you are reporting on a number of journal articles read, please use the “Bulk” option.


What is the difference between “Internet Searching” and “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript” when reporting Section 2 internet searches conducted through third-party organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed?

Both options are valid when entering internet search activities conducted through a third-party organization (like Medscape, UpToDate or Dynamed). If you are entering just one activity choose “Internet Searching.” If you are entering more than one activity at once, choose “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript”. This selection will allow you to enter the total number of activities in bulk. For activities conducted with third-party organizations and submitted under the bulk option, both the certificate and transcript/list must be uploaded to MAINPORT ePortfolio in order for the activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.


Can I record activities done through organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed in bulk?

Yes. As long as you have the proper documentation from the third-party organizations (certificate and transcript/list of activities), you can report these activities in bulk as follows:

  • Click on “Enter a CPD Activity”
  • Select Section 2: Self-Learning Activities
  • Choose “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript” from the dropdown menu
  • Enter information for all required fields marked with red asterisks
  • Upload the certificate and transcript/list of activities provided by the third-party organization

Both the certificate and transcript/list must be provided in order for these activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.


Can I record my own reading activities in bulk?

Yes. The Royal College is happy to provide a Bulk Journal Reading Transcript form (This is an Adobe PDF fillable form. To use it, you will need to open it in Adobe Reader software, which can be obtained on Adobe’s website free of charge. Please save the blank form to your desktop before you fill it out, then resave it before you submit). Each time you read a journal article, simply jot down the required information on the form (this must include a learning outcome for each article). When you’re ready to report all your reading activities to MAINPORT ePortfolio, scan the form onto your computer or mobile device to create an electronic copy.:

  • Click on “Enter a CPD Activity”
  • Select Section 2: Self-Learning Activities
  • Choose “Bulk Journal Reading with Transcript” from the dropdown menu
  • Enter information for all required fields marked with red asterisks
  • Upload the scanned “Bulk Journal Reading Transcript”

What is an Accredited Self-Assessment program?

Accredited Self-Assessment programs use brief, highly directed questions in structured formats, such as multiple-choice or short-answer questions, to elicit reliable constructed responses from participants to assess aspects of knowledge in defined domains. Feedback provides opportunities for participants to identify areas for improvement and future learning.


What is an Accredited Simulation Activity?

Accredited simulation activities use standardized patients, mannequins, part-task trainers or virtual cases to assess individual physicians or teams performing specific actions, tasks or behaviours related to a clinical scenario. Simulations may be high- or low-fidelity, depending on the techniques or strategies used. Feedback is commonly provided by observers during debriefing sessions after the scenario is completed.


What is Chart Audit and Feedback?

Chart audit and feedback is an assessment strategy that uses data recorded in a chart or electronic health record to assess the performance of an individual, group or team against one or more measures of performance. Chart audits can focus on process or outcomes of care provided to one or more patients. Feedback is provided to facilitate the identification of areas for future learning and improvement.


What is Multi-Source Feedback?

Multi-source feedback uses standardized questionnaires to gather data from multiple observers across a range of CanMEDS Roles. Physicians are provided with a summary of their performance across a set of behaviours in relation to their peers. Feedback provides an opportunity to identify areas of strength and improvement and set goals for future learning.


What is Direct Observation?

Direct observation uses supervisors, colleagues or peers to observe a physician performing a regular professional activity to identify whether specific behaviours or competences were demonstrated. The observer provides feedback to the physician on what was, or was not, observed in order to assist the physician in identifying areas for improvement or enhancement.


What is Feedback on Teaching?

Summaries or compilations of evaluations of teaching completed by students, residents, physicians or health professionals provide physician educators evidence related to the effectiveness and impact of teaching. Reviewing these evaluations provides opportunities to identify areas for improvement within this dimension of professional practice.


What is an Annual Performance Review?

Annual reviews provide physicians with an opportunity to reflect on past performance goals and establish plans for the coming year. Use the feedback provided by peers, department/division chairs or chiefs of staff to set new goals or identify strategies for improvement or professional development.


What is Practice Assessment?

Practice assessment is a comprehensive approach to reviewing a physicians’ practice to assess adherence to established professional practice standards across multiple CanMEDS Roles using multiple assessment strategies. Practice assessments are completed by trained peer assessors and may integrate a records review, interviews with colleagues or co-workers, direct observations of interactions with patients, and patient questionnaires to enable the development of a comprehensive report of the overall quality and safety of the practice with recommendations that serve as the basis for future learning and improvement.


What is the Holding Area?

The Holding Area is an area of MAINPORT ePortfolio that contains activities that require some additional information before they are counted in the MOC credit system. There are three different types of activities that can exist in the Holding Area. The first is an Incomplete Activity. These are activities that have been partially entered into MAINPORT ePortfolio. The second type of activity that occurs in the Holding Area is activities that have been automatically sent to MAINPORT ePortfolio on your behalf. The final kinds of activity that can exist in the Holding Area are CPD activities that are awaiting credit validation.


How do I enter my yearly hours for rounds in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

You can enter your yearly attendance at rounds either individually or as a "block" of hours. For example, if you attended 20 hours of rounds during the year, you may choose to record each round you attended separately or record it as one entry worth 20 credits in Section 1.


I attended a 3-day conference. Do I need to report each day separately or can I record my overall attendance as one entry?

You may record your conference attendance as one entry and report the total hours attended. Please record the end date of the conference in MAINPORT ePortfolio.


