FAQ: HCP Bridge program

Why do I need to know about the HCP Bridge program?

The Royal College recognizes that you have two significant Royal College milestones ahead of you: examination and certification. You may have questions about how to satisfy provincial licensure requirements, such as participation in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program.

We have created a simple and easy solution for you: We invite you to join us as an MOC Program Participant in the Health Care Professional (HCP) category so that we can give you a MOC cycle that you can use prior to certification — for free.

How has COVID-19 impacted my MOC cycle?

The extraordinary events of this year, including the pandemic and the postponed spring exams, means the 2020 graduating residents are experiencing a longer than usual gap between completing training, examination and certification. We wish to help you bridge this gap with our new, free-of-cost HCP bridging program. It will support your continuous learning with an HCP category MOC cycle and enable you to collect and record MOC credits while you await and prepare for your specialty examination in fall 2020. In this way, it will give you a jump start on the number of credits you’ll need to complete your first five-year cycle as a Royal College Fellow.

What is the MOC Program?

The MOC Program is the Royal College's continuing professional development program for Fellows and health care professionals like you who are awaiting certification. The MOC Program is recognized by medical regulatory authorities as an approved continuing professional development program. It indicates to regulators and your patients that you are engaged in superior training and committed to lifelong learning.

What is an MOC cycle?

The MOC Program operates over a five-year MOC cycle. During that time, you must meet all of the MOC program’s requirements in order to be compliant:

  • report at least 400 credits per cycle,
  • report at least 40 credits per year, and
  • report at least 25 credits in each of the three MOC sections (group learning, self-learning and assessment).

You must engage in enough continuing professional development opportunities to meet these MOC requirements before you can successfully close your five-year cycle. After this, you will be given a new MOC cycle and you will repeat the process again.

What is MAINPORT ePorfolio?

MAINPORT ePortfolio is a comprehensive CPD solution through which you can submit MOC activities and track your credits. In MAINPORT, you can track your progress against requirements, access learning opportunities and plan your learning with tools and guidance documents. Quebec specialists will also have a seamless reporting experience that aligns with the Collège des médecins du Québec’s new regulation, without having to report twice to both organizations.

Why do I need an MOC cycle now?

Having an MOC cycle now is a great way to get a jump start on the number of credits you’ll need to complete your first MOC cycle as a Royal College Fellow. In addition, most Canadian medical regulatory authorities require all licensees, even those with a provisional licence, to be enrolled in a continuing professional development program, such as the Royal College’s MOC Program. The HCP category MOC cycle and the Fellow category MOC cycle both meet the requirements for both provisional and full licensing.

What is an HCP category MOC cycle and how does it compare to a Fellow’s cycle?

An HCP category MOC cycle is essentially the same as a Fellow’s MOC cycle. The only difference is that the owner of an HCP category cycle need not be certified. However, both cycle types will enable you to collect and record MOC credits that will count toward your first five-year cycle as a Royal College Fellows. And for those awaiting certification following recent completion of a residency program, there is no charge to participate in this program prior to certification.

How can studying for my certification exams be applied to the MOC Program?

New knowledge that you acquire from studying for your certification exam can be reported in Section 2 for two credits per hour. You can record what you learned while studying by creating several Personal Learning Projects (PLPs). You can record PLPs on specific topics that you reviewed in a manner similar to raising and answering clinical questions stimulated by your practice. A good example of how to do a Personal Learning Project is in this MOC tip.

How long is this bridging program available to me for free

The HCP category MOC cycle will be available for free until March 31, 2021. Once you pass your certification exam, you will be invited into Fellowship right away, however those eligible for the bridging program will not be invoiced until early March 2021, for the membership year starting April 1, 2021.

Why do I need to be a Fellow? Can’t I just stay as an HCP?

Once you are certified, you become recognized as a Royal College Certificant and all Certificants are invited to join the Royal College as Fellows. Royal College Fellowship is a great advancement for your career. It is recognized across Canada and around the world as a mark of outstanding expertise. You’ll still be able to leverage the MOC Program as before, but only as a Fellow can you display our world-recognized designation (FRCPC or FRCSC), have an influential voice by volunteering on our committees, and take advantage of other Royal College benefits and services for Fellows.

What happens to my cycle when I pass my certification exam in the fall of 2020?

After you successfully pass your certification exam, you will be considered a Certificant and you will be invited to Fellowship. While your membership category will change, you will keep your MOC cycle and all your credits entered while in the HCP category.

What happens to my cycle if I fail my certification exam in the fall of 2020?

If your first certification exam attempt is unsuccessful, you may still keep your MOC cycle for free until March 31, 2021, at which time you will join our regular HCP program at our usual fee rate (in 2020, this is $695.00 per year; next year’s rate is still to be determined). Invoices for the year starting April 1 are issued in early March. You can attempt the certification exam again the following year.

I started in 2020 and heard that an extra year has been added to my cycle due to COVID-19. Can I wait a year before joining as a Fellow and participating in MOC?

Even though the Royal College has waived the MOC Program’s cycle minimum requirements for 2020, your medical regulatory authority may still require you to have a valid MOC cycle and be actively participating in continuing professional development for licensure requirements. Please visit your MRA’s website to confirm your regulatory obligations.

Can I backdate my MOC cycle?

Unfortunately, MOC cycles cannot be backdated. If you were previously a Resident Affiliate, up to 75 credits that you collected during your residency would have been carried forward. Otherwise you must only record credit for activities completed since July 1, 2020 (if you were a Resident Affiliate) or from your date of joining as an HCP (if you were not previously a Resident Affiliate).

Learn more

New HCP bridging program supports your transition to certification