FAQ: Impact of COVID-19 on 2020-21 MOC and dues cycles

Last updated March 23, 2020

Annual Dues for 2020-21

Recognizing that our work has been impacted, either directly or indirectly, by the COVID-19 situation, will the Royal College be extending the annual dues deadline for 2020-21?

  • Yes, the Royal College has extended its 2020-21 annual dues deadline from April 30 until August 31, 2020. The Royal College leadership team recognizes the personal and professional hardships, as well as financial stresses, that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on members’ work and livelihood.

When will late payment fees take effect?

  • Late payment fees will only take effect after September 30, 2020.

I already paid my membership dues for 2020-21. Am I eligible for a refund?

  • In short, no. We are responding to a rapidly evolving situation and the delay of dues payments was not something we foresaw at the start of this year’s annual dues cycle. Please accept our sincere thanks for your prompt payment of your 2020-21 membership dues. The decision to now extend the deadline until August 31, 2020, is to assist those members who have not yet paid in making this payment, recognizing that some are facing unexpected financial strain or practice interruptions during the COVID-19 situation. This decision does not affect Fellows or other members who have already paid.

COVID-19 has completely upended my practice. Even with an extension, I don’t know if I will be able to afford my full dues amount this year. Will the Royal College take this into consideration?

  • Each year, we offer reduced fees for Fellows based on projected net professional income, temporary leave (family/health) or enrolment in recognized postgraduate programs. Fellows may qualify for a fee reduction based on these existing parameters. Please review our dues information webpage for full details and contact membership@royalcollege.ca for more particular information.

I have been asked to come out of retirement because my medical services are required due to COVID-19. I want to change my membership status from “Retired” to “Active” for a short period of time. What will I be invoiced?

  • We recommend that Fellows in this situation first confirm with their medical regulatory authority (provincial college) whether a change in Royal College membership status, from “Retired” to “Active,” is required for licensing purposes. If it is, we will proceed with a change in status and waive membership fees for the year (2020).

MOC cycle for 2020

I don’t want to default on my Royal College membership but with everything happening — conference/event cancellations, closures, increased workload, etc. — I can’t imagine that I will have time to complete my MOC requirements this year. Will the Royal College be doing anything to help?

  • Our primary aim is to support our Fellows and MOC Program participants during these challenging times. In recognition of this unprecedented situation, and in alignment with our partners at the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Royal College will be waiving all Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program requirements for 2020:

    • One year will be added to everyone’s cycle.
    • While no credits are required to be submitted this year, any credits submitted will still be counted towards your current (now six-year) cycle. We are waiving the traditional 40-credit minimum requirement for 2020.

We are affording this respite from reporting to allow our program participants to focus on their work and to take care of themselves.

I was already approved for an MOC extension. Will the decision to add one-year to everyone’s MOC cycle include me?

  • Yes, all Fellows and MOC Program participants — even those who have already been granted an extension — will receive the one year extension for 2020.

Could this one-year MOC extension for 2020 affect my license to practice?

  • The Royal College coordinated its decision to extend members’ MOC cycles by one year in discussion and alignment with the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the provincial regulators. All are in alignment and support this decision, given these unique circumstances.  

I appreciate the MOC extension but I anticipate that I may still struggle to complete the program requirements into 2021-22. Will any extra support be offered?

  • As always, our primary aim is to support our Fellows and MOC Program participants. We will continue to support our members with options for continuing professional development (CPD) activities, including online offerings for individuals seeking more flexible or cost-effective options. Our Royal College Services Centre staff members also remain available to assist with your CPD- and MOC-related questions, and unique situations. For assistance, please contact cpd@royalcollege.ca.

I’ve already completed or know that I will be able to complete my MOC cycle requirements without the extension. Can I opt out of it?

  • To ensure consistency across all Fellow and MOC Program participant, we are not able to offer the option to opt out of the extension. If your cycle was scheduled to end December 31, 2020 and you’ve already completed all of your cycle requirements (i.e. a minimum of 400 credits overall and 25 credits per section) by then, all you will need to do for 2021is record a minimum of 40 credits in any of the MOC sections.

I just signed into my MAINPORT account and I don’t see this new adjustment to my MOC cycle for 2020. Did something go wrong? Do I need to contact the Royal College Services Centre?

  • There is nothing to be concerned about. As this decision was only newly approved, there will be a short time-lag to see adjustments made to our online systems. We are also working to minimize delays to processing of mail. We thank you for your patience as we make these updates to support our members during this time.

Given my specialty area, the COVID-19 situation has unexpectedly given me more time to catch up on my learning and log MOC credits. Will these credits no longer count?

Or

In order to care/prepare to care for patients who have contracted COVID-19, I have increased my MOC activities and engaged in personal learning projects on the subject. How can I acknowledge this learning if credit requirements are being waived for 2020?

  • Fellows and MOC Program participants can still submit MOC learning credits in 2020; we are just waiving the requirement to do so. Rest assured that this learning will not be discounted. We encourage you to continue to document your learning in the various program sections. These credits will be counted towards your MOC cycle.

My question wasn’t answered in this FAQ. Who can I reach out to for help?

  • This is a rapidly evolving situation and our Royal College leadership team is monitoring and responding to member needs as quickly as possible. If your question has not yet been answered, please email communications@royalcollege.ca and we will respond as soon as possible.