I completed a day course and submitted this under Section 2: Formal Course. MAINPORT ePortfolio automatically gives me 25 credits for this – how can I change the number of credits?

Formal courses are usually developed in collaboration with a university, community college, specialty (e.g., a diploma program) or other educational organizations. They require a formal registration process and provide a transcript or certificate of completion. This type of course can lead to the achievement of a formal designation or certificate. Formal Courses occur over a period of time usually equivalent to one term at a university but not less than 6 weeks. Examples of Formal Courses: Fellowships include participation in formal certificate programs, Masters or PhD programs. Other courses that are shorter in duration are more typical of a section 1 accredited group learning activity where you would receive one credit per hour of participation.

General questions

What web browser can I use to access the MAINPORT ePortfolio?

The desktop version of the MAINPORT ePortfolio currently supports the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer versions 11.X and 10.X
  • FireFox versions 5x.0 and 40.X
  • Chrome versions 5x.0 and 45.0+
  • Safari versions 10, 9 and 8.0.x

Is there a mobile app version of MAINPORT ePortfolio available?

Yes. iPhone users can download the MAINPORT ePortfolio Mobile app from the App Store. Android users can download the app from the Play Store.


Can I record activities when not connected to the internet?

Yes, you can record activities when you are offline. Simply record the information as you normally would. As soon as you connect to a WiFi network, your MAINPORT ePortfolio account will be automatically updated.


I have a Blackberry; can I download the MAINPORT ePortfolio app?

The app is not available for Blackberry users. However, if you have a Blackberry, you can access the MAINPORT ePortfolio mobile site from your device.


I have an iPad. Can I download the MAINPORT ePortfolio app?

For the best MAINPORT ePortfolio user experience, we recommend that iPad users connect directly to MAINPORT ePortfolio rather than using the app.


Why am I having problems downloading the MAINPORT ePortfolio app to my iPhone?

Please note that if you do not have the latest version of iOS installed on your Apple device, you will need to update it to the latest version. The previous version of the App will not be supported after August 31, 2015.


How do I know if my hospital round or journal club is accredited? Where and when can I get a record of attendance for these activities?

Rounds and journal clubs that are accredited will provide a Royal College accreditation statement on the advertisement for the event. You may also contact your Rounds Chair for further information and for an official record of attendance.


Can you send me a list of accredited group learning CPD activities and/or accredited Self-Assessment Programs for my specialty?

You can find a list of CPD activities by specialty here. Please note that while the information provided is comprehensive, it does not necessarily represent all approved activities available for credit. For more information, please contact the Accredited CPD Providers directly.


How are the CanMEDS Roles being promoted as a framework for lifelong learning in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

MAINPORT ePortfolio will support the link between learning and CanMEDS in two ways. Each template will enable learners to link the portion of the group learning, self-learning or assessment activity that was linked to each CanMEDS Role. In addition, the CPD planning tool in MAINPORT will support the link between specific goals and one or more CanMEDS Roles.

The MOC framework is intending to promote a competency-based approach to lifelong learning that is not just focused on knowledge (the traditional domain of the medical expert), but on multiple skills, competencies and abilities. CanMEDS is an excellent example of a competency framework that is relevant to the planning and development of learning activities for practice. Currently, all accredited CPD provider organizations are required to develop needs assessment strategies that span multiple CanMEDS Roles. Self-learning can be focused in any CanMEDS domain and although there are limited tools to assess performance across multiple CanMEDS roles the development of 360° assessments and other multi-source feedback strategies are becoming more common.

MOC cycle types


What is an MOC cycle type?

Your MOC cycle type indicates what type of participation you have in the MOC Program. Mandatory cycles are for individuals who are required to participate, such as Fellows in order to maintain their Fellowship. Voluntary cycles are for individuals who choose to participate even though they are not required to, such as retired Fellows or Resident Affiliates.


Mandatory, Active Fellows and Health Care Professionals

This cycle is for active Fellows and Health Care Professionals (HCPs). It is a five-year cycle requiring 40 credits per year and 400 credits per cycle. Twenty-five credits per MOC section per cycle are required for cycles starting on or after January 1, 2014.


Mandatory, Practice Eligibility Route

This cycle is for international medical graduates who are pursuing the Practice Eligibility Route to certification through the Royal College. It is a two-year cycle requiring 80 credits per year and 160 credits per cycle.


Mandatory, Practice Ready Assessment

This cycle is for international medical graduates who are pursuing the Practice Ready Assessment route to certification through the Royal College. It is a one-year cycle requiring 80 credits.


Voluntary, Retired Fellows

This cycle is for retired Fellows or other stakeholders who are not required to participate in the MOC Program but may wish to use MAINPORT ePortfolio to record their learning activities. It is a five-year cycle with no credit requirements.


Voluntary, Resident

This cycle is for Resident Affiliates who are enrolled in a postgraduate specialty residency program in Canada and have not previously been certified by the Royal College.

It is a seven-year cycle with no credit requirements and allows participants to carry forward 75 credits (25 from each MOC section) towards their first MOC cycle as a Fellow.


Voluntary, International

This cycle is for Fellows participating in a substantively equivalent international program who are using MAINPORT ePortfolio on a voluntary basis to record their learning activities. It is a five-year cycle with no credit requirements.

Contact us

cpd@royalcollege.ca

Royal College Services Centre 1-800-461-9598 or 613-730-6243 For inquiries related to MAINPORT ePortfolio, please contact cpd@royalcollege.ca.